Tomix accessory control
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Tomix offers quite a few accessories that are integrated with the
train control systems. Some of these accessories are activated by
sensors that slide into recesses in the track pieces. Track
feeders also slide into these recesses. The sensors can detect
not only the presence of a train, but also the direction in which
it is running ( by detecting the polarity on the track, one of
the advantages of plain DC operation). An overview of the
accesories is given below.
The automatic block signal is activated by a built-in track
sensor, signals take their power (12 V DC) from the 'TCS' output
on the transformer / controller. The signal is fitted with a detection
and sequencing circuit. Upon detection of a train (wheel shorts between
metal strip and rail) the signal changes to red and a timer is
activated. This timer drives a sequencer circuit that cycles through
the different signal aspects, depending on the type of signal. The
short cord passes power on the the next signal. All
cords are fitted with plugs, so no fiddling with screwdrivers
and/or a soldering iron is needed. Extension cords are available
just in case the existing cord is too short. As these signals can
be 'daisy-chained' no further control boxes are needed. the track
piece is 70 mm long and fits perfectly into the track system.
This signal offers no facilties to stop trains at 'danger', you
have to slow down the train by hand. Signals are now available in 3
light, 2 4-light and a 5-light version, all displaying correct signal
aspects. However, there is more to Japanese railway signalling, I hope
to write an article on it in the near future.
Automatic level crossing
This accessory is very easy to install and is again realistic in its operation. The crossing bars are raised and lowered by a small electric motor and move slowly up and down, when the crossing is activated, a bell sounds and red lights are flashng. The crossing is activated by track sensors, which come with the crossing, but it can also be activated by the sensor of a block signal. The level crossing comes in a single-track version, but it can be extended up to 4 tracks. Power is again from the 'TCS' output of a Tomix transformer / controller.
This turntable comes with its own control unit and has a fully indexed operation. The prototype railway uses turntables to turn tender-fitted steam locomotives so that they can run their train chimney forward. Usually turnatbles are surrounded by a round loco shed, also know as 'roundhouse', Tomix offers a matching roundhouse.
Tomix turntable control unit.
The control unit comes with the turntable and both the 'TCS'
and track power feeder plug into the control unit. Operation is
by using the buttons and switches on the control unit. The lights
on the control box indicate the position of the turntable bridge.
This overview is not complete, Tomix offers a whole range of other accessories. Worth mentioning are the yard floodlights, street lamps and the range of catenary supports. Also available are buildings, ranging from a simple house to a complete elevated station. Lighting is wired up very simply, just basic electric circuit wiring where there's a switch in-line with the lamp.
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