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Dapol Semaphores

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:22 pm
by Benn
Hi all,

I'm going to purchase two of the Dapol GWR Lower Quad Home Semaphores tomorrow, and was just wondering if anyone knows what switch is required to operate them? Will it be an On-On, or a bias On-off-On? ...or neither? :lol:

Apparently the distant version has a Red-Green spectacle lense arrangement instead of Yellow-Green... *Sighs*. A minor oversight?!? I'd like a distant however I'm not sure I could change that to a yellow without making a mess of it!


Re: Dapol Semaphores

Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:53 pm
by Grahame
Benn wrote:wondering if anyone knows what switch is required to operate them? Will it be an On-On, or a bias On-off-On? ...or neither?

See here;


Re: Dapol Semaphores

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:01 am
by alan_r
A minor oversight??!!
At £22 each they are clearly a purchase aimed at serious modellers, and thus the red instead of yellow will render them unsellable I'd have thought!
The purchasing manager needs to have some balls and tell the Chinese manufacturers to sort it out or cancel the order.
The photo shown in the Hattons website seems to indicate it isn't an error of 'copy-paste the description and forgot to edit' ... they really are red and green!

Dapol are trying so hard to be the 'premium' N-gauge supplier, yet I find that for all of their focus on superb cosmetic detailing, they mess up some of the most important bits.
If you want a perfect static model to look at in a display cabinet, then buy Dapol.
If you want it to move and to operate a model railway, then Farish is the better bet: The couplings work (no forced snap-to-couple :evil: ) and the wagons/coaches have little running resistance (important for long rakes and a reasonable model's gradients).
For all of the impressive Dapol asthetics, I think I prefer Farish overall for running quality and reliability.

Sorry Dapol, but style-over-substance usually destroys a brand eventually, so please take note, because no matter what you may think of your products, Farish currently beat you hands down for MOVING models! Very few people buy for display cabinets. :?

Re: Dapol Semaphores

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:30 am
by Benn
Ha, yes Alan, I was being polite... It's nothing less than a catastrophic **** up in my eyes, that's like "My first railway book" stuff. I wanted a distant on my layout, I will now have to wait until that's corrected as I take great pride in getting things correct (To the best of my knowledge with a little modellers license of course) but it will be in a very prominent place and I won't have it there showing a red lense in the on position I'm afraid.

At £22 a pop I think they're good value considering the effort that would go into materials and hours spent constructing something of the same ilk, and I'm prepared to pay for quality. However it doesn't matter how much it is if it's wrong. I've no objection to doing a few detail improvements, or to weathering my models, but there's a limit when it comes to guarentee-voiding brand new, expensive stuff to fix something that there's no debate on and it should be correct in the first place. I don't do company bashing so much as I think Farish and Dapol have both made some spectacular models (Farish 37s, Dapol 58s), and some very stupid/simple but significant mistakes on models (Farish 47 1st release failure, Dapol red lense), but it does frustrate me a lot in this day and age, where there is no shortage of knowledge around and technology to assist in research and design. My friend bought a pair of the new release hymeks, they're both going back as the paint finish and number position on one is dubious and they both run like a bag of spanners. Worrying.

I must stress that I have bought a pair of GWR home signals, which are fantastic, and I'm also very appreciative of Dapol's efforts in bringing us N gaugers some decent signals at last! Here's to hoping that there will be some acknowledgement of the issue (Which I have yet to see from Dapol, may I add), and perhaps some action (recall/rapid release of correct GWR distants), my main concern is that I wouldn't like this mishap and any unconstructive slating that may occur as a result, to damage the development or potential for future releases, there could be some really great stuff when we start getting bracket signals etc... But it seems to me like the N gauge world hasn't noticed what's happened yet, in my eyes it's equally as major as a 2-mile ride height on a 47, there were many more Semaphore signals than 47s as well... Or maybe people just aren't bothered and don't feel the need to say anything?

That's just my opinion anyway for what it's worth, feel free to discuss, argue for/against, that's what this forum is here for!

Re: Dapol Semaphores

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:27 pm
by alan_r
oops ... I hope that didn't come across as overly negative on Dapol (it did turn into a bit of a rant :oops: )!

As you say, it is surprising such a seemingly basic error was made - they usually spot such things and post on their site that sometimes new models are delayed due to detected mistakes.
Hopefully they will rectify it soon. £22 is sort of a lot, but then again isn't excessive when you think how many signals you really need on any layout, and with careful design, they can be recovered after the layout has reached 'end of life'. I think all of Dapol's fixtures (like catenery poles) are screw fit so can be removed.

I tried some coloured light signals from Berko and CR-signals coupled with Heathcote IRDOT controls and they really bring a layout to life.
Hopefully these will do the same for older era modellers too :)

Re: Dapol Semaphores

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:26 pm
by Timmy33
I read on dapol's facebook page that the incorrect spectale colour issue has been raised at that their looking into getting it rectified. Not sure what that means for people that pre ordered, but lets hope its sorted for the next run if its fixed for the next batch ill have a home for them :)

Re: Dapol Semaphores

Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:33 pm
by Benn
Nice, fingers crossed, eh :!:

Re: Dapol Semaphores

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:27 pm
by kevin sharpe
hi all
got a Lms type looks very BR one just like at Boston so fitted it wired up and very impressed with it looks really good i think best thing since sliced bread :D .If you price them up against colour lights signal not a lot dearer.

kevin sharpe

Re: Dapol Semaphores

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:14 am
by Grahame
Benn wrote:At £22 a pop I think they're good value considering the effort that would go into materials and hours spent constructing something of the same ilk, and I'm prepared to pay for quality.

Yep, in fact they are comparatively cheap; the Tomix equivalent working N gauge semaphore signals are around twice the price and a lot more difficult to source.

I don't think they are meant exclusively for the serious market (as suggested) - they are still basically toys for grown ups; as are all products from Farish and Dapol. I'm sure that the manufacturers are happy who ever buys them - serious enthusiast or fun loving adolescent.


Re: Dapol Semaphores

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:49 pm
by Gordon H
alan_r wrote:oops ... I hope that didn't come across as overly negative on Dapol (it did turn into a bit of a rant :oops: )!

I'm afraid they deserve rants over more than just the spectacle colour issue - at least that can easily be corrected in later batches.
More of a problem is the nature of their control mechanism - or more to the point the lack of control it provides.
A push button which simply toggles the signal position is virtually useless to anyone wanting to control these properly.
Essentially, you can't tell which position the signal is in without manually observing it.
Anyone wanting to use it with levers, toggle switches, or DCC accessory decoders - all of which try to set signals to a definite position - will find that they run the risk of the signal getting out of step with the control setting. This is especially so when starting up the layout, if any of the switches and signals are out of correspondence at the time.
In summary, nice signals, shame about the control.