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Old 05-17-2018, 09:20 AM   #1
Kelpieflyer
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Outdoor optical switch/sensor

Hey All,
I am helping a friend who has an outdoor G scale train and we want to wire up a pre war Lionel flag man. I have been looking for a good way to wire it up using optical sensors on the track. Has anyone done something similar? What is the bet way to do it? He plans on keeping the flagman inside and only placing it out on the layout when the weather cooperates.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:40 AM   #2
DennyM
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Is it a IR sensor? My experience with IR sensors is they don't do well in sunlight or any kind of bright light.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:51 PM   #3
Kelpieflyer
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I never thought of that. What would be a good sensor to use? Its for LGB, so I don't know that a magnetic sensor would work.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:09 PM   #4
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Honestly I'm not sure, but now my curiosity has been peeked. I'm wondering if there is some kind of motion detector like you would use for crossing signals. I'm not familiar enough with that scale to know if there is a way to block the track so it closes a circuit and activates the flagman. The wheels would act like a switch.
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Last edited by DennyM; 05-17-2018 at 09:34 PM..
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:13 PM   #5
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Try:

www.azatrax.com and/or www.z-stuff.net
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:39 PM   #6
DennyM
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Keep in mind that IR sensors don't work well in sunlight. Z-Stuff is great, but they are dependent on IR sensors. It you can find a way to shade them they could work.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:05 PM   #7
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Maybe the IR sensors are not the best way. Does anyone know of a pressure switch?
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:45 PM   #8
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I still think you should try to block a section of track so when the wheels go over it, it closes the circuit through the wheels. Not sure about a pressure switch, but don't rule it out.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:33 AM   #9
Kelpieflyer
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The block sensor would only work for the engine as the wheels are plastic on the LGB cars. I'll have to find a mechanical way to trip the switch.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:57 AM   #10
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I don't know how much work you want to put into it, but what if you built a covered bridge or something like that and put a Lionel 153IR sensor inside the to block the sunlight. I think MTH has something similar, but I don't remember the model number.


Lionel 153IR.jpg
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