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Author Topic: Heathcote Electropnics SA9-S shuttle  (Read 407 times)

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Offline Goornong

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Heathcote Electropnics SA9-S shuttle
« on: December 14, 2019, 04:58:11 AM »
Has anyone used this circuitry successfully? I have installed the system using reed switches rather than infra-red detectors, but have yet to get the shuttle to work as advertised and shown on the makers webpage.

I have contacted the maker and received advice, but after a year of trying, I am about to give up. I thought one last effort is needed but would like to hear if others have had difficulty with understanding the instructions, and/or getting the system to work at all. For eample how many power supplies are needed? If the instructions are to be believed one needs four!

1 Signal Power
2 Points power
3 System power
4 Controiller

Cheers



Offline jrb

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Re: Heathcote Electropnics SA9-S shuttle
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2019, 05:47:02 AM »
I have no experience of that system specifically, however I do have some relevant knowledge that might explain why you're having problems.

It's going back a while, but nearly 30 years ago I designed and built a basic shuttle module for my final GCSE Electronics project. I remember having severe problems getting that to work. Turns out that reed switch contacts have a significant amount of 'bounce', i.e.they don't switch on or off cleanly. When activated, they close and open several times very quickly; this is made worse by the changing magnetic field as the magnet passes over, as the loco has significant momentum and doesn't stop immediately. That was causing havoc with the circuitry.

My teacher told me I needed some extra circuitry to effectively filter out this 'noise' from the reed switch. Being inherently lazy however, I changed the reed switches for microswitches instead.

If your system was designed to use infra-red detectors, then try using those. Swapping them out for another type of sensor might not be as straightforward as it seems.

JRB

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Heathcote Electropnics SA9-S shuttle
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2019, 10:10:23 AM »
I'm not using an SA-9, but I am using another of Heathcote's SA modules to operate an automated shuttle and routing yard pointwork at each end. I'm using IR-DOTs with it and I have so say it works flawlessly.  What I like about the system is there's no need to fix magnets to specific stock.   For some models I've stuck a little silver foil underneath just to ensure reliable detection.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Trainfish

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Re: Heathcote Electropnics SA9-S shuttle
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2019, 11:37:41 AM »
Has anyone used this circuitry successfully? I have installed the system using reed switches rather than infra-red detectors, but have yet to get the shuttle to work as advertised and shown on the makers webpage.

I have contacted the maker and received advice, but after a year of trying, I am about to give up. I thought one last effort is needed but would like to hear if others have had difficulty with understanding the instructions, and/or getting the system to work at all. For eample how many power supplies are needed? If the instructions are to be believed one needs four!

1 Signal Power
2 Points power
3 System power
4 Controiller

Cheers


I have a SA9-S but haven't fitted it yet. My understanding is that you need a supply to the main board which can also be used for the signals (just join link it to the main board supply) and another CDU supply for the point motors if you are intending to use a CDU. Otherwise it can again use the same supply. I will be using IRDOT-1 detectors.

Are you using this wiring diagram?
John

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Offline Goornong

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Re: Heathcote Electropnics SA9-S shuttle
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2019, 03:52:40 AM »
Tks Trainfish, however I did use that wiring diagram, which was the start of my problems. On close examination there is no common wire shown connected to signal 2, and the positions of D1and D2 are incorrect ie they should be the other way round. I  was advised by Heathcote Electronics (H.E.) that the wiring diagram you propose using was for information only and should not be used , but the diagram enclosed with the circuit board when purchased is correct. I must say that I did not receive any directions or diagrams when the circuitry was delivered, but H.E. did send me an updated one. A further complication is that there are THREE versions of the instructions which are either plainly wrong, or are at best confusing ie versions 2 and 3 of the instructions I have been given show different positions for the detectors D1 to D5. I attach the version of the instructions I have used, and which H.E. sent me a few months ago. However I still can't get it to work reliably, or even at all.

I have found the reed switches reliable and still use them with a 30 year old Fleischmann block system which still works reliably.

The SA9-s seems to generate random errors. I have had it work properly for no more than two or three shuttles over a five minute period, then is does something different, or nothing at all.

I use three independant power supplies :
1 Signals
2 Point motor (CDU)
3 System board


Offline Trainfish

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Re: Heathcote Electropnics SA9-S shuttle
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2019, 12:01:47 PM »
Thanks, I've saved and printed those instructions for when I eventually fit mine. I think a wiring diagram was included with mine but I'll try with yours first. I see the errors on the online diagram have been corrected, I didn't notice those before. I am looking to further complicate mine by using 6 sidings as opposed to 2 and using a selector switch with extra IRDOts, maybe I should test it as is first.
Can't you use the same power supply for the signals and system board though?

I'll let you know how I get on with mine but in reality that will probably be in the summer of 2020 at the earliest. I don't tend to rush things as you will see in my layout thread.
John

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Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Heathcote Electropnics SA9-S shuttle
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2019, 02:21:03 PM »
I am looking to further complicate mine by using 6 sidings as opposed to 2 and using a selector switch with extra IRDOts, maybe I should test it as is first.

My SA unit is used in conjunction with a 4-line fiddleyard at each end of the trackwork. I use an IR-DOT-2 module (fitted with relay) at the end of each siding.  In conjunction with a diode matrix this means that when a train reaches the end of the siding and triggers the detector, this both changes all the pointwork to select the next siding and also triggers the SA module to cut track power, change direction and start timing ready for release of the next train.  So... I can run a sequence of 7 trains back and forth fully automatically while I get on with running the rest of the layout.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Trainfish

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Re: Heathcote Electropnics SA9-S shuttle
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2019, 02:41:37 PM »
I am looking to further complicate mine by using 6 sidings as opposed to 2 and using a selector switch with extra IRDOts, maybe I should test it as is first.

My SA unit is used in conjunction with a 4-line fiddleyard at each end of the trackwork. I use an IR-DOT-2 module (fitted with relay) at the end of each siding.  In conjunction with a diode matrix this means that when a train reaches the end of the siding and triggers the detector, this both changes all the pointwork to select the next siding and also triggers the SA module to cut track power, change direction and start timing ready for release of the next train.  So... I can run a sequence of 7 trains back and forth fully automatically while I get on with running the rest of the layout.

I'm not really into the electronics side of things so what is the diode matrix for? Can't this be done using just the relays? I was going to use the SA9-S to switch between 2 sets of points which then feed 3 sidings each which would be selected via 2 rotary switches, 1 for each set of 3.
John

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<*))))><

See my Youtube video channel          >>>>>>>> here <<<<<<<<          >>>>>>>> or here <<<<<<<<          >>>>>>>> or here <<<<<<<<

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Heathcote Electropnics SA9-S shuttle
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2019, 03:21:12 PM »
I'm not really into the electronics side of things so what is the diode matrix for? Can't this be done using just the relays? I was going to use the SA9-S to switch between 2 sets of points which then feed 3 sidings each which would be selected via 2 rotary switches, 1 for each set of 3.

The diode matrix is a way of routing a single source (eg. a detector relay being closed or a push button being pressed)  to multiple point motors.   It's a proven technique that's been used for decades.

For example, let's say a train reaches the end on one of the yard sidings, and to select the next siding requires that several points need to be thrown at the same time. It's possible to work out on paper a "truth table" of what needs to happen to select each siding:  it might be something like
"siding one needs: point 1 R, point 2 L, point 3 L"
"siding two needs: point 1 L, point 2 L, point 3 L"
"siding three needs: point 2 R, point 3 L"
etc. 
Once you've worked out the combinations then you create a matrix with all the possible point Left and Right connections "outputs", and all the possible input "triggers", and connect each input to the required multiple outputs using diodes.  The diodes are necessary to  ensure power only flows to the required output and doesn't feed back to other unwanted  outputs.

Here's the diode matrix board for the fiddleyard at one end of my system (each end has a similar matrix).
The lowest four red/blue/green/yellow are the "inputs" to the matrix, ie. the connections from the end-of-line IRDOT relays.
The other wires are the "outputs" of the matrix, ie. each point motor's Left and Right coil connection.
For each of the "input"s, a diode links through to which "output"s are to be fired.
The system requires DC to work so you'd usually be using a CDU to fire the point motors. In my case, each point motor has its own little CDU so that mean I only have to use low power diodes on the matrix board. If you're using a single central CDU you'd need to use larger more powerful diodes but the principle is exactly the same.



These are the pair of fiddleyards which make use of the SA module, IRDOTS and the diode matrix to run fully automated.  You can see the holes for the IRDOT "eyes" about 2" from the end of each siding. The SA module is just about visible, it's mounted top left on the wall of the right hand yard's box.



So... when the automated system is up and running there's not much do at a show when we're only showing these boards and not the rest of the layout which goes behind it!


« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 03:31:45 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Trainfish

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Re: Heathcote Electropnics SA9-S shuttle
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2019, 03:45:07 PM »
Ok, it makes more sense now. I may have to look at how to do this for my 6 sidings which are actually platforms.
John

To see my layout "Longcroft" which is currently under construction, you'll have to catch the fish below first by clicking on it!

<*))))><

See my Youtube video channel          >>>>>>>> here <<<<<<<<          >>>>>>>> or here <<<<<<<<          >>>>>>>> or here <<<<<<<<

 

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