Author Topic: Darth Vader Signals Pt. 1  (Read 3086 times)

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dcutting

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Darth Vader Signals Pt. 1
« on: August 18, 2016, 08:52:59 PM »
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EDIT: Pt. 2 is available here: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=42461.0

I dissected one of the BLMA signals today. This could only mean one thing...

More to come later.



David
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 11:42:55 PM by dcutting »
David Cutting
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Philip H

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2016, 10:32:21 PM »
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Hubba.

I'll be nteresed in these if you can get close to your search light price point.

Heck if you can get the heads and wiring to that price point I'll roll my own masts.
Philip H.
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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.

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robert3985

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2016, 05:23:28 AM »
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You gonna do the modern heads, or the ones that appeared in the middle 30's and lasted in some place until....early this year?

My era is 1947 through 1956, UP Ogden to Wahsatch and Darth Vader was very prominent there sitting atop UP style steel cantilever signal bridges and on masts of varying heights.

Here are some pics of my scratchbuilt Darth Vader D-style signal heads...taken from prototype drawings found in the Union Pacific Historical Society "Streamliner" quarterly magazine....

Photo (1) D-type Darth Vader triple light signal head atop one of my scratchbuilt UP cantilever signal bridges:


Photo (2) Another bridge with correct time-era paint at the west end of Echo Yard:



Photo (3) - Scratch-built D-type signal heads mounted on a modified Traincat etched UP Cantilever Signal Bridge kit I built for Nate Goodman's (Nato) layout:



I have at least 50 D-Type Darth Vader signal heads to build for my layout and its three types of cantilever signal bridges, and having quality pre-built ones available would greatly speed things up for me!

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

JMaurer1

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2016, 11:47:11 AM »
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Darth Vader doesn't use signals...he uses the force!  :P
Sacramento Valley NTrak

wcfn100

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2016, 11:56:26 AM »
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They look more like the Emperor.

Jason

C855B

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2016, 12:14:26 PM »
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Just to be clear (pun intended), the four-light head should be G-Y-L-R, not G-G-Y-R, yes?

As I mentioned in the other thread, I concur with robert3985, modern "Vader" heads have a place and I would expect to be a successful product, but there is an aching need for both snow hood and conventional-visor color-light signals, with back details corresponding to different makers, and multiple target sizes. The modern standardized "Vader" and conventional-visor versions are a recent FRA construct, and will be an anachronism if the rest of the layout is intended to represent <1980.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

dcutting

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2016, 12:37:36 PM »
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Just to be clear (pun intended), the four-light head should be G-Y-L-R, not G-G-Y-R, yes?

As I mentioned in the other thread, I concur with robert3985, modern "Vader" heads have a place and I would expect to be a successful product, but there is an aching need for both snow hood and conventional-visor color-light signals, with back details corresponding to different makers, and multiple target sizes. The modern standardized "Vader" and conventional-visor versions are a recent FRA construct, and will be an anachronism if the rest of the layout is intended to represent <1980.

I am basing my model off a BNSF prototype because I am using the HO scale BLMA model for dimensions. If you have good drawings of the other signals, I'd like to see them.

Here's the latest render:



If you have other arrangements you'd like to see that use the moren dartth vader signal head, post a picture and what the prototype is.

David
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nkalanaga

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2016, 02:26:30 AM »
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I could use some plain old-fashioned D-type three-light signals.  They were standard on the Milwaukee's electrified district, and are needed for my MILW/BN interchange.
N Kalanaga
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robert3985

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2016, 02:39:02 AM »
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Looks like I'll be making my own frets of original D-type signal heads for my transition era UP layout, since these are obviously modern era and would be anachronistic on my cantilever signal bridges with E's, Big Boys, Challengers and Baby Turbines going under them.

Was planning on doing that anyway, so no biggee...

I'd say that relying on another manufacturer's dimensions is a crap shoot at best to get proper dimensions, even if it was BLMA.  Doesn't take that long to get in the car and go out to trackside and measure what you can, and photograph the rest.  That's what I'm doing, and I know FOR SURE I'm getting the dimensions spot-on.

Just sayin'

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

dcutting

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2016, 07:41:58 AM »
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Hey guys,

I should have clarified. I used the BLMA signals for some dimensions, but also cross-checked those with manufacturer's drawings. I don't have access to the prototype. Nearest one is 100 miles away probably.

I will do the old type darth vader signals, but I'm still unsure how they are different.

David
David Cutting
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robert3985

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2016, 01:12:54 PM »
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Hey guys,

I should have clarified. I used the BLMA signals for some dimensions, but also cross-checked those with manufacturer's drawings. I don't have access to the prototype. Nearest one is 100 miles away probably.

I will do the old type darth vader signals, but I'm still unsure how they are different.

David

I can post drawings and photos later this evening if ya want....

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

dcutting

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2016, 01:47:09 PM »
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I can post drawings and photos later this evening if ya want....

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

Thanks Bob! That would be great!
David Cutting
cescalemodels.com

jmlaboda

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2016, 04:22:53 PM »
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Bob, those are some really nice cantilever signals!!!

C855B

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2016, 04:39:03 PM »
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David (and for Alvin @Wutter , too!)... you might take a look at this thread from six years ago. Bob Knight (TrainCat2) was working on an innovative signal head for Pennsy PLs where the circuit board doubled as the target. The key was machining holes for the LEDs into the board, making them all but flush. This allowed for detailing front and back, avoiding the common compromises associated with working signal heads. Finding a board production house that handles 0.012" double-sided PCB could save beaucoup fabrication effort.

I am suggesting this idea especially for "Type D" (vertical color light) heads. There are many variants in visor styles and light housings, but one thing in common is the lens spacing (I forget the rough dimension, my 1:1 collection is a mile away as I write this). If you were to do the integrated LED/target in the common target widths (approximately 24", 30" and 36", and I might correct this), you could make a fret of the several visor types and RP the different back and bracket styles, and make everybody happy.

I've been mulling-over this concept for several years, but was hesitant to add it to the pile of projects that will outlive me. If one of you (or anybody else) wants to try it, I would very much encourage and support the effort.
...mike

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We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

dcutting

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Re: Darth Vader Signal Project
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2016, 09:03:14 PM »
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@C855B that is exactly what I had planned here from the beginning. But instead of rigid PCB's that are often .6 mm or thicker, I was planning to use flexible PCB's that are .1 mm thick. Then the LED's go through from the back. The common spacing on the lamps on these ones is 12 inches, so I designed an RP piece to cover each 0603 LED. You can see the LED's poking through the sides in this image. Each of the lamp housings is a separate components and yes, the target is the thickness (.1 mm) that it will be in production. I also plan on making other lamp housing styles.



The flexible PCB's are... flexible... so the Darth Vader hoods are designed to stabilize them. I came up with a plan to put a trace on the front of the board, then smear solder paste on and melt the paste so that the brass hood is soldered in place and you end up with a perfect joint. (That's the red line on the front of the PCB render that I started this thread with). I could probably include both the Darth Vader and the standard hood trace on the same board because you would end up painting over the one you don't use.

I plan to do the same thing, as you are suggesting, for different target widths and hood styles. The bracket I have here is like this one:


(http://www.trainweb.org/semorails/signals/December_17_2006.html)

What are some other bracket head styles out there? So far here are all the styles for everything I know of:

Targets:

Hoods:
  • Darth Vader
  • Standard
  • Older Darth Vader? (Still Waiting for drawings)

Light Housings:

Arms/Brackets:

Just on a side note, this lamp style is pretty ubiquitous (might make some type G's next):


(http://position-light.blogspot.com/2015_05_01_archive.html)

David
« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 09:05:00 PM by dcutting »
David Cutting
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