Wednesday, 19 August 2020

South Staging Signal visibility challenge

 South Staging Dwarfs

Due to the location of south staging and the fact that it is set at 1200mm from the floor and behind fascia, I needed / wanted to install departure signals in South staging and the visibility of a traditional signal was going to be a challenge as they just could not be seen. I also had some new pre wired LED's that I wanted to try. 

I decided to come up with a dwarf signal that while is not prototypical, it has a look like it is a dwarf but can also be seen. Basically, per the pictures below, it is a brass tube with a hood, but the top of the tube has a lense in it so the colour can be seen from the top.

Follow along with a series of pictures with the progress of the build.

To order to create a lense in the top of the brass tube, I cut the lense of a 2mm LED I use for my other signals. The LED will be used in another signal.

The tube in this picture is 2mm in diameter next to the pre wired Red / Yellow / Green pre wired LED I plan to use.

here is the 2.2mm tube that will be the main post for the dwarf signal.

I then file a round grove in the tube to enable the light to come from the signal and for a hood to be soldered to the post.

In this picture I clean the hole in the tube.

I then get a second piece of 2.2mm tube and file another 1/2 circle into the tube and clean the hole.

I then place a smaller piece of tube in the center of the 2.2mm tube and then with a sharp #11 knife I cut in the middle of the filed cut. As to the tube wall is so thin, the tube is cut by just rolling the tub under the sharp knife. The smaller piece of tube stops the small part going flying.

Then the second half is cut off to for 2 hoods. Obviously each signal only needs one hood. So the second piece will be used for another signal

The main vertical tube is now ready to have the hood soldered over the hole.

Here the hood is attached and the lense is about to be inserted from the top.
Another view of the vertical tube with the soldering being cleaned up.

Here the lense is installed in the top of the tube.

As the wires on the LED are bare where they connect to the LED, I wanted to be sure that there would be no short and I also wanted to ensure that the LED was not crushed at the top of the tube.
I devised a way to add a dob of solder to a 1.8mm brass tube and measure it so that I can install the LED from the top of the 1.8mm tube and then push the tube up inside the 2.2mm tube. This also enables easy access and removal of the LED if things dont work out.

Here is the LED at the top of the 1.8mm tube.

I then cut a small plastic wedge that I can place in the top of the 1.8mm tube and behind the LED to ensure that the LED is held in place in the top of the 1.8mm tube and does not short against the top of the tube.

Here is the wedge placed behind the LED in the top of the tube.

Then the smaller tube including LED is inserted in the wider vertical mast tube.

The solder blob 1/2 way down the smaller tube will stop it going in too far.

The tube is now fully inserted.

Here is the mast all assembled showing that the light can be see like a normal signal

here is a view from the top.

The signal is now painted Black. the mast is then painted silver later.

Here is the Red and then the yellow follows.

The yellow is a little dim from the front, but will never be seen by a engineer, other than a N scale sized one.!

Here is the view from the isle where south staging is located.

As this picture shows, access to the front of any signal is not possible.

Here is a view of the signals installed.

The colours of the signals can be seen from the top.

The N scale engineer view of the signals.
The signals have just been painted silver with black hoods. They were later pushed down into the hole to be at about track height or just above.

This is the end of the build of the South staging signals.

The north staging signals are normal dwarf signals as they can be seen and are at eye height.

Next the install of the rest of the signals on the layout.

No comments:

Post a Comment