Level Crossing Controller LCS2 for Common Anode

BLOCKsignalling LCS1

Operates Level Crossing Lights Triggered by Infra-Red Sensor

  • Automatically operates up to four sets of level crossing warning signs with yellow and red leds
  • Detects the presence of trains using an infra-red sensor located beneath the track
  • When a train is detected, the yellow led is lit, then the two red leds light alternately
  • Automatically switches off after a set number of cycles
  • Fully configurable to alter the duration and flash rate of the leds
  • Support for continental lights sequences

This Level Crossing Simulator detects the presence of trains by bouncing invisible Infra-Red (IR) light off the underside of the rolling stock, and detecting the light reflected back. When a train is detected, it runs a built-in program to simulate the operation of UK of continental level crossings.

The UK sequence is shown below. The duration of each phase can be easily adjusted during the programming to suit individual requirements.

 

Adjusting the settings to realistically mimic the operation of continental levels crossing is covered toward the end of this document.

The module can be used with between one and four sets of lights, depending on the complexity of the layout, and whether the crossing is visible from both sides or not.

 

Power Supply

The module is designed for use with a DC power supply of between 10V and 25V, or an AC power supply of between 10V and 16V.

Where there is a choice, the recommended power supply is 12V DC.

Please double check all wiring before applying power, as incorrect wiring can instantly cause damage to the unit.

 

 

Programming Procedure

Programming is performed by inserting a link between the A and K terminals and holding down the Push Button when switching on the power (this link will be removed shortly and the infra-red sensor connected).

When programming, there are two values to be entered.

The red led on the PCB flashes at 1 second intervals. When the required number of flashes is seen (see later for the list of possible choices) the button is released to store the first value. At this point the led comes on for five seconds to confirm the first value is stored.

The led then starts flashing again, and this time the button needs to be pressed to store the second value.

Now the two values to be stored have been entered, the led flashes 10 times rapidly, and the module starts operating.

Each value entered can range between 1 and 255. If more flashes are seen, or the programming is aborted by switching off, then the programming must be repeated.

 

Factory Reset

To reset the module back to factory settings, switch off the power to the module and hold down the Push Button. Apply the power and continue holding the push button until 1 flash of the led is seen. At this point, release the button. You will see a long flash of five seconds.

The led will begin flashing again. When you have seen 1 flash press the button. You will see a long flash of five seconds and then 10 rapid flashes. The reset procedure is then complete and the module will restart with factory settings, and run the lamp test mode. If you make a mistake programming, simply repeat the process.

 

PCB LED

The LED mounted on the PCB has four modes of operation:

1. full brightness (during programming)
2. 10% brighness, filckering (whilst searching for a train)
3. 50% brighness, flashing (in programs where the rear of the train is being detected, the 50% brightness flashing will continue for four seconds after the train has cleared the sensor. This is to prevent incorrect detection due to gaps between the rolling stock. This mode is not used on this module.)
4. off (module is no longer searching for a train)

 

Testing the Infra-red Detection

An Infra-Red source and Infra-Red detector are moulded into a single 5mm x 6.5mm package that can be located below the track bed to reflect light off rolling stock.



Identify the leads from the diagram and connect to the terminals marked A, K, C and E on the PCB.

 

The wires can be extended using small chocolate block and extra lengths of cable if required (not supplied).

 

Sensitivity Setting

The module is supplied with the sensitivity pre-set to suit most installations and should not need adjustment.

In locations such as tunnels, or when the IRTD is not being used under the track bed, then it may be desirable to adjust the detection threshold.

The sensitivity is factory set to 5, and can be adjusted from 1 to 10 (with 1 being the most sensitive and 10 being the least sensitive).

 

To change the sensitivity, switch off the power to the module and hold down the Push Button. Apply the power and continue holding the Push Button until 9 flashes of the led are seen. At this point, release the button. You will see a long flash of five seconds.

The led will begin flashing again. When you have reached the desired number of flashes to set the new sensitivity, press the button. You will see a long flash of five seconds and then 10 rapid flashes. The programming is then complete and the module will restart. If you make a mistake programming, simply repeat the process.

Performing a factory reset will reset the sensitivity setting back to 5.

 

Installation

The Infra-Red sensor is normally installed below the track-bed. The detection range of the unit is up to approximately 25mm from the face of the package when normal sensitivity is set (for dark surfaces with low levels of reflectivity).

 

The detector can be mounted in an 8mm hole drilled through the track baseboard. If required, the detector can be held in place using a small amount of blutack, expanded polystyrene or similar.

The led diameter is 2.2mm, so on smaller scales the leds can still have a clear view between the sleepers.


Selecting UK Level Crossing Program

This program runs as soon as power is switched on the module, and so can be controlled from a simple switch on a control panel, connecting the supply to the module. The module will then operate the lights for one cycle and then switch them off.

To select this program, switch off the power to the module and hold down the Push Button. Apply the power and continue holding the push button until 2 flashes of the led are seen. At this point, release the button. You will see a long flash of five seconds.

The led will begin flashing again. When you have seen 2 flashes press the button. You will see a long flash of five seconds and then 10 rapid flashes. The programming is then complete and the will start running the program. If you make a mistake programming, simply repeat the process.

 

Selecting UK Level Crossing Program with Infra-Red trigger

This program waits for the module to be triggered by the Infra-Red sensor before operating the lights for one cycle and then switching them off.

To select this program, switch off the power to the module and hold down the Push Button. Apply the power and continue holding the push button until 2 flashes of the led are seen. At this point, release the button. You will see a long flash of five seconds.

The led will begin flashing again. When you have seen 3 flashespress the button. You will see a long flash of five seconds and then 10 rapid flashes. The programming is then complete and the will start running the program. If you make a mistake programming, simply repeat the process.

 

Adjusting the Timing for each Phase

To change the timing of each phase from the factory settings, first refer to the diagram at the top of this page to identify the individual parameter to change. For instance, to change the "both red" duration you will need to change parameter D4.

This parameter is set in 50ms steps, so to set the time to 500ms (half a second), we will set the second parameter to 10. For those values set in 1 second steps, simply set the number of seconds required.

To change D4 to 500ms, we need to let the led flash 4 times (to select parameter D4) and then 10 times (to select 500ms seconds). Other parameters are adjusted in a similar way.

The full procedure is as follows:

Switch off the power to the module and hold down the Push Button. Apply the power and continue holding the push button until 4 flashes of the led are seen. At this point, release the button. You will see a long flash of five seconds.

The led will begin flashing again. When you have seen 10 flashes press the button. You will see a long flash of five seconds and then 10 rapid flashes. The programming is then complete and the will start running the program. If you make a mistake programming, simply repeat the process.

 

Led Connection

When using leds it is important to connect them the right way around.

The negative lead (cathode) is identified by a flat on the side of the led body, and by having a shorter lead.

 

Connecting the Unit

The diagram below shows the connection to individual leds, for a single light head.

Up to four light heads can be connected in total.

 

Continental Lights Sequences

To replicate the lights sequences used in the US, Europe and Asia, the following programming changes can be made.

 

Skipping the Yellow Phase

Setting 10 allows the program to skip past the first part of the sequence, where only the steady yellow light is shown.

Setting a value of 2 will miss out this part of the sequence.

To switch this back on, return setting 11 to a value of 1 (default).

 

Skipping the phase with Both Reds lit then Both Reds off

Setting 11 allows the program to skip past the section where both the red leds are lit, then both the red leds are off.

Setting a value of 2 will miss out this part of the sequence.

To switch this back on, return setting 11 to a value of 1 (default).

 

Showing Steady Red light , instead of Flashing

Some level crossings show steady red lights, rather than flashing.

Setting 12 allows the program to show steady red on CH1 and CH3, rather than alternate flashing between CH1 and CH3.

Setting a value of 2 will select steady reds.

Setting a value of 1 will select alternate flashing reds (default).

 

Continental Lights Examples

To simulate US wig-wags, set setting 10 to a value of 2 and setting 11 to a value of 2 (no yellow phase, no reds together phase). Connect the red leds to CH1 and CH3,

To simulate a single light flashing on and off, set setting 10 to a value of 2 and setting 11 to a value of 2 (no yellow phase, no reds together phase).  Connect the leds to CH1.

To simulate a steady yellow light, followed by a steady red light, set setting 11 to a value of 2 and setting 12 to a value of 2 (no reds together phase, reds operate steady, no flashing).  Connect yellow to CH2 and reds to CH1 or CH3.

 

Programming Diagram

The following diagram shows all the programming options.