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I have 2 Stop Blocks in Layout. I want loco to keep Lights on and any Idle sounds in may make. I know it talks about a 25 ohm resistor in the Lionel book but how is it bypassed once the train is ready to go. I was going to utilize A-C for "Idle Power" and an IR sensor to turn that off and turn on A-U. I have KW and ZW transformers and run 99% conventional. I have 2 Phantom III's. Was hoping to make this work for everything.



Thanks in advance



Rob

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I was going to utilize A-C for "Idle Power" and an IR sensor to turn that off and turn on A-U. I have KW and ZW transformers and run 99% conventional.

Rob,

Your proposed method for holding track voltage low but not completely off, so that lights and sounds remain on during the stop, and raising it to restore motion is unique compared to most but appears to be quite reasonable.  You're using the IR sensor as a relay in addition to its being a sensor.

The question with this approach, and a number of others, is how do you simply and easily switch back to motion, "undoing" the stop.  Some sort of restart event is necessary.

If you want it to be a timed stop then this event is that the IR sensor needs to time out and switch the power feed back over from A-C to A-U.

If you want it to be manual, i.e. initiated by you, then the IR sensor needs to see ambient light again, or be tricked into thinking that it's seeing ambient light again (prior to this it's been blocked by the train), in order to do so.

These are the two main options if you're using the IR sensor as a relay.

There may be another.  These others are usually not obvious but require a way to use the relay contacts and sensor in a novel way to accomplish your goal.

Before proceeding, is timed operation ok or do you want to use some other event to release the stop?

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

Rob,

Your proposed method for holding track voltage low but not completely off, so that lights and sounds remain on during the stop, and raising it to restore motion is unique compared to most but appears to be quite reasonable.  You're using the IR sensor as a relay in addition to its being a sensor.

The question with this approach, and a number of others, is how do you simply and easily switch back to motion, "undoing" the stop.  Some sort of restart event is necessary.

If you want it to be a timed stop then this event is that the IR sensor needs to time out and switch the power feed back over from A-C to A-U.

If you want it to be manual, i.e. initiated by you, then the IR sensor needs to see ambient light again, or be tricked into thinking that it's seeing ambient light again (prior to this it's been blocked by the train), in order to do so.

These are the two main options if you're using the IR sensor as a relay.

There may be another.  These others are usually not obvious but require a way to use the relay contacts and sensor in a novel way to accomplish your goal.

Before proceeding, is timed operation ok or do you want to use some other event to release the stop?

Mike

Hello mike. No it wont be a timed event, other than how everlong it takes another train to get to isolated track/IR sensor. There are 3 trains, 2 stop blocks, and 2 start- isolated/ir sensors. I couldn't come up with a way with what I have, other than this. The lionel book pg 375 (1945-69) talks about the adjustable resistor, but it doesn't explain how to "bypass" the resistor once the start point is reached. I was looking for "the old school" method.

The Old School method was multiple 153C connectors that are spring loaded on the track.

The 145C was a Single action ON/OFF spring loaded connector for things like crossing gates etc.

The 153C was a Double action switch. When it was in the UP (not weighted down by a train) position one contact was LIVE and the 2nd Was Dead, when weighted the Live and Dead Contacts reversed.

By using multiples of the 153C a Train could pull into the 1st  Stop Block and the weight would turn OFF Power the that section. However at the Same Time the 2nd Train was moving into it's 2nd stop block. When it arrived it turned Off the Power to it's section but turned the power to the first section back on.  As the 1st Train Exited it's stop block and the Contact was Un-Weighted it would turn ON the power for the 2nd Trains Stop Block allowing it to move forward to the next stop block section. This sequence would be repeated usually with at least a 3rd empty stop block in between to keep things from running into each other. The adjustable resistor was used to keep the E-Units engaged so the Neutral & Reverse actions didn't activate, but were available at other points in the tracks or sidings.

I'm not sure an adjustable resistor would work for you as it may not provide enough voltage to power up the sounds without allowing the train to move.

The 153C instructions have a good schematic on this operation.

Last edited by Yendor
@Yendor posted:

The Old School method was multiple 153C connectors that are spring loaded on the track.

The 145C was a Single action ON/OFF spring loaded connector for things like crossing gates etc.

The 153C was a Double action switch. When it was in the UP (not weighted down by a train) position one contact was LIVE and the 2nd Was Dead, when weighted the Live and Dead Contacts reversed.

By using multiples of the 153C a Train could pull into the 1st  Stop Block and the weight would turn OFF Power the that section. However at the Same Time the 2nd Train was moving into it's 2nd stop block. When it arrived it turned Off the Power to it's section but turned the power to the first section back on.  As the 1st Train Exited it's stop block and the Contact was Un-Weighted it would turn ON the power for the 2nd Trains Stop Block allowing it to move forward to the next stop block section. This sequence would be repeated usually with at least a 3rd empty stop block in between to keep things from running into each other. The adjustable resistor was used to keep the E-Units engaged so the Neutral & Reverse actions didn't activate, but were available at other points in the tracks or sidings.

I'm not sure an adjustable resistor would work for you as it may not provide enough voltage to power up the sounds without allowing the train to move.

The 153C instructions have a good schematic on this operation.

Thanks Yendor. More to think about and read!

I have 2 Stop Blocks in Layout. I want loco to keep Lights on and any Idle sounds in may make. I know it talks about a 25 ohm resistor in the Lionel book but how is it bypassed once the train is ready to go. I was going to utilize A-C for "Idle Power" and an IR sensor to turn that off and turn on A-U. I have KW and ZW transformers and run 99% conventional. I have 2 Phantom III's. Was hoping to make this work for everything.

Have you taken your engines of interest and hooked them up to A-C "Idle Power" to confirm they indeed stop but with Lights and Sounds functional?  If so, how big is the voltage adjustment range  to maintain this condition?  If it's a small range then the 25 Ohm resistor method might be problematic because of variability which can be discussed further if relevant.

That is, if you already have an available Idle Power voltage source I think that is the way to go.  So it appears what you're doing is essentially replacing the 153C two-output occupancy detectors with an IR sensor and two-output relay (a.k.a. SPDT type).  So the relay would apply either A-C voltage to the stop block, OR A-U voltage to the stop block depending on the paired IR sensor/relay. In principle, this is what the Lionel 153IR occupancy detectors are though kind of spendy (maybe $40?).  I'm sure there are other off-the-shelf equivalent devices from train manufacturers.  If you are a determined DIY'er you can cobble together an IR sensor with SPDT relay for maybe $10; I've posted how-to's on OGR, for example, though most guys seem to prefer plug-and-play.

Last edited by stan2004

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