Automatic Train Control using the Relay Controller
Our Sensor Signal system provides completely automatic block signalling, but although the signal turns red to warn another train against entering the same block, until now there has been nothing to actually stop another train other than your careful driving.... But now you can link a Sensor Signal to the Relay Controller and this will stop a train entering a block if the the signal is red, and automatically start it again when the signal turns green or yellow! This means you can have two or more trains running around a layout (you controlling one if you wish) and they will just follow each other at safe distances obeying signals and never collide, all automatically!
The system will work with standard DC or DCC layouts, but you will need to make an isolated braking section so that the train can be controlled before the signal, with each side of the rail break connected to the Relay Controller with two wires:
As the picture shows, wiring is straightforward with just one wire linking the Sensor Signal to the RL1, and you can link lots of signals together using just one wire and make extra isolated braking sections to build multiple fully automated block sections.
About ABC braking...
DC trains and some DCC trains will just stop in the isolated section, but if you are DCC and your locos are ‘chipped’ with decoders which incorporates ABC or Assymetrical braking control (eg ESU, Zimo etc) you can fit an ABC diode module in the rail break, then these will slowly come to a halt and gradually speed up again once signal clears, complete with slow down brakes and speed up sounds if it is a sound fitted ABC loco! Please note that if the ABC Diode module is fitted, non-ABC tted locos will not stop automatically in the isolated sections, just controlled from the DCC controller.
Automatic Train Control - what do you need
Each RL1 Relay controller has two relays, so can link to two Sensor Signals and control two isolated braking sections of track. You can also fit an ABC Diode module to each isolated braking section if running DCC trains which are fitted with ABC modules, see ABC braking section above. You will need to cut the rails to make isolated sections and may find insulated fishplates useful to keep the rails aligned. (eg Peco SL11)
ABC1 Diode modules come in a pack of 2. They enable DCC ABC fitted trains to slow down and speed up.