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Lineside Signals for the B-and-M Eastern Route

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  • #46
    James, Check these out... http://www.ebay.com/itm/50-x-Double-...oAAOSwd0BVta3Z

    I used the above into an 8 pin DIP IC socket and they worked like a champ. I used copper tubing for the mast pipe, soldered to one of the pins as an anchor. Notice the left front leg is missing. I cut that one as the 'key'. On the topside, I bent that pin toward the center as the anchor point. After getting the four #30 wires through the mast pipe and soldering to the pins, I dabbed the upper base with JB Weld.



    I need to add a ladder, and a nameplate, and it's ready to plug in to the socket. That's an NJ triple target.

    Jim
    Take the red pill

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    • #47
      Thanks, Jim. I'll check to see if they fit the sockets I already have.

      I got a 3-light interlocking signal to the point where it's ready for LEDs and assembly to the socket:



      The unmodified sockets are at the top; the lower left one shows where I remove a couple of molding pins which interfere with the .100 x .125 styrene shim blocks.





      (Sorry, all my photo tools read the camera's orientation out of the JPEG but RR-Line seems not to).

      This one will be quite close to the audience, and ORS hadn't provided a long enough piece of ladder in their #130 kit. I used Free State Systems etched ladder and platforms, soldering all the brass/brass joints. This required care heat-sinking to avoid melting the signal head brackets that had to go between solder joints. And of course I mis-oriented some parts the first time... :erm:
      James

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      • #48
        Great thread, James. I am sooooo happy I only have to model a few O scale non-electrical semaphore train order signals.
        Modeling Arizona Eastern Railroad, Hayden Junction (1920), in On30

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        • #49
          Thanks for all of the information on the IC sockets. I like the idea that the signals easily plug in and out, and as a side benefit, if they are hit, they will fall out rather than being damaged.
          Mark

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          • #50
            James,

            Yep, those male pins will fit those sockets perfectly. Are you using an Apple product to take or manipulate your shots? You might check out this link http://rotatemailer.com/sideways-pictures.html

            Jim
            Take the red pill

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            • #51
              Thanks, Bob & Mark. Jim, I'm not an Apple user. The Ristretto image viewer and the DigiKam archiver/editor both saw the flag in

              the JPEG saying the camera had been in vertical format and displayed it that way. Next time I go to post one, I'll see what my options are;

              simple 'rotate' doesn't seem likely to work.

              Tonight I took a few more shots as I wired up the socket on the 3-head interlocking signal:



              Here I'm starting to insert the LED leads into the IC sockets.



              Here, they're all in, ready to solder. I used a 15W iron and Kester .020" rosin core 2% silver solder. And my binocular magnifier. And then I tested all the LEDs again.

              Finally, I used solvent cement to bond the ORS base to the two shim blocks. Then I ACC-ed the signal heads in place. Next is wiring the fixed

              socket. But I started digging around for my bag of heat-shrink tubing (which I was using last week) or my wire-wrap tool (which I haven't

              used this decade, but did see last year, just can't recall where). After a while I decided to post this and go to bed.[:-sleep]
              James

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              • #52
                James,

                Can you give me a part number for your socket? Those round pins look more robust than the flat finger tabs on my IC sockets. Do you have ladder suggestions? Can you also give me a part # for the LED's. I would like to try them.

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                • #53
                  Ralph, the socket is Mill-Max Manufacturing Corp. '110-44-308-41-001000', 'ED90048-ND' at Digi-Key.

                  The ladder visible here is an out-of-production etched part that Free State Systems used to make, their '8001-1'. Pack of 8 with platforms, nice etching, long enough for any configuration I'd need, but now only on eBay. The 'stagger block' on the last page uses the punched ladder that ORS includes.

                  I'm sacrificing flexibility for simplicity in implementation, so this particular signal uses 3 different LEDs to display Medium Clear, Medium Approach, Restricting and Stop: The top head is fixed red, Digi-Key #160-1704-ND. The middle is Oregon Rail Supply's stock bi-color LED. The bottom is a "3 mm red/yellow w/c 2 lead LED" from www.led-switch.com 'w/c' means 'water clear'.

                  LED Switch also has LEDs similar to ORS', though not with the translucent white 'diffusing' ORS uses. I could probably get a closer match at Digi-Key, but haven't felt the diffusing was a major priority.
                  James

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                  • #54
                    James, thank you for the close ups of how you wire the signal to the IC plug, as well as the parts information. Great stuff! You are motivating me to start working on my signals!
                    Mark

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                    • #55
                      Work continues, but I've found I'm not satisfied with a compromise I made early on. Most dwarf signals and a number of 3-light home interlocking signals will have a "Call On" aspect (yellow, or bottom yellow on a 3-light). I'm driving these from +/- DC voltage using a transfer contact on the associated turnout's relay. An example is R16T1 (relay) driving the bottom head of 16e (home signal) in the Newburyport diagram on the previous page.

                      This is OK for movements into unsignaled territory. But at Newburyport Draw, signal 16e shows "Call On" even when an EB train is in the block, and I want to do better. I would like to be able to drive a single bi-color LED based on whether or not an occupancy circuit is floating, or grounded. I could do this with a Circuitron SD-3, but they're $16 and about 2x4 inches. After a couple of fruitless hours searching the web for 'bipolar LED driver' and the like, I checked Paul Mallery's chapter on signals and found no help.

                      Can any actual EEs or serious electronics hobbyists suggest a circuit: one input (ground, float) +/-12 VDC power, 2 outputs (one per LED lead) switch polarity based on the input? Must be smaller/simpler/cheaper than an SD-3.
                      James

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                      • #56
                        Bulletin Order # 12, January 24 2016:

                        Eastward 3-light interlocking signal at MP 37.4, Newburyport (End of Double Track) and Westward 3-light interlocking signal at MP 37.7, Merrimack Draw have been placed in service.



                        The prototype had 500' between Merrimack St. and the end-of-double-track turnout, so their home signal had a conventional foundation. I had to imagine how they'd have addressed putting it atop the retaining wall, too close to the track centerline for a standard footing:



                        I set the socket in Wood Putty and built a styrene box to install around it, like they'd poured a pier set into the top of the wall. I'll put some rust spots on it to suggest anchors going deeper into the fill.



                        Here's the other end, showing the Call On aspect indicating the turnout is lined for the eastward track. I'm living with this for the moment: A friend I've known since MIT has a similar signal project at the North Shore club in Wakefield, and has offered to work with me on developing a board using a low-power H-bridge motor control chip, possibly one of the LN293x series. It will take a while, but knowing Joe, I'll like the result.



                        The westbound half of the interlocking has an SD-3 and a DCOD, set up to detect only the part of block 16 west of signal 16e. This avoids having 16e go red as soon as a WB train pulls out of its staging track, before the train reaches it.



                        The eastbound half has the relay for turnout 16T1 and the SD-3 for signal 16w1. I've since added a diode across the coil to protect the switch machine contacts.

                        [edit: picture taken before signal 16w was installed, as indicated by the test LED hanging from the SD-3's output terminals]

                        Next, I'll be working on the westbound track, which means beginning the occupancy detection in the Bexley Enginehouse area.
                        James

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                        • #57
                          Sweet! Nicely done!

                          The electronic talking-in-tongues stuff is way beyond me, but I really like the results.

                          Bravo!

                          Pete

                          in Michigan

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                          • #58
                            I'm with Pete! And to think I want to do this on my railroad. But I like the results too!
                            Mark

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                            • #59
                              Thanks, Pete & Mark.

                              My career included both 'out where the streetcars don't run' software engineering and 'explaining to co-workers so I don't have to do it all myself' teaching. From a process PoV, I've broken signaling up into manageable (IMO) chunks local to individual signals and interlockings. I did circuit diagrams for those who work that way. The photos of the interlockings show how they look in real life, with narrative replacing sticky labels and wire tags all over the place (you may see the labels & tags when I get to the bi-directional double track part).
                              James

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                              • #60
                                Progress: Detection is in place on 8 of my 16 main line blocks. Signals protect operation over 5 of them.

                                Today I finally got the Bexley CTC (Extending from Saugus Jct. to D'Arcy Ave., under control of the Train Director at Bexley Tower) drawn sufficiently to my satisfaction. And I started wiring it.



                                First I'll build the simple interlocking at the end of double track (D'Arcy Ave.). Then the somewhat more complex one at Bexley Enginehouse (east portal of the tunnel). I'll probably have to revise the drawing to make room to document all the circuits between Bexley Enginehouse and Saugus Jct.

                                It's clearer in XTrkCAD, but I'm running out of screen. I may have to print it on multiple sheets next time.
                                James

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