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Author Previous Topic: Harmony Junction Switching Layout Topic Next Topic: Backdrops
Page: of 39

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/20/2017 :  01:14:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chuck, I used infrared occupancy detectors on my old layout in my staging yard. I put the sensor between the rails and had the IR LED suspended over the rails, which was maybe 2-3". They worked fine, but the big problem I had was aiming them. The IR LED has to be aimed almost perfectly to the sensor to work properly. I'm not sure if this is the problem you are having, but tinker with the aiming and see if that helps.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13755 Go to Top of Page

wvrr
Fireman



Posted - 07/26/2017 :  08:48:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit wvrr's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the feedback, Mark. I am using mine a little differently than yours. I don't need to have a separate circuit for each track. I already know which tracks are occupied and which ones are not, since each track is dedicated to a particular train. If that train is out on the layout, then the track is unoccupied. If it isn't, then it is on its staging track.

What I need the detectors for is to make sure none of the trains are fouling the lead switches and that when I am re-staging, I do not back the trains all the way to the end of the track and ram the bumpers. So, a detector was needed at each end of the staging tracks.

I have 6 tracks, which means the infrared LED and receiver are about 14 inches apart. The instructions from Berkshire Junction say they are most effective to about 8 inches apart. They will still work after that, but you don't have much margin for error when lining them up. Since my staging yard is hidden and already have the deck installed above it, it was very frustrating to try to align them. I gave up, actually.

But, in the process of lining them up, I tried using a laser pointer. What I discovered is the laser pointer triggered the circuit, also. So, now the search was on.

I found these two items at Adafruit Industries.

Item 1054 is a laser diode, just like you find in a laser pointer. It is inexpensive. You need a resistor to hook it up to a 12v power supply.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1054

Then, here is the bonus. They have a mounting bracket for the laser diode. Item 1055 allows you to mount the laser to your benchwork and adjust it vertically or horizontally.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1055

Then, I installed the lasers, checked where they hit a boxcar on the nearest and farthest tracks, marked where it hit a piece of Masonite I mounted on the opposite side of the yard for mounting the receiver, and installed the receiver. Maybe a minor, final adjustment, and I was done.

The beauty of it is the laser helps you with the alignment process. It also doesn't generate a lot of light where you don't there to be light.

So, now the next step is to do a final check of my turnouts for the staging yard to make sure they won't give me any issues before I start installing the fascia.

Chuck




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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/26/2017 :  10:20:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't recall reading about anyone else using laser diodes, so you may have a first here.


Country: USA | Posts: 6802 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/26/2017 :  10:55:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I've never heard of laser diodes. But it sounds like you were going through the same pains i was with my old staging yard. Due to the layout of that staging yard, I had to have one on each track, and yes, they protected the fouling point as it was a 'hidden yard'.

Glad to hear you got it working.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13755 Go to Top of Page

BurleyJim
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/26/2017 :  1:52:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jbvb

I don't recall reading about anyone else using laser diodes, so you may have a first here.



James, I've bought from this guy before.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-3-Volt-5mW-650nm-Red-Dot-Laser-Diode-Module-Heads-/272643502232?epid=807741607&hash=item3f7ad1b098:g:XjcAAOSwvihY~fjZ

Jim


Take the red pill

Country: USA | Posts: 6161 Go to Top of Page

wvrr
Fireman



Posted - 07/26/2017 :  2:05:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit wvrr's Homepage  Reply with Quote
And, I thought I was first! POP!

I just love this setup, though.

Chuck



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wvrr
Fireman



Posted - 08/09/2017 :  4:31:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit wvrr's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well, it has been a very busy and productive summer on the WV! I guess that is why I haven't been as active on the forum, as of late.

But, this is a milestone.
-The loop in the corner is raised
-The wye is built that will allow for continuous running
-A route control circuit was built to control the wye
-LEDs were added to indicate the route for the wye, staging, and a circuit used in West Coalton
-Three occupancy detection circuits were added, two of which use laser diodes
-LEDs were added to indicate hill brakes for operations are engaged

All of that had to be done before building the fascia, which is now done. I've never had fascia on the entire layout, until now. Marcia will be making skirting for the layout, which will really make things sharp.

In the meantime, let me give you a tour of what it looks like.

The first shot is of the loop that had the grade reduced and the wye that was built. The train is on one leg of the wye, coming from staging. The two turnouts that you see for the wye, here, are made from fast Tracks jigs.



The wye will become an area of the layout called "Iron Triangle". Just above it, where the boxcars and hopper are sitting, is the area called "Heights". Both Iron Triangle and Heights are real neighborhoods in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I am not making any attempt to model them, however. I just stole the names.

This view also shows the control setup. I use Digitrax, so you see the throttle and throttle holders in the center. the yellow lights indicate that the hill brakes in Heights are engaged. Since Heights is on a grade, I use two Tortoise machines to raise a rod between the rails to hold cars on the grade in two places. When the rods are up, the yellow lights are on. Otherwise, operators risk ramming into the rods.


This is a view of one side of the peninsula.


Here is the other side. And, this is the city of Wilkes-Barre, PA.


Here is the aisle that separates Wilkes-Barre on the left and West Coalton on the right. Below West Coalton is a six track staging yard.


Here is a closeup of the controls at the end of the aisle. The yellow lights are the occupancy detectors. I placed trains in front of all three to trigger the lights for these shots. The red lights indicate which routes are aligned. From kleft to right, they are the wye, staging yard, and the left end of West Coalton. The green lights are part of the scale track operation.


And, here is the right end of West Coalton, showing primarily Lunde Colliery. It also shows the last occupancy detector and two more route control diagrams. One is for the right side of West Coalton and the other is for the colliery. The two sets of track overlap each other, which is why the diagrams are together.


So, what is next? I might try to improve the lighting. I should have done this a while ago. But, it wasn't until recently that it really started to annoy me. And, I thought I should do this before adding scenery and while the structures can be moved.

In the meantime, I think I will run the layout through one operating session of switchlists.

Chuck



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ed k
Fireman

Posted - 08/09/2017 :  5:53:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes Sir. Wilkes-Barre. Nice city. I'm from the Greater Philadelphia area, Reading, Shillington, Springfield (Delaware County).
I look forward to seeing how your layout progresses.
ed



Country: USA | Posts: 1091 Go to Top of Page

Ensign
Engineer

Posted - 08/09/2017 :  7:00:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chuck, that looks fantastic! Nice work all around.
Looks like your enjoying your retirement, in the right of way.
In my mind's eye, I can already see a very beautiful layout evolving, with the scenery and all of your amazing structures.
You've got great bones, now you need to flesh it out.
Go Chuck Go!

Greg Shinnie



Country: Canada | Posts: 9039 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/09/2017 :  11:14:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very nice Chuck! Its great to see the overall shots of your layout. That is a LOT of wire under your layout. Good grief man, you have been busy! But it sure looks impressive.

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13755 Go to Top of Page

TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/10/2017 :  12:35:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chuck really looks great. A lot of changes since I was there.
Hope to get back to see you in the fall.


Jerry

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 13204 Go to Top of Page

wvrr
Fireman



Posted - 08/10/2017 :  10:51:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit wvrr's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Ed, Mark, and Jerry.

Mark, I probably didn't wire things the most efficient way. But, I tend to wire things so I can remove something if it needs replacement. But, all those LEDs really add a lot of wire.

Jerry, You are always welcome. Just let me know..

Chuck



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BurleyJim
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 08/10/2017 :  11:08:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some serious construction there Chuck, now you are wondering how you ever had time for the old "9 to 5"

Jim


Take the red pill

Country: USA | Posts: 6161 Go to Top of Page

Carl B
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 08/10/2017 :  11:20:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congratulations on getting this far Chuck!

Nice work...



Country: USA | Posts: 4150 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 08/10/2017 :  12:15:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice neat work, Chuck. I like your brake idea.

George


Fly Army

Country: USA | Posts: 16783 Go to Top of Page
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