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@stan2004 posted:

IMG_3116

On all the pics, diagrams, drawings I've seen there is a DPDT selector switch which chooses between 2-wire Track Power or 2-wire Accessory Power.   In the photo above you can see that the black wires are on the "upper" row (one DPDT pole) and the red wires are on the "lower" row (the other DPDT pole).

153IR track power press on tabs

So when you ask how the track power "polarity" correlates to the Aux/Acc power "polarity" I guess it depends if the user presses the red heat-shrinked tab to the center-rail and the black heat-shrinked tab to the outer-rail.  Obviously these could be pushed on to the FasTrack tabs backwards to reverse polarity.

Only to the Auxiliary Power Supply terminals, Not the ACC terminals. I hope that was a mislabeling in yellow above?

I cannot tell which wire is attached to the solder tab marked RED, I assume it is the one for the RED push-on connector. And unless there is some obscure note in the box about selecting different attachment positions for different outputs, then normal connector assignment would be BLK to outer rail, which is track common, the same as layout common ground. Given that, it looks like BLK/common ground in this case is going to the Left terminal of the Auxiliary Power Supply. Am I seeing that correctly Stan?

What I am trying to establish here is the actual common ground terminal of the Auxiliary Power Supply connector, regardless of the nomenclature used by the mfg. That is what caused problems for the application diagrams.

Dave

Last edited by Dtrainmaster

Only to the Auxiliary Power Supply terminals, Not the ACC terminals. I hope that was a mislabeling in yellow above?

I cannot tell which wire is attached to the solder tab marked RED, I assume it is the one for the RED push-on connector. And unless there is some obscure note in the box about selecting different attachment positions for different outputs, then normal connector assignment would be BLK to outer rail, which is track common, the same as layout common ground. Given that, it looks like BLK/common ground in this case is going to the Left terminal of the Auxiliary Power Supply. Am I seeing that correctly Stan?

What I am trying to establish here is the actual common ground terminal of the Auxiliary Power Supply connector, regardless of the nomenclature used by the mfg. That is what caused problems for the application diagrams.

Yes, I was sloppy in inter-mixing Auxiliary and Accessory.  I updated the diagram you refer to.  AUX is the 2-wire terminal that supplies power to the 153IR...this typically comes from the Accessory or fixed-voltage output of a train transformer.  TRACK is the 2-wire flying-leads with push-on tabs that can supply power to the 153IR...this comes from 2 tabs (outer and center rail) of a FasTrack track section.

The upper left corner of the photo is the bottom view of the 2-terminal AUX power input.  So indeed that is showing the black wire going to the left terminal.

Again, if you believe you can get your arms around this and explain it in a way that does not require a degree in Nuclear Physics (Lionel's words, not mine ) then have at it!  As per above, I can't even get Aux and Acc straight...using them inter-changeably which only adds to the confusion.  Also note that A and U can be confusing too:

Page%2043%201954

U is NOT necessarily "ground" or "common".

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Hold the wire clippers, I think we have a problem.
Stan and Rod,
Last night when you guys kept posting and I kept watching, I think I found an overlooked issue. Please follow along.
Below is a copy of the diagram that Stan had originally posted and I had marked my modification on, in purple. Not having a board in front of me to trace, I didn't realize that the toggle switch connections that were missing needed to be in the mix....until last night. I then added the switch connections as shown.

pic 1

153IR mod_DG orig_Stan-OGR

For the modification to work, three things are needed:
1) The connection between Relay Common and the appropriate ACC terminal cannot be broken.
2) The connection between the selector switch's center contacts and the board's electronics cannot be broken.
3) The connection between 1 & 2 above must be broken.
All three are true on the drawing above.

When looking at the picture below, discussed last night, I wondered why Stan thought it was harder to modify. The traces were different, but I saw BLK and RED wires in relatively the same position as before.

pic 2

mark-up Stan orig_Rod-OGR

I referred back to this earlier picture below, showing the clip point, and then it hit me. If those wires are coming directly from the center of the toggle switch, they cannot be cut. Somewhere the rectifier connects to that trace to feed the electronics, unless the switch's wires land somewhere else on the board and the wire marked "disconnect" is just a jumper.

pic 3

153 IR connection mod orig_Stan-OGR

I hope that I am wrong. Please check the feed wires from the toggle switch and locate the rectifier's AC connection point, on the available versions.

Dave

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  • 153IR mod_DG orig_Stan-OGR
  • mark-up Stan orig_Rod-OGR
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Last edited by Dtrainmaster

You are correct.  For the modern version, the red/black AUX power input go directly to one throw of the DPDT; red/black TRACK power inputs go directly to the other throw.  So to meet your condition 2, my idea that you JUST clip the black wire won't work for your modification proposal.  That is, the internal electronics still requires black wire power.  So here's what I think would work for the modern version:

153%20IR%20connection%20mod%20orig_Stan-OGR

Two steps.  Soldering is required.

1. CUT the circuit board trace where shown in orange.  This can be done with an x-acto or hobby knife.  It's kind of a pain to do this but should take less than a minute.  This isolates the internal relay's common terminal from the 153 power wires.

2. MOVE the component-side wire depicted in purple to the solder-side of the board as shown.  This will now connect the internal relay's common terminal to the externally accessible terminal.

----

Separately, I still believe the earlier version would be more work.  Again, soldering is required. For example:

153ir rod stewart 7 jan 2021

1. CUT the circuit board in 3 places where shown in purple.

2. ADD 2 jumper wires where shown in purple.

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  • 153ir rod stewart 7 jan 2021
Last edited by stan2004

Stan, your first pic is what I was thinking also, although I don't care for the way that unit switches the ACC GND. Does that have a bridge or single diode?

But I disagree with the alteration in your second pic.
Assuming nothing else is tied to the trace, unsolder the RED wire and extend it to the diode's right solder pad. Cut the trace only between Relay Common and the diode. You don't want to break that trace between ACC PWR and Relay Common, nor the one between ACC GND and the BLK wire.

pic 4

153 IR mod_D, Stan orig_Rod-OGR

Dave

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Last edited by Dtrainmaster

Stan, your first pic is what I was thinking also, although I don't care for the way that unit switches the ACC GND. Does that have a bridge or single diode?

But I disagree with the alteration in your second pic.
Assuming nothing else is tied to the trace, unsolder the RED wire and extend it to the diode's right solder pad. Cut the trace only between Relay Common and the diode. You don't want to break that trace between ACC PWR and Relay Common, nor the one between ACC GND and the BLK wire.

Board%20Bottom 153IR rod stewart

I hear you.  OTOH, look at the rev K photo that Rod took.  Notice the circled pad labeled "what's this?".  Compared to the rev I version it looks like there's a component terminal coming thru to a round solder pad?  I think Rod has already contributed above and beyond so we shouldn't impose on him to see if there's something there.

Separately.  To your point about the diode vs. bridge rectifier.  It appears these earlier version used just a diode (half-wave) instead of a bridge for providing DC for the electronics.  There is a 7805 TO-220 5V regulator chip right after the diode. 

In any case, I thought there "might" be some advantage to making the modified 153IR units (isolated relay common)  have a consistent terminal configuration with the isolated relay common in the same position of the 4-terminal block.  Potato potahto.  As I've stated before, and as apparently others too have observed, when you get to the point of cutting PCB traces and soldering jumpers and wondering what to do if you have revision A vs. B vs. H, J, K or who knows what...then it's Visine time to combat the eyes glazing over.

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  • Board%20Bottom 153IR rod stewart

Stan, I was happy to contribute to this thread in any small way. It was important for me to resolve the differences between the '01 and the '02 versions. Then it became crucial to fix the internal wiring error in the two '02 units. These units are now back together and on the layout, wired in tandem operating the two sets of road crossing signals. All is well.

Yesterday I hooked up a 3 aspect track block signal to the setup. So now the NC contacts activate green and the NO contacts activate red when triggered. Seems to be working as expected, except occasionally the green stays lit even while the red and yellow are lit. Balky relay I suspect? Time will tell. Its a vintage ROWI 4040 signal that is just seeing its first use since new.

Its been an interesting exercise and hopefully some good has come from it all that others can use. Dave if you decide one day to repost your wiring diagrams, they will probably be quite useful as well.

Rod

From the beginning, my only goal was to solve the original problem that the OP (remember him?) presented. To be able to use more than one of these to control 2-aspect signals, or accessories requiring two powered positions (within the power limits of this device), without adding relays, etc.
The problem inherent in these is that using multiple 153 IRs to control the same signal cause it to change from GRN to GRN and RED when only one detector is activated. The modification enables signals to change from GRN to RED whenever any detector in the string is triggered.
I had made 4 application diagrams for these: A-U, U-A, Power Supply, and a second version of U-A to enable the same polarity switching and use with, the A-U model. But due to the plethora of differences we encountered, I will leave it for those comfortable with tracing out their particular unit, and making a couple of board level changes to fully use the relay.

Dave

Stan, looks like Rod is out the door, and I just got the last bag of popcorn from the concession stand, nothing left for me here.

...
I had made 4 application diagrams for these: A-U, U-A, Power Supply, and a second version of U-A to enable the same polarity switching and use with, the A-U model. But due to the plethora of differences we encountered, I will leave it for those comfortable with tracing out their particular unit, and making a couple of board level changes to fully use the relay.

Right.  Note that even the original problem regarding a 148 dwarf revealed (well, it was new to me) that Lionel made at least 2 versions of the 148 apparently using the SAME model/SKU number.  The wiring requirements differed.  So like the 153IR, when I next see a post with someone having problems wiring up a "simple" 2-aspect dwarf I must remember to ask..."which version do you have?"

From the beginning, my only goal was to solve the original problem that the OP (remember him?) presented. To be able to use more than one of these to control 2-aspect signals, or accessories requiring two powered positions (within the power limits of this device), without adding relays, etc.

Your idea was particularly interesting to me since this applies to the 5-wire crossing gates...where you have two 153IR's - one on each approach direction to the crossing.  The crossing gate "problem" comes up rather frequently on OGR.

... and I just got the last bag of popcorn from the concession stand, nothing left for me here.

Yeah, that's the bag where the kid at the concession stand scooped up all the un-popped kernels. 

@Rod Stewart posted:

...

Yesterday I hooked up a 3 aspect track block signal to the setup. So now the NC contacts activate green and the NO contacts activate red when triggered. Seems to be working as expected, except occasionally the green stays lit even while the red and yellow are lit. Balky relay I suspect? Time will tell. Its a vintage ROWI 4040 signal that is just seeing its first use since new.



That would be a new one for me!  Just to confirm, you are using just one 153IR?  In other words, this is NOT where two or more 153IRs are driving the 4040 signal with the NO and NC outputs tied together?

I found the following wiring instructions apparently from the back of a carded 4040 signal.  So this has a signal common and 2 inputs, one to NO, one to NC.

4040 block signal

So this sounds more like a problem with the signal itself.  I assume this is has the timed-yellow function before returning to green?  In other words, NO turns the signal red.  NC turns the signal yellow first (for several seconds) then green; this is automatic.  In other words, there should be no way to have Yellow and Green on at the same time.

While I'm sure someone can concoct a scenario where a double-throw electro-mechanical relay fails in a way that both NO and NC are active...I'd place my bet on a fault in the 4040 circuit.

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Last edited by stan2004

From the beginning, my only goal was to solve the original problem that the OP (remember him?) presented. To be able to use more than one of these to control 2-aspect signals, or accessories requiring two powered positions (within the power limits of this device), without adding relays, etc.
The problem inherent in these is that using multiple 153 IRs to control the same signal cause it to change from GRN to GRN and RED when only one detector is activated. The modification enables signals to change from GRN to RED whenever any detector in the string is triggered.



This of course is exactly what is causing my newly added ROWI block signal to want to show green, even when the red is activated. One of the tandem 153IR's has tripped to close the NO contacts, but the other still has the NC contacts closed; thus green still powered. When a train passes it activates the first 153, then if it gets to the second 153 before the first times out, there is a brief time period when the green extinguishes. Might need to re-examine your suggested mod, or just add a local spdt relay to isolate the block signal.

I'm going to see if there is any popcorn left, and maybe a beer or two! (I think the new trailers are still coming up.)

Rod

How about this instead Stan:

3D View Top Front

All-in-one universal relay board with either AC or DC coil input, bridge rectifier, buffer cap, and 5VDC vreg all built in. A form 2C DPDT 5vdc relay with 2 sets of NC-C-NO contact outputs. If using DC you just omit D1, C1 and U1, as long as your supply matches the relay coil voltage. Board size is 1.6 x 0.8 inches. Easy fab. The connectors shown are not right. The hole pitch is 0.1" so many standard headers will work including JST XH, JST EH, and Dupont connectors also.

I just whipped this up in DipTrace for any applications where you need a versatile DPDT relay around the layout. Now to order some boards; and then wait, and wait, and wait........

Rod

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Last edited by Rod Stewart
@Rod Stewart posted:

How about this instead Stan:

Is that a statement or a question?

So here's my 2021 take on the "situation."  As of late, I'd say the most common recommendations on OGR for isolated-rail triggering using a relay are (1) Z-stuff DZ-1008, (2) Azatrax MRAPR, and (3) GRJ/Hennings ITSD:

ac relays

After shipping and what not, we're talking at least $15 and up.  To each his own as to how thick one's wallet is, and if these off-the-shelf options represent adequate value.  I always like to point out how even Lionel sold a relay board, the 153E.  I think it might qualify as a collector's item today!

lionel 153E

So to throw a "new" design into the mix I'd think it should bring something new to the party.  I agree your board should allow one to save a few bucks if willing to do the leg-work (accumulating parts, ordering bare PCBs, soldering, testing, etc.).

What if the "problem" is posed as how cheaply can one make an insulated-rail relay module for signaling, crossing gates, and the like?  In other words, eliminate the word "universal" or the notion of one-size-fits-all.

Remember this is a discussion forum for the exchange of ideas.

That said, here's a different tack.  The starting point are 12V DC relays for 50 cents in small quantity.

hk19f 12v dc relay for 50 cents in small quantity

The different tack is to ask how cheaply/simply could one turn this 50 cent DC relay into an AC relay that operates at 14V AC Accessory voltage.  Again, the idea is to remove the "universal" concept and go for the "silent majority" of OGR users!

I say adding 2 generic 1N400x type diodes might be all that's needed...along with screw-terminal blocks if desired.  I'm wondering whether you could then make a 14V AC relay module for around $1 ... or in any case less than $2 in small quantity.

1n400x diode for about 1 cent

Again, the idea is to keep it simple with a minimal number of unique parts.

In fact, if you have some of those HK19 DC relays and some generic diodes lying around I can elaborate on my thinking.  I don't know what your target price is/was on your relay board.  My thinking is simple: to attract the "typical" OGR reader to fire up the soldering iron (if they even have one!) you need to present a stunning value proposition...rather than just saving a dollar or two.

My 2 cents of course.

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  • ac relays
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Last edited by stan2004

Holy smackers Stan; that's an amazing amount of info; and for only 2 cents! My check's in the mail. No wait, I'll do an e-transfer.

Kidding aside, thanks very much for the insight. And in truth I had not heard of the 153E. Interesting stuff.

It was not my intent to launch a new innovation for the forum. As you said, there are plenty of options readily available out there. This is just my own take on a compact small board to use wherever needed. If anyone wants to roll their own I will make the gerbers available for use, no worries. Otherwise its just something I want to have in my box of tools. I am sorry if it came across as anything else.

I was all set to put in a board order 2 days ago, but I have found its always best to wait a day or two, because a 2nd and 3rd look usually turns up places for improvement. No exception here; I have redesigned the board now with a single diode half wave rectifier, cheaper and should be ample to drive a small relay coil. Overall I was able to reduce the board size to just over one square inch, so they will cost about $5.35 for 3 , or about $1.78 each at OSH Park. No big deal. And I have all else in stock including the form 2C relays, bought for another project. I may also add a power on indicator led.

I have not figured out my all in cost, and frankly I don't care. Won't be more than 5 bucks or so, and I will just build them as and when needed. For me part of the fun is building the board, as long as its only a few. It would be considerably cheaper if using Asian boards of course, just takes longer to get them. For the few I am likely to ever need I'll just order about 6 boards from OP.

I do like your find of 10 x HK19DC relays for $5. I will likely order up a few of those. That's pretty sweet pricing.

Its all good, Rod

Yes. I think we are in harmonic convergence here! 

To this day (2021 A.D.), Lionel's website continues to suggest the use of an external relay to address the original issue posed by this thread - that is, dual 153IRs working in tandem to drive an accessory that requires "NO" and "NC" triggers.

lionel solution to external relay

So let's say some hapless soul not aware of OGR takes Lionel at face-value.  They would see the Lionel diagram I posted earlier and presumably try to find a Radio Shack or web search the RS part numbers.  I was looking at an old paper RS catalog and the part numbers for the bridge rectifier and 12V DC relay are "correct."  Soldering is assumed.  It's kind of confusing as to whether these part numbers are obsolete/replaced or whatever by Radio Shack.  But eBay has these parts...marked up in price from the passage of time, profit motive, or what have you. Makes one wonder if anyone has actually gone down this path!

The Radio Shack bridge rectifier specs are somewhat "self-explanatory".  I found an eBay listing for the 275-218 relay which had some clear photos of the relay...for the record:

radio shack 275-218 12v dc dpdt relay

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  • lionel solution to external relay
  • radio shack 275-218 12v dc dpdt relay
Last edited by stan2004

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