Saturday, April 4, 2020

Block Detection

Quick block detection shot to share with my readers.

What you are seeing here at the center of the shot is a RR-Cirkits BOD-8 board. This is a board made to detect occupancy of up to 8 blocks, using current transformer coils that get placed on the DCC feeder for a rail of your choice. Also in the picture - Tortoise switch machine and Digitrax UP5 panel.

You can see that I use red for DCC Rail A and Black for DCC Rail B as the DCC bus and use 3M suitcase connectors to go from bus to feeder gang to feeder.

Per detected block, this is a probably the cheapest commercial way to do this. $35.40 is their direct NMRA pricing so that's $4.425 per block. A Digitrax BDL168 (which I used a bunch of on the previous railroad) runs about $120 for 16 blocks, which makes the math $7.50 a block there.

Once you figure out how many blocks even a smallish railroad requires, you try to figure out ways to maximize your ROI...

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