Semaphore signal replica perfect for the train buff in your life

semaphore-signal

[John Philip’s] brother has a sizable room set aside for his model railroad setup, and he was looking for something interesting to add to his brother’s collection. Rather than construct something for the railroad itself, he decided that an early 1900’s-style semaphore railroad signal would make a great novelty item for the room.

The project started with [John] scouring the Internet for colored signal lenses. Once he found a set that worked for him, he crunched some numbers to ensure that the rest of the semaphore box stayed true to original scale. Inside the signal’s case you will find a small regulator board for his light source, an Arduino, and a motor controller board to actuate the arm.

To ensure that the signal arm is always perfectly positioned, he installed a pair of reed switches on either side of the case, enabling the Arduino to auto-calibrate the signal’s position each time it is powered on. At first, this control scheme might strike you as a bit over the top, but we really like the fact that the signal can always configure itself to function perfectly, even if someone tinkers with/bumps into/moves the arm at any point.

Be sure to stick around to see a short video of the semaphore signal in action.

Comments

  1. dave says:

    wait, what size where the lenses again?

  2. bhelx says:

  3. wernicke says:

    reed switches. not Hall effect sensors.

  4. Keith says:

    Nice work, but the video could have been half as long.

  5. Rob says:

    As a geek and a train nut… love it!!!

  6. jim says:

    I love over engineered systems. This needs to be linked to an inbox or service status, or even a traditional mailbox like a huge flag for it.

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