Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Signalling in Fulton, IL

I installed a set of signals at MP 133 on the east end of Fulton, IL.  This location is much closer to the edge of the layout than the first set of signals I installed from Scale Models Division.  This makes them so much easier to appreciate.  I am really liking these signals.   The fine scale profile of the ladders and platforms are outstading as are the scale size of the box behind the target containing the LED.  The LED light itself is a bit bigger than I like, so I have been using a fine point sharpie marker aroung the edge of the opening to reduce the size of the light.  I am finding that the size/brightness of the light on N scale signals is a balancing act.  They need to be smaller and dimmer to look prototypical.  However, they need to be bigger and brighter so that human operators can see the color indications.  The actual colors are another thing.  I can see the difference between red and yellow on the signals, but I am finding that some operators are not able to distinguish very well between red and yellow.   There was a suggestion at our last operating session that I use flashing red or flashing yellow so that operators can more easily see the change in signal indication.  That would work fine, but it would not be prototypical for the Union Pacific Geneva Subdivision.  Again its a balancing act.  Right now I am leaaning toward doing red - flashing yellow - green for operating sessions and red - flashing yellow - yellow - green when I am operating solo.  

   Anyway, the Scale Models Division signals are awesome and highly recommended.  This week I will be installing a couple of bridge signals and I will hopefully post some pictures the weekend.


  1. Daryl, I always loved following the old version of the layout, but I'm enjoying these updates just as much. Is the yellow that hard to distinguish?

    Might have to bug Skibbe into looking at these for ModuTrak instead of waiting for BLMAs.

  2. I have no problem distinguishing, but I think different people have varying levels of color acuity. I know charlie is close to color blindness, but he was not the one suggesting flashing red and yellow. Also, I think operators have more trouble with the Sunrise signals than they do with the SMD.

  3. Interesting. I'd think it'd be tougher to tell between yellow and green, than yellow and red.