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Discussion Starter #1
I'm running two trains on one loop right now, using the old 153C contactor and insulated blocks. From day to day, I find myself tweaking the two insulated block voltages every now and then. It works, but was wondering if the 153ir is more reliable rather than relying on the weight of the engines and rolling stock pressing down on the mechanical contactor every time?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I only have the room for a 5x9 foot table, and am trying to squeeze the most diversity in, like two trains running on two ovals. It's very basic- only have two 022 switches. I really only need one reliable switch, and have seen the 153ir is still available. The only reason I was considering it is that every now and then the 153C fails to shut the power off on the center rail of one of two sections of insulated track blocks, and one train will eventually catch up to the other. I naturally stand by the controls to avoid a collision, but that kinda defeats the purpose. I want a reliable consistent multi train operation. All I was asking is if anyone that has had any experience with the infrared 153ir, found it to be more reliable than the old mechanical switch??
 

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I'm running two trains on one loop right now, using the old 153C contactor and insulated blocks. From day to day, I find myself tweaking the two insulated block voltages every now and then. It works, but was wondering if the 153ir is more reliable rather than relying on the weight of the engines and rolling stock pressing down on the mechanical contactor every time?
Have you considered insulated outside rails to control the blocks?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WOW- NO- I never thought of that! Any reason why? I just followed the old Lionel way of Multiple Train Operation, insulating the center rail. What am I missing?
 

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You can stop a train by isolating both outside rails from the connecting tracks (the outside rails remain connected to each other on the isolated track) . Then another train can power it when it passes a single isolated rail. When the train connects the single isolated rail to ground via it's wheel set, a wire transfers that ground connection to the double isolated outside rails. That provides the missing ground on the double isolated rail section and the stopped train will move.


545642
 

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I have these. A 10 amp relay triggered by an insulated rail, offers both occupied and unoccupied power output. Flexible wiring allows you to use track power only, aux and track power, or aux power only. Developed for driving signals, but will switch track power with the 10A relay.

Insulated Track Signal Driver Rev. 2.pdf
545646
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You can stop a train by isolating both outside rails from the connecting tracks (the outside rails remain connected to each other on the isolated track) . Then another train can power it when it passes a single isolated rail. When the train connects the single isolated rail to ground via it's wheel set, a wire transfers that ground connection to the double isolated outside rails. That provides the missing ground on the double isolated rail section and the stopped train will move.


View attachment 545642
This sounds much better than the troublesome 153C contactor! Thanks!
-Jim
 

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