Train detection

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Train detection


Post by Biskit »

Apologies of this has been covered before and if it has, please feel free to signpost me to the appropriate thread.

As mentioned in other posts I'm still very early in the layout planning stage (in fact I still have building works on the room to finish so any actual modelling is quite a way off), however I have been wondering what the possibilities are for train detection.

I haven't finally decided on a control system yet. I am increasingly convinced that DCC is the way to go, however I will wire the layout so that switching some sections to a DC controller will be possible, to enable the running of some older stock which I won't wish to convert to DCC. I am also not looking for software control using a PC interface - I'm very much of the opinion that driving of trains should be done by an operator using a dedicated piece of kit. Automated running undoubtedly has its place, but not for me (not now, anyway).

However what I would like to be able to do, whatever control system I choose, is have (at least the possibility of) a signalling system which can realistically respond to the passage of trains. At the most basic level this may be signals reverting to danger once a train has passed, but I'd ideally like to have the possibility of an on-screen diagram with train locations shown in real time, akin to a real signalbox track circuit diagram, or an NX panel type display, and then be able to implement interlocking and route setting. Is this possible? what are the options? And does the implementation of such a system cause restrictions on the type of control - eg. can only be used with DCC, or can only be used in conjunction with some kind of software train control?

Any pointers to resources about all this kind of thing would be appreciated. I have done some basic internet searching and a few bits of software seem to crop up, but everything seems to assume a level of prior knowledge which I don't have.

TIA! Ben
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Re: Train detection


Post by Brian »

Hi Ben

If you're ok with soldering components to a PCB then I would recommend you join MERG and obtain some of their electronic kits (which is what Im doing using CBus and DCC track occupancy detection) on my new still being built DCC layout.
CBus uses two data wires plus two 12 volt DC supply wires run around the layout and modules tap off the data bus and power source.
Similar but much more expensive ready built items are sold by Megapoints
Image << Click the Icon to go to my website
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Re: Train detection


Post by IanS » may provide useful information.

Chadwick railway youtube channel today covered automatic signalling at 15:10 if you don't wish to watch the full video.
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Re: Train detection


Post by mark1 »

You might find it interesting to look at Heathcote Electronics.

Their system is based on the infra red detection of trains and can control (amongst other things) realistic signalling controlled by the trains themselves.

I have no personal contact with them but I have been very pleased with what I have been able to do using their stuff, without having to be an electronics wizard!

Best wishes,

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