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Offline river6109  
#1 Posted : 17 November 2019 04:22:44(UTC)

Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,080
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Hi, I have had these opto coupler modules now for quite a while, I've asked the local electronic technician to give me a data sheet so I can produce them myself., the key point was the opto coupler.
Although I wasn't 100 % happy with the end result as I had some communication problems with the technician merely over the existing braking module which I've also produced my self and copied it from another commercial produced braking module., I almost had to argue with him the relays I've used weren't single throw but double throw and coming from an expert worried me a bit but the end result was ok and it works fine.

since than I've mounted about 65 of these modules and you may wonder what is it all about.
I've made some references before on this forum and the reason behind it was to have a sensor which works 100% all the time and the experiences I had with switching tracks from Märklin wasn't very satisfactory, they've failed on numerous occasions, having a small layout it may not bothered me but having a large layout like mine it was necessary to be sure they work properly and the same goes for the solenoid motors for turnout but this is another story and dilemma.
the opto coupler in question has a reflective respond so any thing shiny, white, foil or silver that passes over the opto coupler will trigger a pulse, the deciding factor with this opto coupler was it only has an 8mm respond distance which was the vital point to be able to use it, the other major factor was it fits between 2 sleepers of a K-track.
the opt coupler has 4 connections: 2 are from an AC source and 2 are a DC source, the latter going to the braking module.
its purpose is to activate trains or stop trains via the braking module (cut off power) but with the assistance of a deceleration speed (braking and an acceleration speed when the signal is green, it also maintains the sound within a braking section.
the only difference is, it only responds in one direction compared with the Märklin switching track responds in both directions.
so far I think I've installed about 65 of them and there will be more for the HOe section.

with 3 major areas:

1.) snowmodule
2.) freight terminal
3.) Bonn main station

I.) Snowmodule:

8 tracks: 8 for activating the braking sections, 8 for switching turnouts, 4 for turning signals to red,
4 tracks each are going in the same directions (track 1 & 2 and track 7 & 8), track 3 & 4 in the opposite way and track 5 & 6 go both ways

2.) Freight terminal:

9 tracks: 9 for activating the braking sections, 9 for switching turnouts, 4 turning signals to red.
track 1,2 go in one direction, 4, 5 & 6 in the opposite direction, 6 & 7 in the same direction as track 1,2,3, track 8, 9 in both directions

3,) Bonn station:

9 tracks: 9 for activating the braking section, 9 for switching turnouts, 5 turning signals to red.
Track 1, 2 & 3 in the same direction, track 4 & 5 in the opposite, track 6 & 7 the same as 1, 2 & 3, track 8, 9 the same as 4 & 5 track

these 3 are the only stopping points on the layout and the reason behind it is to let the trains have a sufficient run without interruptions.
the way it is controlled each train enters a siding it will give the train on the next track the green light, runs into a single track and changes the signal to red., the next train enters the same track will give the next track the green light and this procedure continuous.

at the 2 major stopping points (Snow module and Bonn Station we also have platform signs from Brawa (old stock). the top sign says: a train is entering the platform and there are 2 smaller signs on each side on the bottom and this indicates which platform the train will enter, e.g. platform 1 or to etc.etc. and these signs can be activated separately from the main sign.

unfortunately I couldn't light up or connect the top sign with the bottom sign if a train enters a certain track because of the direction a train would enter the platform., I've realized this as (I was contemplating connecting them in such a manner) for instance track 2 trains run from left to right and track 3 runs from right to left but the sign itself covers 2 tracks (track 2 & 3).
Example: train enters track 2 and lights up both signs and stops. train enters track 3 and stops but could also be leaving track 3 and as it enters the single track puts out the light on the signs., because these tracks as explained above they are operated by a different braking module, you can't control the lights of these signs.

Brawa station platform signs.JPG

here is a short video of the opto couplers in actions

you can adjust the height with more 4 pin connectors


design (1).JPG

design (2).JPG

you may ask why installing 2 opto coupler for each siding ?. well we had in the beginning just 2 which activated the turnout and the green signal for the next track, because our sidings are very long, my son came up with the idea to have the opto coupler at the beginning of the siding and activate the next track's train this allows the train to leave earlier on the next train instead of as before it activated the train only when it triggered the turnouts because these could not be activated beforehand until the train or carriages ran over the turnout with sufficient clearance.
the main aim was to have more trains moving at the same time.

these circuit or switching tracks (2299) are Euro 12.95 x 65 = Euro 841.75 and I must have saved at least Euro 600.00

I've made up another 50 of them, all total and may find some other use in future., for instance if there is a change of how to use your sound decoder whereas you could activate a horn before going into a tunnel, I find it hideous to have all these sound functions and you can't activate them as you like automatically., making a station announcement before the train enters the platform track or acknowledging by sounding the horn for a photographer taking pictures or videos on the side of the track.
the application of a scanner within your loco would be the answer, either a receiver or emitter., most probably you can do these things with a computer controlled system.


Edited by user 18 November 2019 00:41:21(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by river6109
Offline David Dewar  
#2 Posted : 17 November 2019 13:01:44(UTC)
David Dewar

Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,927
Location: Scotland
That looks good John. Its all beyond me of course and I just make a recording on the CS3 or use a circuit track for sounds or lights at a station and events for turnouts etc but that's about it. Great layout you have.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by David Dewar
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