Auto-reversers, block detection and smooth operations on the turntable!

There was no great source of information for the best auto-reverse module to use with ESU. While I found several were to known to work well, there was no recommendations that would help pick the right one. SO I ended up testing several.

Starting with a basic MRC auto-reverse module, which worked well, by the way, I was bothered by the sparking and the damage it would eventually cause to the wheels and tracks.

The Lenz LK100 is also relay-based and works well less sparking but I was looking for a solid-state solution.

The Lenz LK100

The Digitrax BPAX1 works flawlessly – but like any detector that draws current, it does trip the occupancy detector. Now for loconet users, there is built-in transponding capability in the reversal circuit, but since I am using the ESU system, there is no RailCom output from the reversing loop.

Digitrax BXPA1

I tried the Digikjies DR5013 which is a very advanced module, (and according to one post on the ESU forum referring to its predecessor does not trip the occupancy detector) – when used in a true reversing loop setup, unfortunately on a turntable bridge there is no possibility of that whatsoever. Thus using it in its short circuit sensing mode like the BPAX-1, it can sometimes make the loco hesitate. It also triggered the occupancy detector.


So it boiled down to making a choice between the two solid state units.

Reverser ModelDetection MethodSwitching MethodOccupancy DetectionFalse Occupancy on ESUSmoothness
Short CircuitSolid StateYes w/TranspondingYesVery smooth
Short circuit/ Occupancy senseSolid StateYes w/ RailcomYesSmooth

But that is a weekend task!