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Up for sale is an amazingly useful product : an HO Train Speedometer and Odometer.

You can now measure the speed of your HO train in miles per hour.  You can also measure the distance that your train travels with the odometer.

This product consists of electronics speedometer circuitry built into an HO train car.The particular train car is an English type wagon which runs on a standard HO scale track.It is meant to become part of the train you are pulling, just as you would pull any other car.It is unusual in that the car has 4 spoke wheels about 0.5 inches in diameter.

A light beam sensor is mounted beneath the car and its beam is broken by the spokes (in one wheel) as the car moves.  The on-board computer counts how many times the light beam is broken per second and then calculates the speed of the train. 

SPEDNEW6The display is red in color and is bright enough to be easily seen as the train travels around your layout.  It has three .56 inch digits and the speed of the car is displayed in miles per hour.†† The on-board computer measures and calculates the speed to scale every second, so the display is continuously updated to show the train's changing speed.  Other available train speedometer circuits are mounted on the side of the track and only tell you the speed at that one track location.

Kadee type HO couplers have been installed to replace the English train couplers.We used #46 instead of #5.#46 have a longer shank.Thanks to the folks at Kadee for their help.

The unit gets its power from two AAA batteries.  We have observed that the batteries are capable of powering the unit for many hours.

There is also a mode switch (mounted on the right side of the car in the picture below) to allow the car to operate as either an ODOMETER or SPEEDOMETER.Rather than measure train speed, in the odometer mode, the car will display distance traveled (in inches).  There are 60.7 feet in a scale mile and 728.3 inches in a scale mile.  Our test car travels 91 inches on our track which would be 91 / 728 or 0.125 miles.

This product would be especially useful in setting up speed tables for DCC equipped HO locomotives.A speed table is used in DCC locomotives to synchronize the speeds of multiple locomotives on the same track.This subject is discussed in detail in the September issue of Model Railroader magazine.

The speedometer car was taken to the local train club and it was tested on their big layout.  Several of the members got to see just how fast their locomotives could really go.  We also got a chance to do some distance measurements on their layout.   Our speedometer/odometer car is capable of measuring a distance of 999 inches.  This is the equivalency of 999/728 or 1.3 scale miles.






Complete working speedometer/odometer mounted in an HO train car.Kadee couplers installed.


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