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Telegraph Codes and operation

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Telegraph Codes and operation

Unread postby South Western John » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:35 pm

I am building a somewhat larger than usual layout and want to replicate the telegraph codes between signal boxes. I believe that traditionally "UP" trains were signalled by a bell while down trains were communicated by a gong. Is this correct? Cheap morse keys are available on the internet but it seems that nobody does a bell that emits a unitary "Ting!" when the morse key "in the next box along the line" is depressed. While I am fortunate in having most of the codes in a book

There are electric bells available "on the net", but they tend to be AC rather than DC and give a "trembling" note.

To replicate traditional telegraph bells does one have to make one's own?
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Re: Telegraph Codes and operation

Unread postby Danny252 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:13 pm

South Western John wrote:I believe that traditionally "UP" trains were signalled by a bell while down trains were communicated by a gong. Is this correct?

Some companies/contractors preferred this, but I don't think it was universal, and I get the impression that gongs seem to have fallen out of favour at later dates. As always, it's likely a case of giving a location and date, and someone will have the answer!

There are electric bells available "on the net", but they tend to be AC rather than DC and give a "trembling" note.

Try the term "single stroke bell", I can get at least some results with that. Additionally, real block bells do appear in various railwayana auctions (even places such as E-Bay from time to time), but those tend to start at around £100, which isn't too palatable if you want several!
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Re: Telegraph Codes and operation

Unread postby Richard Pike » Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:11 pm

I have had some success using a modified AC telephone bell as a single stroke bell. By using one coil only and arranging the hammer to fall by gravity did the job as long as the ringing wasn't too quick. I seem to recall there may have been no residual pin on the armature. This is usually overcome by the AC voltage and two coils. I drilled a hole in the armature and placed a bit of copper wire through it and riveted it over in the end. Some dressing with a file tidied it up.
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Re: Telegraph Codes and operation

Unread postby John Webb » Sat Aug 1, 2015 9:51 am

An AC doorbell (one without the interrupter contact needed for DC operation) can be used on DC as a single stroke bell, but does require a high current and a reverse diode to cut out the induced voltage on breaking the circuit. A DC doorbell can be used by putting a short-circuit across the interrupter contact. (You may be able to adjust the contact to not break, but this may conflict with getting a good 'ting'.)

Main problem will be getting different tones, and you may need to carry out significant metal removal on one or more domes to get a different pitch.
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Re: Telegraph Codes and operation

Unread postby Pete2320 » Mon Aug 3, 2015 10:19 pm

South Western John wrote:I am building a somewhat larger than usual layout and want to replicate the telegraph codes between signal boxes. I believe that traditionally "UP" trains were signalled by a bell while down trains were communicated by a gong.

Not universal and only in the sense that it would be a bell to the box in the up direction and a gong to the box in the down direction. The bell or gong would be used for all trains to or from that box. Of course there are bound to have been exceptions!

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Re: Telegraph Codes and operation

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Mon Aug 3, 2015 10:31 pm

You're also assuming there is only a double track - there would generally be a second bell and a second gong on a 4-track line
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Re: Telegraph Codes and operation

Unread postby Pete2320 » Mon Aug 3, 2015 10:56 pm

Indeed I was. It begs the question if any box had two differentley toned gongs to the same adjacent box!

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Re: Telegraph Codes and operation

Unread postby JRB » Tue Aug 4, 2015 1:23 pm

Certainly not until someone proves otherwise. I suspect they shortly will.
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Re: Telegraph Codes and operation

Unread postby John Hinson » Tue Aug 4, 2015 2:59 pm

Oakleigh Park had two "gongs" to New Barnet South, they were at either end of the block shelf but I don't think they were significantly different in tone, if at all. It was common for them to be used on Goods Lines on the GN, rarely elsewhere.

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Re: Telegraph Codes and operation

Unread postby JRB » Tue Aug 4, 2015 3:36 pm

Shortly = 1 hour 36 minutes.
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