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Reply to "Using a Lionel 153 IR with a Z-Stuff DZ 1070-40 Pennsy Signal Bridge"

Mike, thanks for the photos!  I'll add it to my collection of photos OGR guys have posted of the 153IR variants over the years.

So after seeing Mike's 2020 version, perhaps the "best" indicator of which version one has is the color of the circuit board! LOL.   

maybe it's the color of the board

@Mike Wyatt posted:

I have it set up like that and have used it for 3 years or so.  But there are two issues

- first the overhead sensors are picky about color of the trains.

- More importantly- I have Fastrack on a roadbed with a wider than standard center so one or the other sensors does not center exactly over the rails.

So, I want to trip the signal when the train is farther away,  AND I hope the IR detecting method will be more foolproof.

There may be something to the off-centered OVERHEAD sensor.  Not so much flat cars which are, umm, flat...but it seems to me most passenger cars, box cars, caboose, and even engines have curved roofs.  So if an IR sensor sends a beam and looks for a reflection, this could cause a "miss" if hitting a curved roof.  Yes, I realize the beam is not laser-like thin and scatters but I'm talking relative to the reflections from a SIDE sensor reflecting off a typically vertical surface.  Just a thought. 

IR sensor offset

As for the color.  As I look at my collection of trains it seems that roofs are more often than not black or dark colored...even if the side panels are brightly/lightly colored! 

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  • maybe it's the color of the board
  • IR sensor offset
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