Michael and I will both be out on other business next week, so orders placed between March 19 and March 26 will be delayed until we return the following week. We apologize for any inconvenience, and wanted to let you know in advance.
I’d like to introduce you to ISE’s latest model railroad product – the CKT-BD1 single channel DCC block detector!
This little DCC current-based detector is designed to be highly sensitive while being resistant to false triggering, robust, and very easy to install. All you need to do is pass one of the bus wires to the block to be detected through the current transformer and provide 5-18VDC to power up the detector. It can run on as little as 5VDC at 15mA, so it’s perfect for connecting to digital logic such as Arduinos or C/MRI systems. It has open drain outputs for both detecting and not detecting states, so it’s compatible with a wide range of other model railroad products such as the Modular Signaling System, C/MRI, input modules for systems like JMRI, standalone signal sytems, or even just seeing if there’s something in that hidden section of track on your layout. It also has adjustable sensitivity, so you can tune it to ignore leakage current through your trackwork while still picking up minute currents from rolling stock. Precision current measurement circuitry and a little digital microcontroller onboard helps filter the response so that you achieve maximum sensitivity without false triggers.
The development of ISE’s block detectors has been a fairly long adventure, so much so that the long, drawn-out development cycle through six or seven iterations has become a bit of a running joke between Michael and myself. It’s served as a bit of a high water mark in terms of design revisions and major overhauls, and every time Michael and I have to rev something, there’s usually a comment of, “well, at least it’s not the !@#$ block detectors again…”
With today’s introduction of the CKT-BD1, I thought it might be interesting to let you all in on how this evolved, and how we arrived where we are today – a rock solid design that I believe in as much as our bulletproof IR sensors. It’s the sort of thing that no sane manufacturer would do – sort of like running the corporate dirty laundry up the flagpole and waving it around. But then again, we’re a different sort of electronics company, and Michael’s been arguing for years that I’m not quite sane…