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Author Topic: Simple Signals  (Read 1264 times)
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.

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« on: June 05, 2008, 07:51:48 PM »

Signals can add visual interest to the layout as well as providing information to the operators.  The information provided can be anything from indicating turnout positions to a full blown signal system mimicking the signals on your favourite railroad.

The link immediately below will take you to the article on building the signal masts and heads like the ones seen above.

while this next link will take you to a preview of other signal articles presently being written.

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
sour rails

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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 08:19:34 AM »

     I just have one question.  Is it possible to hook up detection units to the signals and have the signals change accordingly?  I believe it is possible, but just want to make sure.

Sometimes, true greatness comes in small packages.  ~Sour Rails

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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.

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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 09:28:09 AM »

Yes.  The signal as shown can be connected to any source that can drive LEDs.  If the source just turns on and off, then the signal will only be one colour or dark.  If the source is bipolar (goes to either + or - compared to earth or common return voltage) then the signal can change from red to green (or other colours with different LEDs.)  Converting from an on/off source to a bipolar source is very easy and low cost.  If you want to go deeply into signaling, then these signals can be connected to stationary decoders operated by Panel Pro or similar computer programs.

The article (so far) only includes building the mast and head.  But the design allows you to connect the LEDs any way you want.  If you change your mind about how you want your signals to work, you do not need new signals, just some different connections.  That is why all the connections are brought out from all the diodes in each mast.  An additional benefit of this approach is that you can use these signals as three aspect signals - red, green and yellow.  Yellow is created by lighting both the red and green elements in the bi-colour LEDs at the same time or alternately.

Bottom line, you can connect these signals to the sources of your choice, today, tomorrow, and long into the future.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 09:30:15 AM by Jim Banner » Logged

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
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