Automation with LGB EPL.

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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I have over the years posted links to my Garden Railway portable Automatic Railway that has been on YouTube for some years now. With the latest celebration I offered to have this in my drive for our Street Party yesterday. It did occur to me that there may be some interest in seeing how this is done.

I first started messing about with LGB EPL for Automatic Operation after seeing a an article in Depesche (English version) issue 125 dated 2/2006. Here was a superb Auto Line with 2 loops, 4 trains and different direction operation. Though all of the contacts were shown a lot of information (well for me anyway) was missing on how to really get things going, in particular the reversing sequence. Still undaunted I experimented some and managed to get 3 trains circumnavigating a loop quite happily. This was the format that I used for Rogers Grass Railway seen below. However though there are loops on this setup I never got round to using them with the Automatic sequence so they were just a pretty addition or a place to store trains for swop overs.

Time marches on and much track got used on my new line and some of the Trams were sold on, I thought that I had recovered the Magnets but in the end just recently I have only been able to find a couple of them. Thus the recent setup has only been a loop with 2 trains circuiting. Some of the track had to be ripped out of my Lost Railway, though I have plenty of curves and R1 points. This can be seen under test in my front room and again at the party in the links below. I will set out how this is all done in the next post with descriptions of items used and the varying LGB part numbers.

As an aside I now know a lot of this can be done with Massoth and DCC, I have chosen not to even bother learning how to do that, not enough RAM in my brain for even all the intricacies of EPL let alone another system. Oh finally if you want further reading of the EPL Automatic setup I cannot recommend the ‘Explore the World of LGB’ (ref 00559) book highly enough.

Rogers Grass Railway


Lizzy Garden Railway Testing

June 2022

Lizzy outside on party day.

 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Now to some of the nitty gritty.
Here as a start it is possibly worth while listing the LGB Parts thatI have used, herein after the description of each part I will just refer to the part number.
17010 Loco Magnet
17100 EPL Contacts
12710 EPL Drives (point motor (can also be 12010 or 1210))
12070 Supplementary Switch (plugs into drive above)
10152 Track Isolators
10710 Cable Holder (5071 printed on mine)
00724 EPL Guide Book EPL Techniques
5003 Controller
Looking at each part in turn.

17010 Loco Magnet this is fitted below an LGB Locomotive, it reacts with the Reed Switch in the 17100 to send a power jolt to a 12710 Drive. This really is the colonel of getting EPL to work.

17100 Contact, this has a Reed Switch inside and this is activated to make a power connection that throws the 12710 Drive. They have a single feed from the AC output of my trusty old 5003 controller with the second wire going to one side of the 12710 Drive. This bangs the EPL drive across. The other ‘OC’ contact on the 12710 drive is the second of the 5003 AC output. In my case as there are 4 Drives on my board for future use I have daisy chained ‘OC’ contacts via a Choc Block. Note that for each isolated section two of these are required. One to Start (de isolate the section) to get the second train to move. The second is to enable the inbound train to isolate itself.

12710 EPL Drives these are simply put an LGB EPL Point Motor, the system effectively turns these into a Relay by the addition of a 12070 Supplementary Switch. In my scenario this just turns on or off a track section. The drive is driven one way as the train approaches the dead section powering up the loco that sits dead in the section. When it gets the second jolt the 12710 Drive returns to the Isolate Section position. Each motor has 4 wires in my scenario, Two that power it (note if you use conventional point motors this is more complex as they need to have polarities reversed to operate, this is not so with EPL drives) the other two wires go to the live rail and the dead section. When supplied there is a face plate that needs to be removed at the non wired end to fir the 12070 Supplementary Switch.

12070 Supplementary Switch , these simply plug into drive 12710 and have 2 SPDT switches. This what they can do is act as an On/Off Switch (2 wires as I have done), a change over switch (3 wires) or a DPDT 6 wires. Thus you may imagine many different possibilities with these and they would sort out the reversing of trains. In fact a simple end to end Auto Line could be created using the EPL system.

10152 Track Isolators 2 of these are used to create my dead section. On Rogers line I used 4 to create the 2 dead sections for 3 trains.

10710 Cable Holder (5071 printed on mine) I used these this time to keep the wires tidy. I have no idea where or when I obtained these, quite likely in a useful box of LGB bits at a show. But if you want them they are still obainable at around £12 for a pack of 5.

00724 EPL Guide Book EPL Techniques, I list this as it may be of use. I could not find my copy if I even have one!

5003 Controller I used this trusty old controller as it is all I now have after sundry sales via Glendale. I do wish I had saved the higher powered analogue one, but this worked well on the day running the two trains for 8 or so hours on a hot day. But I did take the opportunity to cover it to keep the sun off it. I believe with no more than 2 trains running at once it has sufficient oomph to keep things on the go. However I have a second one just in case, it may make sense to use one for the trains and the other for powering 12070 EPL Drives.
 

dunnyrail

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Using the system.
Connecting things up can be a bit of a task for the beginner, there are quite a lot of wires required. I have used the basics of LGB Track Wire to Track Feeds. These came in sundry sets and second hand purchases. I also like the LGB screw connectors with these for my portable line. The Track Contacts 17100 are connected using a thinner wire, all colour differentiated for each of my 4 12719 Drives.

My method of keeping track of things was to do a simple diagram with the varying parts but not showing wires at this stage. Looking at the diagram below the single section at the top is what I have just used. Thus On Off refers to 17100 Track Magnets. R1 is the combination of 12710 EPL Drive and 12070 Supplementary Switches. Mains and 50110 51070 is my other controller now the 5003. The blue dot turns the dead section on and the brown dot turns it off. These are the 2 17100 Track Contacts activated by the Magnet 17010 mounted below each of the trains used.
6957CE79-135A-4F9F-A4A0-1E4FB9CBF015.jpeg

No. of EPL Relays (12710 and 12070) used on my board is 4. The latest setup only used one of these combinations but for Rogers line I used 2. The others are for future development if I ever get round to it. One idea was for a High Line and this system would work very well for that.
A2E27941-826D-42D7-B399-966D24B96EEE.jpeg

In operation the train trundles around the line one isolating itself after powering up the other one, then the other one copies the sequence. The colored dots dots seen below refer back to the Drives and help me remember what is what. The blue dot 17100 Contact starts up (de-isolates the section) the train whilst the Red Dot 17100 Contact causes the Train to Isolate itself.
29B8E8E8-1183-47DE-A426-E9C27DF73AA3.jpeg D848BD95-D112-48F9-9A61-D06E0212E47F.jpeg

As mentioned I have used the 10710 Cable Tidy to keep things neat, they just push into the LgB Rail and a clip keeps them in place. Well worth having for a line such as mine.

Finally after pulling things apart I use cable tidy to secure all the wires together till the next time, things could get very spagetti like without.
ADB0862A-ADDC-41CC-BA30-00B0B9529A41.jpeg

I hope this rambling has given you some ideas for an Automated Railway, it can and has been used externally on permanent Garden Lines though I have never done that. I would imagine that much work on correct securing and security of wires at EPL Drives outside would be required, I think I would mount my board in a building that is convenient using LGB Graphite on all the wires.

Any thing you think I have not described adequately, please ask and tell me if I have got things wrong as well. I can only really fully comment on what has worked for me.
 

playmofire

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23 Oct 2010
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I have an exhbition coming up at the end of July and I have been thinking of something automated, so your post has been very useful, either for the short term or longer term.
 

Brixham

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I am assisting with an automated lgb railway at Alresford festival of trains on Saturday June 18th, with a rough Wild West theme. Oh yes, 1/24 slot cars with automated grade ( level ) crossings.
We can show you the basics, with 2 trains alternating round a single loop using epl techniques, all analogue
Also many other layouts, sales tables, bbq, beer, and hopefully live music
Malcolm