Signals

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
User avatar
skyblue
Posts: 1738
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:17 am

Signals

Postby skyblue » Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:25 pm

I have just spent an hour assembling a Ratio GWR Home Signal Kit, only for the plastic arm that the signal arm pivots on to break :x . Has this happened to anyone else? At the moment I am contemplating replacing the broken plastic with excess wire from the kit. If this fails I'll just glue it in the 'down' position. At the moment the other signals on my layout are Hornby and Lima, and look OK, they can even be posed in the down position to look like GWR signals. I don't fancy paying £25 for a Dapol signal (they only do distant GWR signals anyway), so what are the alternatives? Can the Ratio signal kit be modified to make it more robust? What signals do you have on your layout? Maybe if we are lucky one day someone will bring out a more robust kit, at affordable prices.

User avatar
stuartp
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Signals

Postby stuartp » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:20 pm

Anything which relies on a plastic peg as a pivot is going to break eventually. The Ratio kits are great in terms of their versatility, comparative cheapness and ease of construction (compared to soldering up brass ones at least) but they all benefit from beefing up the moving parts a bit if you're going to actually use them. Wire is fine.

This is a Ratio LMS kit (as is the one facing it), the pivot is thin wire glued to the arm at one end and the backshade on the other, running in a 0.5mm hole drilled through the plastic post. They're there until I get round to building some G&SWR lattice posts from MSE parts (which is why I haven't bothered with the ladders), the arms aren't quite a tight enough fit to stay in position for the photos so there's a blob of blu-tack behind this one.

IMG_0822 800.jpg
IMG_0822 800.jpg (220.47 KiB) Viewed 2172 times
Portwilliam - Southwest Scotland in the 1960s, in OO - http://stuart1968.wordpress.com/

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 12583
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Signals

Postby Bufferstop » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:15 pm

If you want a good strong all metal upper quadrant signal, seek out some old Hornby Dublo ones. I've been slowly replacing all of my old Ratio non working ones with Dublo ones from Swapmeets/second hand stalls, and the odd win eBay. They were built to last, the most battered one I've come across still had both arms and one of the operating wires. Dismantled, repainted, lenses drilled out and glazed with transparency film, coloured with a marker, add a ladder and safety hoop they look far better than Hornby's current offerings. By drilling through the baseplate I've connected mine to a mechanical operating rod. I'll see if I can find the pictures from when I converted a couple to lower quadrant.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
GeoFF03
Posts: 456
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:09 pm
Location: At my computer near Sunderland

Re: Signals

Postby GeoFF03 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:17 am

The signals used on my layout are now mostly old Triang types picked up from ebay (though two had survived from a childhood train set). While the juction signals are plastic, the singles are all metal. They also look much better than the current Hornby ones they replaced.

http://www.tri-ang.co.uk/OONew/Signals.htm
http://www.tri-ang.co.uk/OONew/SignalsA.htm

User avatar
TK421
Posts: 962
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:42 pm
Location: Faringdon with one R

Re: Signals

Postby TK421 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:51 am

I built a midland one ages ago and I think I used a track pin for the arm to pivot on.

As for dapol, they do produce GWR Home signals and Dapol Dave did promise that the signals will not be of limited production so there are some out there. Although expensive the dapol signals are fantastic I got one just to try out and I was extremly impressed with it.
Commander tear this ship apart until you have found them track plans!

User avatar
skyblue
Posts: 1738
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:17 am

Re: Signals

Postby skyblue » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:20 am

TK421: That's a brilliant idea. I've got a full pack of Peco track pins so I'll try that. I have one triang signal, and it still works, but its very battered.

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 12583
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Signals

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:57 am

Here's before and after shots of some old Hornby Dublo sigals getting a makeover. This is one dismantled.
Image
and here they are revamped.
Image
The bases are drilled to take the end of a wire in tube operating system.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
luckymucklebackit
Posts: 3499
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:05 am
Location: Troon - where the Duchesses went to die
Contact:

Re: Signals

Postby luckymucklebackit » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:52 am

Hi - I have built a fair number of Ratio signal kits over the years and I swear by dressmakers pins for all pivot points, it is a tight push through but if a working signalis wanted a small drill out can help (cant remember the drill number off the top of my head) the sharp end eases the assembly process and the distortion caused by the snipping keeps the backlight in place.

Jim
This Signature Left Intentionally Blank, but since I have written this and I intended to do it, this Signature is intentionally not blank. Paradox or What?
My layout - Gateside and Northbridge
Image

beeman
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 12:21 pm
Location: Within earshot of the sea and the Paignton&Dartmouth

Re: Signals

Postby beeman » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:16 pm

There is a 'simple' answer to this if your Ratio signals are not powered. make them a 'plug in' fit to your baseboard rather than a fixture so removable if working in the area. I did mine that way so after U/S B.B disconnection they are readily removed if needed. Damaged mine in the past by suddenly reaching over, slow movement the rule. I glued mine to a piece of wood dowel [old broomstick SWMBO discarded.] Duck.!.make the 'wood plug so the corners of the signal base overhang slightly to give a STOP, with close fit hole in B.B. Here links re write up albeit this was mainly to do with Nitinol wire operation. [url][/http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/7742-working-semaphore-signalling/page-2] [url][http://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=34358&p=435139&hilit=nitinol+wire#p435139/url] I suspect that like many the plastic Ratio used tends to go brittle with age. The worst bit I found when making operable were the small quadrants.Not as dexterous with small mechanisms as used to be, age contributing. Unfortunately I think I deleted the pics after my 'difference' on that Forum and also to save space on my PC. Beeman.
You wo'nt find you 'CAN' unless you 'TRY'.


Return to “General Model Railway Discussion / News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests