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I bought six of the latest 153IRs. I got one working OK- it responds best to lighter-colored cars (yellows, whites).

I ordered some black IR reflective tape (174950439008 on that auction site) for $7 plus shipping.  It is supposed to be just semi-gloss black in light, and reflective only in darkness.  I plan to cut it into narrower strips (it comes in 1-1/2 in. X 20" long) and place those LOW on the locomotives to reflect to the 153IR, activating the semaphores on my layout.

Two other 153IRs won't do anything, even waving a white paper in front of them, with the "sensitivity" set at max, or by trying "sensitivity" at lower settings.  I still have to try the other four.

Any ideas??

Last edited by Mike Wyatt
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1. I bench-tested the rest of the 153IRs.  So- all but two work OK. One works but is very sensitive to the car rolling by- color etc.  My (yellow) Altoona Brewery cars, my creme-colored Wild Turkey boxcar, work. so...

2.  I ordered and have received the IR tape.  The objective was to make the locos and cars set off the 153 IR, on cars and locomotives that are dark in color.  Last night- I tried it:

1/4" strip on the bottom edge of a black steamer tender- works. Made the loco (tender) "visible" to the 153 IR.

On a black RS-3- a 1/8" w X length of the loco strip, below the safety rails, NO.  Then a  vertical (just ahead of the cab) rectangular piece - also NO.

I did install a 2" long X 1-1/2" panel on the cab roof of the RS-3 and another on the cab roof of a steamer- they DO set off the Z- Stuff for Trains signal bridge, did not before.

Removing the strips of IR Tape is not easy- good adhesive and part remains after you pull off the main tape.  Denatured alcohol, and mineral spirits do not greatly ease the job either. (Afraid to try lacquer thinner which I think WOULD remove the adhesive but likely the paint as well.)

Summary: IR Tape helps, is not very visible to the eye on a dark car, but not a cure-all.

I will keep installing the 153 IR- they are a neat method that does not make it necessary to tear up existing track to use.  

Last edited by Mike Wyatt

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