Author Topic: flashing crossing signals  (Read 2704 times)

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Philip H

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flashing crossing signals
« on: August 26, 2013, 08:48:15 AM »
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So I'm, considering picking up a set of these

http://www.ebay.com/itm/380551723066?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

for a side- road grade crossing.  I'm debating doing them as auto detected or putting in a pushbutton switch for the kids to control.  Anyone have any experience with these?  are there more scale flashers out there?  And what are folks using for train detection for automatic operation?

Thanks!
Philip H.
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DKS

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 08:56:47 AM »
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Those are likely the best mass-produced flashers on the market that I've seen. So I don't think you'll be disappointed.

As for control, perhaps you could set it up both ways: manual trigger for the kids, automatic detection for dad. It shouldn't be too difficult to add a switch that selects between sensors or a pushbutton.
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bbussey

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2013, 08:58:38 AM »
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I have a pair of the NJI crossbucks tucked away for future use.  My original plan was to use photo cells for detection, but I will explore all digital remedies and decide when the time comes.  I also want to add the warning bell sound.
Bryan Busséy
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Philip H

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2013, 09:11:02 AM »
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I have a pair of the NJI crossbucks tucked away for future use.  My original plan was to use photo cells for detection, but I will explore all digital remedies and decide when the time comes.  I also want to add the warning bell sound.

the bell sound would be key for small people enjoyment.  I want to wire the signals in so my youngest - 2 1/2 - can have something to do while daddy switches.  His fine motor control is not ready for the NCE paddle.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

mmagliaro

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2013, 12:31:19 PM »
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I would also suggest you look at the ones made by Berkshire Junction.  They are scale and they look wonderful.
I bought a set years ago, tucked them away, and finally got to use them on my current layout.   
My detection circuit also comes from them, and because it's "old", it uses photocell detection.  It works well,
but does not work when the room lights are dim, which is something I am working on.

The detection circuits they sell now use infrared LED emitter/detector pairs, so the room light problem goes away.

I second the idea of letting your signals work both with the automatic detection and with a pushbutton so the kids can
activate them manually.   It would be pretty easy to make that work.
If your detector uses photocells, it triggers when the photocells are covered and their resistance goes up.
So you could just wire a normally-closed pushbutton in series with the photocell.  When you push the button,
it opens the connection so the photocell resistance becomes infinite and the lights will come on.

If you have an infrared detector system, the idea is the same.   It triggers when the IR beam is interrupted by a passing train.
You wire a normally closed pushbutton in series with the IR emitter, so that by pushing it, you turn the emitter OFF, which
will look to the detected like the beam was interrupted and the lights will come on.


Philip H

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2013, 12:37:30 PM »
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Thanks Max.
Philip H.
Chief Everything Officer
Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

"There's more to MRR life than the Wheezy & Nowheresville." C855B

Pennsy

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2013, 11:03:19 PM »
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I am thinking of doing the same thing on a T-Trak module. Being at their height I know the kids will get a kick out of the flashing lights. But what can anyone suggest for bells?

bbussey

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2013, 11:55:45 PM »
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Pre-recorded crossbucks bells on a sound chip with a speaker probably in the signal cabinet, activated/deactivated simultaneously with the NJI units, is what I am thinking of doing.
Bryan Busséy
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C855B

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2013, 12:12:48 AM »
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I am thinking of doing the same thing on a T-Trak module. Being at their height I know the kids will get a kick out of the flashing lights. But what can anyone suggest for bells?

You can get a genuine 1:1 crossing signal bell off of eBay for ~$150. Connect to 12VDC and impress your friends and neighbors (...who will then shortly be coming after you with torches and pitchforks...  :trollface: ).
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nkalanaga

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2013, 01:37:25 AM »
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Dual controls would also be prototypical.  Crossing signals can be turned on and off manually, and often are if a train has to be stopped in the detection circuit but clear of the crossing.  If a switching operation involves moving in and out of the circuit frequently, but only crossing the street part of the time, the controls can be used by the flagger instead of standing in the street holding a stop sign or flag.
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eja

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2013, 09:14:10 PM »
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For the bell, why not get one of those record your own greeting birthday cards and go stand by a RR crossing when a train comes by? You will have the ball sound and a train to boot.


draskouasshat

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2013, 11:40:56 PM »
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Dual controls would also be prototypical.  Crossing signals can be turned on and off manually, and often are if a train has to be stopped in the detection circuit but clear of the crossing.  If a switching operation involves moving in and out of the circuit frequently, but only crossing the street part of the time, the controls can be used by the flagger instead of standing in the street holding a stop sign or flag.

Actually, theyre always on and the key switch on the side of the house is used for maintenance of way as alot of our machines/trucks do not shunt the track so we can manually drop the crossing out and activate the gates/lights/bell to get across the road when on the rails. Some houses do have a switch for trainman to drop the gates depending on the area and design parameters of the crossing. They can NOT turn the crossing off manually in any instance. When a train is in the approach, our equipment in the crossing house sees what the "train" is doing in the approach be it stopped or moving, and decides when the gates go up or down.
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dougnelson

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2013, 12:37:43 AM »
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I have an NJI crossing bucks with gates and sound.  See it work in the video below at around 1:20.  It is activated by Circutron photo cells about 3 feet on either side of the crossing.  The company that made mine is not around anymore, but for someone with some electronic experience, it should not be too hard to do.

/>

nkalanaga

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2013, 01:53:14 AM »
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draskouasshat:  Thank you.  I was going by what I've seen, and what my father told me years ago.  I had seen the lights go off while the train was stationary and assumed someone turned them off.  He wasn't always the most reliable source, and considered radio "magic", so it's likely he was a little confused about how the manual controls worked.  Not to mention that, after the mid 50s, all of his railroad work was in the Pasco yard, where there were no crossing signals...
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rogergperkins

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Re: flashing crossing signals
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2013, 07:02:48 AM »
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Mike Fifer has a nice youtube video of flashing crossing signals with operating bucks that he installed.
He demonstrates operation and explains installation.  Not the same signals as mentioned, but very enlightening.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 07:08:09 AM by rogergperkins »