getting a train to run back and forth by itself?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by custom1106, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

    I'm starting a HO shelf switching layout (2x8) and I want to be able to let a switcher and a few boxcars run back and forth unatended. Instead of sitting there and switching polarity with the powerpack, how can I put together a circuit to make a train go back and forth buy itself on the mainline while I'm not busy switching? Is there a ready made device for this, or do I have to fab something up to make this possible?

    I'm ASE certified in automotive electronics, so I know a little about wiring, but what do I need to make this work?

    I appreciate your help...

  2. CN1

    CN1 Active Member


    I'm interested to find out too
  3. docsnavely

    docsnavely Member

    What if you were to use IR sensors (or any type for that matter) close to each end of the track, and rig up some simple device to automatically switch the polarity for you when you trip one of the sensors? I'm not sure what kind of device you would want to use to switch your polarity though (either a mechanical switch for your throttle, or some sort of circuit). That's something the experts here could help you with. =o) I hope this helps a little!:D :thumb:

  4. moria

    moria Member

    Hi :)

    Try these circuits :)


    I have built a number of Bob's circuits and they all seem to do exactly what they intend to, even with my ham-fisted approach to circuit building :thumb:


  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    There are a couple of off-the-shelf products that do auto-reversing, check the Walthers catalog for the full scoop.
  6. custom1106

    custom1106 Member

    i decided that the idea could get costly...instead I built a 36" circle at one end and a large yard coming off of it.

    thanks for the ideas!
  7. docsnavely

    docsnavely Member


    Thanks for those great schematics though moria! I'll have to bookmark those pages for the future! :thumb:


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