Sunday, 28 June 2020

Additions to the Range of Locally Produced NSWGR Brass Signals

The February 2020 issue of the Australian Model Railway Magazine contained a Signals Branch update on some locally produced brass NSWGR signals that were being developed.

Well, the time has come to announce what is now available.

First is what I call a Steel Slat Bracket Signal, I don't know what the NSWGR called them but the post is made of four steel sections with short welded cross-members. Here is a prototype example:

Cooma - Photo by Robert Merchant
And a photo of a built and painted Signals Branch model.

Pricing - Kit $120 - Built and Painted - $200
The model is designed to have 'plug' in dolly posts and there are six variations available in my range so the required dolly posts will need to be specified when ordering.


Also by leaving the dolly above the main post off then an outrigger style of bracket signal can be made.

Moss Vale Down Starting Signal - Photographer unknown
So a number of variations can be made.

The dolly posts are available separately to order at $3 each.

The above right-hand Steel Slat Bracket Signal has been added to the range but unfortunately, there is no left-hand version as yet. I only did the right-hand version to ensure that what I had designed actually worked. When I was ready to start the left-hand version Shapeways stopped the 3D printing of their metal range including the brass due to COVID-19 issues.

The problem is that I use a Shapeways brass version of a new signal as the master for the production of a silicon rubber mould that is then used to produce the wax signal parts that are used to make the lost wax brass signals. I will either have to wait for Shapeways to start offering brass again or try to produce the master with my DLP resin 3D printer. There are a couple of potential issues with printing the signal and parts myself and they are warping in long parts and clean-up of the contact points of the supports on the model. While these can usually be overcome there can be a lot of experimentation along the way.

A Mid-Post Steel Slat Bracket is currently being designed but timing is related to the issues above.

A timber post Distant signal has been added to the range and the price is the same as a single arm signal, i.e. Kit - $60, Built and Painted $100.

Distant Signal
Pricing - Kit - $60, Built and Painted $100

The next signal in the range is a timber 23 foot 2 signal arm post.

23 foot 2 signal arm post
Pricing - Kit $70 - Built and Painted $100
The small Shunt Ahead signal arm on the two models above is one of four available small shunting signals arms and these are:

All signal arms in the range are available with a counterweight lever and a rear lamp blind at $6.

Signal arms are priced at $3 each.

Counterweight Levers are priced at $1.50 each.

Lamp blinds are priced at $1.50 each.

Also available are four different ladders, one being the 'standard' type, another is an 18 foot ladder with a round loop and two braces at the top and finally, the two shorter ladders that can be seen on the Steel Slat Bracket Signal above.

All ladder types are available to order for $6 each.

18ft Signal Ladder with Base Casting and Safety Cage
Yesterday I completed the test model of the Tubular Steel Post Bracket Signal as shown below. This is now available in both left and right-hand Bracket versions as well as a 23 foot single arm Tubular Steel Post signal and a 27 foot single arm Tubular Steel Post signal.

Pricing - Kit - $100 Built and painted - $170





I am particularly pleased with both the Steel Slat Bracket signal and the Tubular Steel Post Bracket signal, they were a bit of a challenge to work out how to make them operate but work they do.

The above signal pricing is based on the crank style base/mechanism.

If the linear servo base/mechanism is required then there is an additional charge for the linear servos at $12.50 each.

See the post below for more detail regarding the linear servos.

I am investigating having a web site to show the range more easily and to hopefully enable pricing and ordering.

To order or for more information please email Ray Pilgrim at:

rpilgrim@bigpond.net.au




Saturday, 16 May 2020

New Signal Bases with Linear Servo

Signals Branch has recently designed and tested a new signal base for the range of locally produced brass lost wax cast NSWGR Signals that allows the mounting of a small linear servo.



An order for the Signals Branch locally made lost wax cast brass signals with this new linear servo base or the original screw adjustable signal arm throw base/mechanism either as a kit or built can be made by email to: rpilgrim@bigpond.net.au

Original Screw Adjustable Signal Arm Base/Mechanism
The signal base will mount into a 22 mm diameter hole in the layout baseboard.

A double mount has also been designed and tested successfully for two-arm signals such as brackets.

Although not designed and tested as yet a three-arm signal base should be possible but will require more below baseboard vertical clearance.

As there are no built-in throw controls on the signal base for the movement of the signal arm (as on the Signals Branch versions with the cranks and adjustable screws) the movement of the signal arm is controlled by a servo driver board.

The servos will need to be driven by a servo driver board such as those supplied by Tam Valley and other companies. I believe that Arduino boards can be used but that is outside my area of knowledge.

The linear servo is fitted with a plug that matches the Tam Valley servo driver boards.

The linear servo can be sourced online with a different plug for those not using the Tam Valley servo driver boards.

Tam Valley makes servo driver boards for both DCC and DC.

DCC - TamValley Singlet and Quad servo driver boards with DCC accessory decoder(s).

DC - Tam Valley Octopus III 8 servo driver board.

Signals Branch has no affiliation with Tam Valley just a user of their products.

The advantage of these 'built-in' linear servos is that there would be no need to get under the layout to install them with all signal arm throw programming being able to be done on the workbench.

It is expected that the base with a single linear servo would be approximately $17.50 each and a double base with two servos would be approximately $29.95.

Unfortunately, these linear servos are not cheap like the 9G servos.

The linear servo signal bases will be available without the linear servo as well.

A base for a single linear servo is $8.50.

A base for 2 linear servos will be $11.95.

At this stage, the linear servos will not be available separately.

I currently have approximately 20 linear servos available for inclusion in kits or built signals with another 20 in transit but not expected for several weeks.


Friday, 4 October 2019

Australian Made NSWGR Lower Quadrant Brass Signals - UPDATED 19-03-2020

Australian made lost wax cast brass NSWGR lower quadrant signals as kits or built can be ordered from me, Ray Pilgrim at rpilgrim@bigpond.net.au.

The brass signal kits are locally produced, are complete and much cheaper than my brass signals from my Signals Branch shop at Shapeways.


 Brass signal features:


27 ft Single-arm Byles type timber post Signal


23 ft Single-arm Byles type timber post Signal


Left Hand Bracket Byles type timber post Signal


Right Hand Bracket Byles type timber post Signal


39, 36 and 30 inch Signal Arm options


Available as a kit or built to order if required


Everything you need including brass post and details


Castings have been removed from sprues and cleaned up


All holes pre-drilled


3D printed mechanism ready to adjust the signal arm and includes mounting screws


Pre-bent wire for safety handrail and operating rods


Jig to assist with mounting the safety handrail


Single Post - Kit $60 - Built and painted $100


Bracket Post – Kit $100 – Built and painted $170

Assembly instructions can be found in the links at the right-hand side of this page.

Contact Ray Pilgrim at rpilgrim@bigpond.net.au for ordering or further information.





Signals Branch HO Brass Timber Post Signals with brass ladder

Other HO NSWGR signals and models are on my online Signals Branch shop at Shapeways:

Monday, 29 February 2016

NEWS

30 April 2017



A range of brass NSWGR Signals in both timber post and steel round post versions has been commenced. The first releases are 23 foot single arm signals in timber and round steel posts.

The assembly instructions are available for download from the Links on the right hand side of this page.
NSWGR 23 ft Timber Post Signal
NSWGR 23 ft Round Steel Post Signal
A White Strong and Flexible Signal Base/Mechanism is also required to mount these signals.
Timber Post Base/Mechanism
Round Steel post base/Mechanism

Also required is a ladder, either a Signals Branch signal ladder or an etched brass ladder from another supplier.
2 x Frosted Ultra Detail Ladders
10 x Frosted Ultra Detail Ladders with cast Iron Signal Ladder Bases
The assembly instructions are available for download from the Links on the right hand side of this page.


19 July 2016


Just a short post to announce that I have recently made some 4 bolt and 6 bolt fishplates and sleeper plates available on my Signals Branch Shapeways Shop in the HO Infrastructure range and the 7mm Scale range. All of the items are printed in the Frosted Ultra Detail acrylic material.


These items were designed as a result of a request from a modeller so if you have an idea contact me and I will see what can be done.

My email address is rpilgrim@bigpond.net.au




The fishplates were designed for Code 70 and 75 rail but would also work with Code 100 rail.


The fishplates can be glued to the sides of the existing rail to add that missing detail, not for the modern image welded rail modellers though.


Of course the sleeper plates with the holes can also be used as scenic detail laying around the railway yard and alongside the line.

I have also done the fishplates just with holes for lineside details as well.


Here are some 3D renders, photos of the prototypes and a couple of HO 3D model prints.


HO Scale



Close up of 3D render of HO 4 Bolt Fishplates


4 Bolt Fishplate - Carcoar NSW


Actual 3D HO 4 Bolt Fishplate print on Peco Code 75 rail, also fits
Shinohara Code 70 and Micro Engineering Code 70 rail
Close up of 3D render of HO 6 Bolt Fishplates
Observation suggests that only 4 bolts were used.
6 Bolt Fishplate - Carcoar NSW
The 3D printed model fishplates in the photo are opposite each other instead of offset by half the rail length.
This was a test to ensure that NMRA RP25/110 and RP25/88 wheel flanges would not hit the fishplates (which they don't).
Close up of 3D render of HO sleeper plates.
The 4 holes through the plates are to fit Micro Engineering Micro Spikes (Product No. 30-108)
Sleeper Plate - Blayney NSW

Note that the holes in the actual plate are slightly off centre but the holes on the models are centred.
This is because of minimum wall thickness issues of the 3D printing design requirements.
HO 3D printed Sleeper Plates on HO timber sleeper - Code 70 Rail
Micro Engineering Micro Spikes (Product No. 30-108)

Close up of 3D render of HO sleeper plates with printed dog spikes.
Plates are designed to be slid onto Code 70 or 75 rail and glued to HO timber sleepers once gauged.

7mm Scale



Close up 3D render of 7mm Scale 4 Bolt Fishplates
4 Bolt Fishplate - Carcoar NSW
Close up 3D render of 7mm Scale 6 Bolt Fishplates.
Observation suggests that only 4 bolts were used.
6 Bolt Fishplate - Carcoar NSW
Close up of 3D render of 7mm Scale sleeper plates for Code 100 rail.
Two layers of plates are shown.
Close up of 3D render of 7mm Scale sleeper plates for Code 125 rail.
Two layers of plates are shown.
Sleeper Plate - Carcoar NSW



5 July 2016


Just a short post to announce that I have recently made some left and right hand offset bracket signals available on my Signals Branch Shapeways Shop in the HO Fine Detail range and the 7mm Scale WSF range.



Here are some 3D renders of the signals showing the detail level. Note that these are views of the 7mm Scale signals as they show the operating mechanism below the signal base, however the HO Fine Detail Signals have the same level of detail (basically the same 3D file) but without the mechanism which needs to be ordered separately as it is in WSF to reduce the cost.



I would like to point out that these signals have two signal arms, a 39 inch and a 30 inch to allow the modeller to choose which one to use.



Overall view of the Left Hand Bracket Signal


Note that the large cast iron bracket is not printed in place to allow the inner surfaces
of the timber beams and underside of the platform to be painted


Note the pulleys at the base of the signal post and the small supporting brackets under the platform

Overall view of the Right Hand Offset Bracket Signal

Right Hand Offset Bracket Signal platform detail

Right Hand Bracket Signal platform underside detail

I have also added a left hand offset bracket to the White Strong and Flexible (WSF) original HO signal range but of course the range doesn't have the higher level of detail.


22 June 2016

I have just expanded the HO Fine Detail Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) and 7mm Scale White String and Flexible (WSF) range of signals with a left and a right hand NSWGR Lower Quadrant tapered timber post Bracket Signal.

The HO version can be found in the Fine Detail Signals section of my Signals Branch Shapeways shop and the 7mm Scale versions can be found of course in the 7mm Scale section of the shop.

The following renders of the 3D file for the left hand bracket shows the detail I have managed to achieve. I am particularly proud of the results.




The same 3D design is used for both the HO and 7mm Scale signals, adjusted slightly and re-scaled.

The signal comes with one 39" and one 30" signal arm for a main line and a loop. I will be making a range of signal arms available if different sizes/types are required.

The supporting struts attached to the post and bracket are to be removed of course, they are there to protect and support the bracket during the printing process.

To complete the HO Fine Detail signal a suitable mechanism is required and the 2 arm mechanism should be purchased. The mechanism is in WSF as it is much cheaper than the FUD material that the signal is made of. The mechanism is to be glued to the underside of the base of the signal.

The 7mm Scale signal has the appropriate mechanism as part of the print as the signal is done in WSF.

Ladders will be required and printed ladders for each scale are available.

HO 2 Ladder sprue - FUD

HO 10 Ladders with Cast Iron Bases Sprue - FUD

7mm Scale 2 Ladder Sprue - FUD

From the above list it will be seen that I now have a sprue of 10 HO ladders printed in Frosted Ultra Detail acrylic material and these come with the cast iron signal ladder base as part of the ladder.

Apart from use with the HO Fine Detail Signals, these ladders were also designed to replace the coarser ladder of the original basic White Strong and Flexible signals if the modeller so desires or for use on other suppliers signals.


Some New Signals

10 April 2016


Here are a several new items I have recently made available in my Signals Branch shop.
A HO Fine Detail Distant signal in Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) to complement the 27 foot, 23 foot, 18foot and 16 foot single arm signals already available. See the Fine Detail Signals section of the shop. These signal posts come with the signal arm and detail parts, it isn't necessary to order them separately. However the under baseboard operating mechanism is to be ordered as well and glued to the underside of the signal post base. The Short 1 Arm Signal Mechanism is the cheapest option.
HO Fine Detail Distant Signal with added fine printed ladder
Short 1 Arm Signal Mechanism - Required for a Fine Detail Signal

A pair of HO Signal Ladders in FUD for the HO Fine Detail Signals and also to replace the ladders on the original HO White Strong and Flexible HO 'standard' detail signals. These ladders are quite fine but are still reasonably robust in that they will bend a fair bit. The ladders are on the Distant Signal in the above photo.

 A 7mm Scale Distant signal in White Strong and Flexible (WSF) to complement the 27 foot, 23 foot, 18foot and 16 foot single arm signals already available. See the 7mm Scale section of the shop.
7mm Scale Distant Signal - White Strong and Flexible material - Added FUD ladder
A pair of 7mm Scale Signal Ladders in FUD for the 7mm Scale signals. These are quite fine but are still reasonably robust in that they will bend a fair bit. The ladders are on the Distant Signal in the above photo.


A sprue of 7mm Scale Distant signal detail parts in Frosted Ultra Detail acrylic material to use instead of the WSF parts supplied with the signal.

Frosted Ultra Detail signal parts - Only required if you want crisper detail parts

7mm Scale Clearance Posts with Lamps added to the Range

5 March 2016

7mm Scale Clearance posts with Lamps printed in Frosted Ultra Detail acrylic material have now been added to the range. These clearance posts with lamps are to be mounted in a 6mm hole drilled through the baseboard at the clearance location of a set of points (turnouts). On the NSWGR the post and lamp were painted white, paint the lens silver or leave the lens clear if you wish to light the lamp with a LED. The posts are printed in the Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) material that can be made to transmit the light from a 3mm golden white LED placed into the 3mm mounting hole from below the baseboard by coating the lamp lens and the inside of the LED mounting with clear gloss lacquer or ACC Super Glue. Applying the clear removes the frosted look as internally the FUD is clear. If knocked hard the post may break, if so then just pull them out and replace with a new one. If there is a whiteish effect on the surface then carefully scrape this away as much as possible, this is remanent printing support material. I have no control over the orientation of the print and hence the support material.



NSWGR Catch Point, NSWGR Derail and Catch point Indicators added to the Range


29 February 2016

I have today added HO NSWGR Catch Points in left and right hand versions and NSWGR Derails which are simpler equivalents to the catch points in both left and right hand versions. The catch points and derails require the purchaser to source either code 70 or Code 75 rail. NSWGR plans of the catch points and derail can be found in the links on the right hand side of this blog.

Also available are NSWGR Catch Point Indicators in both HO and 7mm Scale and both sizes can be made to work from the catch points mentioned above.

A link to my Signals Branch Shapeways Shop can be found in the links section towards the top and to the right.


7mm Scale Signals added to the Range

29 February 2016

Today began the introduction of a 7mm Scale range of signals with 27ft, 23ft, 18ft and 16ft single arm signals in White Strong and Flexible becoming available. The signal arm and detail parts are all in the same print, however like the HO Fine Detail signals the ladder and handrails are to be sourced by the purchaser so that a much finer signal will result. Etched brass ladder kits are available from Keiran Ryan Models and possibly other sources. As I increase the range of the HO Fine Detail signals I will also add the 7mm Scale versions.


HO Fine Detail Signals added to the Range

19 December 2016

I have added a range of Fine Detail HO signals with 27ft, 23ft, 18ft and 16ft single arm signals in Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD). The signal arm and detail parts are all on the same print, I did this to see if I could come up with a higher quality signal but also to try to keep the price as low as possible by eliminating the US$5 base charge from Shapeways for FUD. I achieved this by producing the signal in FUD for detail and the mechanism in the White Strong and Flexible (WSF) like the standard signals available from my Shapeways shop. I made a shorter mechanism to use less WSF material and a smaller machine space as Shapeways uses both of these parameters when calculating the WSF print cost. This has allowed me to make a Fine Detail Signal available for only about AU$11 more than the standard White Strong and Flexible signals.The signal is amazingly strong although it may break if given a quite hard knock when mounted into the baseboard. It is very difficult to break a piece of 2mm square FUD sprue with the fingers, well I can't actually.

However to achieve a finer detailed signal the ladder and handrails were not printed and are to be sourced by the purchaser. Etched brass ladder kits are available from Keiran Ryan Models and possibly other sources.


HO and 7mm NSWGR A Frames added to the Range

19 December 2015

I have added HO and 7mm NSWGR A Frames to the range available from my Signals Branch Shapeways Shop. A frames are the stands that support and guide the point rodding from a lever frame to one or more points. They are available in Frosted Ultra Detail in sets of 20 frames from one frame to eight frames wide. The A frames have been designed to use polystyrene point rodding that is 0.5mm square Evergreen shapes for HO and 1.0mm square Evergreen shapes for 7mm Scale. The 1.0mm rodding is a smooth fit however the 0.5mm is a neater fit.


Matching Signal Posts to Arms and Detail Part Sets

Click on the link on the right hand side to download a PDF file with information about which Signal Arms and Details Sets to use with particular Signal Posts. This information relates to the White Strong and Flexible signals. The HO Fine Detail signals printed in Frosted Ultra Detail come with the arm(s) and details attached to save the base US$5 production charge for the detail parts, that is it is only applied to the single print, a saving to you. Similarly the 7mm Scale signals printed in White Strong and Flexible some with the arm(s) and details attached. Other HO and 7mm Scale signal arms will be available separately.

This entry was edited/corrected on 29 February 2016.


Do You Want Someone to Build my Signals?

If buying signals from my Signals Branch Shapeways Shop and you would like someone to paint and assemble the signals then Dale Richards has indicated that he will assemble them, for a price of course.

Dale's email address is signalsnsw@gmail.com

Dale also makes his own signals using brass etches and tubing for round posts so he would be glad to speak to you regarding these as well.


Shapeways Shops Can Now Show the Price in Your Currency

Recently Shapeways made a change to the way that the price is shown.

Previously the prices on the Signals Branch Shop were shown in US Dollars but the price can now be shown in the currency of the country that you come from so Australians can see the price in Australian Dollars.

To see the Australian Dollar price scroll to the bottom of the screen and change the drop down list from US$ to AU$. I am not sure if the country drop down effects anything but you can change it to Australia as well.

Shapeways still operates in US$ behind the scenes so the price is set in US$. A by product of this is that the exchange rate causes the price to look odd.

This entry was edited/corrected on 21 January 2016.