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Author Topic: Track occupancy Notification Help Needed  (Read 304 times)

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Online Paul-H

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Track occupancy Notification Help Needed
« on: August 29, 2018, 01:35:34 pm »
Hi all

Hopefully this will be a simple one

Just adding a short extension board to my end to end layout to incorporate a turntable and engine shed and I have decided to add a hidden of scene sort of fiddle yard, it will just be two short lengths of track hidden in a tunnel fed via a single run of track and set of points.  The idea being I can then run two different passenger trains on the branch line, so I will run one from end to under the tunnel then run the other from under the tunnel to the end and back, then send the first one back.

All quite simple but my memory is not what it was so I know in practice I am going to forget which train is on which track and which track is actually empty, so what I need is a simple circuit that would detect when a train is on the track and illuminate an LED on the Control panel.

Anyone got any thoughts on a simple way to do this.  Track is DCC by the way so will always be powered.

Thanks for any help with this

Paul
Please excuse any poor spelling, I am Dyslexic, just think yourself lucky if you can actually read what I typed.

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Offline Waz

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Re: Track occupancy Notification Help Needed
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2018, 01:46:50 pm »
What DCC system are you using? As you could do this with block detection, however its probably simplest to use a Heathcote electronics infa red detection unit on each siding, as the output LED on these can be wired to an LED on your control panel.

Online Paul-H

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Re: Track occupancy Notification Help Needed
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2018, 01:54:57 pm »
Thanks for the reply

I am using a Gaugemaster Prodigy 2

Thanks for the tip on the Heathcote IR will have a look to see how easy it is to setup

Paul
Please excuse any poor spelling, I am Dyslexic, just think yourself lucky if you can actually read what I typed.

All tiepin as bean spell chequed on mi Pea Sea

Online Paul-H

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Re: Track occupancy Notification Help Needed
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2018, 02:12:28 pm »
Looks like the Heathcote  IRDOT will do exactly what I am after so have ordered a couple.

Thanks again for the quick reply and help

Paul
Please excuse any poor spelling, I am Dyslexic, just think yourself lucky if you can actually read what I typed.

All tiepin as bean spell chequed on mi Pea Sea

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Track occupancy Notification Help Needed
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2018, 04:07:40 pm »
I'll second Heathcote.   

I've used a bunch of their detectors and a shuttle module to automate end-to-end with two 4-track yards. I used IRDOT-Ps and a diode matrix to throw all the required points for the next train when something arrives in the yard. No fun to operate of course, but at shows I can leave those 7 trains to look after themselves while I play with the main lines!

I've also used their crossing barrier control module.

One tip I'll suggest is be prepared to stick a little mark underneath the stock if you find it doesn't detect reliably, it depends on the chassis being suitably reflective to IR.  I use little sticky white circles from a stationers.   Particularly important for me as the detectors are very near the ends of the fiddleyard tracks. For things like the level crossing there's enough different stock running in the train that I know something will always trigger it!
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 04:10:23 pm by ntpntpntp »
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Online Paul-H

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Re: Track occupancy Notification Help Needed
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2018, 09:16:26 pm »
Well I have the IRDOT's installed and they work, well almost, I hit a snag I hadn't thought about.

I tested them without the tunnel in place and they worked fine turning on the LED on the control panel when the Tran was parked over it and turn off when the train moves away, perfect I thought until I built the tunnel section, it was then I found the IR from the emitter bounced of the roof of the tunnel so the LED stayed illuminated trsin or no train.

As a tempery fix I cut a couple of holes in the roof of the tunnel, will have to try to fine something light absorbing to cover the roof, I wonder if black felt or velvet would do the trick?

Paul
Please excuse any poor spelling, I am Dyslexic, just think yourself lucky if you can actually read what I typed.

All tiepin as bean spell chequed on mi Pea Sea

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Track occupancy Notification Help Needed
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2018, 09:43:05 pm »
I used to get that false triggering in my fiddleyard boxes from time to time.  I painted the underside of the lid with matt black, that seems to have stopped it.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Online AlexanderJesse

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Re: Track occupancy Notification Help Needed
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2018, 06:43:27 am »
Another way to achieve that are reed switches and small magnets underneath the train. Maybe the reed switch can also detect the loco's motor...
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