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Signal Components

Semaphore Signals

“White is Right,

Red is Not,

Green is Gently Go”.

The old 19th Century rhyme for engine drivers was the downfall of the express locomotives at the Abbots Ripon disaster. This abolished the use of the centre slot three colour system to give the two colour lower and then upper quadrant signals here in the UK, and the Commonwealth.

Other countries have developed their own systems.

During the First World War the “Railway Operating Department“ [R.O.D.] issued its seconded drivers with a short manual of French Railways Signals and this was later updated with American Signals -which the US Corps of Army Engineers obliging installed when they replaced destroyed French ones... However the majority of signals that are commercially available to the G3 modeller are of the UK lower quadrant type. On a practical note if you have squirrels and cats a more "robust" post will be required.

Garden Railway Specialists sell lower quadrant signals wooden post and lattice bracket kit for £40.

Cambrian Models sell an "Ellis and O'Donnel" plastic kit for £6 but this requires rather more work.

Model Signal Engineers sell suitable parts under their "G" scale section. These include lever frames.


Colour Aspect Signals

Although these are seen as modern they date from 1910 in Vienna Austria and 1920 in Rugby UK. It is quite easy to "hijack" the required equipment from suppliers of 00 equipment but remember the power requirements. Several books exist on the subject but they tend to stray into digital electronics after a short interval. But with a little thought it is quite easy to duplicate these systems using electromechanics - in short DPDT switching relays! Using LEDS on a 3Volt line produces a cheap long lasting lamp for your signal. Scale size would be 8mm with 3mm "feathers".

Assuming that you are using a 12Volt line there will be a "dropper" resistor before the positive connection of the LED. For a 20mA flow through the LED these are the values of the resistors required.

RED470 Ohms
GREEN470 Ohms
YELLOW500 Ohms
WHITE240 Ohms
BLUE200 Ohms

If you are using double yellow from the 12Volt line then the sequence is 240 Ohms LED 240 Ohms LED.

At the moment there are no suppliers for colour aspect signals at G3 scale. But again with a little though it is easy to produce a basic signal. Oval conduit will provide the shell and ABS sheet the front and rear. Using LED holders will provide a workmanlike touch. The pole should be metal tube to prevent it being used as a tooth sharpener by squirrels and a scratcher by cats.


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Page last modified on September 07, 2017, at 06:55 PM