State Of The Automatic Controls Union

"State Of The Automatic Controls Union"
Opinion written 12/6/2008 by James Ingram

Explanation: In the last few of months of 2008, several people have contacted me about the LargeScale automatic controls. Thus the following opinions are being published.

Below On This page
A. LargeScale
B. S Gauge
C. For Further Discussion

A. LargeScale ==
  1. The plans for LargeScale automatic controls as detailed in the plans sections on the website, were made between 1992 and 2007, and used mainly the LGB manufactured "EPL" electromechanical components.
  2. Due to LGB going bankrupt and ceasing production sometime around mid 2007, all the LGB components are almost impossible to find, unless you're willing to pay an inflated price on eBay.


  3. Along with other electronic manufacturers, the RR Concepts ( family of controls, made by Curtis Roecks of Oceanside, CA; appear to be able to perform some of the same functions that the LGB-based parts could -- plus additional functions that you could never do with the LGB stuff.
  4. My own actual operating experience with RR Concepts is limited, but others who have used them longer than I have, speak highly of their reliability, in particular Gary Lane of Eugene, Oregon (
  5. I have so far done a video demonstration of the RR Concepts "Switching Interface Module" (aka 'SIM') using it to control an S gauge automatic block. It could be used essentially the same way to construct a LargeScale automatic block, since DC current is used in both cases.
  6. Turnout Scarcity
  7. If you're using the RR Concepts units to control an automatic block where no turnouts are required, no problem.
  8. However if you're using RR Concepts units to make an automatic passing siding or similar, then you still need a reliable turnout. Since LGB turnouts are essentially unavailable, the question becomes, "Whose turnouts do you use??" Reportly there can be problems with Aristo Craft turnouts. We currently have no data for using USA Trains turnouts for automatic controls.

    B. S Gauge ==

  9. I have so far done a video demonstration of the RR Concepts "Switching Interface Module" (aka 'SIM') using it to control an S gauge automatic block.
  10. We have a 2nd S gauge video "in the works", where we used reed switches and automotive relays to operate an "Automatic Passing Siding" using American Flyer switches. We hope to have this video online in early 2009.

    C. Further Discussion ==

  11. Emailed questions just tend to pile up in my "to do" mailbox, as it takes too much time to for me to compose and return long emailed explanations.

  12. Therefore, if you have any further questions you wish to discuss with me, please call my landline number 570-322-7597 between 2 pm and midnight EST (messages can be left anytime). If I miss the call, I return all calls inside the continental USA.

    Note I will not 'pick up' your call if Caller Id identifies it as either 'anonymous' or 'unavailable, but I will still return your message.