Train Detection Circuit - stand alone

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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:35 pm

Train Detection Circuit - stand alone

Postby Frolin » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:55 pm

Looking for options for a Train / Car detection circuit, that I can build for spot detections on my layout.

Requirements are...
- pin-point detection, via IR beam or such
- reflective type, transmitter and receiver are side-by-side between ties
- stand alone, no track, DCC or DC interfaced
- no effected by room light, can work in day or night setting
- ability to 'send' the beam 2-3 inches and bounce back, for G scale
- maybe slight delay to off-set gaps between moving cars / coupler area
- affordable and easy to build, as will need 40-50 detectors

Have seen a couple circuits in recent years that should work. But wanting to see if any new circuits people have found or revised, I should look at. I do not want to interface with the track wiring, do not want to monitor track voltage. I want to detect if there is an engine or car, at a pin-point location. With no modifications to equipment.
I plan to use at least 3 per siding, one on each end at the clearance point and one (or two) in the middle.

I want to use the same circuit in the other room to be tell when trains are passing places, in a train room with normal lighting, and the same circuit in the hidden (dark) staging area, plus in tunnels and such. I do not want to have to have a over-head light or other source, so thus the IR bounce approach with both the transmitter and receiver between the ties. Since using on a Gn3 (1/22.5 scale) indoor model railroad, the beam needs to be able to travel 2-3 inches up, bounce and then back down.

In 2009, Bob Frey had an article in MR on a circuit he designed and/or used. It looked like what I could use. Seems some components are no longer available. Some replacement options suggested. So I am looking to see if anyone has a modern/current circuit, with directly available (by mail order) parts, they are currently building and using...

Marek Mountain RR

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