Saturday 20 April 2019

Block Signal Network Problem ---BEWARE !

Hello friends...

I have been slowly installing a block signal network and recently encountered a significant problem:  With the most recently installed set of signals, one block signal would not communicate with the next block signal in line !
How rude! ;-)

 Below is Signal # 14 on my layout.  ( 76495 )  Programming achieved with the method described in my previous post using the programming track connections and CS 3.   ( this particular signal placed more toward the middle of the lanes b/c the longest passenger cars would scrape the signal if attached per usual  )

The address for this signal has been created.   The next signal is # 17 ( 76495), also a block signal.

Signal # 17 is red.  The signal below is # 14 and should show twin yellow Distant lights indicating that the next signal ( # 17 ) is red.  Obviously signal # 14 does not show the yellow lights !

So what is wrong?

( Remember: if the signal is red, it will NOT show any distant indicator lights for the next block signal--ONLY if the block signal is green will the distant indicator lights illuminate )

So let's examine the "configuration" data for Signal # 14.....  

Edit --> Edit Article --> Find the signal in question,  --> click on the signal --> click on Configuration bar--> this window appears.  ( allow time for each of the two horizontal bars to load ...a few seconds ) 

Click the SECOND line ( Configuration ) and then you can examine the data. 

The address for the next "distant" signal is correct:  218 ( which is the home signal address for signal # 17..the next in line ) This data was entered when the signals were mounted on the layout. 

NOTE WELL: Under CV "Type Distant Signal Mast" ...there is NO SIGNAL !!!!  This is why Signal # 14 will not read the next signal in line !

Now how to correct this problem?

Click on the "Type Distant Signal Mast" ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE COLUMN ....and in this adjacent column,  the rectangle becomes white with the following choices: 

1) No signal
2) :::  ( I have no idea what this means)
3) Block
4) Entry
5) Exit

Click on the "Block " choice....indicating that the next signal is indeed a block signal

Below ...note that "block signal" is now in the CV for "type distant signal mast".

And now we have success !  Signal # 14 reads the home signal status of # 17..the next signal in the block chain!

This is signal # 17  

The underlying quandary is why did this situation occur now?  I installed a pair of block signals a few months ago in the same manner, and quite frankly, I do not remember changing the "type distant signal mast"  CV as we I assume it occurred spontaneously. ....I have no answer for what happened here.

 This post is only to advise others how to remedy a similar problem if encountered.

Rick Sinclair of the Marklin Dudes was the sagacious advisor who sleuthed the solution in just a few minutes.  Thank you, Rick!!!

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