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Offline SteamNut  
#1 Posted : 16 December 2014 17:26:46(UTC)
SteamNut

United States   
Joined: 11/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 488
I have M track and run analog. In the future there is a possibility of adding track occupancy and or some type of multiple train operation. Is there a way to make your own contact section or a different way electronically with out too much difficulty? For now I plan to stay analog and perhaps build a separate digital layout in the future. Fred
Offline petestra  
#2 Posted : 16 December 2014 18:13:28(UTC)
petestra

United States   
Joined: 27/07/2009(UTC)
Posts: 5,724
Location: Leesburg,VA.USA
Originally Posted by: SteamNut Go to Quoted Post
I have M track and run analog. In the future there is a possibility of adding track occupancy and or some type of multiple train operation. Is there a way to make your own contact section or a different way electronically with out too much difficulty? For now I plan to stay analog and perhaps build a separate digital layout in the future. Fred


Hi Fred. Years ago on one of my past layouts I had a two track shadow station where I wanted to make a track occupancy with an LED at my control panel. I used the

M track 5145 contact tracks for this. It worked fine as long as the wheels were making contact and the red LED would turn on showing that the track was occupied.

Good luck. Peter. Cool


ps- you might still find these tracks on ebay.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by petestra
Offline SteamNut  
#3 Posted : 16 December 2014 18:51:12(UTC)
SteamNut

United States   
Joined: 11/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 488
Thanks for the reply and I have seen them up for sale but I still wonder if one can make your own or if now there is a better way then contact tracks.
Offline Mark5  
#4 Posted : 16 December 2014 19:17:32(UTC)
Mark5

Canada   
Joined: 29/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,204
Location: Montreal
Hi Fred,

You could cut the rail and try to insulate it and do a bunch of soldering but why not just pick up a few 5104 or 5105 contact rails on ebay?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/...4-With-Box-/381085777372
http://www.ebay.com/itm/...ON-M-Track-/201051226940
These are great for just indicating if there is something on a branch line in a shadow yard.

There is also the switch tracks 5146, 5147, 5213.
Sometimes these get sticky though, but I have used these on a small layout with good success.

Then there is the infrared across the track sensors that could be use for track indication/occupancy too with a bit more work.
https://www.azatrax.com/two-ir-sensors.html
I have not used these.

I too wouldn't mind hearing more ideas on the subject.
Perhaps you knew all these tracks already.
- Mark

[edit: posted this before seeing previous two posts.]

Originally Posted by: SteamNut Go to Quoted Post
I have M track and run analog. In the future there is a possibility of adding track occupancy and or some type of multiple train operation. Is there a way to make your own contact section or a different way electronically with out too much difficulty? For now I plan to stay analog and perhaps build a separate digital layout in the future. Fred
Interested in history of DB, DR and FS circa 1955 to 1965. Fan of signals, catenary, stations and yards.
Father of four girls running an exhibition layout, the Mädchenbahn--
https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=30519&b=1
Large version of my present avatar-- https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=29910&b=1
Source of previous avatar in "zoomify" detail-- http://bit.ly/1QqMgL0
Offline analogmike  
#5 Posted : 17 December 2014 00:02:41(UTC)
analogmike

United States   
Joined: 02/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 668
Location: NEW JERSEY, USA
i would stay away from the 5146 type that use the 3rd rail pickup shoe for contact. they do have the ability to signal in one direction and not the other but this feature comes with a price; lots of "cornfield meets" and burned solenoids. they always acted-up on me if the layout sat unused for about 2 weeks time. the slightest piece of dust would cause even brand new ones to fail. they're not on the wishlist for my next layout. mike
I love the smell of smoke fluid in the morning .
Offline Mark5  
#6 Posted : 17 December 2014 07:18:59(UTC)
Mark5

Canada   
Joined: 29/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,204
Location: Montreal
Hi Mike,
You are correct that the 5146 can be very buggy. I resolved quite a few problems on the small layout (3'x5') that I use with my girls for train shows. I used them under surveillance all day for two days, and had only two or three minor glitches a day. Unsure I had the trains running for hours at time switching between two trains without problems. I can even do three trains, but that was where the glitches occurred; it seems this was more to do with timing and short distances than switch failure.

Only one was installed in a tunnel that was easily accessible, none-the-less not really a good idea to use in a shadow yard. I did tweak and test them extensively to get them to where I wanted them before installing them. You have to like using needle-nosed pliers and must play with where the contacts meet, and see to it that the switches move fluidly enough. Some of the older ones actually worked better than the newer ones, ironically. It was as if they were worn in. When the plastic hinge is sticky, its no fun. But two things helped, and when they worked they were brilliant.
1) Keep them perfectly clean and not installed in any "danger zones" where if they fail, you will not have a major crash.
2) Use a marker of some sort along the track to know you cannot stop your loco or any cars with pick-up shoes over them. We have a tiny bit of red tape on the upper catenary line to remind us never to park there. So far no burnt out solenoids.

I like using the 5104 or 5105 for occupancy where a light goes on, but not for switching, since they really do burn out solenoids.
I'd love to try the infrared LEDs some time, but also am attentive to hear other solutions.

Fred, please let us know what you come up with.
- Mark

Originally Posted by: analogmike Go to Quoted Post
i would stay away from the 5146 type that use the 3rd rail pickup shoe for contact. they do have the ability to signal in one direction and not the other but this feature comes with a price; lots of "cornfield meets" and burned solenoids. they always acted-up on me if the layout sat unused for about 2 weeks time. the slightest piece of dust would cause even brand new ones to fail. they're not on the wishlist for my next layout. mike
Interested in history of DB, DR and FS circa 1955 to 1965. Fan of signals, catenary, stations and yards.
Father of four girls running an exhibition layout, the Mädchenbahn--
https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=30519&b=1
Large version of my present avatar-- https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=29910&b=1
Source of previous avatar in "zoomify" detail-- http://bit.ly/1QqMgL0
Offline SteamNut  
#7 Posted : 17 December 2014 10:02:31(UTC)
SteamNut

United States   
Joined: 11/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 488
Thanks for all the replies most likely I will use the 5146 & 5104 tracks for what I want to do. Besides being simple they are cost effective which helps the pocket book so I can buy more, eBay can be so draining Laugh
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by SteamNut
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