Positive Solutions for Applying Electronics to Model
By Don Woodwell
Using simple yet authoritative language Don Woodwell describes
a wide range of practical applications of commercially available
electronic modules for both 3- and 2-rail model train layouts.
He shows how to liven up model train operations and establish
a unique and distinct environment for each layout in an informal,
easy to read style that makes readers eager to tackle the many
projects outlined in the book. Chip Miller and Mike Reagan describe
and explain in easily understood terms command control systems
for the ultimate in model train automation.
1) Principles of Reliable Wiring for Layout Electronics
2) Constant Voltage Lighting for Visual Effect
3) How to Use Detection Circuits & Set up Blocks
4) Fixed Sound Systems & Animation for Unique Environments
5) Prototypical Signaling for the Mainline, Yards, and Grade Crossings
6) Automatic Station Stopping & Branch Line Automation
7) Advanced Automatic Yard & Terminal Operations
8) Command Control Systems: What they are & How to use them
Appendix: References & Suppliers
What's this Book About?
Automating a model train layout is more achievable today due mostly
to advances in and availability of commercial electronic modules
(CEM) for model train layout owners and operators. This book helps
train hobbyists understand how easy it is develop their layout's
unique personality while ensuring more realistic operations with
only moderate skills.
What's in AYMTL?
Chapter 1 helps you spend more time operating your trains than
tracing wiring problems. The reliable wiring principles described
apply to any scale layout, but getting a grip on reliable wiring
is especially crucial to properly and effectively wiring CEMs.
Chapter 2 provides examples of constant voltage lighting (CVL)
circuits that are simple available commercial electronic modules.
Selecting and installing CVL's adds measurably to your railroad's
operational realism, and is also an easy way to get started and
feel comfortable working with CEMs.
Chapter 3's detectors and block descriptions will be referred
to frequently in subsequent chapters because clearly understanding
various train detection devices and the means of blocking track
segments is very important for numerous train operations.
Chapter 4 covers a variety of stationary sound systems as well
as layout animation. Sound and animation electronics available
for both applications are essential elements to ensure layout
realism and create a unique and different environment.
Chapter 5 describes the means and methods for setting up and
electronically controlling and illuminating grade crossing signals,
and for deploying and controlling mainline block signals with
realistic aspects. Prototypical signaling makes for a more visually
Chapter 6 describes automated station stopping and automatic
branch line operations. The various track diagrams and circuits
described in this chapter lend themselves nicely to repetitive,
hands-off operations while you are handling your mainline trains
in either conventional or command mode.
Chapter 7 details the means of automatically alternating trolleys
approaches to a two-stub terminal, and switching in yards. CEM's
enable automatic car movements between operating accessories;
dumping a bulk material into the accessory; and, activating the
accessory at a different time to reload the car on the same or
different track location.
Finally, in Chapter 8 Chip Miller talks about the history of
digital command control, and introduces digital 3-rail command
control with examples from Lionel TrainMasterTM Command Control
and MTH's DCS(R). Chip compares the key features of each system
and answers the most frequently asked questions about each one.
Mike Reagan of TrainAmerica Studios' describes his new 2-rail
TMCCTM and Layout Control System. LCS is a new PC-based control
system that works with the TMCCTM to provide advanced control
features and functions.
Meet the Authors
1. Don Woodwell still continues to enjoy model railroading and
collecting toy and model trains even after 50 years. During the
past five years, he has written several articles for model railroading
magazines, issued ten E-reports from his toy Trains & Model
Railroading Web site, and is electronically publishing AYMTL,
a how-to book on model railroad automation. Don wrote and traditionally
published six other non-fiction books.
2. H. (Chip) Miller has been a life-long toy train enthusiast
and operator, and is now primarily interested in trains from modern
production. He brings a versatile technical perspective to operating
model train layouts with a special expertise in electronics. He
is an active and well-regarded participant in many online model
railroading technical discussion groups.
3. Mike Reagan, a lifelong model train hobbyist, started Train
America Studios to provide Lionel TMCCTM-compatible products for
other manufacturer's locomotives. TAS' is a serious player in
the 3-rail industry, and intends to become successful in the 2-rail
industry with Scale Command.
Now available and delivered online for $12.95 (PDF format) or
mailed as a print version for $19.95 + S&H. Check Don Woodwell's
Web site (www.storesonline.com/site/toymodeltrains)
for the recent publication announcement.