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MOC: Train Signals


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#1 lightningtiger

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 08:59 AM

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Here are some of my latest creations.........
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All together - all 3 of them.
Now on their own.......
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Dwarft signals and control box.
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Siding signals.
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Larger trackside signals.
Comments welcome and keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#2 awesomebrick

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 10:41 AM

There really good lightning tiger pretty realistic :thumbup:
Does this mean that you will be building a train for your LEGO town?
If so I'm looking forward to it!
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#3 Captain Zuloo

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 12:20 PM

Looks great! Perhaps you'd like to see pe668's signals, they're all Mindstorms controlled, but I won't get to see them until next weekend!

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#4 lightningtiger

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 12:36 PM

Thanks 'awesomebrick' and 'Captain Zuloo' for your kind comments ! :sweet:
First, yes a freight train in Pacific National colours (new cargo train will be the core of that).
Second, yes I would like to see 'pe668's set up - I will be designing LED lights for the dwarf arrangement to work with the manual points for my rail network.
Keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#5 Mark Bellis

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 11:56 PM

Great to see more people doing signals!
Which country are you modelling and have you found any info on the signalling rules for that country?
e.g. where to place the signals, what combinations are on a post?

I've made some working semaphore signals for my UK-prototype railway.
Single arm home signal (four on this layout, along with some simple colour light ones)
Double arm starting signal with flexes, bell cranks, counterweights and lights
Shunting signal
Lever frame test for signal box

I decided to work out what signals to build for my new layout but, on reading some books, it got complicated very quickly with all the rules of signalling!  Fortunately I managed to trim back the number of signals but it still means the signal box will have to be bigger than I thought, in order to fit all the levers!  It's taken me about 5 revisions over 2 months to get it right, but I learnt a lot!

The PF light brick is great for lighting up signals.  The individual LED wires are long enough that the 2x2 block reaches the ground on most posts and brackets.  It's easier to hide the block on a gantry.

A semaphore signal arm needs only one LED per arm, where a colour light signal would need one light per aspect.  The latest searchlight signals in the UK would need tri-colour LEDs, which I have successfully driven from a PF IR receiver.  The best yellow colour for signals is with the green LED fully on and the red LED at about speed setting 5.  I preferred the semaphore signals, even though they're more difficult to control, because they are something that moves other than a train and they are purely LEGO with nothing added.

Mark
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#6 lightningtiger

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 03:57 AM

Thanks for the comments 'Mark Bellis' - I'm building an Australian country town by a river with a railway running along side of it plus a factory is also on the cards too.
LED's I'm planning to use will be good old 5mm red and green ones and also I might be using photo transistors (optocouplers) to control the signals from a manual switch.
Keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#7 Mark Bellis

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 05:30 PM

 lightningtiger, on Mar 23 2010, 03:57 AM, said:

Thanks for the comments 'Mark Bellis' - I'm building an Australian country town by a river with a railway running along side of it plus a factory is also on the cards too.
LED's I'm planning to use will be good old 5mm red and green ones and also I might be using photo transistors (optocouplers) to control the signals from a manual switch.
Keep on bricking ! :sweet:

Is the railway policy to reverse the train into the factory siding, as it is in the UK?
That would use 2 starting signals for the firard direction and a shunting signal for the siding shunt in the reverse direction.

Will you be able to approach the factory from both directions?
If so, a run-round loop would be required, adding interest to the operation of the layout, and more signals!

I can recommend a book by Roger Amos, called "Complete Handbook of Model Railway Electronics" ISBN 1-85260-288-0, which has various signalling and control schemes and circuits.  It shows a standard signal circuit that can drive 2 to 4 LEDs for signals of various numbers of aspects, and which can cascade the signals from one section to the next.

Mark
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#8 legoboy3998

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 05:46 PM

Lightningtiger,

for controlling signals you may want to take a look at this.  they offer signal circuits for various signals including, grade crossings, that can be controlled using photocells and infrared to activate when a train enters/leaves the controlled section.  I believe you could use switches if you wanted to tell the train where to go (CTC) verse the train telling where it is (BLOCK SIGNALS).

Hope this helps.

Sal
WFB, WI

#9 lightningtiger

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 09:18 PM

Thanks 'Mark Bellis' and 'legoboy3998' for your comments and advice. :sweet:
Now the trains reversing bit into a factory - well I think a line running into a factory would just be simple piece of track with a buffer it the end, so yeah reverse in and going forward out would be the only way to go.
On the signal controls, I'm planning on designing my own electronics (it's handy being a electronics tech for almost 25 years eh !).......the opto sensor is to detect the position of the switched track to light the correct signals, but an opto sensor will be used for the cross signals down the track (so to speak).
Keep on bricking ! :sweet:




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