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Atlas signalling and DCC

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  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 62 posts
Atlas signalling and DCC
Posted by bigiron on Monday, February 04, 2008 3:26 PM
I'm thinking about incorporating a signal system into my layout. I will be using the Digitrax Chief/radio sys. I had heard that with the Atlas signal system your engines with slow down when in a block that is using detection because of the current draw. I'm not sure if I read it right or not. But it also appeared that this system was designed for DC. I ust want to be able to have a simple red/yellow/green aspect that works with my train movements. Has anyone used this system with DCC or shed some light on it .Thanks
  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 04, 2008 3:30 PM

The Digitrax SEC8 is what interfaces with your loconet and carries the ability to drive a few dozen signal heads of any kind.

It carries it's own power and only takes information off optical sensors or other sensors that does NOT take away power on your rails feeding your choo choo.

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Eastern Shore Virginia
  • 3,290 posts
Posted by gandydancer19 on Sunday, February 10, 2008 12:58 PM

The SE8C is a good option for signaling if you have Digitrax, BUT... To get it all to work correctly you will also need block detection and a connection to a computer and program it.  Installing an SE8C by itself won't cut it.

Elmer.

Elmer.

The above is my opinion, from an active and experienced Model Railroader in N scale and HO since 1961.

(Modeling Freelance, Eastern US, HO scale, in 1962, with NCE DCC for locomotive control and a stand alone LocoNet for block detection and signals.) http://waynes-trains.com/ at home, and N scale at the Club.

  • Member since
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  • 302,230 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 10, 2008 1:08 PM

Agreed.

Signalling requires it's own power, it's own information and sensors and THEN becomes part of the loconet.

I was going to drive B&O CPL's with this board and it was "waitaminnit!" there is alot more than just plunking a bunch of CPL's and a board into the layout.

I'm still learning and one day it will all work.

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Eastern Shore Virginia
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Posted by gandydancer19 on Sunday, February 10, 2008 3:27 PM
 Falls Valley RR wrote:

Agreed.

Signalling requires it's own power, it's own information and sensors and THEN becomes part of the loconet.

I was going to drive B&O CPL's with this board and it was "waitaminnit!" there is alot more than just plunking a bunch of CPL's and a board into the layout.

I'm still learning and one day it will all work.

See the other Signals thread and I will tell you what our club is using for B&O CPL's.

Elmer.

Elmer.

The above is my opinion, from an active and experienced Model Railroader in N scale and HO since 1961.

(Modeling Freelance, Eastern US, HO scale, in 1962, with NCE DCC for locomotive control and a stand alone LocoNet for block detection and signals.) http://waynes-trains.com/ at home, and N scale at the Club.

  • Member since
    February, 2007
  • 5 posts
Posted by cribs1 on Thursday, February 28, 2008 12:18 PM

The trains slow down because of the Atlas current sensing detector.  It is an anolog detector and the track current passes through the electronics.  If you use a Daylee or NCE detector, this will not happen.

The signal system was developed by Atlas and Custom Signals.  Most of the signals are o-scale, but Custom Signals also carries the Atlas HO and N.  If you go to www.customsignals.com , you will see all the electronics available for the complete system.  It is modular so you only buy the parts that you need.  It will give both ABS and APB signaling using the different PCBs.  Using the Track Configuration Library, you can work up a plan specifically for your layout. 

  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • From: Richmond, Texas
  • 393 posts
Posted by RDG1519 on Thursday, February 28, 2008 12:51 PM

Bigiron,

I think the other guy's are right. The ATLAS detector is for DC and I do not think it is intended for DCC. I plan to use some old Digitrax BD-1's, shows you how old I am. Digi Trax has multi input block detectors as well. I use an MRC DCC control system.

The Atlas signal system would, could use most types of block ocupation detectors intended for DCC, after all, what you are doing is just indicating if a loco, or rolling stock with resistor wheel sets, are in a block. Control with DCC is separate from block ocupation detection.

The ATLAS signal boards will take these ocupation inputs and determine the aspect of the signals based on their capability, number and use of tracks etc etc. If you go to the ATLAS website these circuit boards are well defined as to what they will do. ATLAS gives you a website that has many more pieces of equipment that will work with these along with an entire library of track configuration and desired signalling. it is quite impressive.

Hope this helps, I am glad to see you are looking at these ATLAS signals I am quite impressed with them. Chris

Great grandson of John Kiefer, Engineman Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, 1893 to 1932
  • Member since
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  • From: US
  • 144 posts
Posted by tomytuna on Friday, February 29, 2008 3:51 PM
Here's my 2 cents worth..I'm 100% DCC and have purchased and installed the Atlas Signals and they are working great...Like you all info looked like it was for DC ops only. And out of the box,they are..We used a MRC regular DC (analog) transformed to supply Elec under table with junction boards which we could run power supply to the signals. installed NCE BD-20 block dectectors and lights run fine...must have track isolated  for distance you want to protect..you should be ok...DO not try to get power to signal direct from Track power...good luck..Tom

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