Using MTH Infrared Remote with Non-MTH trackage?

I have one of these that'd I'd like to rig up on a temp Fastrack layout.

Looks like solder would do - but has anyone ever come up with different approach?

I'm looking at a MARX Beacon Tower - and wondering if I could house the receiver in its base...depending on how the IR eye is mounted on the board - I might even be able to elevate it on the top of the tower. Im not planning on using the proto-cast/dispatch features.

A little more trackside appeal...the MARX Towers look like cell phone towers.

Just thinking of this for Christmas layouts where I'm not running any digital engines.

Original Post
stan2004 posted:

Not quite clear on exactly what you're trying to do, but if you're talking about the Realtrax ITAD, these photos might help.

I think those pics are of the "activator"  or something.

This is a handheld remote receiver - made to lock-on to MTH track - have to make alternate connections to make it work with other track systems.

Figured while Im at it - might package it in a trackside accessory.

Pics added for clarity...

DSCN3705

DSCN3704

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Photos (2)

Gotcha.  Picture worth a thousand words and all that!

IMG_3744

The IR detector is circled above in Red.  It is a 3-terminal device with the optical sensitivity pointing "upwards" from the board.

IMG_3746

The top of the case has a sort-of funnel that directs the received optical beam downward to the IR detector.  This lens rotates on the top side which provides a bit of directionality - aim the flat sloped side away-from the handheld remote.  On the inside of the rotatable lens the flat surface has a mirror-like surface which angles the beam downward.

IMG_3745

The board attaches to the base plate with 2 solder joints so very easy to remove the circuit board.

So if I understand what you're doing, you have 2-wires in, 2-wires out.  I suppose you could remove (de-solder) the barrel jack that accepts power.  That way you don't have the bulk of the plug-in barrel plug.  Or you could solder the wires to the jack solder pads on the bottom of the board. 

If you are handy with a soldering iron, you can remove the 3-terminal IR detector and position it off the surface of the board by running 3-wires.  This would allow you mess with directionality.  You can buy IR detectors for about $1 if you're worried about messing it up.  If you position the detector more than a few inches off the board you should add a resistor and a capacitor to act as a power-supply filter.  Ask for more info if you go down this route.

Finally, just as with the rotatable lens/funnel, you can mess with your own lens to change the direction of sensitivity.  Plastic or acrylic fiber, tubing, pipe, rod, whatever can make a low cost lens.

 

Attachments

Photos (3)
stan2004 posted:

Gotcha.  Picture worth a thousand words and all that!

The IR detector is circled above in Red.  It is a 3-terminal device with the optical sensitivity pointing "upwards" from the board.

The top of the case has a sort-of funnel that directs the received optical beam downward to the IR detector.  This lens rotates on the top side which provides a bit of directionality - aim the flat sloped side away-from the handheld remote.  On the inside of the rotatable lens the flat surface has a mirror-like surface which angles the beam downward.

The board attaches to the base plate with 2 solder joints so very easy to remove the circuit board.

So if I understand what you're doing, you have 2-wires in, 2-wires out.  I suppose you could remove (de-solder) the barrel jack that accepts power.  That way you don't have the bulk of the plug-in barrel plug.  Or you could solder the wires to the jack solder pads on the bottom of the board. 

If you are handy with a soldering iron, you can remove the 3-terminal IR detector and position it off the surface of the board by running 3-wires.  This would allow you mess with directionality.  You can buy IR detectors for about $1 if you're worried about messing it up.  If you position the detector more than a few inches off the board you should add a resistor and a capacitor to act as a power-supply filter.  Ask for more info if you go down this route.

Finally, just as with the rotatable lens/funnel, you can mess with your own lens to change the direction of sensitivity.  Plastic or acrylic fiber, tubing, pipe, rod, whatever can make a low cost lens.

Wow - thanks for the pictures - gives me some brainstorm fodder without having to rip into the thing.

In the tower, there are 2 rails to carry power to the bulb...one is a metal rod that goes through the center - and the other is the metal stairs on the outside of the tower. Not sure how great a signal path that might be - I guess wire might be better!

I guess I have to think about the finer points of connecting this to the power supply and track. Keeping the barrel seems attractive since that's whats on the power supply.

Thanks again for the infos and ideas!

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