Signal mast and head(s)

Hi all
How about some thoughts on signals? I am looking to buy/build some. I don't need infomation on detection or signal logic, just the signal
mast and head(s). I don't want plastic as I have seen them in operation on a couple of club layouts and they break pretty easy. The brass/copper ones also break, but it is harder to do so.
I have looked at the information from Walthers, NJ International, the Oregon company and another that I can't think of just now. IMO $29.00 is a little pricey for mast, and ONE head ( 3 light ). If I just do ONE siding, ( 2 control sections ), I am looking at 4 searchlights and 2 - combo 3 light, 2 light -> $180.00(ish) just for the signal mast and heads!
BNSF ( hi line ) is here and I can see what the prototype has.
Ok, so: 1. Searchlight for ends of sidings. 2. 3 light, 2 light combo for siding protection 3. 3 light back to back for block protection 4. 3 light, 3 light combo back to back for block protection and advance indications 5. 3 light, 2 light combo and 3 light for block protection and advance indications 6. 3 light, 3 light combo for end of siding ( West Troy has advance indication for Yatk siding )
Geesh, talk about gold!
thanks
todh
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ctclibby wrote about the high cost of signals:

Friend, I feel your pain.
I've put together some signals which people have liked, and they weren't unbearably expensive. In fact the dwarf signals are all styrene and cost hardly anything. I wrote them up here:
http://www.nyx.net/~jpurbric/railroads/dwarfs /
For high signals I sprang for photo-etched ladders and platforms from Free State Systems. They're very nice, but extremely fragile and they do cost money, and you could substitute other components. (Free State Systems is a cottage industry run by a guy in Maryland, and I'm not sure that he operates it on a continuous basis.) The signal heads are styrene, very similar to the dwarfs, with a brass tube as a mast. Note that the LED that lights the signal is soldered to the mast and provides the real support for the head. Regarding breakage, the signals are mounted on little circuit boards with connectors that join the signal itself to the base, so that if it gets bumped, it has a good chance of just getting knocked to the side rather than being seriously damaged (thanks to Wayne Roderick for that idea). This is important in a club environment, both to reduce damage and to prevent the possibility of murder being inflicted on the one who does the damage.
http://img313.imageshack.us/img313/4229/sigs11mj.jpg
http://img313.imageshack.us/img313/6355/sigstrainmove0yb.jpg
http://www.nyx.net/~jpurbric/railroads/sigr5.jpg
Wayne Roderick himself makes some pretty nice signals, and his are all brass: http://www.ida.net/users/tetonsl/railroad/sgnlhome.htm
The plain truth is that signals are intricate little things, and we just have to put some time into building them, or some money into paying someone else to do it for us. There's no way around it!
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just have to put some time into building them, or some money into paying someone else to do it for us. There's no way around it!< And just for fun on pricing. Ebay recently had two sales of a US&S double blade semaphore kit. These went for $150+ and $200+, each. These were/are probably the best kits ever made BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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snipped-for-privacy@nyx.net wrote:

John, thanks for posting this information. You've built some good looking signals, and your ideas are worth "pinching"!
All the best,
Mark.
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