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Started by jward, August 29, 2011, 07:31:49 PM

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Just curious if anybody on here has a working signal system on their layout. i am not talking about wiring a signal up to indicate the position of a switch, but a working signal system that detects the presence of trains.

how did you do it? what method of detection did you use? what do you like and dislike about it? what would you do differently next time?

if you can. post a few photos as well......

thanks in advance.
Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA


I have used a light sensor style system  and it works well it is on a portable layout so it sometimes must be adjusted.

For my temp outdoor layout i use a "loop" detector which is basically a metal detector, it picks up metal in the cars and rarely needs adjustment once set

I use a emx mvp 9-220 by detek and a simple timer relay to flash the lights



I noticed your post re: signals, but had not yet installed my own yet.

Now they are installed, and work very well.

I got Tomar two light signals, but that is fairly standard. They are tripped and revert to green by infra-red sensors installed in the roadbed, and are made by LogicRail, in Texas. Since I am not electrically minded, I have had to call the inventor and manufacturer 3 times, and he has been just great. The board and sensor combination is an SA-1-IR (Signal Animator 1, infrared).

The train passes over the sensor, and the default green LED shuts off, the red turns on. Once the train has passed on, after a 10 or 30 second period (your choice), the red shuts off and the green comes back on.

My next project is infrared control of the turnout on a reverse loop, so I don't have to throw the switch every transit over the loop. Works on infrared in connection with the tortoise machine.

This same light sensor system works for green-yellow-red signals.