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When I was in G scale my favorite loco was a RDC car.   I installed a Phoenix sound system and set it up to run on a point to point track.     Using diodes at two different points when arriving or leaving the end stations, a reversing unit and settings in the Phoenix sound software I could do the following:

The RDC car would slow down at two different points while entering the station. At the second point it would also start ringing the bell. The bell stopped when the car stopped at the end station.

When it started in reverse direction, it would start slowly, give two toots on the horn and start the bell ringing. At the first point it would increase speed and stop the bell. At the second point it would increase speed again and give another blast on the horn.

I'd like to buy an O gauge RDC car and emulate the above set up.  I know Dallee has what is needed for point to point movement with momentum.   Is there a way to also automate the horn and bell?



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For a conventional (non-command) approach in 'O' Gauge you can certainly do an A.C. equivalent to your diode setup.  You would use strings of bridge rectifiers to drop the voltage as the station is approached, instead of strings of individual diodes.

There are several auto-reversing units available, like the DZ-1240 Auto Stop & Reverse Module from Z-Stuff.  Generally these use an isolated outside rail to detect that the RDC is approaching, and then is at, the end of track.

As far as I know to initiate horn and bell sounds at the correct positions some of these auto-reversing systems may support this directly, but for the most part this needs to be home-grown.  A D.C. offset voltage must be switched into the track power feed, in one direction to blow the horn, and in the other to start the bell ringing.  This could be done in hardware with relay logic, or in software with an Arduino with a relay on the output, or similar.

Perhaps someone else knows of 'O' Gauge programmable horn/bell actuating systems?


Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike
@Ward H posted:


I'd like to buy an O gauge RDC car and emulate the above set up.  

Rather than emulate why not exactly duplicate what you used?  If the G reversing and speed control was via DC track voltage/polarity, I'm thinking you could bypass a stock O-gauge AC voltage reversing unit which likely drives a DC-motor in the end.  Then run DC on the track.

Thanks Mike and Stan,

Duplicating what I've used before may work well.   I never gave it a thought that our AC trains could be powered by feeding DC track power to the motor directly. By using DC I can use the same Phoenix sound card and build a constant voltage / constant polarity board for car lights and maybe add a capacitor to keep sounds and lights on at stops.

I'll be looking in to this in more detail.

Thanks again


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