Tagged With "block"

Topic

Cinder block walls

Mo985 ·
Does anyone have a great product they use to replicate cinder block walls? I want to model a local business and the building is all cinder block. I've seen sheets in brick, or corrugated metal, but not a cinder block design. Thanks in advance...
Topic

blocking posts from dealers?

overlandflyer ·
i have most of the dealers who post blatant plugs for their shops blocked and i appreciate the blurred out text in all of their replies, yet if they post a new message i'm still able to see it. what gives? thanks...gary
Topic

Is DCS compatible with Stop & Wait Block Power Control ?

Dick Autz ·
I want to put two PS3 engines on my “old school” Block Power Controlled layout using Insulated Track Switches. Once an Engine stops to wait on a unpowered block it needs a manual restart before it will move again. When Engine 1 stops like this, Engine2 is bound to come into a dead block and stop also. How can I make my layout work with these great new Engines and DCS? Using Conventional Engines my layout works well with 6 Relay controlled blocks, and 6 track switches, Engines set in Forward,...
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Re: Is DCS compatible with Stop & Wait Block Power Control ?

Dick Autz ·
G. On the speed mismatch... I have MTH Diesel SD60 and Camel Back Steam engines which are worst case and I found I have a track problem where the Camel Back looses traction with more than 3 cars being pulled. Working on that one. When using conventional mode I have found that I can't depend much on where the Engine stops each time at the same speed when I encounter a insulated track switch. Using an older Lionel conventional it also stops at a different position. Maybe I'm being too...
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Re: Is DCS compatible with Stop & Wait Block Power Control ?

George S ·
I haven't found a solution for this other than to run the engines in conventional mode. I want the feature too for protected crossings. I think there is some hope now that several people know the MTH serial port commands and with control through the wifi adapter, but no solutions completed yet to my knowledge. Mark DiVecchio or Dave Hikel could solve this, but it is probably a matter of priorities.
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Re: Is DCS compatible with Stop & Wait Block Power Control ?

JohnGaltLine ·
Could something like this be done? sure. Will it be? I see two problems. The first is shared with Legacy/tmcc as well, which is that the programing process for such a control option would necessarily be rather complex compared to the simple record and play back offered now. Both companies tend to design for the least common denominator, so 'complex', If-Then, programing options are not likely to be seen in the near future. The second issue is that while it is quite simple to use a computer...
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Re: Is DCS compatible with Stop & Wait Block Power Control ?

George S ·
Doesn't the Lionel system (LCS) allow programmatic control of the layout through track sensors? I don't have any of that and was only interpreting what I was reading. Also I believe they released their interface spec to the public. So, my assumption is that it could be done with Lionel. (I will await my bashing...) Next hypothesis is that MTH will eventually follow suit to be competitive. I realize this could take some time.
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Re: Is DCS compatible with Stop & Wait Block Power Control ?

JohnGaltLine ·
George, The LCS system gives you a bit of limited control, but only in that it will let you program a recorded series of events that will start every time an engine passes over the sensor track. I don't think you can program it to say: IF engine 1 passes the sensor THEN stop engine 1 AND start engine 2, ELSE IF engine 2 passes the sensor THEN stop engine 2 AND start engine 1. To the best of my understanding you can only program an exact repetition of timed key presses on the remote that will...
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Re: Is DCS compatible with Stop & Wait Block Power Control ?

GGG ·
First, For the speed mismatch, you need to do some maintenance on the engine that is too fast. I would validate that it is faster than all the MTH engines. Then clean the tach tape, make sure gap is correct, reload sound file. Test again. It also could be the one being caught, if.... wheels dirty, tires bad, mechanical binding. As far as block control in conventional, you could lock the engine in forward. When the block re-energizes the engine will start and move forward. Similar to what has...
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Re: Is DCS compatible with Stop & Wait Block Power Control ?

Dick Autz ·
Many thanks for the thoughtful replies.
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Re: Cinder block walls

Avanti ·
Easily done by scribing in pink foam insulation. A little tedious, but not as bad as brick.
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Re: Cinder block walls

Alan Graziano ·
I use Plastruct concrete block patterned sheets. I think it is code PS-100. They work well gluing them to a piece of .060 or .o80" styrene sheet. Alan Graziano
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Re: Cinder block walls

p51 ·
You have a point there, nobody seems to make cinder block walls. Someone wanted me to scratchbuild a structure made of them a couple of years ago and I had to turn them down because I couldn't find anything that looked right. So many things you see all the time aren't made. I have never seen, say, those concrete blocks (with the bumps on top to stack them up) that are used all over the place as models. Or concrete barriers you see on every highway. I don't model the modern era, but it's...
Topic

Sourcing Block Control Components

Jbb ·
Hi all I am looking to source some relays, bridge rectifiers, resistors, and capacitors to create control blocks for my conventional layout which runs post war equipment - nothing modern.  What I want is classic block control -- slow down a faster train behind a slower train while turning the  signal lights from red to green.  When I go to Digikey or other online supply houses I am intimidated as hell in terms of picking the right parts with the right specs - too many...
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

gunrunnerjohn ·
The capacitor is directly across the relay coil, you don't need it for a true DC power supply, just with the bridge. I'm thinking along the lines of a 10 ohm resistor, probably a 1 watt one would be sufficient, this is just to eliminate the many amp spike that comes when the capacitor starts to charge.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

stan2004 ·
In my experience the capacitor is also useful for DC operation because of noisy/dirty wheel axles and track making intermittent or high-resistance contact. Even with a long insulated-section when the consist enters and you're depending on a small number of axles to firmly straddle the outer rails. It appears All does not have 1 Watt resistors but IMO you don't need that. Resistor Power = current x current x resistance. Since your coil is 0.09 Amps, the 10 ohm resistor will dissipate: 0.09A x...
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

gunrunnerjohn ·
I was just being conservative with the resistor rating, figured a 1W couldn't hurt. You're right about the capacitor Stan, it'll still prevent that chatter from the poor wheel connections. With just the bridge, many relays won't work properly even with a good connection, they'll buzz away on the pulsating current. That being the case, for the bridge configuration from AC, I consider the capacitor a mandatory item.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

pro hobby ·
Here is a DCS control system that uses 12vdc relays to control indivdual track blocks. This system allows the use of miniature toggle switches and/or output from a DCS AIU "SW" output. The relays are high current automotive types.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

Jbb ·
I must be missing something obvious, but I cannot get my relays In my block control system to work. To review, i have created a loop with 8 isolated blocks. The relays are 12 VDC and get power from a standalone DC power source at 12v. AC is from two ZWs that are in phase and thanks to good advice here I have added circuit breakers and TVS. Otherwise, all my equipment is post war I have checked whether the relays work by connecting them directly to the + and - of the DC power source - all...
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

gunrunnerjohn ·
AC and DC can use the same common as long as they are otherwise isolated. How about a diagram of what you have?
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

G3750 ·
Uh, no. In the case of Unix "man" pages, you can't fix stupid.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

Jbb ·
Early in this chain of posts, on 12/28, you will see the diagram. Only difference is that instead of AC running through a rectifier I am pulling from a 3 amp 12 vdc power pack. thanks
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

stan2004 ·
In your earlier diagram, what you call the common "Ground" outer rail is drawn with breaks shown above with red arrows. I don't think you want those breaks as you'd always want "Ground" available on the common rail. So as I understand it, you have replaced the "rectifier" and are now applying 12V DC from an independent/isolated power pack like a wall-wart as shown above. In today's post, you don't explicitly say that you hooked the minus side of the 12V power pack to the common Ground rail.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

Jbb ·
Stan, you nailed it. I had not connected the minus side of the DC power supply to the common. I really appreciate the help - thanks
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

rtr12 ·
Thanks to the good electronics folks here on the forum I have learned to somewhat use the Digi-Key (and Mouser) website to order things. Digi-Key is my preferred site (great service and shipping prices on small orders). From a Digi-Key parts list, I find that there are usually only a couple of things I need to select to narrow my search and find what I am looking for. Many times selecting the desired voltage and amperage and maybe through hole (as opposed to surface mount or SMT) are all I...
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

gunrunnerjohn ·
The cure for the Unix "man" pages and using Digikey and Mouser is practice.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

gunrunnerjohn ·
Larger capacitors will increase the hold time, it's as simple as that. As long as you use a resistor to limit the inrush current, you won't suffer any adverse effects from a larger capacitor. Of course, reducing the coil current is actually a more effective way of increasing the hold time, but maybe that's another topic.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

G3750 ·
JBB, I like AllElectronics.com as well. I totally agree regarding Digi-Key. You should see their paper catalog. If you drop it on your foot, you'll break it. And picking a (the right) component out of it? Forgettaboutit! Best of luck with your application. You're in the right place to get good advice. George
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

gunrunnerjohn ·
George, you miss out on a valuable resource if you ignore places like Digikey and Mouser, they have an incredible inventory and are my "go to" places when I need a part. Once you learn to navigate around them, it's really not that hard to use if you go there knowing what you want. AllElectronics is fine, but they have a fraction of the parts, they are first and foremost a surplus shop, so their inventory changes with the seasons.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

stan2004 ·
Hmm. There was a guy on OGR who was messing with a DIY circuit, hooked the capacitor (IIRC of similar value to what you're proposing) backwards, it exploded and started a fire. He happened to have a fire extinguisher and took care of it. Increasing the capacitor increases the amount of stored energy and the amount of power flowing into the lower resistance coil. I suppose electricity is still "cheap" in the US and we aren't talking megawatts. But as a rule-of-thumb I try to reduce power...
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

G3750 ·
I hear you, John. The problem is determining what I need. I'm not an EE or electronics hardware expert, so designing or building a circuit to do something other than produce smoke is an issue. I'm a software guy with some exposure to hardware. That's why I ask people about circuits. Best analogy I can think of is the old Unix "man" pages. If you knew what you were looking for, great. But if you didn't know the cryptic and byzantine name assigned to something, welcome to the snipe hunt. George
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

Jbb ·
So, a question. Re-reading Stan2004's "nerdy" but very helpful math, why not take the capacitor size up to 1000, 2200 or even 3300 uF? Not terribly expensive, and it increases the hold times by multiples. Solving a problem with a sledge hammer? Or will I burn down the house? I do realize that there may be better pin mounted relay options as suggested by GRJohn but I am intimidated by PCB, perfboard, etc. Conceptually I get the benefits but it's another learning curve (I want to run my...
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

AGHRMatt ·
All Electronincs ( http://www.allelectronics.com ) has 30-amp Automotive SPDT relays and sockets for about $3 each. They're designed for fog lights, but are inexpensive enough to use for model railroading. You need a 12-volt source (10VAC through a bridge rectifier will work). I believe they also sell the bridge rectifiers.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

Jbb ·
Don't I need DPDT - one pole for the signal light, the other for the train power? And what capacitor should i get Thanks !
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

gunrunnerjohn ·
Why don't you start with a schematic of what you want to do, then someone can recommend the parts to get it done. You need to design the application before you start picking the parts.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

John DeAlto ·
Their a lot of good ideal out there. Maybe post some pictures so we can see what your trying to accomplish here. I'm sure one of us can help you out here. Good Luck, John
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

ADCX Rob ·
Is this what you want?
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

Jbb ·
Here is what I want to do. I have a series of blocks each at least as long as my longest train. If a train is in say Block C, I want to slow a train in Block B by changing the power to the rail from Terminal A at 14V to Terminal B at 5V. I also want to turn the signal light from green to red. Below is my diagram - apologies for the art work. I have not shown a capacitor because I am unclear on how to use. I also did only partial diagrams of Relay A and C. So here are my questions I wonder...
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

Jbb ·
And yes Rob I think what you posted is the same idea as my diagram - but much prettier. What's it from? Thanks
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

rtr12 ·
Forum member Dale H has lots of good information on this type of conventional block control on his J&C Studios site. Look here for his site: Dale H - J&C Studio Jameco Electronics is another source that may be a little easier to find parts.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

ADCX Rob ·
Lionel. It was from one of the pamphlets "How To Operate Lionel Trains and Accessories" .
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

Jbb ·
What specs do you recommend for the capacitor? Thanks
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

gunrunnerjohn ·
The capacitor specifications are really dictated by the coil currents of the relays. I like them to be large enough to impose at least a small delay in dropping out to prevent any chatter. With low current relays that have 10-20ma coils, something like a 330uf cap works great. For higher current relays, you need more capacitance.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

stan2004 ·
Not necessarily. It sounds like you're considering a 12VDC supply and isolated outer-rail block occupancy detection. And you're considering red/green LED signals? In the same way the relay gets 12V DC when occupied, that same switched 12V can turn on a Red LED while turning OFF the Green LED (which is normally ON). This can be accomplished with a 25 cent solid-state circuit (and SPDT relay) rather than requiring another pole (DPDT relay). I'm not suggesting you go this route but simply...
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

stan2004 ·
Just to be clear, are you trying to slow down a faster train or stop it? I notice you mention applying 5V to the trailing block. It seems the speed of a 5V engine might vary wildly or even stall depending on load. Or do you fully expect it to stop and you're just applying some kind of electronics sustaining keep-alive voltage to run lamps, a sound-board, or whatever?
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

John DeAlto ·
Integrated Signals systems. I would supply along with a order a wiring schedmatic for a Red, yellow and Green Signal head. Just like you was talking about above. Good luck, John
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

stan2004 ·
As I mentioned in above post, if you go with an isolated 12V DC supply as what gets switched across the outer-rails, then you don't need a bridge rectifier for each relay. You would still need/want a capacitor for each relay for anti-chatter chosen as GRJ describes. Like you say, you can find "cheap" DC transformers. For example for about $3-4 on eBay (free shipping) you can get a regulated 12V DC, 2 Amp wall-wart style transformer. Here's a recycled photo from another thread showing a 1 Amp...
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

ADCX Rob ·
I am still using 24v DC relays salvaged from a wrecked Cessna over 35 years ago. They work fine with little or no chatter at 12-14 volts from a transformer tap rectified with a FWB rectifier.
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

John DeAlto ·
I was able to get hands on 72 ITT Phone Relays 12 volt DC, 4 Pole Double throw and plastic enclosed casing . Only had one fail in Twelve years. I used them for my Subway Signals System on my Train Board. I purchase them from Blair Electrics. in NYC. There longer around. They had some very good available items for surplus back then. Good luck, John
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Re: Sourcing Block Control Components

gunrunnerjohn ·
I use 12V DC relays with a fairly large capacitor across them to prevent any chatter. I salvage the relays from old discarded servo system boards.
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