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The next chapter in my efforts to control trains thru the diamond crossing.

This is a photo of actual X crossing on the layout. The green loco is on the mainline which has priority, the red loco is on the commuter line, I want to cut power to this line when the mainline is coming thru. I’ve made up a test twin track board to…. well test it.

 

X crossing.JPG

This time I’m using reed switches to detect position of the train, switches are activated by magnet attached to the loco, see photo. And the control is via a “Latching” relay. Main improvements over last attempt is the simplicity of the system with reed switches as opposed to the light sensors, as discussed before. Also my “discovery” of the latching relay means once the train is detected it stays detected, until the next reed switch is activated. Photos and video below. I’ll give more detail and a circuit diagram over on the Electronics forum.

 

Circuit Board.JPG

Loco with magnet.JPG

Reed switch.JPG

And the video

 

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thanks, been a bit of trial and error with magnets, got 8mm dia ones and they were too small, the one in the photo is 25mm and 3 mm thick and it fouls on the track with my 141's....d'oh 16 mm gauge.

I want to get one small enough, but strong enough as i may locate reed switches beside track not under it.

cheers

paddy mac

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Interesting circuit. But what happens when the red loco reaches the crossing first and is on the crossing when the green loco activates the stop circuit? I think a 'first come, first served' circuit would be a better option.

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What happens.....crash bang multiple casualties...O.o Its still very much a work in progress, and learning what sensors work best and easiest. So when i actually use it on the layout i'll probably have another reed switch on the junction, and if junction is occupied i'll cut power to mainline, will probably need to get into some Arduino work then, unless i can get away with just using some kind of logic circuit.....so more research to do

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19 hours ago, Paddy Mac Namara said:

thanks, been a bit of trial and error with magnets, got 8mm dia ones and they were too small, the one in the photo is 25mm and 3 mm thick and it fouls on the track with my 141's....d'oh 16 mm gauge.

I want to get one small enough, but strong enough as i may locate reed switches beside track not under it.

cheers

paddy mac

HE do OO and N gauge reed switches and magnets. I have used the N gauge versions on my Cynwyd and Llanuwchllyn layouts controlling automated operation.

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On 4/3/2018 at 5:43 PM, Paddy Mac Namara said:

The next chapter in my efforts to control trains thru the diamond crossing.

This is a photo of actual X crossing on the layout. The green loco is on the mainline which has priority, the red loco is on the commuter line, I want to cut power to this line when the mainline is coming thru. I’ve made up a test twin track board to…. well test it.

 

X crossing.JPG

This time I’m using reed switches to detect position of the train, switches are activated by magnet attached to the loco, see photo. And the control is via a “Latching” relay. Main improvements over last attempt is the simplicity of the system with reed switches as opposed to the light sensors, as discussed before. Also my “discovery” of the latching relay means once the train is detected it stays detected, until the next reed switch is activated. Photos and video below. I’ll give more detail and a circuit diagram over on the Electronics forum.

 

Circuit Board.JPG

Loco with magnet.JPG

Reed switch.JPG

And the video

 

Love it . 

  • WOW! 1

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A lot more detail added to station throat. Warehouse building is using templates and brick paper from card kit download. Blue warehouse cladding is corrugated paper painted, well, blue, inspiration for this colour is from loco cleaning building in Heuston station. I’ve shown some of the stages in the production of the card model, which will be old news to most of you, but I hope will be of interest to newer modellers.

Card1.jpg

Card2.jpg

Card3.jpg

Card4.jpg

Card5.jpg

Card6.jpg

Loco Cleaning Bldg Hueston.jpg

Fencing around warehouse is made with car repair mesh from Halfords, and those really thick long matches.

So where am I going with all this, you might ask….or not.

Originally, I wasn’t intending on having a road overbridge here, just the cutting. But I commute to Dublin Heuston and look out the window… a lot, and there is a road overbridge on the way in, so I thought why not, and it gives a scenic break to the flatness of the layout, and I think we all like to see our trains appear from under a bridge.

On the way into Heuston there are offices close to the railway line at Inchicore and this is the inspiration for the warehouse.

So, the layout has morphed into a 4 track through station like Celbridge with a taste of the complexity of track and industrial/commercial activity on the way into Heuston.

On the south side of Celbridge we have fields and on the north side a golf course, so not a whole lot to model. Although I’ve never seen a golf course modelled….so maybe next time.

LHcorner1.JPG

LHcorner2.JPG

LHcorner3.JPG

LHcorner4.JPG

LHcorner5.JPG

LHcorner6.JPG

LHcorner7.JPG

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Looks great!

What track type / make have you laid?  Second last pic (16:55) they look very good in that.

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I’ve done a bit more work on my diamond crossing protector again using reed switches but I am using two latching relays this time, it operates on a first come first served basis, you can see what I’ve done in the video below. I’ll put more detail with circuit diagrams etc on the electrics and electronics forum for those who may be interested.

 

 

 

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Looks great Paddy..!

Can I ask where you get the heavy card for the back scenes from? Working on my scenery at the moment as well and have in mind to look at mounting back scenes photos on card

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I got the card at work, Bolton st college, we have printing department. So its not commercially available. Try Evans art supplies in town for mounting board or something similar.

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Was doing some rewiring in the lifting flap area and decided to make a virtue of necessity, so i've installed button switches so i can isolate the track on the flap. This area was always going to be semi-scenic and to act as a kind-of fiddle yard, so this w ill    alllow me to hold locos in this area while doing other loco movements in the station area.

20200229_194625-min.jpg

20200229_194637-min.jpg

20200222_203807-min.jpg

20200229_194618-min.jpg

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Paddy, Thanks for sharing this and making good videos.

In the early postings you had pictures that showed that you were using IR sensors. Later you use Reed relays. Why did you switch? Were you not happy with the IR sensors?

I am asking because I had problems with Reed relays. Well, rare-earth magnets have improved things since then but still not fully reliable. And you have to mount a magnet on the locos. With IR sensors you don't need the magnets and it senses the whole length of the train, not just the loco.

Cheers

   / Sven

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Hi Sven

funny you should ask that as i am currently working on it at the moment, i switched to reed switches cos they are easier to use and less complicated than IR sensors (transisitors and all that)

however they do give two pulses of current per magnet pass, and that is why i used latching relays. I am also working on a solution using arduino, i expect to do a more detailed post over on the  DCC electrics and electronics forum over the next few weeks. I work on the electronic stuff in fits and starts, when i'm in the mood. I can still run trains and use on/off button so its  not a priority. I'm really just playing around to be honest.  I am currently uploading a couple of videos to my Youtube channel, Patrick Mac Namara, there is also a video where i am trying out the Heathcote diamond protector.

 

 

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Thanks Paddy. Then I understand your motivation. Yes, the IR sensor needs some driver transistors. I am planning sensors for my layout and looking at different options, including track current detection. For IR sensors I look at kits that provide the drivers so just need to plug them in just like your reed relays. I am a member of MERG and get good and cheap kits that way. The Arduino community has a lot of simple sensors that are easy to plug in to an Arduino (as you mentioned yourself) or other solutions. You can get these quite cheaply too.

And while I am at it, I did have some problems with the IR sensors. Simple IR sensors are affected by the ambient light in the room. When it is dark you need to turn up the sensitivity and in bright rooms you need to adjust it again. Some kits have an IR LED and the sensor gets the reflection from the under side of locos and wagons. No problem with ambient light but a lot I discovered that a lot of rolling materials use some plastic that does not reflect IR light. I am now looking at a new technique where you have only an IR sensor in the track bed and then another IR sensor somewhere else that only measures the ambient light. Then you compare the result of these two sensors. Sounds promising but not finished yet.

Also interesting to see the characteristics of the reed switch and its double pulse. Shouldn't be a problem for you as you use latching relays.

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I've posted a couple of vids over on electronics forum showing use of reed switch with arduino, yep i know you can get IR sensors that you can literally just plug and play with, i am going to do some experiments with these too....

 

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