Magnets to activate sounds.

zman50

Registered
22 Feb 2019
98
3
65
Wisconsin
I have a tender with a sound board inside and was wondering if I could use any magnet in the track, that would fit, to trigger the sounds. I do not have the LGB sound magnets and I really do not know how they work, so instead of buying one I was thinking about putting a small magnet between the rails as a experiment. Thanks
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Tamworth, Staffs.
If the tender has the reed switches, then yes it could work. - Depends a little on how strong your magnets are?

The LGB track magnet has a magnet in one side. The loco has two reed switches, side by side, so depending which 'half' of the 'four-foot' the magnet is in, will determine which reed is triggered.

Use a bit of Blu-Tack, or tape, to hold your magnet on top of a sleeper (tie) and try it..

Be aware there is a lot of metal under a loco.. That is the first place to look, when the magnet 'disappears'! ;)

PhilP.
 

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
I did have a LGB sound tender, and the reed switches are at the side (off set) underneath, one for a bell and one for a whistle, dependant on which way around the LGB magnets were placed. I tried further (none LGB) magnets, but was unable to make them work, it would seem the strength, height above the sleepers and left/right positioning is quite crucial, or I was just carp with my magnets ;)
 

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
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Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Massoth also make these "double sided" track magnets. Massoth Track Magnet The actual positioning and strength of the magnets is fairly critical, as are the reed switch triggers. I made up a small holder for 2 small reed switches, of the glass encased type, with the switches embedded in epoxy resin to position and protect them and attached the holder to the underside of the tender bogie. I think you do not want more than 1/4 inch between the head of the magnet holder and the reed switches. These were used to trigger 2 separate sounds on my Sierra sound card equipped Accucraft K-27. I have now gone to RC trigger operation of these sounds as the regular sounding of the " grade whistle" and bell every time the loco made a circuit of my line drove me nuts. :D Max
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
I did have a LGB sound tender, and the reed switches are at the side (off set) underneath, one for a bell and one for a whistle, dependant on which way around the LGB magnets were placed. I tried further (none LGB) magnets, but was unable to make them work, it would seem the strength, height above the sleepers and left/right positioning is quite crucial, or I was just carp with my magnets ;)
Hm possibly the solution may be to try a few magnets attached to some plasticard with bluetac. Then with the card uppermost and the card screwed to the sleepers keep trying to see what height works. If you get someting then try removing the magnets one by one to see which is the ones that work.
 

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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I used ordinary magnets on my last layout, glued between the sleepers and these worked as well as the LGB ones I also used.

At the moment, I've only used a single LGB one on my layout, but as others have noticed, these are 'handed'; I have an OBB Wizzy Cranks Diesel that only toots depending on which way I put the loco on the track, so a 'full width' magnet is a better choice for me....
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
27,409
2,828
Tamworth, Staffs.
Do remember to try a magnet both face's up! - Dependent on the reed, it can make a big difference.

PhilP
 

zman50

Registered
22 Feb 2019
98
3
65
Wisconsin
Thanks to all for the advice, will let you know what I find works.
 

Dan

Registered
28 Jan 2010
375
33
Eastern MA
I use a sheetrock screw in the tie and then glue a small button magnet to the top of the screw. this prevents the magnet from 'jumping' off the screw.
Note left rail is bell, right rail is horn/whistle, a standard set by LGB in all their engines.
 

zman50

Registered
22 Feb 2019
98
3
65
Wisconsin
I use a sheetrock screw in the tie and then glue a small button magnet to the top of the screw. this prevents the magnet from 'jumping' off the screw.
Note left rail is bell, right rail is horn/whistle, a standard set by LGB in all their engines.
Thanks, so what size would this small magnet be and can it be round?
 

Moonraker

Registered
25 Oct 2009
968
94
South Australia
G Scale Graphics in Colorado sell reed switches and clip on track magnets. They are at Accessories.

Regards
Peter Lucas
MyLocoSound
 

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
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San Diego
www.elmassian.com
I've been biting my tongue....

The size of the magnet is not the only variable here, and does not guarantee success.

Type of reed switch, placement/alignment, distance from the switch to the magnet, polarity "exposed" to the reed switch, are all variables in this working.

You stated you have a tender (no brand or model given) and said you have no LGB magnets (so one could guess it is LGB)

So LGB magnets will probably work, if it is indeed an LGB tender, and in good shape.

Otherwise, you may be experimenting.

As Peter suggested (I'm reading a bit more into what he stated literally), if you buy a "set" of magnets and switches from the same vendor, it is much more likely to work.

Greg