Signal and turnout control options

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#1
Been looking at the options of signal and turnout control. I will be using JMRI no matter what the system. I will be using NCE for train control. The choices are down to using the modules that NCE offers or run a seperate Localnet setup using RR-cirkits. Any thoughts and or experiences would be appreciated. Thanks in advance
 

Rico

BN Modeller
#2
I use the NCE switch it and switch eight and am quite happy with them. I run a Digitrax system and control it with the DT402 throttle. I have no experience with the RR cirkits so no help there I guess.
 

fcwilt

Active Member
#5
Hi,

RR-CirKits to be sure.

Aside from a Roco Z21 to run the trains on my layout (which is computer controlled) everything else (occupancy sensing, turnout control, signal control, uncoupler control, etc) is done with a varieity of RR-CirKits devices.

I started with TC-64s but when the Simple Serial Bus products came out I switched over and did all new work with them.

The designs are "state of the art" and they are all derived from the same basic unit.

Very well thought out.

And the customer support is top notch.

When someone put me onto the RR-CirKits stuff I has not yet started building my layout but had been accumulating various Digitrax items.

I sold all of the Digitrax and went with RR-CirKits.

Never looked back.

Highly recommended.

Frederick
 
#6
I'm looking to control turnouts and signals locally and thru JMRI panel pro via a dispatcher during operating session's.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#7
I'm looking to control turnouts and signals locally and thru JMRI panel pro via a dispatcher during operating session's.
When I get back to the museum I'll check to see what is used there. That is almost what we do. We don't have JMRI though we have a real dispatching panel, but same concept. Plus we have an option for the dispatcher to revoke the local control. It is called locking and unlocking local control. That was all put in before I began volunteering there.
 
#8
The options for turnout control will depend on the motors you intend using (solenoid, slow-motion or servo) and for signals the type of signal you are using (colour light or semaphore).


My preference is to use servos (very cheap!) controlled by Signalist SC2 decoders (with built in frog switching) for turnouts and semaphore signals, and Signalist SC1 decoders for colour light signals and these will work well with the NCE system.

The real beauty of these decoders is that they have built in configurations for North American multi-head (or multi arm semaphore) signal masts making setting them up little more than setting CV38 in a lot of cases with most of the JMRI signal systems already being pre-configured for the Signalist decoders.

Since you already have NCE the NCE AIU feedback system is a logical choice to save having to run extra wiring for a different bus. The Signalist decoders use NMRA standard DCC interfaces so will connect to the track output of your NCE system.
 
#9
I am thinking i want a separate system to control signals and turnouts. This would make troubleshooting much easier not sharing the same buss.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 
#11
You can add a second NCE and have a common backup. I usually just add a Sprog command station to run the accessories though and use the command station feedback.
 
#12
When I get back to the museum I'll check to see what is used there. That is almost what we do. We don't have JMRI though we have a real dispatching panel, but same concept. Plus we have an option for the dispatcher to revoke the local control. It is called locking and unlocking local control. That was all put in before I began volunteering there.
What ever happened with this?

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 

fcwilt

Active Member
#14
I have been reading some of the product manuals and they look promising.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
The RR-CirKits products are well designed, well made, well supported, versatile, reliable, cost effective and easy to install.

I just recently finished installing 81 three aspect signals on my layout using the SignalMan-C units.

Frederick
 
#16
I am also interested in hearing more about this as well but please be sure to take care of what's most important. I hope everyone is doing well or will be ok.

Dave
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#17
I am also interested in hearing more about this as well but please be sure to take care of what's most important. I hope everyone is doing well or will be ok.
Forgot about this thread. The museum's detection, signalling. and control is 100% CMRI (Bruce Chubb, Model Railroader, 1985), but has custom written software to connect it all to the real dispatcher's panel.
 
#18
Does anyone have a good tutorial or link for a good tutorial that explains the "basics" of signals, controlling them and the same for turnouts - how they work/are wired. I'm looking at adding them to my layout when I get back but I need to understand the basic operation of how the signals work or are controlled before I start shopping for items.

I'm currently running DCC Prodigy Advance2 system in N scale.

Thanks for any help or suggestions.

Steve
 
#19
Hi Steve

Not sure about a tutorial for these, but as for signalling since you are modelling BNSF you might like to look at the JMRI mast signalling since it includes a BNSF signal system that even includes the semaphores as well as the coloured lights. Unless your signalling is going to be very simple you will really need a computer of some sort to control it.

DCC signal decoders are available from several manufacturers. The Signalist SC1 decoder might be interesting for you since it has built in BNSF mast definitions, but other decoders are available that you can probably get to work OK. There is a BNSF rulebook you can reference too.

There are a lot of choices for turnout control, so you will have to decide what you want to do:-

  • Snap-action solenoids - quite expensive when DCC controlled, especially if you need to switch frog polarity but simple to understand.
  • Slow motion - Tortoise and similar. Some might be a bit big for N-gauge but quite easy to understand and control from DCC.
  • Servos - Quite cheap and slow motion, but need a special servo decoder.

Suzie x
 
#20
Hi SteveNot sure about a tutorial for these, but as for signalling since you are modelling BNSF you might like to look at the JMRI mast signalling since it includes a BNSF signal system that even includes the semaphores as well as the coloured lights. Unless your signalling is going to be very simple you will really need a computer of some sort to control it.DCC signal decoders are available from several manufacturers. The Signalist SC1 decoder might be interesting for you since it has built in BNSF mast definitions, but other decoders are available that you can probably get to work OK. There is a BNSF rulebook you can reference too. There are a lot of choices for turnout control, so you will have to decide what you want to do:-
  • Snap-action solenoids - quite expensive when DCC controlled, especially if you need to switch frog polarity but simple to understand.
  • Slow motion - Tortoise and similar. Some might be a bit big for N-gauge but quite easy to understand and control from DCC.
  • Servos - Quite cheap and slow motion, but need a special servo decoder.
Suzie x
Suzie x,

Thanks for the reply and feedback. I've been reading up on the various types of signals and controllers plus the turnout controllers.

For the turnouts, I'm definitely going the tortoise slow motion to replace my manual throw switches. Seems they are pretty easy installation and straight forward wiring. Not sure if I want to control them DCC or wire to switches mounted on the fascia yet.... Any suggestions or pros/cons of either are appreciated.

For the signals I'm still a bit confused, seems like there are a lot of options out there.... which I'm still reading up on but I guess I'm still a bit confused as to what I would need besides the actual - signal, signal controller and computer (if needed) and how they are all wired up.....

I've read some use optical detectors, some read current drops and others are used in conjunction with the transponders on the DCC equipped locomotives. Is there additional hardware needed besides the signal controller and how is it powered etc?

Thanks again in advance!
Steve
 
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