Automatic Switch Project


Posted on Feb 5, 2014

The objective of this controller project is to have automatic block and switch control of five separate engines that run on two completely independent loops of track. Part of each loop is outside (public) and part is inside (hidden from public view). The inside part has switch controlled sidings where the idle trains wait. The inner loop can accom


Automatic Switch Project
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modate three trains and the outer two trains. When a train completes its outside run and enters the inside area it is automatically assigned to an empty siding. It enters the siding and, when it reaches an optical sensor, power is removed from that block. One of the idle trains is activated and moves onto the outside area of the layout. The first drawing below shows the outside (public) part of the layout. Note that it will be revised to show two loops with one inside of the other, not one above the other as it is now depicted. All trains will go through the two loops in a counter clockwise direction, entering at either "one-in" or "two-in". This means that control is only needed for switches 1, 4, and 6. Switches 1 and 4 control the inner loop and switch 6 controls the outer loop. Optical position sensors are installed at the points on the track labeled a, b, c, d, and e. The sections of track between a controlled switch and an optical sensor (between switch 4 and sensor a for example) are isolated from the main track power and make up a block where power can be removed so that the train stops and waits there. 5 Optical Sensors - These are made up of an infrared LED that is placed on one side of the track and an IR detector that is placed across from it. When the train breaks the IR beam a data pulse is generated. The IR LEDs are modulated at 38 kHz to prevent false readings. The IR detector (part #PNA4602M) only reacts to...




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