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Style Q Plug-in Relays

relays and the method of coding

which ensures that non-compatible
relays may not be plugged in.
To fully realise the interchangeability
advantages offered by application of
this system, care must be taken in
circuit design to see that only the
specified characteristics of relays are
relied on for correct circuit
functioning — for example, non-
specified timings are not measured in
production and may vary from one
manufacturer to another, and may
also vary with the same
manufacturer’s relays, as the result of
design revisions.
Typical Q relay Coil resistance of line relays is
another parameter which may vary —
only maximum power consumption is
General Information BR930 Series Specifications specified and actual resistance may
These Specifications were originated be selected by the manufacturer
The Style “Q” range of plug-in relays within that limit.
in the late 1950s/early 1960s by an
were developed to meet the British
IRSE Miniaturisation Committee, and
Rail 930 Series of Specifications, and
were subsequently adopted by British
Pin codes
have been proven in use in many
Rail and issued as BR Specifications. An important part of the Style Q relay
countries for more than twenty years.
The objective was to create a range of concept is the allocation of pin codes
The wide range available covers
relays smaller and lower in cost to relays. Five basic contact
almost every railway signal relay
than(the then) standard plug-in relays combinations are available, covered
and to ensure interchangeability by two interlocking pin codes:
This section details the range of Style
between manufacturers, while
“Q” relays at present manufactured in Contacts Code
maintaining maximum design
Australia. The range is constantly 12F 4B
freedom. The result has been wide
increasing and enquiries for types not
standardisation and major cost saving 8F 8B 2
listed are welcomed.
in railway signalling.
8F 4B
The BR 930 Specifications lay down
6F 6B 2
the major mechanical details
affecting interchangeability for relay 4F 4B 2
and plugboard. They also lay down
relevant operating characteristics for

Datasheet 3A
Contact Layouts
1 1
2 F F F F 2 F F F F F F F F F F F F
3 F F F F 3 F F F F F F F F F F F F
4 4
5 5 B B B B B F B B B B B B
6 B F F B 6
7 7 B B B B B F B B B B B B
B F F B 8
R3 R4

12F 4B 8F 8B 8F 4B 6F 6B 4F 4B

This pattern was adopted because: 2. An 8F 4B relay has all contacts in 3. It allows the use of a variety of
1. 12F 4B and 8F 8B combinations the same positions as a 12F 4B contact combinations in new
have some contact positions in but one vertical stack of contacts signalling installations to
which contacts in the same is omitted, so no danger can minimise initial cost but only
position are changed from front result by substitution of one for two, 12F 4B and 8F 8B, are
to back contacts; therefore, the other. Similarly, a 6F 6B relay required as spares for subsequent
safety considerations require a is an 8F 8B with one vertical servicing.
different pin code. stack of contacts omitted, and a
4F 4B is an 8F 8B with two
vertical stacks omitted.

General Specifications Glossary of Terms

The specifications below apply to all Operate condition
Style Q Relays unless varied by the the condition of the relay when all
detailed specifications included in the front contacts are just made.
data sheets for individual relays. Full Operate condition
Maximum number of contacts 16 (8 each on twin relays) the condition of the relay when
the armature has completed its
Contact material maximum travel.
– moving Silver
Release condition
– fixed Silver impregnated graphite
the condition of the relay when all
Contact pressure 28-50 g front contacts have opened.
Contact lift 0.5 mm (min) Full Release condition
Change-over gap 0.4 mm (min) the condition the relay assumes
when de-energised.
Contact resistance 0.2 Ω (max)
Front Contact
Contact rating
a contact which is made when the
– carrying 3 A (max)
relay is energised.
– switching (dc) resistive 25 VA-125 V (max)†
– switching (dc) lnductive 9 VA-125 V (max) † Back Contact
a contact which is made when the

These ratings may be doubled for ac.
relay is de-energised.
Note: Contact ratings may be exceeded at the cost of reduced contact life. Percentage Release
Coil resistance As specified ±10% at 20°C the release value as a percentage
of the operate value
Relay life 106 operations at rated loading of
ie Percentage Release =
Release Value / Operate Value * 100
AC immunity (where applicable) 1000 Vrms
Packaging Packs of 10

Page 2 Datasheet 3A issue 2.0

Relay Groups
The range of Q relays can be divided
into the following broad groups:
Single Relays
contain one relay only in each
enclosure and are the most simple
Twin Relays
contain two independent relays
within one enclosure, each driving
half the contacts.
Relay Units
incorporate a diverse selection of
electronic timers, flashers, etc,
each mounted in the same
standard enclosure.

Guide to Style Q Relay Types and Related Specifications

Single Twin
Standard AC Immune Standard AC Immune
Type of Relay Style BR Spec Style BR Spec Style BR Spec Style BR Spec
Neutral QN1 930 QNA1 931 QNN1 960 QNNA1 966-F6
Neutral double wound QND2 930 – – QNND1 960 – –
Neutral special for long lines QS2 – – – – – – –
Neutral slow operate – – QSPA1 933 QNNSl 963 – –
Neutral slow release – – QSRA1 934 QNNSl 963 – –
Biased – – QBA1 932 – – QBBA1 961
Biased contactor – – QBCA1 943 – – – –
Magnetic latched QLl 935 – – – – – –
Track QT1 938 QTA1 939 – – – –
966- F2
Timers – slow operate QCJ1 949 – – QTD1 – – –
– slow operate QTD5 –
– slow release QTD4 –
Transformer/Rectifier Units QXR1 – – – – – – –
Flashers QDF1 – – – – – – –
QDF2 –
QDF3 –
Others QR5 – – – – – – –
QR9 –

Normal Release Slow Release Normal Release Slow Release
Type of Relay Style BR Spec Style BR Spec Style BR Spec Style BR Spec
Lamp proving QN3 – QEC1 940 QECX7 – QECX5 –
QSR3 – QECX8 –
QUCX1 942

Style Q Plug-in Relays Page 3

Single Relays
The Style Q relay is built on a robust
thermoset base moulding into which
up to four vertical contact stacks may
be fitted. Contact springs are
separated by glass-filled
polycarbonate spacer blocks and are
insulated from the contact stack
securing screw by a nylon tube. Each
vertical contact stack can carry up to
four independent contacts, which
may be front or back according to
how they are assembled. Each outside
stack also carries two coil connectors.
The magnet assembly is mounted on
the base moulding below the
contacts and consists in its simplest Typical single Q Relay (Style QBA1)
form of an “L” shaped heel-piece, a
core with retaining nut to hold the
upper bearing for the operating arms
heel-piece onto the base moulding,
to slide in.
and an armature. The armature pivots
on the front face of the heel-piece Low rate contact springs are used so
and is located by a phosphor bronze that the pressure of the fixed contact
pivot plate. Reliable and consistent against the adjustment card is nearly
release is assured by a fixed phosphor the same as the final contact
bronze residual pin rivetted into the pressure, ensuring very little change
armature face. The coil is wound on a in contact pressure with wear over
separate bobbin which is the life of the relay.
subsequently fitted over the core. A Armature release torque is provided
label fitted to the coil indicates the by a combination of a low-stressed
number of turns and nominal helical spring, gravity, and front
resistance. Actual resistance is within contact pressure.
±10% of nominal value. Wire of not
The transparent polycarbonate cover
less than 0.1 mm diameter is used for
is retained by two nuts which also
retain the handle. These are attached
Contact springs are phosphor bronze to a stainless steel strap which
and the rear ends form the plug conveys the tension of retaining the
contacts which engage with the cover to the relay base preventing
plugboard on which the relay mounts. stress in the working parts of the
The front ends carry the contact tips relay. Plastic seals are fitted into the
which are silver impregnated graphite handle to prevent unauthorised
(SIG) for the fixed contacts and silver access.
for the moving contacts. The silver
A clip-on label is provided on the
contacts are rivetted and soldered to
front face of the cover for circuit
their springs. SIG contacts are
function or similar information.
attached by clips and the rear face
soldered to the spring. On the rear face of the relay below
the contacts, five coding pins are
The moving springs are driven from
provided to prevent the relay being
the armature by operating arms
fitted to an incorrect plugboard.
blanked from synthetic resin bonded
These pins are retained by a plate
fabric (SRBF) sheet. The fixed springs
which is also sealed. All parts which
are supported in their correct
are insulated from other parts are
locations by adjustment cards
tested to 1000 Vrms. This also
blanked from SRBF sheet which are
includes tests between windings on
supported at the lower end by a
double-wound coils.
bracket which is rivetted, with the
pivot plate, to the heel-piece. At the
upper end the cards are retained by
support springs which also provide an

Page 4 Datasheet 3A issue 2.0

Twin Relays Typical Twin Q Relays

Style “Q” Twin relays provide two
completely independent relays within
a single “Q” relay enclosure. Each
relay provides a maximum of 8
independent contacts. They offer
considerable savings of both cost and
space when contact requirements can
be kept within these limits. They offer
special advantages in building
geographical sets.

Construction Style QNN1

The construction of twin “Q” relays
closely follow what is already
described for single relays. Base,
contacts, cover, handle, etc, are
identical and the only differences are
in the magnet assembly.
The simplest twin relay magnet
assembly consists of the usual ‘L’
shaped heel piece which is fitted with
two separate cores and two
independent armatures, each of
which drives two of the four stacks of
contacts. Each coil is wound on a
separate bobbin which is Style QBBA1
subsequently assembled to its core.

Relay Units Typical Q Relay Units

A wide variety of equipment can be
conveniently housed in Style Q relay
enclosures, including timers, flashers,
transformers, rectifier feed units,
capacitor slugging units, etc.

It is not possible to give a general
description as construction methods
used vary widely according to the
particular components to be housed. Style QTDS
Electronic components are usually
mounted on printed circuit cards and
wired to tags assembled to the relay
base in positions normally occupied
by relay contacts. The usual coding
pins are provided on the rear of the
unit to ensure only the correct unit is
plugged in.

Special Units
Special units can be designed to meet
specific requirements if justified by
Style QCJ1

Style Q Plug-in Relays Page 5

Style Q Relay Plugboards
Style ‘Q’ Relay Plugboards are one- gives details of its associated relay. Crimped Connections
piece thermoset mouldings, fitted
Each plugboard is mounted on racks It is recommended that crimping tools
with removable crimp type
or chassis by two screws of 5 mm should be checked at frequent
connectors. These connectors provide
diameter. intervals (approx. 400-1,000 crimps)
for both wire and insulation support
for one or two wires each. Connectors Plugboards are supplied in packs of 5 by making two sample crimps using
are suitable for soldering if desired. or bulk packs of 100. minimum possible compression of the
tool. These should then be subjected
Recommended cable is size The following tools are available: to a “pull out” test by holding the
9/0.3 mm, with a maximum OD of connector in a vice and pulling the
3 mm. Part Description
wire with a spring balance. The ‘Q’
4790/0 Crimping tool for connectors
The relay is retained on the plugboard relay connector crimp must withstand
by a wire clip which engages in a J4489M/1 Removal tool for connectors a pull of 9 kg (20 lb).
groove in the top of the relay handle. AM227-20/1 Retaining clip tool
A paper label fixed to the plugboard

Front: showing code pin positions Rear: showing terminal numbering

No bending or
twisting of tool

Assembly of connectors into Style Q Plugboard Connector with removing tool in position for withdrawal

Page 6 Datasheet 3A issue 2.0


Mountings for Style Q Relay plugboards

The diagram shows maximum density mounting centres but the vertical
spacing is usually increased to allow space for wiring forms.

Style Q Plug-in Relays Page 7

Datasheet 3A issue 2.0

Physical Dimensions

56 mm

M5 (2BA)
Clearance Hole
180 mm
28.6 mm
16 mm

127 mm

117.5 mm 120 mm

M5 (2BA)
Clearance Hole
21 mm

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