Scratch-Built Searchlight Signals

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Duration: 1:57

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Rick Rideout uses scratch built searchlight signals on his L&N Henderson Subdivision. He starts by sautering a signal head to the top of a piece of tubing. He then drills a hole through a century boundary relay box and runs tubing through to connect to a relay box under the signal. Rideout uses brass wire attached to a Walther’s signal ladder and then mounts it to a unique contraption.

This mechanism lies under the road bed and runs the signals on either side of the rail. The signals use fiber optics which run down through shafts and out through the bottom to what Rideout calls a tick tock. The tick tock has a stall motor that moves a colored lens to change the colors of the signals. The lens naturally falls to red when no current is running through the tick tock. One polarity turns the lens to yellow and the other polarity turns it to green. A light shines through the film, on through the fiber optics, and up into the signal to the head. Rideout’s scratch built signals are reliable and have worked well for him and his layout.