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AutoControls.org #658 Pt 1/3: S Ga. Auto.Block w/RR-Concepts SIM

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Uploaded on Apr 10, 2008

A. SUMMARY: This three-part YouTube video shows the operation of an S gauge automatic block, showing it controlling 2 trains on the same track. The block uses a RR Concepts (http://rr-concepts.com) 'Switching Interface Module' (aka SIM) to operate the current-switching to do the stopping and starting.
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B. RELATED LINKS:
* Pt 1/3: (this video) - Part 1 covers (1) Switching Interface Module, (2) Reed Switches (sensors), and (3) Magnets.
* Pt 2/3: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ll1sOX2Cs1Q - Part 2 covers (4) Sensor Activation, (5) Wiring Diagram, (6) Block Locations, (7) Sensor Locations, and (8) Operation with 2 can-motor engines.
* Pt 3/3: http://youtube.com/watch?v=grk1LoGS9M4 - Part 3 covers (8 cont) Operation (continued), (9) Operation w/1 vintage Flyer engine and 1 can-motor engine, and (10 Operation w/2 vintage Flyer engines.
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* http://track2.com/ingram/plans/s142/1... - web page documentation for this single-track automatic block.
* Please visit the AutoControls "VIDEO INDEX PAGE" at http://AutoControls.org , for a list of LINKS to ALL automatic controls videos (approximately 12), arranged in suggested viewing order.
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=== C. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ABOUT THE CONTROL SYSTEM
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The automatic block keeps the 2 trains "spaced apart" on the loop. If a faster train starts to overtake a slower train, the block stops the faster train and delays it, until the slower train "regains" the spacing between trains. Rheostats are used as a crude, but simple and effective method of slowing down the trains as they enter the block, and "cushioning" their start as they start-up to exit the block.
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The 'Switching Interface Module' is essentially a DPDT (Double Pole, Double Throw) latching relay, with added screw-connection terminals, plus voltage regulation that allows you to use a range of input voltages to power it; 6 to 20 volts AC, or 6 to 20 volts DC.
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The relay can switch any current, AC, DC, or DCC. This demonstration was done using using two unmodified vintage American Flyer engines with the original AC motors, an S-Helper diesel with a DC motor, and a DCC decoder-equipped American Flyer 283 Pacific. This demonstration was done using a DC transformer, since all these engines can "happily" operate on DC current.
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Activation of the relay is done using RR-Concepts-supplied magnets and reed switches. The magnets can be "stuck" to the bottom of an American Flyer car, since they will stick to the car's metal floor. Note that the magnets I used on the bottom of the American Flyer cars were the RR Concepts magnets they sell for LargeScale. (They also supply smaller magnets to use with HO trains.)
RR Concepts (operated by a gentleman named Curtis Roeckes in Oceanside CA) has been supplying electronic modules for LargeScale trains since about 1992.
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This iMovie video was assembled by JamesRobertIngram.com for AutoControls.org (description updated 12/13/2009).

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