Jumping ahead of myself
But the price was pretty good.
Got this for $35... (N.I.B.).
I'm nowhere near track-ready to install signaling yet, but I've seen these go for about $60 on eBay, and my curiosity was peaked by recent reviews and comments.
Everything looks very much to scale.
I've yet to learn how signaling works, but I'm making progress.
Pamphlet says it's all compatible with BLMA signals & controls (whatever that means). I have some BLMA signals, but I'm not sure why I should be concerned with compatibility.
Anybody have these?
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Your signals look fine to me. If they're not to exact scale, they at least look "close enough."
A model railroad doesn't need all the aspects & indications used on the prototype. Our trackage, and train traffic, are pretty simple, so our signaling can be too. Some modelers do want full-on prototypical signaling. I'll leave any explanation of that to those who are qualified to give it, based on their prototype experience, which I don't have.
The super-simplified, "Cliff Notes" type explanation goes like this. A red light means there is a train in the track block immediately beyond the signal, and you must stop your train now to prevent a collision. A yellow light means the block beyond the signal is empty, but the block beyond that one is occupied. Proceed at reduced speed, and be prepared to stop at the next signal. A green light means that at least two blocks past this signal are clear. You can proceed at maximum allowed speed a.k.a. the speed limit.
Now, the preceding explanation applies to a signal with only one "head." (one set of lights mounted in one black metal target.)
When two, or more, heads are mounted above one another,(as they are on your signals) things get more complicated. [From here on I'm speculating quite a bit, and for an accurate explanation I recommend consulting experienced prototype railroaders.]
Multi-head signals are read from the top down. The top head usually has the same basic function as a single head signal, block occupancy.
The head(s) below that generally indicate routes, and speed restrictions, that apply to the route selected by the dispatcher.
For example if you are being routed through a crossover and onto the other main of double track, you need to know 1) That's what's about to happen, and 2) You need to slow down now in order to make it through that upcoming crossover safely.
There is also a whole other category of signals called, "Interlocking Signals." These are used to prevent collisions within an "interlocking plant." This can be a crossing, drawbridge, or something as simple as that crossover, depending on how the section of railroad your train is traveling on is controlled.
Obviously the first two examples have serious potential for disaster. So could the third, under the wrong conditions. Basically Interlocking signals are a railroad equivalent to automobile traffic lights. Only one route is open, and everyone on any conflicting route must stop, and stay out of the "intersection." (interlocking plant)
Interlocking signals have two, or more, heads. The physical arrangement of where an interlocking signal's heads are mounted on the mast is usually different from block signals.
As for ways to operate model signals, you have lots of choices. Two basic ones include timers that change which light is on at fixed intervals, and sensors that detect a train passing the signal (often optical sensors built into the base of the signal.) and then start a time interval with a red light showing. When that times out, the signal reverts to green.
The more complex methods copy some of the basic operations of prototype signaling. Track is divided into insulated blocks, each equipped with an occupancy detector. The detector's "occupied" message goes into a controller/computer that then turns on the appropriate lights. Red for the occupied block, possibly yellow for the block before that, and green for any unoccupied blocks.
There are several books that explain prototype signaling, notably John Armstrong's "All about signals."
There are also books and magazine articles explaining how individual modelers have constructed their own operating model signal systems.
Commercial controllers, and computer programs, are also available to operate model signals. It all depends on how deep you choose to get into signaling.
good luck, have fun;
Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos: