Model railway circuits

The "Mission" of this site is to provide some useful information about electronics and electronic circuits to model railroaders and others in general.

Welcome to a page of electronic circuits that are mostly for model railroads. Shown are circuits that were developed to solve certain problems or achieve a desired control function. There are throttle, train detection, animation, control and general purpose circuits on this page. Following this section is a list of the circuits that appear on these pages.

Select one of the internal page links or scroll down the page until you find something of interest. The link under the paragraphs in each section will take you to the document from which the text is taken. These documents will provide more detailed explanations and schematics for the circuits.

The circuits listed in the index sections appear in no particular order but have been loosely grouped by the type of function they perform. The Numbers to the left of the index listings are arbitrary. There is also a "Miscellaneous Items Index" that features circuits that may not be model railroad related and non electronics related pages.

The circuits on this site are purposely designed to be as simple and efficient as possible. In most cases, they perform only one function, but do it well. While the circuits are easy to connect, good wire management should be used. A neat looking circuit is likely to work better than a messy one. Most of the circuits require a DC supply. An incorrect power supply polarity will damage these circuits. The circuits use parts that are widely available and easy use.

Some of the circuits use devices such as Hall Effect sensors but even these are used in a simple manner. Some circuits and pages don't have a particular use and are only meant to be educational or informative. Some of the circuits are of general interest, generally mine, and may be of little use. They are functional however and at the very least, a useful waste of my time.

Some of the circuits on this site, in their original form, are or were in use by the London Model Railroad Group. This large, 'O' Scale club layout is located at 69 Holbourn Ave.

Public viewing nights are the first Tuesday of the month from October to May. I am not an electronics professional, although I play one on the web, and only design these circuits as a hobby. Therefore I can make no claims to the quality or usefulness of the circuits shown on this page.

They should however work as stated and will not be dangerous to persons or property when used in their intended manner.

If you see any problems with the circuits or have any questions or suggestions please let me know. If this is your first visit to this site, please read the sections above for general information about the site.

Thank you. When a broken rail is detected, the movement must be stopped immediately and must not resume until permission is received from the RTC or signalman.

Model Train Circuits

Making Contact Send email to the author of this page at - rpaisley4 cogeco. The circuit uses one capacitor that is common to all switch mahines and a separate capacitor for each switch machine. The handle of the switch can be used to indicate the routing of the turnout. This circuit is a driver for up to three radio controlled servo motors that are availble from many sources.

The circuit uses Timer ICs to generate the pulses that control the position of the motor outputs. Other possible control circuits are also shown.If you're interested in adding signals to your model railroad in any scale and are prepared to do some of the electronic work yourself, you may have already stumbled on the work Bill Payne and I have done using the circuits designed by Bill Hudson and the ones John Houghton has designed following Paisley's circuit ideas.

Or maybe you just landed here by accident. Either way, adding an automatic signal circuit to your model railway is not beyond the ability of the average model railroader who has a smattering of knowledge about electricity and soldering. Roger Race is a modeller who contacted me after seeing what we have done. He has developed an alternative Do-It-Yourself automatic signal circuit.

You can built it yourself and make your own circuit boards or you can source the boards and parts from Roger. I have not tried to build his boards yet. They should work much the same as the ones we have been making. The prices also look reasonable July, Instead of trying to describe Roger's circuit I offered to give him his own page so he can describe it himself.

You'll need Adobe Reader to view the file and to print it. If you don't have Adobe Reader you can download it from the Adobe site. If you build Roger's design please let me know how you make out so that I can share your experience with others. By the way, our experience is that you have to be prepared for a lot of wire and crawling around under your benchwork to install a system.

Bill Payne of our Nottawasaga Model Railway club came up with the idea of using telephone plugs and cabling to make the installation neater. As each 3-colour signal head uses 4 wires it means you can use one cable for each signal back to the circuit board. If you use 6-wire cable, disregard the outer two wires.

This helps to avoid a rat's nest of wire under the layout. Labelling the cables also helps to keep things organized. I've learned the hard way! I have been using current detector method to sense the presence of trains. Roger also talks about using reed switches as an alternative. You could also use photo sensors for detection. Check out my other pages about signals for model railroads. Go from "automatic signal circuit" to the model railroad wiring overview.

Go from "automatic-signal-circuit" to my experiments building model railroad signal circuits. Go from "automatic-signal-circuit" to John Hougton's layout using jmri and detectors.

Go from "automatic-signal-circuit" to photocell train detector. Build a cheap HO dwarf signal. Return from "automatic-signal circuit" to my Home Page. Model railroading with dialysis as a hobby that keeps you living to your fullest when suffering with kdniey disease or renal failure. A DIY Automatic Signal Circuit For Your Model Railroad Designed by Roger Race If you're interested in adding signals to your model railroad in any scale and are prepared to do some of the electronic work yourself, you may have already stumbled on the work Bill Payne and I have done using the circuits designed by Bill Hudson and the ones John Houghton has designed following Paisley's circuit ideas.

Return to Top. Comments Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below. Recent Articles.Short circuits in the tracks, points or wiring are almost inevitable when building or operating a model railway.

model railway circuits

Although transformers for model systems must be protected against short circuits by built-in bimetallic switches, the response time of such switches is so long that is not possible to immediately localise a short that occurs while the trains are running, for example.

Furthermore, bimetallic protection switches do not always work properly when the voltage applied to the track circuit is relatively low. The rapid-acting acoustic short-circuit detector described here eliminates these problems.

However, it requires its own power source, which is implemented here in the form of a GoldCap storage capacitor with a capacity of 0. A commonly available reed switch filled with an inert gas is used for the current sensor, but in this case it is actuated by a solenoid instead of a permanent magnet.

Model Railroad & Misc. Electronics

An adequate coil is provided by several turns of 0. This technique generates only a negligible voltage drop. As a rule, the optimum number of windings must be determined empirically, due to a lack of specification data.

As you can see from the circuit diagram, the short-circuit detector is equally suitable for AC and DC railways. The positive trigger voltage is taken from the lighting circuit L via D1 and series resistor R1. Even though the current flowing through winding L1 is an AC or pulsating DC current, which causes the contact reeds to vibrate in synchronisation with the mains frequency, the buzzer will be activated because a brief positive pulse is all that is required to trigger thyristor Th1.

The thyristor takes its anode voltage from the GoldCap storage capacitor C2which is charged via C2 and R2. The alarm can be manually switched off using switch S1, since although the thyristor will return to the blocking state after C2 has been discharged if a short circuit is present the lighting circuit, this will not happen if there is a short circuit in the track circuit. C1 eliminates any noise pulses that may be generated.

As a continuous tone does not attract as much attention as an intermittent beep, an intermittent piezoelectric generator is preferable.

As almost no current flows during the intervals between beeps and the hold current through the thyristor must be kept above 3 mA, a resistor with a value of 1. This may also be necessary with certain types of continuous-tone buzzers if the operating current is less than 3 mA. The Zener diode must limit the operating voltage to 5. Author: R. Edlinger — Copyright: Elektor Electronics.

Here is a circuit that will convert any clock mechanism into Model Railway Time. For those who enjoy model railways, the ultimate is to have a fast clock to match the scale of the layout. The timing can be adjusted by changing the 47k.We have searched the web to help you find quick design ideas.

We make every effort to link to original material posted by the designer. Please let us if you would like us to link to or post your design. The hobby circuit below can be mounted inside a model lighthouse.

The electronic circuit drives a single LED lamp in such a way that it produces light which simulates the rotation. Hobby Circuit designed by David A. Johnson P. A while back someone asked me to design a flashing LED light, which he could mount inside a model lighthouse and have it operate so it would appear to rotate and flash. I designed a working circuit but I was never pleased with the results. Hobby Circuit designed by Dave Johnson P. Hobby Circuit designed by David Johnson P.

model railway circuits

It simulates the behavior of the light from a lighthouse. The LED intensity gradually increases, then flashes with a bright light and finally decreases slowly in intensity. Circuit by Dave Johnson P. Problem no longer; build this 10A beauty at a fraction of the cost.

The sound is triggered automatically as the train reaches a desired place on the track so you can produce the sound as the train approaches stations, level crossings, etc. If you choose to buy all the parts yourself, realize you need ONLY two LEDs, not two of each; you should be able to mix and match colors.

Joe Kopacz and his brother Justin created the monorail from scratch. Joe, a mechanical engineer at Colorado State University, created the gadget for a school contest. One was to help me get a better understanding of using a PC for control and automation.

Forrest Cook. D-I-Y remote control for a Model train layout. Dual Alternating Flashing Light - This project is best for mounting on a layout to light a crossing or ring a bell. Dual Tandem Flashing Light-Powered by a 9 Volt Battery - This circuit is powered by a 9 volt battery, suitable for warning lights on a tall structure. The timing sequence is generated using a CMOS decade counter and a timer. Level Crossing Lights - Every model railway has a place where road and rail meet, and when it does, some form of warning is needed.

Flashing lights work well, but something is needed to drive them. And that is where this circuit comes in. All it does is flash lights and it is so simple anyone could build it!One skill many avoid though, is building electronic circuits. In fact, many ee programs do not include practical circuit building-- all lab work happens on breadboards or in computer simulations.

The best way to learn these skills is to get some electronics kits and put them together. If you are a guitar or bass player, an excellent sources for interesting kits is Build Your Own Clonea company that specializes in classic and cutting edge stop boxes and effects.

Their Electronics PDF bundle is a perfect resource for the beginner. I'm not going to teach any theory here, just the actual building skills needed to make a schematic into a board. I learned circuit building back in the Heathkit days. Everything from TV, test equipment, oscilloscope, to a their train control throttle.

Got to the point of where I bought a computer and expensive program to design circuits and do the layout. Routing the traces was the hardest part. It got to be a hobby almost. Then I decided to stick with model railroading. Did learn a lot about electronics though. This is handy to show the state of power routing in a yard or following Peco turnouts.

This is the schematic of the circuit. Schematics are the lingua franca of the electronics business. A schematic is to the technician as a score is to a performer-- It specifies exactly what to do. A schematic consists of component symbols connected by lines. There are several sites that list the standard symbols, such as this one. The lines are the meat of the schematic. Every line indicates a connection between parts or leads of the same part.

They may be literally interpreted as wires, but any sort of connection will do. Example, the parts may share a pad on a circuit board. Schematics are usually drawn so the lines do not cross much-- this makes the intent clear. Old school schematics may indicate that two crossing lines do not connect by adding a little loop to one. When schematics reach a certain level of complexity, the more convoluted lines may be left out, with connections instead indicated by letters, numbers or names.

There may be an arrow or cross hatch at the label. This is connected to the neutral or negative side of the power supply. It's actually a bit more complicated than that. For various reasons, you may run into circuits in which the ground is connected to the positive supply lead, or even with both positive and negative power lines in addition to ground.

The ground wire may be connected to the case of the device- in some designs the case is used for all ground connections. The concept of "ground" is deeply philosophical, but the practical meaning is "put the black lead here to measure voltage. It is often possible to literally lay out the circuit just as it appears on the paper, but this would probably make for a really spread out board.

Two parts that are next to each other on the schematic may wind up at opposite ends of the board.

Control Panel Wiring (with LED's) - How To - Model Railroads

Interestingly, you do not need to understand how a circuit works to build it. If you get the parts connected the way the schematic specifies, it will work.We have searched the web to help you find quick design ideas. We make every effort to link to original material posted by the designer.

Please let us if you would like us to link to or post your design. Scroll down for this design The throttles range from 'tried and true' types to 'experimental' designs. There can be minor differences between timer IC's from different manufacturers but they all should be useable for any circuit. Custom Search. Schematics Index. Hobby Corner. Dave's Circuits. Electronic Resources. Contact Info. Imagineering Ezine. Discover Solar Energy.

model railway circuits

Faraday Touch Switches. The circuit also has automatic current limiting The handle of switch can then be used to indicate the route selected. The circuit is also able to control LEDs that could be used to indicate the selected route. The circuits are also able to control LEDs that could be used to indicate the selected route. A counter is used to produce the traffic light sequence and this project could be adapted The detector also has a LED that indicates when a train is entering or leaving the block.

The current rating of the bridges should be about 1. The output section of the circuit takes its power from an external power supply and uses a LM timer to provide the release time delay and both an Open Collector and Bipolar output each detector. The basic transistor throttle serves as a base to which other circuits are added.

Does the train pop out of the far end moments after the last coach disappears from view? This module will automatically add some time to the train's trip through the tunnel.

It can also be used to control signals at stations, making a train wait for a predetermined time before letting it continue They use phototransistor sensors to detect the train and have a short time delay to compensate for gaps between cars.

The circuit can also be used to protect crossovers and ladder tracks with the addition of more sensors. The first switch machine controller is very basic. More complicated circuits will be added as they can be thought up and tested out.

The sound is triggered automatically as the train reaches a desired place on the track so you can produce the sound as the train approaches stations, level crossings, etc. The circuit can be built simply by using one or two timers.Helpful 2 people found this review helpful greg of Noble, OK Verified Reviewer Original review: Dec. I was told all was fixed. Then when they came out to do the install everything was wrong.

I have done away with them and I am now paying more with DISH but would rather pay more than to deal with DirecTV and all of their lies. Helpful 2 people found this review helpful Theresa of Toledo, OH Verified Reviewer Original review: Dec. Helpful 2 people found this review helpful Debbie of Frankfort, KY Verified Reviewer Original review: Dec. You start out at a decent rate for the first year. So you call about how high your bill is and they give you a break on your bill and even offer you HBO or one of what they call (premium channels).

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I am cancelling DIRECTV and would advise anyone not to get DIRECTV, because they do not stand by what they tell you. They want to stick it to you. Helpful 2 people found this review helpful mike of Belton, MO Verified Reviewer Original review: Dec. Calling to cancel service. They tell me it has been over 30 days and have to do the early termination. Working with them to waive that as the issue is not my fault and the excessive install attempts were no fault of the customer.

This is the absolute worst customer service I have ever experienced with anyone. I would not recommend this service to anyone at any price. The excessive calls and transfers into their call centers are so time consuming and frustrating when you have to repeat all the information each time you are transferred and then they do not complete a install when they do come out.

On two install attempts, the tech did not have any idea what the objective or problem he was there to solve was. I had to explain it, again, to the tech after repeatedly confirming with the customer service rep that all the correct information was included in the ticket.

Helpful Be the first one to find this review helpful Cliff and Katina of Mandan, ND Verified Reviewer Original review: Dec. So far, every month we are having to call in and dispute the monthly bill charges.

I checked our online statement to see what this charge was about and we still do not know what this charge was for. I cancelled the auto pay because we should not have to worry about what they are charging us. This 2-year contract is B. I am regretting switching to DirecTV.

model railway

Helpful Be the first one to find this review helpful Janet of Brattleboro, VT Verified Reviewer Original review: Dec. I have spent many hours waiting to speak with them. Spoke with the fraud dept, they promised to resolve this and I am still being called telling me I have an outstanding bill. Will it go to collections. All I know is I am feeling harassed for a service I never authorized. Helpful Be the first one to find this review helpful Joan of Breezewood, PA Verified Reviewer Original review: Dec.

Of course, we did not know until credit card bill came. When we called, they said there was no record of cancellation. After several calls, and being told not to pay the bill, we receive a letter from collection agency.


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