SYC2 Staging Yard Controller


The SYC2 solves the basic bugaboo of running trains into and out of hidden staging yards when the trains can't be seen. Look at these features!

SYC2 circuit board

Controls and Operation

SYC2 control panel This photo shows the SYC2 controls. There are also red, yellow, and green LEDs (not shown) that you may install on a control panel or in a trackside signal for more realism. You also could have two sets of lights – one trackside and the other in the control panel. Select a track with the rotary switch, then push the black button to start the process. When the turnouts are aligned, the green light comes on, telling you to proceed into or out of the yard.

The yellow light turns on when your train enters the yard throat. After the train clears the throat, the red light turns on (green and yellow turn off), and power to the selected track is shut off - the movement is complete.

Please Note

The Roanoke panel shown above has a rotary switch to select tracks. That switch was sold as an extra-cost option, but is no longer available.

Instead, a pushbutton switch is included in the kit. The switch snaps into a rectangular hole in a panel up to ¼" thick. The track number is selected by repeatedly pressing the "+" or "-" button.

The rotary switch had its own circuit board and microprocessor. Replacing this complex item with a pushbutton switch reduces the cost of the SYC2 considerably.

What you'll need

The SYC2 consists of electronic parts soldered to a circuit board. It connects directly to your Tortoise or other stall-type switch motor. It needs a TPR2 Track Power Relay board with a relay for each staging track on which you want to control power.

The SYC2 also needs a low-level signal that indicates when the staging yard throat is vacant or occupied. The LOC3 Dual Laser Occupancy Detector works perfectly for this, or you may use an occupancy detector you already have if it detects any car or locomotive anywhere in the yard throat.

Excluding the occupancy detector, these are the items you'll need to control one staging yard:

Please contact me if you would like to purchase an SYC2, and I will send you the configuration forms. The email link is at the top of this page.

How to Order

Shopping Cart Coming Soon

Shopping cart buttons will be added to this page when the new SYC2 is ready. In the meantime, if you need a staging yard controller right away, please e-mail me, and I'll tell you how to order the SYC2.

Double-end and Reverse-loop Yards

Some people have asked if the SYC2 can handle double-end or reverse-loop staging yards. The answer is "possibly."

With its 10-track capacity, a single SYC2 can control both throats in a double-end yard of up to five tracks. You assign two numbers to each track and use one group of numbers for movements on one end of the yard and the other set for movements on the other end. If your yard has more than five tracks, you'll need two SYC2s, one for each end.

The same scheme can be used on a reverse-loop yard of up to five tracks. Again, each track gets two numbers, with one group being used for inbound movements and the other group for outbound movements.

I put together a document that shows how to use the SYC2 with double-end and reverse-loop yards, and includes other useful information on wiring the switch machines and track power. It's in Adobe Acrobat format, so you'll need the Acrobat reader to open the file. Click to download the SYC2 tips (97KB PDF, right-click, save link as)

Updated September 7, 2016