Make your own etched brass model rail color light signals

As a  model railroader  you may have come to the conclusion that your layout is in dire need of some form of signaling.  For layouts that use DCC in particular, the independent control of speed and direction on the same section of track has increased the risk of "head on" accidents. 
It has therefore become almost mandatory to include some kind of operational status indication of the track ahead.  An added bonus is the fact that signals on a layout do bring it to life.  However, I have found that unless you have deep pockets the costs involved can be prohibitive.  Some commercial signals are nice but the manufacturing process leaves a "cast iron" look about them.
An alternate is to build your own out of etched brass parts.  The etching mask has been developed and honed over many years and is now availible from a small company called FOTOCUT.  When formed and mounted on a 1/16 diameter brass tube (purchased separately from your local hardware store) they give the signal a nice crisp look.  The aspects are surface mount LEDs.  Their box shape simulates the prototype lamp housings very nicely.  The attached instructions also reflect the fact that there are many differnt ways to control signal aspects.  The wiring instructions therefore are for a generic configuration.  The modeler is then able to strap the lamp wiring to the layout control system of his or her choice.  With some work and a little patience the results are really worth it and, of ourse, the cost is well below any commercial product.
View the attachment (below) and check out a low cost solution.
Peter Lowry,
Jan 2, 2011, 12:41 PM