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Can i have operating Semaphores on a DC Layout?

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  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • 4 posts
Can i have operating Semaphores on a DC Layout?
Posted by Oregon_Steamer on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 3:56 AM

I run old diecast DC Steam locomotives and i was wondering is it possible to have working semaphores on a dc layout?

If so explain how i can wire them up.

Tags: Classic , DC , Semaphore
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: North Dakota
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Posted by BroadwayLion on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 10:23 AM

Ahem... Depends.

LION would use Tortorice switch machines to move the semiphore flag. Mount it on its side with a thin piano wire connecting the board to the machine. Then the question is how to wire the tortise.

 

The issue is: Will this be a block signal or a home signal. If it is a home shignal it is operated by a leaver on the interlocking plant. Signal remains RED until such a time as the tower operator alighs his plant and clears the signal.

 

If it is a block signal, then you need either a timer and/or track detectors.

Easiest with two track detectors, the LION uses reed switches embedded in the track with a magnet on the bottom of the locomotive to trip it. A couple of relays will provide the operating logic.

BE CAREFUL PUTTING MAGNETS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE LOCOMOTIVE. The magnetic field must not interefere with the motor. Mount the magnet as far from the motor as possible.

You can do this with optic detection, you will find such parts in any discarded mouse, bud do not ask the LION who to wire it for him knows not.

Here is Relay Room of LION:

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
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  • From: Western, MA
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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 11:07 AM

Welcome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOSM9ddWNsU

http://www.circuitron.com/index_files/ins/800-5520ins.pdf

I tried to make them all active but the trains.com site is not cooperating today.

How much model railroad and electronic experience do you have? Mechanical experience will be needed also.

Search for Tortoise for semaphore, Lots more info on the Internet. Some will mention doing this with DCC also.

Rich

 

N

  • Member since
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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 2:17 PM

What scale are you modeling?

Also, how do you want the signals to behave?  It's fairly easy to have them operated manually or to stop trains approaching a turnout aligned for the other track.  When you get into automatic train detection and stopping trains until the track is clear to proceed, that's another level of complexity.

Rob Paisley's excellent electronics site is having ISP issues right now.  I've got some of his crossing gate circuits and they are excellent.

Z-stuff makes sensors and control circuits.  It looks like they have a sensor circuit and separate relay module that might do what you want.  The also have O and S scale semaphores, but not HO or N.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Western, MA
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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 2:43 PM

Rob Paisley has some great working circuits but his ISP will no longer support private sites from a posting about Rob in a MRH forum posting. All his links are dead.

Rob is trying to get his circuits back online.

Rich

N

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: North Dakota
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Posted by BroadwayLion on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 10:10 AM

As the LION mentioned on another forum...

the open HTTP protocol is being replaced by the secure HTTPS protocol.

 

Until everyone is on the same page these issues will occur.

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 10:53 AM

 That's not the issue in this case. This time, it's that Rob's ISP no longer will allow its customers to have personal web pages. So he need to find a new hosting provider.

                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • 4 posts
Posted by Oregon_Steamer on Friday, November 10, 2017 3:32 AM
I run HO scale Trains The brands i buy are Mantua, Aristo-Craft, MDC Roundhouse, A.C. Gilbert, and Brass
  • Member since
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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, November 10, 2017 10:50 AM

I think NJ International makes a semaphore with a built-in actuator, so you don't need to add a Tortise to move the arm.  I can't find much information about those.  I have one packed away somewhere that I never installed, but I bought it years ago and it may no longer be available.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 4,330 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Friday, November 10, 2017 3:07 PM

Echoing what everyone else has said:

Sure.  You can have semaphores.  They sell them.  And activating them is pretty straightforward.  As also mentioned previously.

Making them "do the trick" is a whole 'nother story.

 

The absolute simplest way to go is to install a train order signal at a station.  They look a little different than a regular semaphore, mostly because there's two, back to back, on one mast:

 

The simple part is that they're controlled by an agent at the station.  He pulls a lever, and the arm goes up for stop.  Otherwise, it's proceed.  For you, that would be a couple of toggle switches, probably.

 

The next step up in complication is to put signals (semaphores, in your case) at each end of a switch at the beginning/end of a passing siding.  Total of three, for each track entering the switch.  The indication of the signal is determined by contacts on the switch machine.  You won't generally get totally accurate indications, but they come close.  And they do change.  For example, the two signals "facing" the siding will each show red or green/yellow, as appropriate.  The "incoming" direction will show green if the switch is set straight through, and yellow if to the siding.  NOT totally accurate, but not bad.  It certainly impresses the civilians.  And really easy to wire.

 

We have now left the land of simplicity.

 

Because now you get into detection (is there a train, and where?), and logic (what the signals should do with that information).  It is certainly doable:  

I have a module with two searchlight signals.  When set up with other modules with the appropriate wiring, those signals give the correct indications.  All by themselves.  It is great fun to watch.  One of the guys has a module with semaphores.  THAT is even MORE fun to watch.

But it DOES take commitment.  And work.

 

What's yer pleasure, mister?

 

Ed

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