Modern G-Scale Crossing Gates at last!

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#1
I guess this is sort of a review. I made a video of my new G-Scale Crossing Gates from South Bend Signal Company. I love them!

[video=youtube;n-jTqPMizaw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-jTqPMizaw[/video]

Enjoy!
 

fcwilt

Active Member
#3
I don't think the ends of the arms should drop down and touch the ground.

It's been awhile since I've seen actual units but I don't remember seeing them do that.
 
#4
I don't think the ends of the arms should drop down and touch the ground.

It's been awhile since I've seen actual units but I don't remember seeing them do that.
I don't either, but after sending them back to be readjusted there was only marginal improvement. They can be adjusted by someone who knows what they're doing, but I don't feel comfortable doing that. The manufacturer claims they stop parallel to the ground when they leave the shop, but that the "glue must slip" during transport. Perhaps he should build a manual adjustment screw into the housing for us to adjust when we get them.
 

fcwilt

Active Member
#5
You could try adding a "leg" to the end of the arm. If it was freely pivoted so it could swing to a vertical position when the arm lowered it could hold up the end of the arm, keeping it parallel to the ground.

When the arm was raised to the vertical the "leg" would swing to the vertical as well and lay along side the "bottom" of the arm.

That make sense?
 
#6
You could try adding a "leg" to the end of the arm. If it was freely pivoted so it could swing to a vertical position when the arm lowered it could hold up the end of the arm, keeping it parallel to the ground.

When the arm was raised to the vertical the "leg" would swing to the vertical as well and lay along side the "bottom" of the arm.

That make sense?
Won't work with present design. The manufacturer says that there are gears inside the servo motor and they are preset then the housing is glued shut. You have to break the glue seal to adjust the gears and this is what is so tricky. You may break the housing when you try and pry the glued parts off. If the gears were easily accessible, then it would just be a matter of adjusting the gear-teeth cause the servo motor is set and doesn't change.
 

fcwilt

Active Member
#7
Won't work with present design. The manufacturer says that there are gears inside the servo motor and they are preset then the housing is glued shut. You have to break the glue seal to adjust the gears and this is what is so tricky. You may break the housing when you try and pry the glued parts off. If the gears were easily accessible, then it would just be a matter of adjusting the gear-teeth cause the servo motor is set and doesn't change.
That's too bad.

And not a good design.

If they are using typical servos the position of the servo is determined by the pulse width of the signal on the input. I use servos on my layout to move semaphore type signals and there are a trim pots (screw driver adjustable) on the circuit board of the servo driver - which is mounted under the table along with the servos. Each trim pot sets the position of the arm for each aspect (red/yellow/green). So if the arm does not stop at the correct position a simple adjustment of the appropriate trim pot and all is well.

In their case rather then trying to adjust the position via "glue" they could have used trim pots with access holes in the housing.

But they may not be using this type of servo - though I know of no other type.

Thanks for sharing.
 
#8
That's too bad.

And not a good design.

If they are using typical servos the position of the servo is determined by the pulse width of the signal on the input. I use servos on my layout to move semaphore type signals and there are a trim pots (screw driver adjustable) on the circuit board of the servo driver - which is mounted under the table along with the servos. Each trim pot sets the position of the arm for each aspect (red/yellow/green). So if the arm does not stop at the correct position a simple adjustment of the appropriate trim pot and all is well.

In their case rather then trying to adjust the position via "glue" they could have used trim pots with access holes in the housing.

But they may not be using this type of servo - though I know of no other type.

Thanks for sharing.
Actually, I'm only a customer, not the company. I am currently taking a lot of flack for posting a video without perfectly working crossing gates. Perhaps if I put you in touch with the guy who makes them, you could help him? I don't really know how they work, only what he's told me in the past. He adjusts them on a bench (I guess) which is not the same as operating in the field--apparently. He and I would both love a solution to the issue. I few guys in our club seem to think it's because he's using 24-gauge wire which is probably too thin. They recommend 18-gauge instead.

There are other issues too, like the red LED gates are longer than his old-style B&W ones. This means even a slight difference in servo adjustment will be magnified more. Also, this is the first video ever made from a prototypical perspective. Usually one shoots looking downward, which makes the over-shoot less noticeable. Finally, a lot of guys on here are probably HO modelers. And HO guys are more like me, "very picky," about how their layouts look and perform. Most G-Scale Garden Guys are happy with something "close" since there isn't really much available in the Large Scale of this type of signaling.

Would you be willing to offer some help to the guy who makes them?
 
#9
One more thing I thought about, is these signals are designed for outdoor use in our Garden Railroads. Having an access hole for servo adjustment would compromise the Weather-proof aspect of the product.
 

fcwilt

Active Member
#10
I would be glad to offer what help I could but the solutions I design are for my own use and I don't have to worry about making a profit.

What do these units sell for?

That would give me an idea of what designs might be applicable.
 





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