N scale signals

N SCALE SEMAPHORE and TRAIN ORDER SIGNALS

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N scale ATSF Semaphore and Train Order Signals designed using the plans in the book "The Chief Way Reference Series - System Standards - Volume 2" and the article on pages 16 to 23 of the July/August 1985 issue of "SANTA FE MODELER".


The SEMAPHORE signal has 3 lenses/positions: red, yellow and green.

The LOWER QUADRANT TRAIN ORDER BOARD has 2 lenses/positions: red and green (the 3rd lens is blocked out),

The UPPER QUADRANT TRAIN ORDER BOARD can be ordered with 2 or 3 lenses/positions: I understand that some railroads used only red/green and others used red/yellow and green.



N SCALE MODELS NUMBER/NAME and CONTENTS (see PRICELIST for prices)

700 Semaphore signal. complete/painted/working/RTR signal, WHITE LED, needs resistor (not included)

     Indicate installation on top of benchwork or from underneath: the latter needs a riser thickness roadbed (see Installation below)

701 Train order signal LOWER QUADRANT. complete/painted/working/RTR signal, WHITE LED, needs resistor (not included)

     Indicate installation on top of benchwork or from underneath: the latter needs a riser thickness roadbed (see Installation below)

702 Train order signal UPPER QUADRANT. complete/painted/working/RTR signal, needs resistor (not included)

     Indicate installation on top of benchwork or from underneath: the latter needs a riser thickness roadbed (see Installation below)

703 Semaphore signal. as above but without the drive (for those who wish to build a servo/arduino drive themselves)

704 Train order signal LOWER QUADRANT. as above but without the drive (for those who wish to build a servo/arduino drive themselves)

705 Train order signal UPPER QUADRANT. as above but without the drive (for those who wish to build a servo/arduino drive themselves)


These signals will be made in limited quantities, basically on order.


CAUTION: Do not operate LED over 3V D,always use a resistor,othewise LED will burn out and replacement is not easy.


Description.

Masts are made of 1,3 mm brass tubing (trainorder signal) and 1,3 / 1,8 mm (semaphore signal).

Foundation of the semaphore signal, the pinnacle and motor/led housing are 3D prints, as is the top of the trainorder signal.

Ladders of both signals are 0,25 stainless steel etchings (very sturdy/stiff).

Platform and numberboard of semaphore signal are half etched (0,125 mm) stainless steel (see picture below).

Blades of both signals are partial half etched (0,125 mm) stainless steel as per picture below.

Lighting is provided by a 0401 LED in the top of the mast  in case of train order signal or in the fixture/housing next to the top of the mast in case of the semaphore signal.

Avoid all strain on the LED leads protruding under the baseplate! Pulling might dislodge the LED from the proper seating/location!

The motor drive is a 2,5 RPM 3 - 6 V geared DC motor (one motor for the semaphore signal, two motors for the trainorder signal).

If you want the blades to move faster use a higher voltage (6 V DC MAX) to drive the motor. (again: NEVER go over 3V DC across the LED, and always use a resistor in series). You can connect both leads (+ and -) to the solder pads on the underside of the base plate. If the LED does not light simply reverse the leads. Turning direction of the motor is not important.  


Operation.

Prototype operation was by electric motor for the semaphore signal and by hand for the train order signal. The semaphore signal blade movement/speed for this N scale model is about what I saw in several different movies; for the train order signal I could find no movies unfortunately so thats remains guesswork, certainly because of the fact of being hand operated........


I decided on a very simple way of operation: a pushbutton in one of the motor leads...... 

Just press/hold the button till the signal reaches the desired postion...... movement will stop almost immediately upon release.

Install the pushbutton near the signal in the layout fascia or furher away on your train control pannel......... as desired.

Electronic wizzards will certainly be able to incorporate the signals into their (DCC) control systems using relais/arduino's/servos.

To keep cost down and basic operation simple for everybody I decided to omit these last possibilities.


Installation.

The most simple way of mounting the signals is from above your benchwork before roadbed and rails are laid.

The 2 mm height of the base plate is easily disguised by the height of the cork roadbed.

If you need to install in an already functioning layout you can also install from underneath. In that case the underside of the roadbed should be flat with no risers or supports present to be able to secure the base plate from underneath. 

In case of the trainorder signal a round hole (15 mm diameter) should be drilled besides the track and through your benckwork/roadbed.

If you email me the thickness of your benckwork/roadbed I will mount the trainorder signal on a 14 mm diameter round riser that is just as high as the thickness of your benckword/roadbed. 

In case of the semaphore signal a rectangle of 22 x 9 mm should be made in your roadbed/benchwork.

If you email me the thickness of your benchwork/roadbed I will mount the semaphore signal on a 21 x 8 mm riser that is just as high as the thickness of your benchwork/roadbed.


For those who wish to build a servo drive themselves I can also sell the signals without my drive unit.


Size.

Base plate semaphore signal = 40 x 60 mm...........................Signal height = 57 mm.

Base plate train order signal = 50 x 90 mm............................Signal height = 71 mm.

Base plate = 2 mm thick.....................Mechanism height below base plate = 40 mm.


CLICK ON RED BUTTONS BELOW TO VIEW SHORT YOUTUBE MOVIES

700                                                    700                                                  700                                                  700

etching                                              703                              704               700                                                 700

                                                           not yet painted

701                                                    701                                                   701                                                 701

702                                                      702                                                 702