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Date: 06/06/19 06:55
HO Signals
Author: Casselton

I am interested in purchasing pre-made type D HO signals.  I am looking at Custom Signal Systems, BLMA and Tomar signals.  Who makes the best (Quality, Appearance and Accuracy of LED colors) signals?  Pricing seems to be somewhat similar, although I've only looked at the three choices mentioned.

Is it possible to buy pre-cast (plastic or metal) parts to build your own signals?

Thanks, Mark

Date: 06/06/19 07:15
Re: HO Signals
Author: HB90MACH

Integrated signal systems will build them in any configuration you need.  They also have all the electronics to make them function accurately.     If they are still around.   NJ international is another maker.  Thiers are brass.  Kits and heads are avaliable to build your own as well.  Quite simple
construction actually   Is BLMA still around, or did Atlas finally stop production?  


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/06/19 07:16 by HB90MACH.

Date: 06/06/19 08:24
Re: HO Signals
Author: jburek

I'll second Intergrated Signal Systems if still around - Tim Maslyn did a fine job there.   Also NJ International & Tomar Industries makes some nice signals.

Date: 06/06/19 09:17
Re: HO Signals
Author: Chi45Train

I have bought the parts from Tomar in the past to make my own signals. It's bee quite a few years so not sure if that is still an option.


Date: 06/06/19 10:00
Re: HO Signals
Author: grandeguy

There are also Details West which I have been using. They look great and are a bit more robust. I also have some BLMA targets but they are extremely fragile although very nice to look at. You definatley have some options.

                                        Dave D

Date: 06/06/19 10:15
Re: HO Signals
Author: railstiesballast

I have used Integrated Signal Systems for going on 2 decades now.
Recently I needed a green LED for a replacement and I was stunned at how true (to me) the color is.
It replaced an older ISS LED so they are into product improvement.
Have fun, a working signal system adds a lot to any layout that replicates main line railroading.

Date: 06/06/19 16:11
Re: HO Signals
Author: RioGrandeFan

I am using the Details West ones and they are amazing! Since I don't have a layout yet, I have just been collecting them and lighting them with a tester on occassion. Super bright surface mount LEDs just like BLMA and I think they look every bit as good. Maybe not quite as "modern" as the BLMA but very close. They are very accurate for the DRGW style "Vader" hoods that were used on Tennessee Pass. They also make them without the hoods like BNSF has used up until recently. You can get single head tri-light, dual head tri-over bi light (yellow/red only in lower head), and dual head tri-over tri-light. 

They also have the ladders directly behind the pole so you don't have to worry about left and right which can be a pain with the BLMA. These are a little more "universal".

Lee Ryan - Rio Grande Fan
Denver, CO

Date: 06/07/19 07:25
Re: HO Signals
Author: jdw3460

Our club has been very happy with signals we've purchased from South Bend Signal Co. in Niles, MI.  Their prices are very reasonable.  The 1-head and 2-head signals are mounted on a brass tube.  We made concrete bases for them out of balsa wood, painted silver.  Then the signal was glued in place on the layout with silicone cement (flexible, and easy to remove if necessary).  Their dwarf signals are also very good.  On those, I just cut a square piece of thin styrene for a base.  The dwarfs are fairly fragile and susceptible to clumsy oafs knocking them down.  We've also used quite a few of Oregon Rail's signal bridge kits which represent C&O bridges very well.  But they are not an easy thing to build and wire.  Our layout has over 200 signal heads.

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