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Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

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  • Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

    GRS Searchlight signal mechanism Type SA (Made in 1944)
    Behind the brown Bakelite® terminal block, a grainy rectangular piece spans between the two coil terminals "L" & "M".

    The wires go to a polar relay.
    10 VDC + to - causes GREEN filter on the armature to align in the light path.
    - to + causesYELLOW (Yellow)
    No power allows the RED filter in the center of the armature to align in the light path using gravity.

    The grainy piece looks like a section of dark gray sugar cube.
    Many of the grains have flat surfaces - they sparkle in sunlight.

    The cube does not stick to a magnet.
    It does not appear to conduct electricity. (I shorted the 12 VDC 400mA plug-in transformer wires through it and no sparks seen.)

    (Holding the bare metal wires of the transformer to operate the polar relay, I felt the reverse EMF voltage spikes when I removed the wires from the coil circuit.)

    Is the grainy piece a shunt to protect the polar relay coil from back EMF or lightning induced currents?
    There is no ground wire.

    How does it work?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Robert Gift; 12-07-2013, 04:22 PM.
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

  • #2
    Re: Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

    Cant help much unless you have a print. Do you know what type batteries were used to power these?
    It could be that 400ma is not enough to power everything, or your using the wrong voltage. I would check the resistance of the coils to verify continuity. Clean contact surfaces with a scotch bright pad. Rust will inhibit the strength of the magnetic fields.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

      Have no idea, maybe this helps,

      http://quebectrain.com/regle105/pdf/...-Light_Sig.pdf

      http://regle105.quebectrain.com/pdf/...stom_(GRS).pdf
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

        Originally posted by johncameron View Post
        Cant help much unless you have a print. Do you know what type batteries were used to power these?
        It could be that 400ma is not enough to power everything, or your using the wrong voltage. I would check the resistance of the coils to verify continuity. Clean contact surfaces with a scotch bright pad. Rust will inhibit the strength of the magnetic fields.
        Signal works perfectly!
        All railroad train signals and grade crossing signals (o)T(o) operate from constantly-charging storage batteries which will operate the signals for days if the power fails!
        Just wondering what that grainy material is and how it works.

        My guess is that lightning induced current shorts through the grainy square so less likely that it damages the coil.
        I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
        It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
        "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Railroad signal has carborundum shunt arrester

          Thank you, BHD!

          In your pdf, it tells about the carborundum shunt arrester.
          But I do not know how the carborundum material conducts high voltages but not low voltages.
          I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
          It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
          "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

            A book from 1906 talks all about it;

            Proceedings of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, Volume 25



            It would be cool as hell to have one of those in my man cave.


            BTW, that pdf said 12 watts, So you probably want to have at least a 1amp power supply.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

              John, was there supposed to be a link in your post to that book?

              Sounds similar to a MOV.
              ---------------
              Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
              ---------------
              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
              ---------
              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
              ---------
              sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

                Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                John, was there supposed to be a link in your post to that book?

                Sounds similar to a MOV.
                No, but if you google it or carborundum it will come up.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

                  Patent US1873362 - Porous lightning arrester - Google Patents
                  Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                  attributed to Samuel Johnson
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

                    Originally posted by johncameron View Post
                    No, but if you google it or carborundum it will come up.
                    So what is the function of a MOV? Is it not to clamp excessive voltage/current to ground?

                    Is the Krause mentioned in that patent John Krause, W8JK? I did not see his full name anywhere.
                    Krause wrote what it considered the bible on antennas.
                    Last edited by Bob D.; 12-09-2013, 04:46 PM.
                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                    ---------------
                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                    ---------
                    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                    ---------
                    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

                      Originally posted by johncameron View Post
                      It would be cool as hell to have one of those in my man cave.
                      BTW, that pdf said 12 watts, So you probably want to have at least a 1amp power supply.
                      The searchlight signal lamp is 10-Volt dual filament 25/11 Watts. When the 25-Watt filament fails, power goes through the higher resistance 11-Watt filament
                      I replaced it with a 120-Volt 5-Watt nightlight bulb.
                      Removed the plastic case of a 12-VDC 400 mA plug-in transformer and managed to fit it behind the terminal block.
                      A black lamp cord powers the night light and transformer which operates the polar relay.

                      Wife can set the DPDT Center-Off switch to indicate her moods:
                      GREEN - Proceed
                      YELOW - Caution
                      RED - I'm in trouble, again.
                      Last edited by Robert Gift; 12-08-2013, 08:53 PM.
                      I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                      It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                      "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

                        Originally posted by johncameron View Post
                        A book from 1906 talks all about it;

                        Proceedings of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, Volume 25



                        It would be cool as hell to have one of those in my man cave.


                        BTW, that pdf said 12 watts, So you probably want to have at least a 1amp power supply.

                        (new versions deleted)

                        Merry Christmas Guys!


                        Edit: I DID find the 1906 versions -

                        http://used.addall.com/SuperRare/sub...Wbm&store=ZVAB
                        Last edited by Plumber Punky; 12-08-2013, 10:04 PM.
                        ~~

                        ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Railroad signal has lightning arrestor protecting relay?

                          Her boudoir has flashing red lights every 28 days?

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