Introduction: Crossing Lights: the Setup

Picture of Crossing Lights: the Setup

I am really thankful for Instructables and JameCo for the opportunity to learn an be part of such an awesome community!

If you are into building your own railroad, this instructable would help you design and improve, not to mention make a totally custom railway crossing set of lights. Improve upon any standard sign! Change the speed of the flash rate too!

I saw this: "Railway Crossing Lights" circuit and thought "I could make that!". I set up my breadboard. For details on how I setup a similar breadboard, see my other Instructables/JameCo Instructable here.

This project was fun, exciting, and frustrating....but what good project isn't? :)

Step 1: The Needed Parts

Picture of The Needed Parts

Whole getting the JameCo stuff was awesome, I realized that there is a severe limitation from going from breadboard to install.....no circuit boards were included! Ok, well no time to order them but it was a good thing I saw this 'ible! So I canibalized a CDROM i had kicking around for it's circuit board. There was a small one at the front, that will have to do.

And since I didn't have a proper soldering gun stand, I made extra use with the CDROM case. Helped with my glue gun too :)

Step 2: Prepping to Circuit Board

Picture of Prepping to Circuit Board

OK, I knew this would be tricky but not impossible. First the board was way too big to fit in the container, so IDis cut it in half.

Step 3: Prepping the Circuit Board

Picture of Prepping the Circuit Board

First the board needed to be cut down.  I chose a side that looked useable enough and hacked away.

I split the trace with a gouge and then I started exposing copper so I can solder pad to.

The 555 time was only able to make use of 4 holes for its pins.  I flattened out the other side and tinned them for soldering.

Step 4: The Hack Job

Picture of The Hack Job

Knowing that the copper traces on the board I did have was not going to be enough, I make some 'wire traces' and solder them over, under and around the board.

After everything was done, it wasn;t blinking.  I knew it was a verrrry long blink rate but something wasn't right.  Upon checking I noted that one of the sequences of resitor/wire/resistor was resistor/resistor/wire.  Had to swap that.  Luckily it was an easy fix.

Step 5: The End Result.

Picture of The End Result.

It ain't pretty but it'll do. There was no point in a video because the only capacitor I had that was close top the specs makes the "alternation" around 30 seconds! Pics will have to suffice .

Thanks again Instructables and JameCo!

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