I am using Atlas' signal system and have a question for those people like me installing it post-closure/buyout of Custom Signals. (ie, I am limited to the out-of-the-box signal designs Atlas offers) ... Atlas isn't making signals that (a) are for bidirectional traffic and  (b) include a target light for diverging tracks at a switch.

I've attached a graphic of a simple concept layout with 1 set of switches and it shows where I would have to put signals for each direction of traffic. Red triangles represent block isolation. Circles with arrows represent the signals and arrow is direction of traffic.

Bidirectional traffic question:  are you putting 2 signals back-to-back, or across track and pointed in the opposite direction?

Switch/diverging path question:  do you just put 2 poles side by side to represent the straight vs. divergent path signals?  ...maybe sink one lower into the layout so the lower signal represents the divergent path?

Any ideas?  

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ScottV posted:

I am using Atlas' signal system and have a question for those people like me installing it post-closure/buyout of Custom Signals. (ie, I am limited to the out-of-the-box signal designs Atlas offers) ... Atlas isn't making signals that (a) are for bidirectional traffic and  (b) include a target light for diverging tracks at a switch.

I've attached a graphic of a simple concept layout with 1 set of switches and it shows where I would have to put signals for each direction of traffic. Red triangles represent block isolation. Circles with arrows represent the signals and arrow is direction of traffic.

Bidirectional traffic question:  are you putting 2 signals back-to-back, or across track and pointed in the opposite direction?

Switch/diverging path question:  do you just put 2 poles side by side to represent the straight vs. divergent path signals?  ...maybe sink one lower into the layout so the lower signal represents the divergent path?

Any ideas?  

Here is the diagram from the Custom Signals library for a passing siding. You need 3 signals positioned as shown. Generally, they are three different types of signal. I'm not sure if Atlas made these various types of signals but Custom Signals did.

4E/3E - shows which route is clear based on the switch. Green over Red to stay on the main, Red over green (or maybe yellow) to enter the siding

In the opposite direction, the other 2 signals would determine which train is clear to enter the switch. The one coming out of the siding (R/2WD) could be a dwarf.

 

Annotation 2019-08-29 105055

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Yeah - that was my problem... Atlas doesn't make a double target signal (yet), and a double target signal is generally placed at the head of the switch.  If there's no double target signal, all i could think of doing was to put 2 single targets side-by-side with the divergent route signal mast sunk lower into the layout than the mainline (straight) signal target.

ScottV posted:

I am using Atlas' signal system and have a question for those people like me installing it post-closure/buyout of Custom Signals. (ie, I am limited to the out-of-the-box signal designs Atlas offers) ... Atlas isn't making signals that (a) are for bidirectional traffic and  (b) include a target light for diverging tracks at a switch.

I've attached a graphic of a simple concept layout with 1 set of switches and it shows where I would have to put signals for each direction of traffic. Red triangles represent block isolation. Circles with arrows represent the signals and arrow is direction of traffic.

Bidirectional traffic question:  are you putting 2 signals back-to-back, or across track and pointed in the opposite direction?

Switch/diverging path question:  do you just put 2 poles side by side to represent the straight vs. divergent path signals?  ...maybe sink one lower into the layout so the lower signal represents the divergent path?

Any ideas?  

Scotty,

Please stand by.  Putting the finishing touches on the switch machine sensors on the PC board.  Want it to detect position of twin coil, stall motor, and dry contact machines without any additional relays.

Lou N

I noticed that the control boards on my signals have optional connections labeled  RIN and YIN  (to force a red or yellow signal respectively). If I connect track common to these ports, the signal goes to the expected red or yellow values, which means I could wire these to the tortoise switch motors auxiliary relay throw... that could force a clear signal to red if the route the target is not selected by the switch.  For example, the train is traveling a mainline is the switch ahead is set to a siding. Should the target for the mainline be forced to red (and the target for the siding be the appropriate value according to occupancy), or should the target for the mainline be based purely on occupancy and optionally, a ground dwarf added to indicate the throw of the switch??

Any opinions / experiences appreciated!!

The YIN is used to force a signal to yellow instead of green and is generally used to indicate a speed restriction. Normally the lights will alternate between green and red depending on which route the switch is set for.

For example, if the switch is set to enter a siding using the YIN would give you a yellow for that route instead of a green indicating it's okay to proceed but at a lower speed

I have never used the RIN

Also, in addition to the control boards that come with each signal, did you get any TSC's (Turnout Signal Control). This is the board that sits between the tortoise machine and signal control boards.

 

I don’t have any TSCs. Honestly don’t know why I would need one, since their purpose from what I read is to detect switch position, and I can determine the position with tortoises relay terminals 2,3,4 or 5,6,7 and use the RIN on the signal board to indicate “halt - switch points you are approaching are set to the other track”

....or am I misunderstanding their purpose?

The way I have done it based on Terry's instructions is the tortoise machine's relay (2,3,4) sends a signal to the TSC (the input on the board is SW) and the TSC passes on instructions to the signals.

As I said, I have never used RIN so I really don't know what it is used for. If that's an alternative approach then give it a try.

I use RIN for turnouts set against traffic (fouling) using the switch machine contact to ground. If you are using the timed approach sequence it is ignored and goes straight back to clear if the block is not occupied.

YIN can be grounded if you want the signal to display approach as the highest speed. RIN and DIN still work as normal. This is useful for some of the restricted and slow approach settings for routes. This can also be used for block detection which does away with the decorative timed approach sequence.

TSCs are useful for interlocking signals where there is more than one route to proceed through. 

ScottV I worked with Terry and did my entire PRR layout with Terry. Its been many years since I did it, but Terry is the best. I used both blocks and switch position for every signal. I was lucky and have NJ switch machines giving me multiple contacts but you should only need one per signal. My layout was featured in Oct 2009 Classic Toy Trays with a segment on Custom Signals. 

The process can get intimidating but just keep going. Terry would help me out as I went. I would recommend Terry if your concerned about building the back board and the tumble down boards. It would speed things up. I just don't know if Terry is still active I haven't spoke to him in a couple years.  

 

tr18 posted:
ScottV posted:

I am using Atlas' signal system and have a question for those people like me installing it post-closure/buyout of Custom Signals. (ie, I am limited to the out-of-the-box signal designs Atlas offers) ... Atlas isn't making signals that (a) are for bidirectional traffic and  (b) include a target light for diverging tracks at a switch.

I've attached a graphic of a simple concept layout with 1 set of switches and it shows where I would have to put signals for each direction of traffic. Red triangles represent block isolation. Circles with arrows represent the signals and arrow is direction of traffic.

Bidirectional traffic question:  are you putting 2 signals back-to-back, or across track and pointed in the opposite direction?

Switch/diverging path question:  do you just put 2 poles side by side to represent the straight vs. divergent path signals?  ...maybe sink one lower into the layout so the lower signal represents the divergent path?

Any ideas?  

Here is the diagram from the Custom Signals library for a passing siding. You need 3 signals positioned as shown. Generally, they are three different types of signal. I'm not sure if Atlas made these various types of signals but Custom Signals did.

4E/3E - shows which route is clear based on the switch. Green over Red to stay on the main, Red over green (or maybe yellow) to enter the siding

In the opposite direction, the other 2 signals would determine which train is clear to enter the switch. The one coming out of the siding (R/2WD) could be a dwarf.

 

Annotation 2019-08-29 105055

In this sample SWB will control 5E, 5ED, 4W and 3W.  it will only be the one pair of wires from the switch. Terry's boards will tumble everything down. same with Block 3 & 4, one wire each, they will control 4W & 3W, then tumble down to signal #6 as required. I knew going in I had to isolate one outside rail to create the blocks and let DCS run on the other side as I recall. in my yard ladders I had to use photo censors to guard the switch ladders, and or small interlocking tracks. 

I have a new back board and rolls of wire to do the inner connects between the boards if you interested. I was going to do a second layout for a friend but Atlas never made the S  (Southern) signals we needed. The recession killed there expansion  

Terry also sold the book on signals. I highly recommend you get and read that book. You'll never look at signals the same again. Blue cover with a signal on it. All the ABC's on signaling.  

Great progress!  If you want an exhaustive study of PRR signalling, try this site if you haven't found it already:

https://www.railroadsignals.us/signals/pl/index.htm

I also suggest that you find a copy of the PRR Operating Rules online.  The definitions of the speeds referenced in signal indications are important on the 1:1 railroad and interesting for the model railroader.

Good luck!

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

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