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Installing Logic Rail SA-1 Signal Animator w/Tomar Mast Signals

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  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 1,908 posts
Installing Logic Rail SA-1 Signal Animator w/Tomar Mast Signals
Posted by peahrens on Sunday, May 14, 2017 4:06 PM

I'm quite happy with this week's project, installing the first three (of six) three-color mast signals on my modest 5' x 9' HO layout.  With a longer layout I might have considered the more prototypical Block Animator (with lots more photocells to install).  But I wanted some automatic signal effect and the SA-1 delivers that.  A far cry from the sophisticated systems some folk create.  Each signal has one (or more as an option, to extend the triggering zone) photocell for daylight/room lighting (or IR if wanting nighttime operation).  The signal goes red when the train covers the photocell, then yellow after a (10 or 30 second) time delay when the last car clears the photocell, then back to green after another delay.  On my layout I can run two chasing trains, usually in one direction (good for grandkids) and the lights change nicely between trains.  Again, not the sophistication one might want for more realistic operation, but a fun improvement project.

At $21 for the SA-1 and $22 for the Tomar signals, plus a 12v power supply and some barrier strips, the investment is not so terrible.  Not a bad option to add a feature to the layout.  The only tough part is the under layout hookup.  I did all I could to make that as easy as possible, including Soundtraxx pin connectors for the 4 signal wires.  I'll add some photos:

 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 4,579 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, May 14, 2017 7:32 PM

I'm right there with 'ya, Paul!

I really enjoy watching my signals change fairly realistically. I looked at occupancy detection block signaling and it was not practical for me at all. In many cases the location of the signal would not allow you to see it since it would be facing away from the viewer. Setting up detection, and bi-directional signaling wasn't for me.

 

 

 

Some of the signals are interlocked with turnouts and most of them I have set up with an "east- or- westbound switch" so if a train is running the opposite direction I can force the signal to red.

In one place I used a flasher module to give me a flashing yellow for a "Diverging Medium" indication.

Fun stuff, thanks for showing it.

Ed

 

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 1,908 posts
Posted by peahrens on Sunday, May 14, 2017 8:38 PM

BTW, the SA-1 (5v DC output) comes with three 150 ohm resistors and suggests to use those for the 3-LED Tomars.  The Tomar H856 sheet gives LED voltage drop and current flow that would calculate to 140 ohms for the yellow and red, but about 87 ohms for the green (due to higher current and higher LED voltage drop).  I tried both the 150 and a 100 for the green with my test setup.  I did not observe any difference, and the green with the 150 ohm (or 100) seemed about the right brightness compared to the yellow and red.  Just an example of not needing to get too technically correct.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

  • Member since
    August, 2006
  • 1,097 posts
Posted by trainnut1250 on Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:56 PM

Love the signal animator. I have had two of them on the layout for the last 10 years or so...great eye candy

 

Guy

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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