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I was loloking at a sunset loco I  have cased up above my computer here and while waiting for it to boot thinking how inteesting if the engineer lookiing forward would once every 15 seconds or so turn his head and look out. I saw that fireman set up where he stoked the boiler, a big set up of parts.


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In author’s own words, “Accepting rather brain-jarring head-snaps, I decided on a solenoid to turn the head to the forward-peering attitude at the start of forward motion with spring-return..”


Something he did not have ~20 years ago are tiny vibrator or so-called pager motors from cell phones. These motors have enough torque to directly drive a rotating object like a pivoting head and need less space than a geared solenoid-driven linear-to-rotary mechanism. In this O-gauge animated school bus such a motor, about $1 surplus, directly drives the pivoting stop sign. 




The short-video shows the open and close “snap” motion.  Friction holds the sign in place between actions so power is only required when moving.  Depending on what other electronics you have in the engine, I don't think it a stretch to add a simple timer circuit to activate it every 15 sec.  Or maybe activate it when the whistle is blowing or, as the author did, turn the head when the engine switches direction.



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An Engineer took his wife out to supper and a movie.  They were standing in line to buy theater tickets, and, behind them was a Conductor, who reached up and patted the Engineer's wife on her shapely behind.  She turned and whispered to the Conductor, "Don't do that.  Can't you see that my husband is right here?"  The Conductor replied, "It doesn't worry me.  I've worked a lot of trips with him and he never looks back."




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