top of page

Installing a Working Signal

This was first attempt at ever installing a working signal.  It seemed overwhelming at first,  but the company provided detailed step by step instructions so it wasn't as bad as I thought.  The video to the right shows how it works and below are the steps I needed to go through to get it working properly.

I got the signal on eBay for  $47.  It shipped from within the United States, but for all I know it could have been made in China.

I got the circuit board controlling the light from for $27.  I got "Signal Animator version SA-1-IR with infrared detection".  It came with the circuit board and the IR cables needed to detect the train.

This is the controller that controls when the lights are on.  It allows  you to control when the lights are on and how long it takes for the lights to change.It's pretty easy to identify which wires go where with the light controls a t the top and the power connectors at the bottom.


This is what it looks like once it's all wired.  I tested it prior to installing it to make sure I understood how it worked and that I had the lights in the correct locations.

I had trouble at first getting it to work with the IR cables.  I reached out to the company who responded promptly letting me know that it was giving a false reading due to too much light since I was just holding them out in the open.

When the train passes over them the IR beam bounces off the bottom of the train and goes to the other sensor which activated the sequence


Now that testing was done it was time to glue the signal in place with caulk and drill the holes for the  IR sensors.  I was  told to put the two sensors no more than 2 ties away from each other.

Here you can see the caulk which ill eventually dry clear.

I had to find a spot where I could install the PC board where it wouldn't interfere with other wiring or get in the way with the posts that the layout sits on in the briefcase.  Once I found that spot I traced the board and began shallowing out a spot for it to fit into so it wouldn't stick out too much.

The easiest way for me to do that was to score the foam with an X-Acto knife and then scrape the pieces off as shown below.


I secured the circuit board with caulk around the edges and began wiring.

I fed the IR wires through the holes I made in the track and caulked the entire mess of wires in place.  This will ensure they remain isolated and won't touch each other causing a short  This included caulking over the campfire wires.


Here' you can see the two IR sensors.  Once the train passes over them the sequence will begin.  This diagram shows you the angles that the sensors are installed in.

signal position.jpg
bottom of page