Help with programing an Omron Zen controller for R.R. museum project.

Thread Starter

Jeff M.

Joined Dec 14, 2014
Our local non-profit railroad museum has a railroad signal that we need to program to operate in a specific manner.

The lighting in the signal is just standard incandescent back up type automotive bulbs that can run off of either ac or dc voltage at 12 volts.
The signal is a 1930's STOP signal. If you picture a traffic light type set up except with four sections with the S being at the top and the P at the bottom you will have an idea of what we have. I will also attach a vintage 1935 ad for this type of signal)
We have an Omron Zen controller (10C1A-A-V2) as well as the software and computer cable to connect to the Zen controller. While we have all of this, we don't know how to program it. If someone could help us out it would be greatly appreciated.

We need the lights to operate in this fashion using an external trigger (switch). The sequence will start with the S light illuminating and staying lit then the T light illuminating and staying lit, and then the O light illuminating and staying lit and then the P light lighting and staying lit - pause for a couple of seconds and then all lights going off - then all four lights illuminating STOP at the same time - hold for a couple of seconds and then repeating the sequence until told to stop by an external switch.

We plan on simply having the ZEN operate four external relays that will go to each lamp with the low voltage power running to those relays. All the ZEN has to do is operate those external relays. We would also like to have the ability to push a switch and have all lamps stay on continually for a lamp test as we have capability on other signals and sometimes when people photograph our signal display it would be helpful to have all the lights on and that just makes it easier. We can run the two standard crossing signal lights off of another device BUT..... if the ZEN (with expansion module as I think the main controller only has 4 outputs) could alternately flash those two lights at 45 flashes per minute, that would be even better as that will eliminate another device necessary for this signal. We could have two external relays fed by the low voltage power supply for these two lights as well. The ZEN would just have to activate those relays.

We have standard relays and time delay relays controlling other signals but were going to control this one with the ZEN controller since what it needs to do is more complex than what the other signals do.

So we know what we need to do but we don't know how to do it. I am sure it is some sort of simple. Is there anyone that could write up this program so that all we have to do is transfer that program to the Zen controller?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the lengthy description but I wanted to get all the information needed in.


John P

Joined Oct 14, 2008
The trouble here is that you're using this programmable controller that very few people will have any experience with. If you were controlling the lights with an Arduino or similar device, you'd probably get more response. I'm a railroad buff and I'd be happy to help, but any advice you get has to be based on knowledge of the hardware.

Thread Starter

Jeff M.

Joined Dec 14, 2014
I got it taken care of. I posted the same posting on the website and had the program sent to me by one of their viewers within a couple of hours.


Joined Dec 13, 2013
you might want to check with local hams, probably they know someone with telegraph keys, sounders and such for the museum. I have a small collection here.