Inputs Make Thing Go

Inputs Make Thing Go

Inputs Make Thing Go

To trigger any action on your layout, you generally need various types of inputs. For signal operations, the basic items are a block detector, showing the existence of a train in a specific section of track, a turnout position detector, or a sensor showing that a train has arrived at a fixed location.

In addition to these basic types of inputs, there are switches and pushbuttons, which may make up control panels that affect operations, such as setting routes for trains, controlling lighting or other effects, or operating animation.

Two basic types of inputs are a switch and a pushbutton. Although these are listed as different device types, it is basically a distinction without a difference, as both are treated the same way. However, there are two alternative types of pushbuttons that are treated differently:

  • Auto-repeating pushbutton
  • Push On/Push Off pushbutton

The Auto-repeating pushbutton may be held down continuously, but only shows up as an input once during each user-specified time interval. This is most useful as a way to increment or decrement an analog device like a light dimmer. Due to the rapid cycling of the Logic Engine, a normal pushbutton would be detected many times before you could remove your finger from the button, so it wouldn't work well in this application. The Auto-repeating pushbutton solves this problem by forcing a pause between detections, even if the button is held down. 

The Push On/Push Off button changes state when pressed, then changes back when pressed again. A built-in delay interval ensures that it doesn't flip too rapidly, giving you time to release the button between presses. Since there's no visible means of knowing which state the button is in , it is recommended that a corresponding indicator light be set to show the state of the button at any given time. 

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