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Recommended auto reverse, auto turnout control with Atlas switch machines?

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  • Member since
    July 2018
  • 400 posts
Recommended auto reverse, auto turnout control with Atlas switch machines?
Posted by IDRick on Monday, January 18, 2021 11:44 PM

I'd like to try using an autoreverse loop with auto turnout control.  I have atlas and prefer to stay with them.  I have spent some time searching for options.  I find the Azatrax option (dt2-3 wire) intriguing with a low price point and appears to do all I want with a DC or DCC setup (lone wolf operation, nothing fancy needed).  Here is the link: https://www.azatrax.com/install-D2T-3W.pdf  Could not find any "buzz" about this system but didn't spend a long time looking either...

The PSX-AR is commonly recommended (ARSC for atlas) but looks like it is for DCC only.  I'm moving in a few months and won't have DCC for awhile.  Looks to be a very flexible system and detailed instructions are given for common DCC systems.  Seems confusing to me, not an electronics guy... Can this system be easily installed with minimum effort and complexity (don't need all the whistles and bells)?  I have a separate power supply, do not need or want DCC control of the switch.

Other options that I should consider?

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 29,842 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 8:13 AM

 The Azatrax D2T isn't designed for a reverse loop. SInce it has 2 sensors, one for the entrance to the loop and one for the exit, it looks like it might be possible to adapt it using a DPDT latching relay to change the mainline polarity (with DC you have to change the main, with DCC, you can still do it the same way, but it's easier to just change the loop itself, right under the moving train).

 ANd like most optical detectors, it is subject to change how well it works based on abient light (and sometimes type of lights being used. Geoff Bunza has a really neat solution that uses two sensors at every detector - one that gets blocked by the train, and one that sits nearby. It doesn't activate when the one gets blocked by the train - it activates when there is a difference in light levels between the two sensors. SO no train, you dim the lights, BOTH sensors see reduced lighting and it doesn;t trigger - train blocks the one between the rails, now one has dim light and the other has no light, and it triggers. Or turn the lights up, both see bight light. Train comes - one see no or almost no light, the other still sees bright light, and it triggers. This is just a seondor though, you need the rest of the circuitry to actually control the track power to flip it when the train enters or exists the loop.

                                       --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
    July 2018
  • 400 posts
Posted by IDRick on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 12:34 PM

Randy, thank you for your thorough answer!  I made a big mistake in the original post, I linked to the wrong page...  Here is the correct link to the page showing their automated reverse loop and turnout solution: http://www.azatrax.com/reverse-loop-system-1.html  And my friend, you are correct, they do use a relay.  I was not aware of the challenges with sensing infrared under varying room lighting, etc.  Seems to be a deal breaker...

 

I did find a much better description on how to setup the PSX-AR.  Pretty straightforward.  http://www.buschiart.com/HO/PSXAR_install_manual_RevN_for_website.pdf 

 

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