BLOCKsignalling manufactures low-cost control systems for model rail enthusiasts, which are designed to be highly flexible and sophisticated whilst being simple to install, configure and use.
New Signal Modules with Pre-Wired Sensors
We recently introduced the ASP1B as the first of our new range of boards with pre-wired sensors.
These plug-and-play boards allow the quick installation of sensors under the track, with the control board located in any convenient position nearby.
The ASP1B (for Common-Cathode signals) is now joined by the ASP2B for Common-Anode signals - so now both UK and Continental signals are covered.
These modules include all the new features of fading between aspects and the ability to power the modules from virtually any supply (8V to 25V DC, 8V to 16V AC, or DCC feed from the track or DCC power bus).
New Servo Controller with optional Frog Switching SRV4
Our newly released servo controller can operate up to four servo motors between their start and stop position whenever an input is switched.
You can control servos from switches, push buttons, DCC Accessory Decoders, or from a Wired Pen.
There are outputs to drive signals and control panel leds.
Also in-built are outputs to drive optional relays that can be used to switch the points frog polarity automatically as the servo passes its mid-position.
New Traffic Lights for OO and N Gauge
We have now added some pre-built traffic lights to our range, available as a set of two traffic lights and the BLOCKsignalling TLC2A traffic light module.
The signals are available in 30mm and 45mm heights and contain miniature red, amber and green leds. Very easy to wire with only four connections.
Having a module with a wide range of input voltages means you can pick up a supply from virtually anywhere on your layout.
Sequence Controller for Led Effects SEQ1
If you have led effects like arc welders, or emergency vehicles with flashing lights, you probably don't want them running all the time.
Our sequence controller randomly operates individual effects to create more realism and add interest.
Five of the output channels are pre-programmed with suitable timings, whilst the sixth is permanently on allowing the module to provide a stabilised power supply to each effect.
One or more effects can be wired to a channel and they will operate together.
For more information, see the SEQ1 page.
New DCC Shuttle with Station Stop BLOCKsignalling SDCC1
Most are familiar with DC shuttles where you have a single adjustment on the module to set the waiting time at each end of the line and diodes fixed across track breaks stop the train until the current is reversed by the module allowing the train to move off in the opposite direction.
We have wanted for a long time to replicate this for DCC locomotives, using their built in momentum settings to provide very realistic braking and acceleration.
We have also included a station stop function, so you can have one or more stations along your line and the locomotive will shuttle forwards and backwards along the line, stopping at the intermediate stations.
You can find more information on the SDCC1's page.
New DC Shuttle with built-in Controller, Station Stop and Acceleration & Deceleration
Based on our SS2A, a shuttle with built-in throttle, the SS2-BR operates a train back and forth along a line, with smooth deceleration at the end of the line to a standstill.
After a waiting time (adjustable), the train then accelerates off smoothly in the opposite direction.
One or more stations can optionally be added on the route, and the train will gently slow to a stop at the station, before moving off again.
All settings are adjustable (train speed, waiting times, rate of acceleration and deceleration, whether times are random or fixed, etc).
For more information on the features of the SAS2-BR, see here.
New DC Shuttle with built-in Throttle
The SS2A operates like a simple DC shuttle, reversing the current periodically to run a train backwards and forwards along a length of track, with the train stopping as it crosses diodes connected across track breaks at each end.
The difference with the SS2A is that it has a built-in DC throttle, so you only need to connect a 12V DC plug-in power supply.
There are adjustments for speed and delay time right on the PCB itself. Quiet, compact and reliable + easy to wire.
Full information about connecting up and operation here.
DCC Autoreverser REV1
Not to be confused with DCC Shuttles, the DCC Autoreverser is used to simplify the wiring of reversing loops, wye track layouts and turntables.
In these configurations at some point the rail of one polarity needs to connect to the rail of the opposite polarity. This cannot happen without rail breaks or insulated rail joiners.
The problem comes when the train crosses the break - the booster output is then short circuited and shuts down.
The BLOCKsignalling DCC Autoreverser overcomes this by detecting the short and reversing the track polarity in a fraction of a second, before the booster or loco has a chance to notice.
Further information on the DCC Autoreverser page.
Frog Juicer FROG1
There are many ways to power the frog on a DCC layout, the part of a set of points where the flange of the wheel can pass through the running rails on either the through or diverging route. It is important that the frog has the correct polarity, otherwise a short circuit will occur which will shut down the booster.
One of the quickest and easiest methods is to use a frog juicer. This connects to the running rails and to the frog, and constantly checks the frog polarity whilst trains pass through the points. If ever the polarity is incorrect, the frog juicer swaps the polarity in a fraction of a second.
For a full explanation, see our Frog Juicer page.
Simple Shuttles for DC Layouts
BLOCKsignalling has two models of simple shuttle, each designed to operate a train on a DC layout back and forth along a section of line.
At the end of the line, a diode (included) is fitted across a track gap, and this stops the train until the current is reversed by the module. This can be varied up to 10 minutes using a simple adjustment.
Available in two versions, the SS1 which uses fixed delays on each run, and the SS1-R which varies the delay slightly on each run to provide a more random timetable. Suitable for N, OO and HO gauges.
Capacitor Discharge Units with Ready Indication
For points motors to operate reliably a voltage of around 15V is necessary. This voltage has to be sustained for the fraction of a second required for the points to move over their complete range. During this time they will draw about 4A.
This is where a Capacitor Discharge Unit comes into play, particularly when operating several points at the same time. The capacitors on the board are charged by the supply in less than a second, and when required can provide the very high current necessary to operate the points motors with a firm snap action. This allows you to use a comparatively small power supply (typically rated at 2A).
Following the operation of the points, further current flow is inhibited until the points switch is released. This prevents points motors burning out if the points are left operated for any length of time.
The BLOCKsignalling CDU4R has a red led on the PCB that lights when the capacitors are charged to 15V and above. Knowing the state of the charge on the capacitors is useful to confirm correct supply connection and to show that the capacitors are charged sufficiently. The led will also indicate if a points switch has inadvertently been left operated.
We have added two new CDUs to our range, each with a 5mm red led designed to be fitted to control panels. This lights as soon as the CDU has charged to 15V and is ready again to fire points.
New Track Polarity Indicator TKM1
Just a little something to make our lives easier.
With DC layouts, the loco will move forward when the right-hand rail is positive compared to the left-hand rail. The BLOCKsignalling TKM1 Mini Trackmeter can be held against the rails, and will light an led next to an arrow to indicate the direction the locomotive will move.
Suitable for N, OO and HO gauges.
New Traffic Light Modules TLC1A & TLC2A with Fading
Modern traffic lights almost exclusively employ led technology, and so instantly switch between each colour. Up until about 10 years ago, filament lamps were used, and these turn-on and turn-off over a short time as the filament heats and cools.
The software in the BLOCKsignalling traffic light controllers provides a similar action when model traffic led lights are connected to the module. We have made the timings of the dimming adjustable if you wish to vary the settings, or you can turn the dimming on or off as you wish.
In fact you can adjust all the settings, to change the red time, to alter the led brightness, to adjust the dimming rate, etc. All very simple to do. We have also added some presets, so you can use the module straight out of the box. Most users will probably stick to these.
An added bonus is that the modules can now be powered from a wide range of sources, and accept 8V to 25V DC, 8V to 16V AC, or the modules can be powered from the DCC bus.
The TLC1A is designed for traffic lights wired as common-cathode (common-negative).
The TLC2A is designed for traffic lights wired as common-anode (common-positive).
Newly Released Level Crossing Controller
We often receive enquiries about operating our LCS6 Level Crossing module with multiple tracks and with trains running in both directions. This is possible, but not straightforward.
Our newly released LCS6B makes this very easy to accomplish. Detecting traction current, it can monitor many tracks for the presence of DC or DCC trains. Whenever one arrives, it operates the flashing lights, plays a real sound sample and operates gates or barriers using the included servos.
For further detailed information, see here.
Our new Semaphore Signal Module
If you operate Dapol signals, or have researched adding them to your layout, then you will know the options for automation are limited.
We have now added the DAP1A to our range, which allows automatic triggering of semaphore signals as soon as the model train passes over the infra-red sensor.
Low Cost Train Detection (even in Tunnels)
We are often asked if our DET8 (8-channel Train Detector) can be used in tunnels. Unfortunately, as it uses photocells for detection which need a light source to operate, this is not possible.
Customers who run their models in the dark, making use of modern led lights on their layouts, are also looking for reliable train detection.
To satisfy these requirements, and to add a non-soldering module to our range (always liked !), we have designed the BOD2-NS.
Very easy to install, the module is able to drive control panel leds and a small relay. You can read all about its features here.
There are some excellent replica model signals now available which would grace any layout, some requiring very deep pockets, but are practically works of art.
Until now signal controllers have not kept up - simply switching between aspects.
If you have observed the operation of signals where the aspects contain filament lamps, you will know the characteristic dimming out and fading up which takes place over 1/4 of a second or so as the filament cools and heats up.
On our latest range of infra-red triggered controllers have added fading of the leds, which you can adjust to suit. You can have the slowest of fading, or instant switching; its your choice.
Adjustable fading is available on the SPAD1, ASP1A, ASP1-NS and ASP2A modules, which also have adjustable times when all the leds are off to simulate point interlocks, etc.
Points Position Indicator (PPI)
The BLOCKsignalling Points Position Indicator provides an easy way to monitor the position of points on a layout, using red and green leds which can be mounted on a control panel.
Solenoid points motors provide a low-cost and effective method of operating points, and as long as wiring with a decent cross-section is used and a Capacitor Discharge Unit (CDU) is provided, they are pretty much trouble free.
However, once the points have been operated, it is not clear then to recall their position.
The BLOCKsignalling PPI monitors the brief voltage pulses used to operate the points and updates leds which can be mounted on a control panel to indicate the last points operation.
Each points movement is stored in memory, even when the power is turned off.
New Light Aspect Signal Controller ASP1-NS
Following the success of our easy-to-wire Semaphore Signal Controller, we are now offering the same convenient method of driving light signals.
The ASP1-NS (NS standing for No Soldering) allows you to add automation and simplify wiring when installing light signals to your model railway layout.
Whether you are operating 2-, 3- or 4-aspect signals, the controller will simplify the wiring and allow you to run your signals off a variety of input voltages rather than just from 12V DC (you can now use the accessory output from your DC throttle, or even use power from the DCC rails).
We have added smooth transitions between the aspects to give the effect of tungsten lamp bulbs, but as usual with our products, you can adjust all the timings and fading rates if you wish to suit your own preferences.
For more information on installing this module, see our page dedicated to the ASP1-NS.
Signal Controller for Bidirectional Lines DAP4-BR
Controlling signals on lines with bidirectional running can be problematic, so we have developed the DAP4-BR for DC layouts.
This module monitors the polarity of the current drawn by a loco and only operates the signal when a train approaches the signal from the front.
Compatible with semaphore and 2-aspect signals.
For more information on installing this module, see our page dedicated to the DAP4-BR.
New Semaphore Signal Controller DAP1-NS
Our DAP1 semaphore signal controller is used by 100's of modellers to automatically operate their semaphore signals. The train passes over an infra-red sensor to trigger the signal. This works very well but requires connecting up and possibly some soldering as well.
We were keen to provide a solution that would simply work straight of the packet, without the need for soldering, programming or making any additional connections. So here it is.
The four wires from the signal connect directly to the four terminals on the module, with the power feed doubling up on two of the terminals.
The sensor is then inserted into an 8mm hole drilled through under the track. With the power on, the approaching train will trigger the signal, and the signal will automatically revert to danger after the train has passed.
For more information on using this simple module, see our page dedicated to the DAP1-NS.
Station Stop Module SSM1
We have designed the Station Stop Module to operate a DC train around a loop, stopping automatically at the station platform. A pair of sensors ensure that the trains stop at the appropriate point at the platform, irrespective of the direction that the train arrives from.
The waiting time at the platform is adjustable, and can be set to random to provide a very realistic operation. There are plenty of options for adjusting the operation to suit, including connecting control panel leds or 2-aspect signals.
Fully Automatic Level Crossing Module LCS6
We have been working tirelessly to provide smooth movement on our top of the range level crossing, the LCS6. The servo operation lowers the barriers or operate the gates with the most realistic movement possible. The simple programming allows sequential or overlapping operation of the gates or barriers to replicate the real article.
Also built-in are 18 of the most varied level crossing sounds, enabling you to model UK, continental, Asian and American crossings with the most realistic effects. There are bells, gongs, Yodalarm sounders, and others from all around the world, so there is certain to be one to suit.
Finally, warning led lights can be connected to show the yellow and flashing reds common in the UK, but can also be set to display various alternatives commonly found around the world.
There is a full page dedicated to the operation of the module, including the simple programming of the lights, barriers and sounds here.
New Arrival: 8-Channel Train Detectors
Here is a sneak preview of our new 8-channel train detectors.
If you need detection in a number of locations, the cost can soon mount up. Our 8-channel detector is designed to provide sophisticated detection at low cost per monitoring point.
Fully flexible features and easily programmable.
Model Rail Shuttle Module with Infra-Red Detectors
We already have a couple of model rail shuttles in our range, but really wanted to add infra-red train detection. This allows any train to be detected without needing modification.
Infra-red detectors are located at both ends of a length of track, and automatically detect trains as they pass overhead.
Relays on the module stop the train, and after a period of time, reverse the track polarity to send the train back up the line.
We have added interest by allowing different delays at each end of the line (1 to 240 seconds), and that time can be either fixed or random.
There is also the option to connect leds to show the status of the module (these can be positioned on a control panel), or to connect simple 2-aspect light signals which change to allow the train to depart.
Lots of options for both DC locos and DCC locos set to run on DC.
See our page on the Infra-Red Shuttle SAS2-IR for information and ideas.
Infra-Red Triggered Points Controller
We love driving trains, but sometimes it is great to add a bit of extra interest by running other trains in the background or let them look after themselves while you are concentrating on some shunting.
A train running round and around the same track soon draws attention to itself, in all the wrong ways. When used with facing points, our points controller can reroute trains on to alternative tracks, either randomly, or just a proportion of trains. Perhaps set it up to send every fourth train on to a different line, or to randomly send trains to sidings (you can stop them with diodes or dead track).
Alternatively, use it with trailing points to automatically select the points to match approaching trains. If you have trains in sidings, as you run them towards the main line, the points will automatically route them.
Plenty of possibilities for both DC and DCC layouts.
Checkout our page on the Infra-Red Points Controller (IRP1) for more ideas and full details.
BLOCKsignalling is owned & run by Steven Heaton address 12 Ennerdale Cl Leamington Spa.
All prices on this site are in GBP & include VAT at 20% (VAT registration number 133 5838 10).