These are getting harder and harder to find.  Did Lionel stop selling them because of operational challenges ? I have read good reviews and poor reviews on these. They are appealing to me in that I don't have to undo laid track and install insulated rails, but am not interested if they are hit and miss with activating trackside accessories. Your experiences ?

 

Eddie 

Original Post

When I've used them, they've been very dependable, much better than the MTH model.  I've seen one or two that failed, but that would apply to any electronic device.  I would not hesitate to use them.  I have a bunch in a box that will be pressed into service on my RR when the layout is completed.

I think they are great in and of themselves, but have had two experiences. On my home layout which is along two sides of a family room, the light environment varies a lot, and the 153IR’s often got “confused.” On a friend’s larger layout in a very evenly lit room with no light reflections, the IR’s have performed 100%. They are certainly worth a try.

Richard

I have had the same experience as others - no issues with either manufacturer's devices. They worked fine on my old layout and I intend to use them again on my new one.

-Greg

Member of the Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

Associate Member of the NJ Hi-Railers

Image result for nj hirailers logo

 

I've had two on my layout the last 4 years with no problems, except the IR doesn't seem to pick up the color black very well, so you might want to make sure you have at least one light colored piece of rolling stock in your consist.

I've had the same issue with my Z-Stuff double signal bridge.

Captain John posted:

Anybody have a diagram how to hook them up to MTH crossing gates?

If your looking to activate mth crossing gates. Check out Azatrax.com. Specifically their D2t-Ds.

You can activate gates over 2 tracks with trains running in either direction  for a fraction of the cost ($40.00) and  without the wiring complexity of using several of Lionels 153ir.

You simply install 2 pairs of I.R. detectors across the tracks. One pair at each  end of the crossing.

If you have any questions they are very responsive to emails.

Heres mine in action. At the very end of the video, you can just make out one of the sensors at the far left of the frame:

 

 

 

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

I use a 153IR to operate my crossing gates. I put it far enough away so the gates come down before the train passes. All my block signals, target signal and dwarf signals are Z-Stuff. The first 153IR stopped working. I got another one and haven't had any issues.

Denny

Southwest Michigan Modular Railroad Club

TCA #16-71617

 

Don't jump in the water if you can't swim

 

tncentrr posted:

Anybody know a good place to get z stuff products? Are they available through the large outlets like Train World? Can we order from them direct?

You can go direct but that may not be your best choice. Give Ross Custom Switches a call. You’ll speak with the owner. 

Rod Miller

I ordered a DZ-2500 from zstuffexpress almost month ago and never received any acknowledgment or answers to my two emails. I’m thinking of filing a complaint with PayPal for a refund. Anyone know if they are legitimate?

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

tncentrr posted:

Fred,

No one that I know can get them. I don't know if Lionel has made a executive decision to stop making them per se, but nobody seems to be able to get them.

I got lucky, I was in Sommerfeld’s yesterday, passing through from Appleton WI, to home, and they had three new on the shelf, I picked up two, since I needed two.  I was searching EBay and the forum.

RickO posted:
Captain John posted:

Anybody have a diagram how to hook them up to MTH crossing gates?

If your looking to activate mth crossing gates. Check out Azatrax.com. Specifically their D2t-Ds.

You can activate gates over 2 tracks with trains running in either direction  for a fraction of the cost ($40.00) and  without the wiring complexity of using several of Lionels 153ir.

You simply install 2 pairs of I.R. detectors across the tracks. One pair at each  end of the crossing.

If you have any questions they are very responsive to emails.

Heres mine in action. At the very end of the video, you can just make out one of the sensors at the far left of the frame:

 

 

 

Ricko,

i was trying to use MTH IRS. I ran into a problem that they couldn't detect dark colors across two tracks. Plus there was no way to connect two gates to two IRS, without extensive wiring,relays and power supples, in order to protect two tracks from both directions. Are you saying that this device will accomplish that?

 

 

 

Regards, Bob

 

 

Does anyone know what height relative to the track the 153IR needs to be in order to be effective? I'd like to lower mine by cutting holes in the foam underlayment, so that the IR window is right at wheel level to make it (slightly) more realistic. But am not sure if it will work. Any advice?

pennsyfan posted

 

Ricko,

i was trying to use MTH IRS. I ran into a problem that they couldn't detect dark colors across two tracks. Plus there was no way to connect two gates to two IRS, without extensive wiring,relays and power supples, in order to protect two tracks from both directions. Are you saying that this device will accomplish that?

 

 

 

Yes , that's EXACTLY what I'm saying. No relays or extensive wiring.

Easy peasy. I was looking  for something simpler myself and ran across azatrax on the 2 rail forum.

You get 1 small contol board and two pairs of sensors. For less than the cost of 1 Lionel 153 i.r.

The sensors are one i.r. transmitter and one receiver pointed across both tracks. . It acts kinda like your t.v. remote and t.v.

When the i.r. signal is blocked it activates the signal. Locomotive or rolling stock color has no effect on it.

Shoot me an email if you'd like and I'd be happy to answer any other questions.

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

Flytoget posted:

Does anyone know what height relative to the track the 153IR needs to be in order to be effective? I'd like to lower mine by cutting holes in the foam underlayment, so that the IR window is right at wheel level to make it (slightly) more realistic. But am not sure if it will work. Any advice?

In my experience it seems to work best when at about mid-freight car height. Not sure if the wheels alone will be enough to trigger it. I didn't like the base showing on my layout, so I removed it and mounted it underneath the layout and spliced all the wires so just the IR cabinet was above ground and found it was not high enough, so I made a small plastic base and glued the IR cabinet to the base and it works fine now.

YARD 12You can just make it out at the bottom left of the attached pic with the tree and ground cover near it. It operates an MTH gateman on the other side.

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Flytoget posted:

Does anyone know what height relative to the track the 153IR needs to be in order to be effective? I'd like to lower mine by cutting holes in the foam underlayment, so that the IR window is right at wheel level to make it (slightly) more realistic. But am not sure if it will work. Any advice?

I think it's a your-mileage-may-vary.  Before you start excavating your layout, I suggest you take a piece of scrap track and raise it by the amount you think you'd lower the 153IR.  In other words, experiment by raising-the-bridge (the track) instead of lowering-the-river (the 153IR).  Then run a few cars to see how the 153IR responds...probably setting the delay to minimum so you don't have to wait 10+ seconds every time it trips.

As you say, the Infrared emitter and detector components are centered behind the red window.

153IR emitter and detector

The emitter sends out a conical beam and the detector senses likewise - both centered.  So sensitivity is maximum at that height above the track.

One issue I see if you lowered the target height to, say, wheel axle height is you might no longer get a reflection in the gap between trucks.  I guess you'd have to fuss with the delay setting - probably to maximum.  If you're a hard-core DIY'er you can open up the 153IR and using a meter you can find the point in the circuit before the delay timer and hence can in real-time see when the detector is triggering without the confusion of the delay.  I took apart a 153IR and detailed how it works in a previous OGR thread which I can dig up if interested.

Separately, I'd think by now that someone with a 3-D printer or whatever would have come up with a DIY trackside equipment box that accommodates the IR sensors by Azatrax discussed above.  I have written (and can dig up if there's interest) OGR threads about rolling your own IR occupancy detectors for just a few bucks but it's only been from an electronics perspective, requires soldering, messing with small components, etc. and not the total package ready for prime time so to speak.

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tncentrr posted:

No one that I know can get them. I don't know if Lionel has made a executive decision to stop making them per se, but nobody seems to be able to get them.

The electronic components had become obsolete. We're re-engineering it and hope to release it again in 2020.

Dave Olson

Director of Engineering

Lionel LLC

Dave Olson posted:
tncentrr posted:

No one that I know can get them. I don't know if Lionel has made a executive decision to stop making them per se, but nobody seems to be able to get them.

The electronic components had become obsolete. We're re-engineering it and hope to release it again in 2020.

You should make it a lot smaller.

Joe

Joe Fauty

cjack posted:

I ordered a DZ-2500 from zstuffexpress almost month ago and never received any acknowledgment or answers to my two emails. I’m thinking of filing a complaint with PayPal for a refund. Anyone know if they are legitimate?

Z Stuff is legit, but their communication, organizational, and people skills are sorely lacking.  Get your refund.

cjack posted:

I ordered a DZ-2500 from zstuffexpress almost month ago and never received any acknowledgment or answers to my two emails. I’m thinking of filing a complaint with PayPal for a refund. Anyone know if they are legitimate?

cjack - I have dealt with Dennis Zander especially on technical issues - he is a good man so no explanation for your issue. Yea get the refund and purchase through a third party like Walthers.

Probably putting foot in mouth but ask on the Wanted forum. From past experience with customers they tend to dump the 2500 for 1000's unless they absolutely need the extra electronics the 2500 offers.

Joe

Joe Fauty

Mallard4468 posted:
cjack posted:

I ordered a DZ-2500 from zstuffexpress almost month ago and never received any acknowledgment or answers to my two emails. I’m thinking of filing a complaint with PayPal for a refund. Anyone know if they are legitimate?

Z Stuff is legit, but their communication, organizational, and people skills are sorely lacking.  Get your refund.

After I posted, I was looking at some of the other sellers and at least with Walthers, the 2500 was backordered. So maybe that's it. I can't tell with GarGraves as to whether they have it in stock from the website. Might be a better choice anyway...GarGraves has been very responsive on other stuff.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

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