Is it possible to take a Lionel 153C block signal(3 terminals) and wire it to Lionel Command control Fastrack switch? So when the switch is thrown in one direction or another, the block signal matches the green or red post on the switch.  The end result is to see which direction the train will be destined to go from a distance (from your legacy remote).  Perhaps another type of signal would work better (open to suggestions here). Thanks

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20140302_121255

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USCGRET,

   Not sure if this is really possible, however I was thinking on using a street light in the same manner because the street light has just Hot & Ground wires, in this manner I will be able to see them from a distance on the layout.  Curve street light lit, straight light out.  I am use to seeing the old 711 switch lights and the new CC Fastrack switch lights are kind of small, for this old mans eye sight.

 

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

The switch outputs to the lever controller light green and red LEDs. The signal voltages that do this are +5 vdc for green and -5 vdc for red. You could use them as signal levels to operate a relay to control the block signal.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

Well you will have to apply the change in voltage to some higher powered citcuit to operate the block signal. The block signal probably takes a half amp or more to operate. the LED drive signal is probably only capable of 20ma or so.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

If you simply wired up a signal with LED's, you could drive it directly from the position indication that comes from the switch, no relays or other stuff in the picture.  The signal is a bi-polar 4 to 4.5 volts, so a 100 ohm resistor and a red and green LED wired back to back would do the trick.  Return the other side of the LED's to track common. 

 

Simple and cheap.

gunrunnerjohn,

   What I want to do is connect the track signals like USCGRET has pictured, under my Command Control FasTrack switch, to activate the manual track signal arm, by using my remote control, when throwing my CC switches in either direction.  Where exactly would I connect on both the CC FasTrack switch, and the old Lionel manual signal to make this work properly.

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

The signal arms have a solenoid in them to move the arm. They take more than what the switch controller can supply. But if you use LED block signals with just lights, then you can avoid the relay and relay driving circuit.

 

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

For an old Lionel signal, you'll need to have a relay driver and relay from the Fastrack switch position indicator line.  Once you have a relay indicating switch position, you can wire almost any accessory to it.

 

 

Originally Posted by USCGRET:

These won't work directly, as they have a common anode.  You need to be able to wire the Red/Green LED's back-to-back to use the signal capability directly from the Fastrack switches.

 

Gentlemen,

   Nuts this is not what I wanted to hear, am I missing something is there no simple way to activate the signal arms and their small lights, when operating the low voltage switches for Command Control, with a remote.   John with your electrical education there has to be some easy fix for this, of some kind.

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

The signal from the Fastrack switch is a low-current bi-polar signal.  The signals under discussion take far more current and voltage to operate.  The issue is, turning the low voltage, low current Fastrack indicator signal into something you can use.

 

My method would probably be a couple of resistors, a transistor, and a signal relay.  Now I have a set of isolated contacts that I can drive anything I desire from.

 

There are some Arduino compatible relays available on eBay for very cheap prices.  They are TTL compatible inputs, I may dig one of those out and see if the Fastrack switches will trigger them.  If so, that would be a nice turnkey solution to the issue.

 

Thanks for keeping this moving along.  I took a look at some of the Arduino relays on ebay.  John, if you can dig one out and trigger one of the fastrack switches... wow.  Take a pic of the relay you used, so I (we) can purchase.  The prices look right!

Thanks again...

The results are in.  I suspect almost any of those modules will work.  I tried one of the opto coupled ones and one of the non-isolated ones, both worked fine.  I'd be pretty sure that almost any of the similar relays would work as well.

 

Here's the two channel one, it has opto-isolation: C:US:3160" target="_blank">2-chan opto-isolated Relay Module

 

Here's the four channel one, it is not isolated, just uses transistors to drive the relays: C:US:3160" target="_blank">4-chan Relay Module

 

You need to supply the relay module with regulated 5V, a cell phone wall-wart is perfect for this.  Other than that, you just need a series diode with the cathode toward the Fastrack switch indicator lamp lead to block the negative voltage.  The relay is closed for positive voltages and open for negative voltages.  Since it's a single form-C contact (SPDT), you can drive a signal when it's open and when it's closed for the two states (colors).

 

Note: the 4-chan relay says Optocoupler, but they lie, there is no opto's on the board.

 

gunrunnerjohn,

   This is great, it means I can purchase a single opto-relay for each Lionel signal and wire them at each switch location or purchase a double and run line to 2 of the Lionel signals, depending on the switch locations and how close they happen to be.  This is going to be great, thanks again John for all your electrical knowledge!  I take it that the remote control when activating the CC FasTrack switch will also activate the old Lionel direction signal via the opto-relay.  That means I could also use the opto-relay for my old Tin Plate crossing lights, in the same manner.  I will order about 4 doubles and 4 singles of these opto-relays for my Christmas FasTrack Layout.  Way cool John.

If a guy wanted to he could use the 8 channel opto-relay but then it would lead to running wires all over the layout, which I am trying to eliminate.   I do believe one of these opto-relays mounted at each old Lionel directional signal would immulate the Union Switch & Signal power station at the real crossings & switch locations, just like on the actual railroads.  Real nice find john!

 

USCGRET,

   Thanks for starting this thread I really appreciate it, big time.  This means all my old Lionel signals will operate with my low voltage Command Control.  Ya got to love this OGR forum!

 

PCRR/Dave

 

 

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

Given the nature of the electrical output and relay inputs, I'd have been surprised if it didn't work.  However I figured I'd better test it before someone bought a raft of these relays and then found out there was a problem.

 

Don't want any angry train nuts storming the castle.

 

 

John,

   That is Psyco train nuts thank you very much, words mean things.

I do beleive you are starting to get to know me, Gomez Adams was my favorite

train runner.  Ofcourse I blow them up, why else would a grown man play with trains!

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

John and Dave,

This is great.  I will utilize all the insight.  Thank you John for your electrical wisdom, and Dave for the help in driving this thing.  Since I appear to be the novice here, I may have additional questions on my installs.  The hobby is great, and learning something new each day is awesome.  Regards,

 

Brian

John & Brian,

   Just ordered 3 doubles and 6 single opto-relays from the sight John posted, with only $3.00 as a shipping promotional, the entire order cost less than $20.00.  A great deal for being able to use my older Lionel higher voltage signals, with the low voltage CC FasTrack switches.

Thanks again John, and you too Brian for starting the thread.

PCRR/Dave

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

Originally Posted by gunrunnerjohn:

Don't forget the diodes.

 

The diode is for? The signal comes from the yellow wire...and goes to the relay opto coupler...is the opto ok for minus 5? Does the opto just have an led as its input and not short the minus 5 so it will still light the red led?...I. Know that some of them have a reverse diode at the input. just wondering...have to look up what opto it uses.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

In my original test results I said:

Other than that, you just need a series diode with the cathode toward the Fastrack switch indicator lamp lead to block the negative voltage.  The relay is closed for positive voltages and open for negative voltages.


I observed some odd behavior without the diode, so it's included.  For ten cents, it's probably a really good idea to include it.

John,

 I thought all that was eliminated with the Opto-relay, my misunderstanding.  Ok please give me an identification on these diodes # please, that I need to purchase and where do I purchase them from, and please explain where I install the diode on the

opto-relay wiring.

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

You can use almost any silicon diode, cheap choices are 1N4001 through 1N4005, commonly available for less than ten cents in any kind of quantity.

 

The opo-isolation is only on one of the modules, and also the input LED for the opto has a reverse voltage specification, I didn't check what it was.

 

As far as where to install them, I thought I said that a couple of times.

 

you just need a series diode with the cathode toward the Fastrack switch indicator lamp lead to block the negative voltage.

The cathode is the banded end of the diode.

 

Originally Posted by gunrunnerjohn:

In my original test results I said:

Other than that, you just need a series diode with the cathode toward the Fastrack switch indicator lamp lead to block the negative voltage.  The relay is closed for positive voltages and open for negative voltages.


I observed some odd behavior without the diode, so it's included.  For ten cents, it's probably a really good idea to include it.

I finally found a schematic of these relay units, the ones with the opto chip installed and the tiny LED in series with the input circuit.

There are two ways to operate the relay.

1. leave the jumper installed which connects Vcc and JDVcc. In this case supply +5Vdc to Vcc on the input pin(s) connector and Ground to the GND pin. The selected relay will then operate by grounding the input pin for that relay...and the tiny LED will light (very useful, that feature).

2. move the jumper to connect GND and Vcc. In this configuration again connect +5Vdc, but to the JDVcc pin which is now available and again Ground to the GND pin on the input connector area. Now the selected relay will operate when -5Vdc is applied to the input pin for that relay...and the LED will light, etc.

 

The input circuit is Vcc to a resistor, thru the opto input led diode, thru the tiny external LED and to the input pin. So when using method #2 which is compatible with the yellow wire signal from the FasTrack switch, there are two diode reverse voltages to protect the circuit from when the yellow wire goes to +5. The opto input is good for 6 volts reverse and then the external LED is probably good for about the same. So I think the whole thing is ok without an external diode, but it's a good practice to use one. The 1N4004 is a cheap choice and you can probably get them at Radio Shack. As John said, put the cathode of the diode toward the yellow wire source.

2ChannelRelayArduino

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

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cjack,

 When the opto-relays get here, I will wire them as per your #2 instructions and see what happens, I was hoping these were stand alone relays.  Thanks much for your help

on figuring this out.

 

John,

   Sorry you had to repeat your instructions, remember I have had no training in Electrical engineering, learning this on the fly, sometimes I misunderstand what is said.

 

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

Originally Posted by Pine Creek Railroad:

cjack,

   I do not remember if the hand held remote Control makes the hard wired remote, change lights or not, when I operate the Command Control switch from the wireless hand held remote control, it probably does.

PCRR/Dave

It has to. Anything else would be unconscionable

When you rotate the lantern, the controller changes color...

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

USCGRET,

 Brian, John already posted the link in one of his prior posts, click on the 1st one he posted, scroll down, you will see a row of them, I picked one of the doubles and one of the singles, and just inserted the number of each that I wanted, and payed for them right on that web page.  Sale Conformation by e-mail.  Simple as that. I will follow cjacks #2 instructions that he posted for setting them up, with our old Lionel track indicators.  Looks like it should work.

PCRR/Dave

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

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