Motorised Semaphore Signals

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End2end
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Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby End2end » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:07 pm

I have been thinking about signals on my layout recently and found the Dapol motorised semaphore signals with lights.
A great product albeit expensive once you start adding up how many you think you need. I think I'll need 15.
Does any other manufacturer make these kind of motorised and lit semaphore signals that can be planted rather than built?

I have looked through the forum for the Dapol ones but I am confused as how to wire them up. I don't want to use a switch, rather, I'd like them link to my points so they will chnage with the point throw.
I have checked online for a Dapol catalogue only to find they have stopped producing them and now offer an online catalogue which does not list the signals in it.

Also does anyone know if there are working/lit semaphores with some sort of top feather signal for diverting or converging routes?
Or whatever semaphores used instead of the top feathers to show a diverted / switched route.
Sorry, I don't know the correct terminology.

I know there's kit build signals available but I want them prebuilt.
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Re: Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby TimberSurf » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:28 pm

Semaphore signals had two signals on one post to show diverginging routes, lesser/slower route slightly lower Clicky info

gaugemaster do a nice write up

The problem with Dapol signals is they need one pulse to change both ways, so can get out of sync! (Others make additional electronics to help with that)
I am not aware of any other manufacturer who makes ready lit signals.
End2end wrote:I have checked online for a Dapol catalogue only to find they have stopped producing them and now offer an online catalogue which does not list the signals in it.
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Re: Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby End2end » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:10 pm

Thanks for those links Timbersurf. :) Interesting reading.
That's a a shame that others don't produce them as I was looking for perhaps some double signal posts too and Dapol don't seem to make them.
I did check their site but for half the signals theres no picture thus the idea of looking at/for the catalogue which doesn't have them in either. :roll:

I think what I am after is some sort of automation for the signals thus wanting to attach them to the points somehow rather than manually changing the signals.

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Tricky Dicky
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Re: Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby Tricky Dicky » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:27 pm

End2end wrote:
I think what I am after is some sort of automation for the signals thus wanting to attach them to the points somehow rather than manually changing the signals.

Thanks
End2end


E2E

You already have a circuit that will do that for you, it's the same servo circuit as for your private siding gate, you just have to alter the servo movement parameters to suit your semaphore signal.

Richard

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Re: Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby End2end » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:26 pm

Tricky Dicky wrote:You already have a circuit that will do that for you, it's the same servo circuit as for your private siding gate, you just have to alter the servo movement parameters to suit your semaphore signal.

Would that work with the Dapol signals as they only need a burst of power (not continuous) and no stopping point as such?
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Re: Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby Tricky Dicky » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:08 pm

End2end wrote:
Tricky Dicky wrote:You already have a circuit that will do that for you, it's the same servo circuit as for your private siding gate, you just have to alter the servo movement parameters to suit your semaphore signal.

Would that work with the Dapol signals as they only need a burst of power (not continuous) and no stopping point as such?
Thanks
End2end


Sorry no, from the gist of your later posts I thought you had moved away from the Dapol signals. It would however work with other signals.

The Dapol signals are peculiar in that they use a simple push switch to send a signal to the internal circuit which way the signal moves depends on which position it is in - up/down. Which is why it is difficult to sync it with the movement of points.

Richard

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Re: Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby TimberSurf » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:56 pm

It depends what will drive your points, that will dictate how to send to the signal.

The issue is that even if you convert hornby or ratio signals or even brass ones (not that brass are ready made) to be driven by a servo, you then need a servo driver and some electronic gubbins (a switch or relay) to change the lights, but also none have the lights fitted! Dapol is the only "Ready made" to have the lights (LED's) fitted!

Just use aspect signals! Much easier and less expensive! lol
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Re: Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby End2end » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:40 pm

TimberSurf wrote:It depends what will drive your points, that will dictate how to send to the signal.

PM1 point motors.
TimberSurf wrote:Just use aspect signals! Much easier and less expensive! lol

But thier ugly. :( :lol:

Is seems Dapol are the only ones to go for. I wonder if they do a 2 arm semaphore too?
Now to try and work out how I will signal the layout but I'll leave that for my layout thread.
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Re: Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby Roger (RJ) » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:52 pm

There is decoder available which is specifically designed for Dapol signals. Sadly, I can't remember who makes it. :oops:


Edit.
Just googled it :D http://www.train-tech.com/index.php/sig ... al-decoder
Also this automatic version http://www.train-tech.com/index.php/sig ... tch-inputs
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Re: Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby End2end » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:53 pm

Ahh that might be useful for some definatly Roger.
Sadly not for me as my DCC controller is not big enough.
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Re: Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby TimberSurf » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:11 pm

PM1 use a pulse for each way, using a diode matrix, the same pulse that fires the seep will also fire the Dapol signal. if you hit the same point the same way twice, the signal will be out of sync, but a further two pulses to the same side of the point will rectify the problem!

Or you could use two momentary switches for the points and have a dual pole switch (one side for CDU point firing and the second pole of the switch in parallel across both switches to drive the Dapol signal [without CDU])
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Re: Motorised Semaphore Signals

Postby End2end » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:02 am

Sorry I'm confused Timbersurf.
Do you mean on the auxillary D and E connectors on the PM1?
As these will be permanently ON via a 12v psu to light the control panel LED's.

Most advice on the Dapol signals I have found is DON'T run them on 16v regardless of the manufacturers instructions to run them on 16v.
Run them on 12v instead.

But even so, as the power is permanently ON on the 12v circuit (one way or the other to light either the RED or GREEN LED on the control panel) the signal motor will just blow.
Would a diode matrix bring the 16v down to 16v AND 12v for both the point motor throw AND moving the signal?
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