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Model Train Circuits
Model Circuits     Model Airplane Circuits

Model Trains:  #'s - L       M - Z
 

Last Updated: October 24, 2017 02:55 PM

Circuits Designed by Dave Johnson, P.E. :

Miniature Lighthouse Light Simulator - The circuit I came up with is shown below.  It uses two dual low power op amps.  The first two devices form a classic oscillator circuit whose output is a triangle waveform signal.  That signal is routed to a current regulator circuit, which converts the triangle voltage signal to a triangle current signal through the lighthouse LED.  A third op amp generates pulses timed so they occur at the peak of the triangle waveform.  The result is a LED, which gradually grows brighter, then flashes even brighter before dimming again.  This should produce a light, which simulates a rotating lighthouse lightCircuit Solution by David Johnson P.E.-May, 2006

Model Train Lighthouse Flasher Revisited - HO train sets often have authentic looking scale model homes and buildings.    A while back someone asked me to design a flashing LED light, which he could mount inside a model lighthouse and have it operate so it would appear to rotate and flash.    I designed a working circuit but I was never pleased with the results.    Im still not 100% pleased but the revised circuit below seems to operate a bit better than the older circuit.  [ . . . Hobby Circuit designed by Dave Johnson P.  E.  , May 2012] . . . Hobby Circuit designed by David A. Johnson P.E.-December, 2012

Revisited-Model Train Lighthouse Flasher - This was originally designed for a model in a HO train set.  It simulates the behavior of the light from a lighthouse.  The LED intensity gradually increases, then flashes with a bright light and finally decreases slowly in intensity . . . Hobby Circuit designed by David Johnson P.E.-July, 2006


Links to electronic circuits, electronic schematics, designs for engineers, hobbyists, students & inventors:

Miniature Lighthouse Light Simulator -  The circuit I came up with is shown below.  It uses two dual low power op amps.  The first two devices form a classic oscillator circuit whose output is a triangle waveform signal.  That signal is routed to a current regulator circuit, which converts the triangle voltage signal to a triangle current signal through the lighthouse LED.  A third op amp generates pulses timed so they occur at the peak of the triangle waveform.  The result is a LED, which gradually grows brighter, then flashes even brighter before dimming again.  This should produce a light, which simulates a rotating lighthouse lightCircuit Solution by David Johnson P.E.-May, 2006

Model Railroad Camera Car -  Schematic + Info + pictures __ Designed by Lennie Zink

Model Railroad Vacuum Cleaner This is an HO gage railroad track cleaner/vacuum car! -  Schematic + Info + pictures __ Designed by Lennie Zink

Model Railway Level Crossing Lights -  The level crossing warning lights are switched on automatically as a train approaches.  First an amber light shows, then two red lights flash until the train has passed the crossing.   __ Designed by John Hewes

Model Railway Signal -  This signal is controlled automatically by a passing train fitted with a magnet.  It can also be manually set to red or green by pressing the switches.  Trains will automatically stop at the red signal.   __ Designed by John Hewes

Model Railway Time -  Here is a circuit that will convert any clock mechanism into Model Railway Time.  For those who enjoy model railways, the ultimate is to have a fast clock to match the scale of the layout.  This circuit will appear to "make time fly" by turning the seconds__ 555-Timer

Model Railway Turnout Control -  This small circuit can be used to control model railway turnouts operated by AC voltages.  A logic level in the range of 512 V can be used as the control signal.  The coils of the turnout are switched using TRIACs.  Changes in the logic level of the input signal are passed on by the buffer stage built around T1 and T2.  The buffer stage is included to boost the current available at the gates of the TRIACs__ Hans Zijp - Elektor Electronics Magazine

Model Train Diesel & Horn Sound Module -  A good friend of mine having just retired acquired as a gift a small gauge miniature train set and asked me if I would design something to simulate a diesel electric sound and horn for it.  Looking for shortcuts I researched many already-published designs most of which used a digital transmitter and receiver.  Dissatisfied with all of them I decided to design a system for universal application for any system up to 20 volts. __ Designed by Laurier Gendron, Burnaby, B.C., Canada

Model Train Horn (2-tone) -  With this circuit you can electronically simulate the noise of a diesel-train horn.  The sound is triggered automatically as the train reaches a desired place on the track so you can produce the sound as the train approaches stations, level crossings, etc.  The circuit can be built simply by using one 556 or two 555 timers __ Designed by Tony van Roon  VA3AVR

Model Train Lighthouse Flasher Revisited -  HO train sets often have authentic looking scale model homes and buildings.    A while back someone asked me to design a flashing LED light, which he could mount inside a model lighthouse and have it operate so it would appear to rotate and flash.    I designed a working circuit but I was never pleased with the results.    Im still not 100% pleased but the revised circuit below seems to operate a bit better than the older circuit.  [ . . . Hobby Circuit designed by Dave Johnson P.  E.  , May 2012] . . . Hobby Circuit designed by David A. Johnson P.E.-December, 2012

Nest Box Technology -  That's how it looks like under the roof behind the plexiglass of my Great Tit Nest Box: a little b&w camera and an electronic prototype board are fixed here.  You can see the infrared light emitting diodes  (IR-LEDs) around the camera lens, that's why the box is always as bright as daylight __ Designed by Manfred Boehmel

One Wire Barometer -  By using a dual voltage supply, instrument precision and/or instrument range can be improved without adding significantly to the parts count.   __ Designed by A.G. Miller

Power Supply -  Schematic + Info + pictures __ Designed by Lennie Zink

Railpower Model Train Controller, Pt.2 -  Last month we presented the circuit, specifications and parts list for our new high-performance Railpower IV model train controller.  Now it's time for the construction details - and we show you how to set it up for best performance.__ SiliconChip

Railway Model Train Controller Pt 3 -  As promised in part 2, here is the walk-around throttle version of the Railpower speed control for model railways.  It uses four switches to control speed, forward/reverse, inertia and braking.__ SiliconChip

Revisited-Model Train Lighthouse Flasher -  This was originally designed for a model in a HO train set.  It simulates the behavior of the light from a lighthouse.  The LED intensity gradually increases, then flashes with a bright light and finally decreases slowly in intensity . . . Hobby Circuit designed by David Johnson P.E.-July, 2006

Shunting Lights for DCC Locomotives -  Digital decoders in model locomotives usually have two outputs for lighting functions.  One switches the front lights for forward travel, and the other for reverse travel.  If the locomotive has red rear lights, they are also connected to the two outputs.  Many digital decoders include function mapping capability, which allows the switch functions to be assigned as desired.  For example, with function mapping you can control the lighting not only for normal running, but also for shunting yard operations with the lights lit at both ends of the locomotivemust register on this site __ Designed by Published in Elecktor July/Aug, 2010

Signal Breaking Module -  Brake modules are electronic circuits that let locos with digital decoder brake smoothly on a section of track.  The brake module generates a brake voltage to be fed to the track that is interpreted by suitable loco decoders, which then smoothly brake the loco.  The brake voltage is basically just negative dc, but on the bogobit brake modules  (except for the standard brake module) combined with a tailored current limit protection to avoid critical short circuits. __ Designed by Manfred Boehmel

Signals  (train signals) -  Signals that ACTUALLY operate add a high degree of realism to any model railway as well as being something additional for viewers to watch.  Unfortunately they are sometimes omitted due to the complexity of controlling them realistically.  This article describes a module than can be readily fitted into an existing layout and used to control either two-aspect or three-aspect signalling systems __ Contact: Collin Mitchell

Simple Circuit Flashing Light 1 -  This project uses a 3909 IC and a few other parts; power is 1.5 volts DC.   __ Designed by ML Rollins

Simple Circuit Flashing Light 2 -  This project uses parts from Digi-Key __ Designed by ML Rollins

Simple Circuit Flashing Light 3B -  The simplest flashing light circuit in the world! This is the simplest flashing circuit, suitable for tops of tall buildings, smokestacks and water towers __ Designed by ML Rollins

Simple Circuit Traffic Light Controller -  This circuit is self explanatory by its name, and can be used to control traffic in public places, or to demonstrate traffic rules in traffic-parks.  IC2, which is heart of the circuit, is a decade counter.  In this counter for every pulse fed to pin-14, potential keeps shifting from D1 to D9 in cyclic order.  IC1 is used as a pulse generator and generates pulses in regular configurable intervals. __ ` Sigmatone

Simple Circuit train Detector using Ambient light & a photocell -  This photocell is best mounted at tie level between the rails.  The variable resistor adjusts the sensitivity of the circuit.  This circuit can be powered by either 6 or 12 volts - BE SURE to use the proper relay; note that some relays are rated for 5 volts, these should be okay with 6 volts.
 __ Designed by ML Rollins

Simulate the Gyralite (dual flashing headlights) -  This circuit must be connected to a 5 volt DC source.  See my RR page for several 5 volt supplies.  Note the flashing LED is optional, but looks s-o-o-o-o good on the top of a locomotive. __ Designed by ML Rollins

Track Cleaner -  Schematic + Info + pictures __ Designed by Lennie Zink

Traffic Light -  Our TRAFFICER - GYR3 has many applications;.  Mount the TRAFFICER on your toy train-tracks for signaling.  Place TRAFFICER anywhere youd like to draw attention and a smile.  The unique small design will allow you to mount it almost anywhere.  Operates with 9V battery, 12V car battery, four 1.5V batteries, or via one of our battery simulator kits.   __ Contact: Kit from Elich Industrial Development, Corp

Traffic Light -  A two-way traffic light using a CMOS 4017 and 555.  To be used as toy only __ Designed by Jose Pino

Traffic Light -  This project operates red, amber and green LEDs in the correct sequence for a single UK traffic light.  The time taken for the complete red, red & amber, green, amber sequence can be varied from about 7s to about 2 minutes.  A 4017 counter is used to produce the traffic light sequence and this project could be adapted __ Designed by John Hewes

Traffic Light 2 -  A two-way traffic light using a CMOS 4017 and 555.  To be used as toy only __ Designed by Jose Pino

Traffic Light Controller -  Controls on3 LED traffic light sequence __ Designed by rstevew@armory.com

Train Detector using Ambient Light & a Photocell -  This photocell is best mounted at tie level between the rails.  The variable resistor adjusts the sensitivity of the circuit.  This circuit can be powered by either 6 or 12 volts - BE SURE to use the proper relay; note that some relays are rated for 5 volts, these should be okay with 6 volts.
 __ Designed by ML Rollins

Tunnel Stretcher -  Do you find your tunnels a bit short? Does the train pop out of the far end moments after the last coach disappears from view?This module will automatically add some time to the train's trip through the tunnel.  It can also be used to control signals at stations, making a train wait for a predetermined time before letting it continue __ Contact: Collin Mitchell

Two-Tone Train Horn -  With this circuit you can electronically simulate the noise of a diesel-train horn.  The sound is triggered automatically as the train reaches a desired place on the track so you can produce the sound as the train approaches stations, level crossings, etc.  The circuit can be built simply by using one 556 or two 555 timers __ Designed by Tony van Roon  VA3AVR


Model Trains:  #'s - L       M - Z

 


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