Track/Train Detection

porkypine52 Jan 30, 2020

  1. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

    In redesigning the INDIANA RAILWAY to include LIGHTED signals, on both the mainline and Dispatcher's Board, what kind of detection circuits and hardware have been used. Trying get an idea of a wiring guide and car/engine/caboose[yes, we still have them] hardware needed. Any programs out there? First time into train detection and trying to learn as we go. Would like to use a dedicated OLD CPU for the "brains" of the project and let it run the system. Systems, programs, comments?
  2. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I've used both the Azatrax IR detection system, as well as occupied bloc detection (using BD2s)
  3. ncng

    ncng TrainBoard Member

    If you are using DCC, then I would recommend the Digitrax BDL168 detection boards and the SE8c signal driver boards. The BDL168 supports detection in 16 blocks while the SE8c supports 32 signal lights. You can use a free program from JMRI or a paid program from Freidwald (Railroad & Co) to get inputs from your detection system, turnout position sources and then send outputs to your signal heads.

    To have proper signal indications you will not only need detection, you will need train direction and turnout positions. All turnouts in your signaled territory will need to be able to provide there current positions to the software you use. Train direction can be accomplished through software logic.

    One nice feature of the SE8c is that it also includes 8 slow motion turnout (Tortoise etc) outputs plus sensor inputs. Eight of the sensor inputs are normally used for pushbuttons to control the switch machines. You can attach 2 BD4 units with 4 additional blocks of detection at a very low cost. Warning: The BD4 units don't like some decoders which can result in 'squirrely' operation.


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