Signaling Project

Good Enough

I’ll be outlining a project for block signaling using phototransistors and an Arduino.


  • The solution will be responsive to moving trains
  • The solution will use block detection for moving trains
  • It will be “good enough” for moving trains
  • It will be upgradeable for DCC communication, with software and an opt-coupler


A club member gave me an introduction to 3D printing and a website for Shapeways, a place to order 3D prints or purchase existing designs. I ordered one signal mast to get my LEDs off the breadboard. I’m mainly interested in the electronics and software though.

2W bus

I’m toying with the idea of one controller running many blocks as the workload is minimal. I’ll be using a port expander chip to communicate LED status and monitor the phototransistors.

Design Phase

  • 11-16-2016 Software core engine is complete
    • Adding code to handle multiple varieties of signal states
      • red- green
      • red- yellow- green
      • red-yellow-yellow flashing- green


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