Jump to content

Tallpaul69

Alternative to Dapol for removable signals?

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

I had been planning to use Dapol signals on my 00 western region layout. I need to be able to remove easily(unplug?) sigmals as I will run the layout in two eras, one under semaphores, one under colour lights. The aim is eventually to have signals points etc. under computer control.

However recent difficulties reported on a layout thread on this site, and Dapol's response to the user suggesting they are not designed to be unplugged and re plugged in frequently has lead to a rethink!

 

So I would welcome suggestions for alternatives, given that I don't have the skill or the time to design and make them myself. Are they folk out there who undertake commission work on signals in the same way that others make locos and stock on commission?

 

lf so contact details from satisfied customers (or the folks themselves!) would be appreciated.

 

Many thanks

Paul 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

The local Free-mo group here in California has a solid, repeatedly pluggable colour light signal design.  Try the free-mo website for any links. I'll find out what I can, but It will take a while.

 

Andy

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the actual nature of the 'fault(s)' please? Difficult to know an answer without first understanding the problem :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, RailWest said:

What's the actual nature of the 'fault(s)' please? Difficult to know an answer without first understanding the problem :-)

As I understand it, the signals particularly bracket ones can be difficult to unplug, and even more difficult to plug back in!

 

When one unit did come free it was damaged in the process.

I will copy into a later post the exact comments from the person who had the problem!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Tallpaul69 said:

As I understand it, the signals particularly bracket ones can be difficult to unplug, and even more difficult to plug back in!

 

When one unit did come free it was damaged in the process.

I will copy into a later post the exact comments from the person who had the problem!

Here as promised are the exact comments from "Checkrail" on his "Stoke Courtney" layout thread:-

 

"BUT - just a warning.  As with all electrical items I decided to test it before installation, by plugging the signal into the servo base unit and lashing up temporary power.  Bad idea.  All worked perfectly, but when I came to pull the signal back out of the base unit it wouldn't budge.  When I eventually pulled it out it came with a broken plastic cam and bent spring.  Sixty quid down the drain.  

 

Dapol told me to send it back to Hattons for a refund: Hattons (understandably) said that as they'd sent it me in one piece it was my responsibility.  So I bit the bullet, wiped my mouth, and ordered another.  At least I ended up with extra wire to extend the (rather short) switch leads supplied!

 

So don't think these are ideal for portable layouts, to be merrily plugged/unplugged for transport.  Dapol told me you could perhaps uncouple signal from base unit a few times, but that was all.  I couldn't even do it once."

 

Hope this makes the issue clearer?

If not, I suggest those interested PM Checkrail or make a posting to the Stoke Courtney thread?

 

Meanwhile, any suggestions on the question I posed would be welcome.

I am not looking to solve the problem with the Dapol units but to find an alternative product or someone to make what I need!

Cheers

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly, I would class such an item as "not fit for purpose" and demand a refund from Hatton under the relevant consumer legislation. What is the point of a 'plug in' item if it can not be unplugged and re-inserted?

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, RailWest said:

Frankly, I would class such an item as "not fit for purpose" and demand a refund from Hatton under the relevant consumer legislation. What is the point of a 'plug in' item if it can not be unplugged and re-inserted?

It does say plug in, not necessarily unplug.

 

I suppose the best type of removable signal was made by (I think) Derek Mundy.  It  had a base incorporating a 16mm dia tube, inside of which were the operating gubbins.  these were driven by push rods under the baseboards which were connected to either hand operated levers or servos/solenoids.

 

The signals went in and out with ease.

 

Personally, having built a number of portable layouts over the years, when I've  installed a signal, the last thing I want to be doing is continually removing it and putting it back in.  I suppose if you want to put signals in and out at will then that's fine, but something will eventually give.  How do those with ohle or heaven forbid, telegraph poles cope?  you'd spend more time erecting and dismantling than you ever would operating.

 

Surely the solution is to design a packing crate that is fit for purpose?  (And it could be a small box that fits over the signal to protect it.)

Edited by Happy Hippo
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

image.png.36036e4eedd617b50fb26727112fe303.png

 

This is a commercial part of an pluggable and automatic signal system for modula layouts such as Frre-mo

 

See http://scalesignalsystems.com/ for other components.

 

An article with description of the electronic aspects is at:

 

http://garymgreen.com/free-mo signal article.pdf

 

My local fre-mo club has also done a DIY version of the pluggable system. I have to follow up on that later.

 

Hope this helps Andy.

 

 

image.png

Edited by Andy Reichert
Doubled pictures
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.