- I love my Jumbo and have set it up a number of times to accelerate and decelerate on various layouts. The LGB Jumbo requires use of LGB reed switches that have two diodes and a capacitor installed bringing the cost for each one over $15.
- RR-concepts.com -- Lower Cost & More Reliable
-- RR Concepts station master and other products are a better choice in
- I have a unit installed in a restaurant for over ten years
that has reliably operated all that time seven days a week during open
hours for four owners of the restaurant. Reed switches are very low
cost. $5 each if you buy RR Concepts wired reed switches. If you buy
bulk normally-open reeds, cost drops to about $1 each, but you will
have to solder your own wires onto the leads.
- The Station Master and
other products are simple to wire and set up, just follow his
directions, which are on his site as well. Latching relays and all
contacts are high quality gold plated. He has protected his circuits
to help prevent accidentally misstaken wiring and blowing a circuit board.
Very well thought out units. Slow down and speed up rates are
adjustable. Delay time or time spent stopped is adjustable. If you
want longer times than he usually installs, ask him and he can make a
unit with longer times.
- Don't use a Jumbo for each section of track you wish to control (OK you might be able to control more than one block, if you can guarantee that each controlled block will never be activated at the same time as another section!). Instead, for the same money, buy multiple lower cost units, that work more reliably than the LGB system (I say this despite appreciating LGB's offerings for the most part). Place the units near the block to be controlled in a building or under landscaping.
On Apr 30, 2007, at 6:14 PM, Gary wrote:
- As Tom discovered, the RR Concepts control boxes are a great solution for controlling trains at a station stops -- either with a sudden LGB EPL style slam to a halt and speed up system or with a Jumbo style acceleration and deceleration system.
- It is possible to set up trains to run on a single track and take
turns running the oval in opposite directions.
The Switch Master has a few advantages over LGB's EPL system for controlling switches:
- 1. Stronger pulse of electricity ensures switches more reliably are completely thrown to the desired position.
- 2. RR Concepts reed switches are $5 each vs. LGB 17100 Track Contact $13.89+
- 3. The unit works even if an engine parks on top of the Track Contact
unlike LGB's which will shut down the entire system if a magnet-
equipped engine parks on top of the contact.
- The Switching Interface Module has a few advantages over LGB's 1203 connected to a switch motor.
- 1. RR Concepts' latching relay is far more reliable than the heavily
sprung LGB system that has to move the switch motor and the 1203
- LGB's system often fails to completely move the switch motor. It requires far less amperage to operate and does not have to overcome the high friction problems inherent in LGB's switch motors and the 1203 double pole switches.
- 2. Gold contacts ensure no build up of oxidized metals = reliable.
- 3. Since there are no exposed moving parts, dirt, grit, grease, etc.,
cannot stop the unit unlike LGB's switch motor which all too often
gets disabled by dirt.
While I have used RR Concepts units for a long time and have discussed possible improvements to his prototype R&D model, I have no financial interest in his home-based enterprise. I do admit I am very grateful he has continued to produce and develop his product line of well thought out model train automation products.