Category Archives: CKT-IRSENSE

Automatic Interchange

Iowa Scaled Engineering products were recently mentioned  in one of the Model Railroader Video Plus episodes, featuring Tony Koester’s Nickel Plate Road.

In this video (subscribers only) you’ll see our CKT-IRSENSE and ACC-RELAY1 products used in an automatic interchange.  Each time a cut of cars is picked up, a new cut of cars is automatically pushed forward.  For those wanting more details, Tony has written an article about automated interchanges that appears in the December 2016 issue of Model Railroader.

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DCC Auto-Reverser

We were recently asked to build a module that could automatically reverse a locomotive between two end points for use on a small point-to-point switching layout. The idea was to provide a means for continuous running of a train while working on the layout or to break in new locomotives without user intervention.  The end result is described here, with instructions for building your own.  At the current time, this is a mostly a DIY project, but if you want help building one, please let us know.

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Simulate a Spring Switch

Spring switches are used by some prototype railroads to save the crew from having to re-align the switch points after passing through the switch.  The switch is sprung in one direction (typically the mainline), allowing any train to pass through the switch from the frog end without manually aligning the points.  When entering the mainline from a siding, this allows the train to continue on its way without having to realign the points to the main – the spring action takes care of this automatically.  Modeling this unique feature can be easily accomplished with an IR sensor and switch machine. Continue reading

Infrared Proximity Sensor

The CKT-IRSENSE is an inexpensive reflective infrared proximity sensor, designed primarily for model railroad use, utilizing the latest in proximity sensor technology.  It can be used to trigger a variety of sound and visual effects as well as provide track occupancy status.  The sensor’s small size (0.25″ x 2.25″) makes installation simple with only a single 3/8″ hole required.  The technology used in the CKT-IRSENSE makes it highly tolerant of background lighting conditions, thus requiring no user adjustments.

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