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Signal Research Road Master Digital Block Control System

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  • Keith Webb
    WOW. I know a few of you have been interested in the Signal Research RoadMaster Digital Block Control System (www.signalresearch.com). I ordered one in July
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 4, 2002
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      WOW. I know a few of you have been interested in the Signal Research
      RoadMaster Digital Block Control System (www.signalresearch.com). I ordered
      one in July and received it in September. The time from order to ship was
      to be 4 months but it came two months early and I was not ready to hook it
      up. Well the big day came yesterday and I have hooked up the first 8 blocks
      of my layout. (photos of some of the construction of the layout can be in
      in the photos section under klwzscale) I really do not know what to say
      about the system but WOW!!!!! In the eight blocks on my layout I had 3
      trains running without having to watch them and stop them from running into
      each other. This is what the system does automatically for you. Not only
      do I not worry about collisions I have 1 reversing section in the first 8
      blocks and I can freely run trains through it without switching any power
      toggles (All done with the RM system automatically).
      If you are afraid of modifying your engines for DCC and the very large
      expense of retrofitting all of your engines I would seriously think about
      purchasing one of these systems. You only need to double gap your rails at
      each block and run a feedback wire from the turn outs to the RM system so
      the brains know where the train is headed and can power the track with the
      correct polarity. Soon there will be a tethered walk around control and
      then later a wireless one too. For all the specs on the system I will
      refer you to the web site.
      I will do my best to answer your questions. I will now be completing the
      rest of my wiring and hook of the final 8 blocks over the next couple of
      weeks. Then comes the real fun of decorating. (I will try to get an MPEG
      file of the trains running and post on the net sometime in the future.)
      If you have any other questions feel free to contact me by email directly.

      Keith Webb
      klwinternet@...
      ---





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David George
      Keith, Thanks a bunch for the review on Signal Research. I have planned all along to use this system.I ve not spent much time on operational issues on my
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 10, 2002
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        Keith,
        Thanks a bunch for the review on Signal Research. I have planned all along to use this system.I've not spent much time on operational issues on my layout( Z-bend track modules). "Empire Building" of scenery and trackage has kept me busy. Wireing has been pretty much confined to running trains continuosly in one direction on the main lines only for train shows. You now have given me impetus to get cracking on hooking up the Signal Research equipment sooner than planned.
        My Golden~Blackhawk & Central City RR will be more fun with this control system.
        David G.
        Spring,TX.
        Keith Webb <klwinternet@...> wrote:WOW. I know a few of you have been interested in the Signal Research
        RoadMaster Digital Block Control System (www.signalresearch.com). I ordered
        one in July and received it in September. The time from order to ship was
        to be 4 months but it came two months early and I was not ready to hook it
        up. Well the big day came yesterday and I have hooked up the first 8 blocks
        of my layout. (photos of some of the construction of the layout can be in
        in the photos section under klwzscale) I really do not know what to say
        about the system but WOW!!!!! In the eight blocks on my layout I had 3
        trains running without having to watch them and stop them from running into
        each other. This is what the system does automatically for you. Not only
        do I not worry about collisions I have 1 reversing section in the first 8
        blocks and I can freely run trains through it without switching any power
        toggles (All done with the RM system automatically).
        If you are afraid of modifying your engines for DCC and the very large
        expense of retrofitting all of your engines I would seriously think about
        purchasing one of these systems. You only need to double gap your rails at
        each block and run a feedback wire from the turn outs to the RM system so
        the brains know where the train is headed and can power the track with the
        correct polarity. Soon there will be a tethered walk around control and
        then later a wireless one too. For all the specs on the system I will
        refer you to the web site.
        I will do my best to answer your questions. I will now be completing the
        rest of my wiring and hook of the final 8 blocks over the next couple of
        weeks. Then comes the real fun of decorating. (I will try to get an MPEG
        file of the trains running and post on the net sometime in the future.)
        If you have any other questions feel free to contact me by email directly.

        Keith Webb
        klwinternet@...
        ---





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      • ted_lamar@peoplesoft.com
        This is actually a question for Kieth..... I was wondering what happens when two trains come ino the same block...does power shut off - do the trains slow down
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 11, 2002
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          This is actually a question for Kieth.....

          I was wondering what happens when two trains come ino the same block...does
          power shut off - do the trains slow down and stop...or does there always
          have to be one complete block inbetween trains......

          What I am thinking is that as soon as train A reached the BEGINNING of the
          block immediately prior to train B's block, that train A slows to a
          stop....when train B gets COMPLETELY through the current block (leaving an
          entire block between trains effectively) tain A goes again.....

          Just thinking about block size/number etc....


          Thanks,

          T



          "David George"
          <dlgeorgesr@yahoo To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
          .com> cc:
          Subject: Re: [z_scale] Signal Research Road Master Digital Block
          10/10/2002 04:10 Control System
          PM
          Please respond to
          z_scale








          Keith,
          Thanks a bunch for the review on Signal Research. I have planned all along
          to use this system.I've not spent much time on operational issues on my
          layout( Z-bend track modules). "Empire Building" of scenery and trackage
          has kept me busy. Wireing has been pretty much confined to running trains
          continuosly in one direction on the main lines only for train shows. You
          now have given me impetus to get cracking on hooking up the Signal Research
          equipment sooner than planned.
          My Golden~Blackhawk & Central City RR will be more fun with this control
          system.
          David G.
          Spring,TX.
          Keith Webb <klwinternet@...> wrote:WOW. I know a few of you
          have been interested in the Signal Research
          RoadMaster Digital Block Control System (www.signalresearch.com). I
          ordered
          one in July and received it in September. The time from order to ship was
          to be 4 months but it came two months early and I was not ready to hook it
          up. Well the big day came yesterday and I have hooked up the first 8
          blocks
          of my layout. (photos of some of the construction of the layout can be in
          in the photos section under klwzscale) I really do not know what to say
          about the system but WOW!!!!! In the eight blocks on my layout I had 3
          trains running without having to watch them and stop them from running into
          each other. This is what the system does automatically for you. Not only
          do I not worry about collisions I have 1 reversing section in the first 8
          blocks and I can freely run trains through it without switching any power
          toggles (All done with the RM system automatically).
          If you are afraid of modifying your engines for DCC and the very large
          expense of retrofitting all of your engines I would seriously think about
          purchasing one of these systems. You only need to double gap your rails at
          each block and run a feedback wire from the turn outs to the RM system so
          the brains know where the train is headed and can power the track with the
          correct polarity. Soon there will be a tethered walk around control and
          then later a wireless one too. For all the specs on the system I will
          refer you to the web site.
          I will do my best to answer your questions. I will now be completing the
          rest of my wiring and hook of the final 8 blocks over the next couple of
          weeks. Then comes the real fun of decorating. (I will try to get an MPEG
          file of the trains running and post on the net sometime in the future.)
          If you have any other questions feel free to contact me by email directly.

          Keith Webb
          klwinternet@...
          ---





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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          "Z" WARNING! HANDLE WITH CARE! Highly addictive in Small DoseZ!


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        • Jeremy Brandon
          ... block...does ... always ... These and other questions might be answered by the Signal Research website: http://www.signalresearch.com/ Have a look in the
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 11, 2002
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            --- In z_scale@y..., ted_lamar@p... wrote:
            > I was wondering what happens when two trains come ino the same
            block...does
            > power shut off - do the trains slow down and stop...or does there
            always
            > have to be one complete block inbetween trains......

            These and other questions might be answered by the Signal Research
            website:

            http://www.signalresearch.com/

            Have a look in the System Description pages at Layout Setup.

            Jeremy.
          • M. Gottschalch
            ... Knowing this is for Keith, I would hope that the system will work more like the following. Given 5 blocks (0-4) and 2 trains. If train A is going very slow
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 11, 2002
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              ted_lamar@... wrote:
              >
              > This is actually a question for Kieth.....
              >
              > I was wondering what happens when two trains come ino the same block...does
              > power shut off - do the trains slow down and stop...or does there always
              > have to be one complete block inbetween trains......
              >
              > What I am thinking is that as soon as train A reached the BEGINNING of the
              > block immediately prior to train B's block, that train A slows to a
              > stop....when train B gets COMPLETELY through the current block (leaving an
              > entire block between trains effectively) tain A goes again.....
              >
              > Just thinking about block size/number etc....
              >
              > Thanks,
              >

              Knowing this is for Keith, I would hope that the system will work more
              like the following.

              Given 5 blocks (0-4) and 2 trains.

              If train A is going very slow in block 1 and train B is following fast
              in block 4 then when B gets to block 3 signal it would slow down to half
              speed. When B gets to block 2 signal it would stop at the signal till
              all of A gets past the block 1 signal. Then B would go to half speed
              till it gets to block 1 signal where it would stop again if A is still
              in block 0.

              At least that's the way I would want it to work.
              --
              Manfred G
            • ted_lamar@peoplesoft.com
              Mee to. But I think you would have to have resistor wheel sets or some other means of tracking block occupancy with a peice of rolling stock as opposed to a
              Message 6 of 9 , Oct 11, 2002
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                Mee to. But I think you would have to have resistor wheel sets or some
                other means of tracking block occupancy with a peice of rolling stock as
                opposed to a loco - which I think Signal Research uses for block detection)

                Right?? Otherwise you (or the SR system) would never know when the END of
                a train exited a block.....I guess you could make sure that your trains are
                shorter than your shortest block....

                T





                "M. Gottschalch"
                <megott@...> To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                cc:
                10/11/2002 09:00 Subject: Re: [z_scale] Signal Research Road Master Digital Block
                AM Control System
                Please respond to
                z_scale







                ted_lamar@... wrote:
                >
                > This is actually a question for Kieth.....
                >
                > I was wondering what happens when two trains come ino the same
                block...does
                > power shut off - do the trains slow down and stop...or does there always
                > have to be one complete block inbetween trains......
                >
                > What I am thinking is that as soon as train A reached the BEGINNING of
                the
                > block immediately prior to train B's block, that train A slows to a
                > stop....when train B gets COMPLETELY through the current block (leaving
                an
                > entire block between trains effectively) tain A goes again.....
                >
                > Just thinking about block size/number etc....
                >
                > Thanks,
                >

                Knowing this is for Keith, I would hope that the system will work more
                like the following.

                Given 5 blocks (0-4) and 2 trains.

                If train A is going very slow in block 1 and train B is following fast
                in block 4 then when B gets to block 3 signal it would slow down to half
                speed. When B gets to block 2 signal it would stop at the signal till
                all of A gets past the block 1 signal. Then B would go to half speed
                till it gets to block 1 signal where it would stop again if A is still
                in block 0.

                At least that's the way I would want it to work.
                --
                Manfred G




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              • Keith Webb
                I was wondering what happens when two trains come into the same block...does power shut off - do the trains slow down and stop...or does there always have to
                Message 7 of 9 , Oct 11, 2002
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                  I was wondering what happens when two trains come into the same
                  block...does power shut off - do the trains slow down and stop...or does there
                  always have to be one complete block in between trains......

                  KLWZScale: The most detailed answer you will get is on their web site as
                  Jeremy has indicated below. The short answer is that the system will not
                  allow two trains in the same block. The power will not shut off unless a short
                  is detected and it will shut the power down in milliseconds. No there does not
                  have to be one clear block in front of the train. You can set the system up this
                  way for each individual train you may run. This condition is called "failsafe" in
                  Signal Research lingo. If you run in the default manner you will run in
                  "rearend" mode and this will allow trains to be packed on the layout with only
                  one open block needed to be available. This packing of the trains is not
                  recommended at all. The use of rearend is! With our small scale and plastic
                  wheels on MTL and very little resistance on Marklin metal wheels if you run in
                  rearend mode it is recommended by signal research that you add surface
                  mount resistors to the caboose or last car in the train. (This is also
                  recommended for N-scale.)
                  The thing I did to research the system is order the instruction manual. I did
                  this for the ~$13 and studied it. The web site also explains most everything in
                  the book.
                  The only real mistake I made in designing my layout for this system is that I
                  should have increased the number of block in each "loop" of track. I think
                  there should be a minimum of 3 blocks in each loop of track not including
                  short blocks and I would recommend 4 if at all possible. If you start pricing the
                  system and breaking down the blocks on your layout you will see that you will
                  need to purchase several slave units. I only ordered 1 slave for a total of 16
                  blocks being available and will be ordering one more early next year for my
                  yard area.

                  I have posted a mpeg movie of my layout running under the trainmaster
                  system on the Z_ScaleMPEGs yahoo group in the files section.
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Z_ScaleMPEGs/files/

                  I do not know if you will be able to see it or not. It is a 10 meg file on my
                  machine and I saved it with dependencies and I do not know if you will see it
                  or not since you may have to get back to my computer to have it load. I see it
                  but it may just be a short cut back to my machine. Sorry if it does not work for
                  you. I will try to do something a little later to get it on another website.
                  The color quality is not that good. I need to purchase a potable light to get
                  more light in the room and will take another movie and post it at a later date.


                  Jeremy's response:

                  These and other questions might be answered by the Signal Research
                  website:
                  http://www.signalresearch.com/
                  Have a look in the System Description pages at Layout Setup.
                  Jeremy.
                • Keith Webb
                  The recomendation from SR is to make you blocks at least as long as your longest train plus stopping distance. You are allowed to declair short blocks but do
                  Message 8 of 9 , Oct 11, 2002
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                    The recomendation from SR is to make you blocks at least as long as your
                    longest train plus stopping distance. You are allowed to declair short blocks
                    but do not put two short blocks back to back. I will post a pdf file of my layout
                    with the block callouts if I can find it. I will post in the files section of this group
                    as klw_blocks.

                    Keith.



                    --- In z_scale@y..., ted_lamar@p... wrote:
                    >
                    > Mee to. But I think you would have to have resistor wheel sets or some
                    > other means of tracking block occupancy with a peice of rolling stock as
                    > opposed to a loco - which I think Signal Research uses for block detection)
                    >
                    > Right?? Otherwise you (or the SR system) would never know when the
                    END of
                    > a train exited a block.....I guess you could make sure that your trains are
                    > shorter than your shortest block....
                    >
                    >
                  • M. Gottschalch
                    ... Yes I think that would be the safest to have some kind of tracking system. That way if any part of train uncouples the block will still show occupied. You
                    Message 9 of 9 , Oct 12, 2002
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                      ted_lamar@... wrote:
                      >
                      > Mee to. But I think you would have to have resistor wheel sets or some
                      > other means of tracking block occupancy with a peice of rolling stock as
                      > opposed to a loco - which I think Signal Research uses for block detection)
                      >
                      > Right?? Otherwise you (or the SR system) would never know when the END of
                      > a train exited a block.....I guess you could make sure that your trains are
                      > shorter than your shortest block....
                      >
                      > T
                      >
                      Yes I think that would be the safest to have some kind of tracking
                      system. That way if any part of train uncouples the block will still
                      show occupied. You could use infrared or other types of detectors to
                      signal when a train enters and leaves the blocks but it could leave a
                      car or more behind to cause accidents. You could of course get fancy and
                      have some system to count all the cars as they enter and leave the block
                      to keep from having accidents, but all of that is in my opinion a bit
                      more cumbersome then having the last car with resistive wheels.
                      --
                      Manfred G
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