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Publication numberUS3163125 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 29, 1964
Filing dateJun 20, 1960
Priority dateJun 20, 1960
Publication numberUS 3163125 A, US 3163125A, US-A-3163125, US3163125 A, US3163125A
InventorsJenks Howard E
Original AssigneeJenks Howard E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sempahore for electric toy trains
US 3163125 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 29, 1964 H. E. JENKS SEMAPHORE FOR ELECTRIC TOY TRAINS 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 20, 1960 INVENTOR. Howard E. Jen/rs;

Dec. 29, 1964 H. E. JENKS SEMAPHORE FOR ELECTRIC TOY TRAINS 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed June 20. 1960 7 m B M 5 nliiliinil nnn 5w vHnIiiin- 0 Q 4 l m I 4 r0 IIIIPIIIIIw IN V EN TOR. Howard E. Jen/(s.

Dec. 29, 1964 H. E. JENKS 3,163,125

SEMAPHORE FOR ELECTRIC TOY TRAINS Filed June 20, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 4' 20 I; all; I In" v E a 5+ z /l/l/l/A INVEN TOR. Howard E. Jen/re.


Dec. 29, 1964 H. E. JENKS SEMAPHORE FOR ELECTRIC TOY TRAlENS 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed June 20. 1960 INVENTOR Howard E. Jen/(s. BY

United States Patent Ofitice 3,163,125 Patented Dec. 29, 1964 3,163,125 SEMAPHORE FOR ELEQTRIC TOY TRANS Howard E. .lenks, 3338 N. 62nd Drive, Phoenix, Ariz. Filed June 2%, 1960, Ser. No. 37,212 3 Ciaims. (Cl. 104-449) This invention relates to semaphores for electric trains and is particularly adaptable for use in connection with toy trains.

Heretofore in semaphores of this character there have been primarily two signals, one green for the go signal and one red for the stop ignal. In such construction it has been found that there is no provision for slowing down of the train in the electrical system. Other detrimental effects of semaphores of this character have been in the liability of mistake in the light signals in operation of the train.

It is the principal object of the present invention to provide semaphores of this character having an intermediate or warning position indicated by a yellow light whereby the trains speed is reduced by the electrical system as it approaches a semaphore with a light in the yellow position to approximately one-half of its original speed before the signal turns to red and the train is stopped.

Other objects of the present invention are to provide a semaphore mounted upon a platform adjacent a track section having brackets extending below the platform upon which an arm is pivotally mounted whereby one end of a push rod of the semaphore is connected to one end of the arm and the other end of the arm is linked to an arm on a shaft rotated by a gear of a gear reduction unit operable by an electric motor; to provide a limit switch in the form of a plate or disk on said shaft upon a frame section below the platform having an open or insulated space thereon; to provide contact points or fingers for contacting said plate; to provide means for operating the electric motor; to provide means between the motor and the disk plate for energizing the latter; to provide an electrical system for operation of the semaphore whereby operation of a semaphore motor con trol affects the next two semaphores behind, thus operating three semaphore motor control units simultaneously, and to provide a device of this character simple and economical to manufacture.

In accomplishing these and other objects of the invention I have provided improved details of structure the preferred forms of which are shown in the accompanying drawings wherein FIG. 1 is a side view partly in cross section illustrating the semaphore with the signal on the'yellow light.

FIG. 2 is the view similar to FIG. 1 with the signal on the red light. The position of the arm when on the green light is shown in dotted lines.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view particularly illustrating the hookup of the semaphore rod and linkage to the gear reduction mechanism and the auxiliary switch.

FIG. 4 is a disassembled perspective view of the semaphore above the platform.

FIG. 5 is a partly cross sectional view particularly illustrating the auxiliary switch taken on a line 5-5 FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a transverse cros sectional View particularly illustrating the contact fingers with the disk or limit switch and the gear reduction mechanism taken on a line 6-6 FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional View through the gear re duction mechanism taken on a line 7-7, FIG. 3.

FIG. 8 is a schematic view illustrating the electrical circuits in the semaphore control system.

Referring more in detail to the drawings:

1 designates a semaphore embodying the features of my invention mounted on a platform 2. There are a plurality of semaphores included in my system but only one Will be described as each one is identical to the other.

The semaphore includes a housing 3 that is suitably secured upon the platform 2 and mounted on said housing is a tubular member 4 through which a push rod 5 extends. Mounted upon the upper end of the tubular member 4 by a set screw or the like 6 is a block 7 which has an opening 8 through which the tubing extends as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. The block has transverse openings, 9 and 9. Pivotally mounted in the opening 9 by a shouldered set screw 10 is the semaphore arm 11 which pivots upon the screw and the arm has a blade portion 12 having openings 13, 14 and 15 in which are mounted transparent red, yellow and green lenses respectively. Mounted in the opening 9' is a housing 16 for a light bulb 17 to which are attached electrical wires 18 which extend downwardly along the tube 4 and pass through an opening 19 in the top of the housing 3 and extend below the platform 2 to a source of electrical supply (not shown). A ladder 26 of the semaphore is mounted on the platform in a suitable manner and the upper end has spaced pins 21 engaging in spaced openings in the block 7 to mount the upper end thereon and the lower end has extensions 21 engaging in openings in the platform 2 as is best illustrated in FIG. 4. The rod 5 has its upper end bent transversely as indicated at 22 (FIGS. 3 and 4) which extend outwardly through a slot 23 in the upper end of the tubing 4 and the end 22 engages in an opening 24 at substantially the juncture of the arm 11 and blade portion 12 of the semaphore signal. Depending from the platform 2 slightly to one side of the housing 3 is an arm 25 on the lower end of which is pivotally connected by a bolt 26 a lever arm 27 having openings 28 and 29 in each end thereof. The lower end of the rod 5 extending downwardly from the semaphore below the platform has its end turned transversely and engages in the opening 28 thus connecting the lever arm 27 with the semaphore arm 11.

Also mounted below and depending from the platform 2 are brackets 30 upon which is mounted a frame structure 31 having an extension 32 upon whhich is mounted electric motor 33. Mounted upon the framework structure 31 is a gear reduction unit or mechanism 34 having connections with a gear 35 mounted upon the motor shaft 36. Rotatably mounted on the frame structure 31 and in driving engagement with gear reduction unit 34 through gear 37 is a shaft 38 and rigidly mounted thereon is an electrically conductive limit switch disk 39. Rigidly secured to the outer end of the shaft 38 is an arm d9 mounted for rotation with said shaft and limit switch disk 39. A link 41 connects one end of the arm 4% with one end of lever arm 27 the link engaging in the opening 29 in the end thereof. The other end of the arm 40 is connected by a link 41 to an auxiliary switch arm 42 to regulate the electric current to the track for a purpose later described. The switch arm 42 is mounted upon a bracket 43 which in turn is secured by bolt 44 to a portion 45 of the depending bracket and framework structure below the platform.

Also mounted upon the portion 45 of the framework structure and extending upwardly therefrom are contact fingers 46, 47 and 48 having their upper ends adapted to contact the limit switch disk 39. The fingers 46, 47 and .8 are connected by conductors 49, 5t) and 51 of an electrical system as is shown in FIG. 8 which will later be described. The limit switch disk 39 is connected by conductor 52 to the motor as illustrated in FIG. 1 and the disk has a dead or insulated space 53 which is in the form of a strip extending around the shaft 38 to one side edge of the disk for a purpose later described.

Mounted on the platform at one side of the semaphore housing 3 are spaced tracks or rails consisting of an interrupted track 54 and a continuous live track or rail 55 a-nd'by reference to FIG. 8 it will be noted that S1, S2 and S3 on the diagrammatic view indicate three different semaphores and R1, R2. and R3 represent relays for operation of motor control units 56, 57 and 58 for the semaphores as now to be described,

The electrical circuit for the semaphores and controls thereof is particularly illustrated in FIG. 8. Referring to semaphore S1 the operation begins when the locomotive (not shown) passes over a normally open or insulated section 6% of track 54 in the direction indicated by the arrow noted 6%, the section 6% preferably having a length of approximately the length of tender truck of the train. The insulated track section 60 is connected by a conductor 61 to relay R1. The conductor 61 leads to one side of a winding 62 of the relay R1 and a conductor 64 connects the other side of the winding 62 with one side of a power source 82 discussed more fully hereinafter. The other side of the power source 32 is con nected to the track 55 with a conductor 82'. The locomotive in such electric trains usually has certain wheels contacting the two tracks to complete the circuit to the propelling motor in said locomotive or train (not shown). As said certain wheels of the locomotive contact track section 66 the circuit between said track section 6i) and the track or live rail 55 is completed through the locomotive propelling motor as indicated by dotted lines 65. The winding 62 receives current from the track section 60, the circuit through the winding 62 being completed by the conductor 64 back to the power source 82. The winding 62 is thus energized and activates the relay R1 to close three switches 66, 67 and 68. One side of each of the switches 66, 67 and 68 in the relay Kit is respectively connected to conductors 69, 7t) and 71. The other side of each of the switches 66, 67 and 68 in the relay R1 is respectively connected to conductors 72, 73 and 74. The conductor 71 is connected to a DC. power source 75 at the negative side 76 thereof. The conductor 51 is connected to the positive side 77 of the power source 75. As'noted above the conductor 51 is connected to the finger 4-8 which, through the limit switch disk 39, is connectible to one side of the motor 33 of the motor control unit 56. The conductor 74 is connected to the other-side of the motor 33 of the motor control unit 56.

The conductor 70 is connected to the positive side of a 'D.C. power source (not shown), the negative side of which is connected to the finger 47 of a next preceding control unit (not shown) in the manner of the conductors 90 and 94 described hereafter in connection with the relay R2. The conductor 69 is connected to the positive side of a DC. power source 9n, the negative side of which is connected to the finger 46 of a second preceding control unit (not shown) in the manner of the conductors 101 and 103 described hereafter in connection with the relay R3.

Upon closing of switch 68, current flows through conductors 71 and 74 to the motor 33 of controLunit 56 to effect rotation of the limit switch disk 39. As the motor operates, the gear 35 thereon will rotate the gear reductionmechanism 34, which in turn rotates gear 37 on shaft 38 and limit switch disk 3% thereon in a clockwise direction until contact finger 48 contacts the insulated space 53 on the limit switch disk thus breaking the flow of current to the motor and stopping the same as illustrated in FIG. 2. At the same time signal arm 11 has been moved upwardly into red or stopping position also shown in FIG. 2 due to the link connection of arm 40 on shaft 38 through link 41, arm 27 and push rod 5. By this time the wheels of the train making the circuit have passed While the signal arm 11 is being moved, the other side of arm 4% will operate the auxiliary switch arm 42 through link 41 for a purpose now described. As illustrated in FIG. 8 a conductor 5% leads from the switch arm 42 to a section 81 of the track 543 beyond or down track relative to the rail section 6%. A branching conductor 83' connects said conductor 86 with one side of a source of electrical supply 82. Conductor 82 leads from the other side of source 82 to rail 55 to provide a closed circuit completed throufh the train for operation thereof when said train passes over rails or track 54 and 55. A conductor 83 leads from a separated rail section 84 in front of or up track from section 60 to a contact point $5 on the bracket 43 and another conductor 86 leads from said rail section 84 to one side of suitable resistor 87 such as an 8 ohm 5 watt resistor when using a 12 volt source 82 and continues from the other side of said resistor 87 to a second contact point 88 on the bracket 43. The contact points 85 and 38 are arranged in an are adapted to be engaged by the switch arm 42- at certain intervals as the switch arm moves up and down due to its link connection 41 with arm 40. Contact of arm 42 with point 85 will allow full current to flow through conductor to conductor 83 and rail section 84 energizing the same, and contact of switch arm 42 with point $8 will supply reduced current to rail section 84 through conductor 86 and resistor 87 for a purpose later described. When the signal Sll is operated into a red or stop position as previously described, arm as will move the link 41 and thus arm 42 downwardly as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, thus disengaging the arm 42 from the contact points or 88 and breaking the circuit to the conductors 83 and 86 thereby tic-energizing rail section 84. It will be obvious that any following train approaching S1 While in red position will be stopped until said rail section 84 is energized as later described.

As the first mentioned locomotive passes the next semaphore S2 the above described action is repeated. Upon closing of the switches 66, 67 and 68 of relay R2 the semaphore S2 moves into red position. A conductor 96 leads from the positive side 91 of a source of electrical supply 92 to one side of switch 67. A conductor 3 connects from the other side of said switch 67 to conductor '74 leading to the motor 33 of control unit 56. A conductor 94 leads from the negative side of the electrical supply 5'2 to contact finger 47 in the control unit 56 for current flow through limit switch disk 39 and conductor 52 to motor 33 thereby reversing the polarity of current to said motor and reversing said motor whereby it oprates to rotate the limit switch disk 39 of control unit 56 in an anti-clockwise direction and moves the signal S]. to the yellow position as shown in FIG. 1, until contact finger 47 engages the insulated space 53 of the disk 39 interrupting the current to motor 33 of the control unit 56 and stopping the signal at said yellow position. The motor 33 is a DC. motor to enable the direct reversing as above described. After the switch arm 42 of control unit 56 has moved from its non-contact position into contact with point 88 the resistor hookup 87 in conductor 86 will cause the speed of a following locomotive approaching 81 to be reduced to half as it moves over the rail section 84. It is thus apparent that relay R2 will operate the control unit 56 of S1 to the yellow or intermediate stage due to the specific wiring connections or in other words, each semaphore unit will operate the next semaphore behind to the yellow position.

Simultaneously as the switches 67 and 68 of relay R2 close, switch 66 of relay R2 will close and allow a circuit to be completed from the positive side 95 of a source of supply 96 through a conductor W to switch 66 and to a conductor 98. The conductor 98 leads from the other side of said switch 66 to a semaphore (not shown) up track from semaphore S1 and a conductor 99 leads from the negative side of the source of supply 96 to said up track semaphore in the manner of conductors 193 and 3 102 described hereafter in connection with relay R3 for a purpose now becoming apparent.

As the locomotive continues to semaphore S3 the primary operation is repeated. Closing of the switch 68 in relay R3 will move S3 into red position and closing of switch 67 in relay R3 will close the circuit to motor 33 of control unit 57 of S2 moving the same into -yellow position and at the same time reducing the speed of any following train on rail section 84' between semaphore S1 and S2 by half through auxiliary switch 42 and resistor of unit 57. Closing of switch 66 of R3 will permit current flow through a conductor 101 leading from the positive side of a source of supply 96 to one side of said switch and a conductor 102 leading from the other side of the switch 66 to conductor 74 of control unit 56 and to motor 33 of said control unit 56. A conductor 103 leads from the negative side of the source of supply 96' to contact finger 46 of S1 to complete the circuit through limit switch disk 39 and conductor 52 to the motor 33 of the unit 56 operating the same to move semaphore S1 into green position, as shown in dotted lines 104, FIG. 2. As finger 46 of unit 56 contacts the insulated space 53 on disk 39 the current is interrupted thus stopping the motor 33 of unit 56 and holding the semaphore S1 in the green position. The rotation of the motor 33 in the latter case has been in the same direction as previously when S1 was moved from red into yellow position since the polarity of current is the same. When S1 reaches the green position, the auxiliary switch arm 42 has engaged contact point 85 allowing the full power to flow through conductor 83 to rail section 84 and restoring the full speed power to any train approaching S1. l Vith this arrangement, any semaphore unit will thus operate the second semaphore behind into a green position as S3 moves S1 to the green position.

It will be obvious from the foregoing that the operation of any semaphore motor control unit actuates the next two semaphores behind it, operating the three motor controls thereof simultaneously. In other words, if a locomotive passes the rail section 60 of semaphore 3, S3 will move to red, S2 will move to yellow and S1 to green and at the same time breaking, reducing or restoring the power to their respective rail sections. Each circuit is independent from the rest but each can come from a single common power source if desired. The power sources have been illustrated as separate units for convenience.

It is to be understood that while I have illustrated and described one form of my invention, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown except insofar as such limitations are included in the claims.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

1. Control apparatus for model railroads of the type receiving motive power through electrically energized track sections comprising: a mounting structure, a semaphore -pivotally mounted on said structure, a reversible motor associated with said structure, a shaft operably connected to said motor for rotation in opposite directions in response to the reversed rotation thereof, a limit switch member on said shaft and rotatable in opposite directions therewith, said limit switch member having an electrically conductive portion and an electrically insulating portion thereof, said motor being electrically connected in series through said limit switch member conductive portion, a plurality of electrically conductive fingers fixed with respect to said structure andslidably bearing against said limit switch member for selectively directing electrical power through said conductive portion to said motor,

said fingers respectively being electrically insulated from 7 said motor when contacting said limit switch member on said insulating portion, electrical power sources of opposite polarity selectively connected to said motor respectively through said fingers for selectively reversing the rotation of said motor during selective completion of circuits through said fingers, means operably connected between said limit switch member and said semaphore for pivoting said semaphore into various signalling positions in response .to position changes of said limit switch memher, and an auxiliary switch operably connected to said limit switch member and electrically connected to a selected track section for altering the electrical power directed to said selected track section simultaneously with the pivoting of said semaphore to a changed position.

2. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 including a plurality of relays operably associated with respective succeeding track sections for sequential actuation when said last named sections are sequentially occupied, said relays each having a normally open switch respectively electrically connected to said fingers for permitting sequential current flow thereto upon the sequential actuation of said relays.

3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 including a resistor connected in series with at least one of said fingers for reducing electrical power to the respective track section.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,032,345 7/12 Roome 246-3 1 1,037,673 9/ 12 Shindel 246-31 1,146,993 7/15 Bevan 246-31 1,204,689 11/ 16 Rutherfurd 246-479 X 1,775 ,422 9/ 30 Conti 246-31 2,540,481 2/ 51 Heise 2.46-479 2,810,067 10/ 5 7 Fowler 246-479 LEO QUACKENBUSH, Primary Examiner. JAMES S. SHANK, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1032345 *Mar 3, 1902Jul 9, 1912Union Switch & Signal CoRailway block system.
US1037673 *Feb 16, 1911Sep 3, 1912Frank Dilley ShindelAutomatic train-controlling system.
US1146993 *Feb 7, 1908Jul 20, 1915Alexander BevanBlock-signal apparatus.
US1204689 *Dec 26, 1913Nov 14, 1916Robert A RutherfurdAutomatic railway signal device.
US1775422 *May 19, 1927Sep 9, 1930Conti Antonio MAutomatic train-control system
US2540481 *Dec 19, 1945Feb 6, 1951Alexis Heise PaulSignal for model railroads
US2810067 *Dec 9, 1953Oct 15, 1957Fowler Don JModel train control actuating mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7104509 *Jul 8, 2003Sep 12, 2006Zander Dennis RCombination model train proximity detector and signal
US7806373 *Aug 31, 2006Oct 5, 2010Zander Dennis RCombination model train proximity detector and signal
US20040030526 *Jul 8, 2003Feb 12, 2004Zander Dennis R.Combination model train proximity detector and signal
US20070075191 *Aug 31, 2006Apr 5, 2007Zander Dennis RCombination model train proximity detector and signal
U.S. Classification246/479, 246/31, 104/295, 246/473.00A
International ClassificationA63H19/34, A63H19/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H19/34
European ClassificationA63H19/34