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 Lineside Signals for the B&M Eastern Route

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
jbvb Posted - 05/26/2015 : 9:48:04 PM
My layout doesn't have much hidden track, and only one out of sight turnout. When I'm running by myself I can either see the points or see a control lever that shows the position of the one I can't see. But my guest operators sometimes lack that local knowledge, or maybe the vision.

I've been thinking about signals ever since I got the basic control system working. This shows my guess of how B&M practice would have been applied to my Bexley Tower interlocking (the lower right corner of the track plan image):

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
jbvb Posted - 04/10/2019 : 10:31:58 AM
Can anyone enlighten me about Rix 'CTC Knob Kit'?

1. Must the rotary switch I supply have a flat on the shaft?

2. Are the plates supplied painted, or just as molded? If unpainted, are there decals or the like?

I am thinking about adding 'direction' controls for my two pieces of CTC single track.
jbvb Posted - 01/17/2019 : 11:19:09 PM
I've just learned that Free State Systems, who made the nice etched signal ladders and platforms shown earlier in this thread, is no longer in business. No inventory remains.
jbvb Posted - 01/07/2019 : 10:40:16 PM
Thanks, Frank. If your modeling focus isn't on lines with interlockings or block signals, this isn't very important. But if you have questions I'm happy to discuss. Or if you're driving between Massachusetts and Maine with slack in your schedule, see if I'm going to be home.

I just got reminded I needed closure on getting a good 'yellow' out of a stock Paisley 556 signal driver card: LEDs I bought in 2017 from led-switch.com labeled '3mm Red/Green Diffused 2-lead' give a nice 'yellow'. But I can't make any promises about led-switch's parts sources now vs. then. Please test (or at least query led-switch.com) before buying in quantity.
Frank Palmer Posted - 11/28/2018 : 08:51:07 AM
Nice work James. Even if I have no clue what you're doing.
jbvb Posted - 11/27/2018 : 12:40:49 PM
A few updates on my signals: Once in a while something on a contact gives an incorrect indication. All cases to date have been fixed by throwing the guilty turnout a few times.

I am testing a prototype Spring Switch Controller from Azatrax:

This is the 'three wire' version, for use with Kemtron etc. twin coil solenoid machines. I added the outboard relays so the machine could be driven by my capacitor discharge supply. It has a rectifier but its built-in relays buzz a bit on AC. It's not on Azatrax's site today, but I understand it and the '2-wire' (Tortoise etc.) version should be available soon.

Like many other Azatrax products, it uses I/R LED and detector pairs to detect trains. I used the 'reflective sensing' mode, which was a little tricky where I had little room. It works well, but detection & throw take a moment: 2" from the 'branch' sensor to the rail gaps is OK up to maybe 40 scale MPH. I don't mind because the prototype limits speed to 25 MPH or less when pushing switchpoints over.

I had to update the Newburyport diagram to reflect this and the use of Rob Paisley's LED drivers instead of SD-3s:

I fixed several errors/omissions in labels too.

I still haven't addressed the two 'bracket arm' mast signals for West Lynn, but I've found what I hope will be a better solution for removable signal connectors. More on that when it gets to the head of the queue.
jbvb Posted - 02/18/2018 : 11:02:52 AM
Sometimes "act now" is the right path; I should have bought the Model Shipways etched brass numbers (page 5) for automatic signals back in 2016. Now it appears Model Shipways has been swallowed up by another firm and the 2mm and 2.75mm letter/number sets aren't to be found on the website.

I can get 1/8" from miniatures.com (oversize, but maybe more legible) and 2mm from secretweaponminiatures.com. Anyone have other suggestions? Europe/UK included, as I have overseas family who would probably help.
BurleyJim Posted - 01/21/2018 : 2:48:08 PM
Originally posted by jbvb

Thanks, ed and Jim. Jim, I'm not sure what you mean - Bexley Depot and Engine House are separated by Bexley Tunnel, which has been in operation 10+ years. I got all of Bexley's interlockings into service last winter; the missing bracket arm signals are in West Lynn.

I was looking at that 'grayed out' section on the layout drawing, and didn't remember the tunnel.

jbvb Posted - 01/21/2018 : 2:05:44 PM
I dunno, Frank - grounding OC3 will stick several signals at Stop, but connecting the SD3e1B Red input to +12VDC is likely to let some magic smoke out...

(which is why I write notes to myself as I build this stuff)
Frank Palmer Posted - 01/21/2018 : 10:51:16 AM
James I see your wiring problem, if you make these simple corrections you'll be fine.

jbvb Posted - 01/20/2018 : 6:39:13 PM
Thanks, ed and Jim. Jim, I'm not sure what you mean - Bexley Depot and Engine House are separated by Bexley Tunnel, which has been in operation 10+ years. I got all of Bexley's interlockings into service last winter; the missing bracket arm signals are in West Lynn.
ed k Posted - 01/20/2018 : 1:50:57 PM
Very impressive indeed.
BurleyJim Posted - 01/20/2018 : 1:36:10 PM

I just reread this thread, and am really impressed with what you've accomplished. It's super!

Did you ever run that section of rail between Bexley and the Bexley Engine house?

jbvb Posted - 01/18/2018 : 1:06:31 PM
Belated thanks, Rich and Ted. My signal system has been almost complete for a year now (except for two bracket-arm masts I haven't gotten around to scratchbuilding). It's operated reliably; the only glitches were a couple of cases where a fine 'pole line' wire wasn't being well-gripped by my bargain euro-style terminal strips. When I do a 'DC Day' and run my older equipment, I do find myself wishing I'd used only DCOD detectors, but the places where I did operate just as I wish.
quartergauger48 Posted - 01/20/2017 : 12:02:14 AM
Pennman Posted - 01/20/2017 : 12:02:05 AM
All I can say is WOW nice work!

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