Switch Machine Controller updated

I’ve added a pair of Fritzing drawings to the Switch Machine Controller page.  One is a breadboard drawing to give a rough idea of how I’ll be wiring up an Adafruit Pro Trinket 5V (Arduino-class processor) to a pair of L293D drivers, which together will drive up to 4 KATO single-coil switch machines.  I’ve also added a schematic of the design as well.  I’m in the process of adding a Software section to that page as well, which I plan to have in place this evening, time permitting.


Successful throttle test

This evening I was successful in driving one of my PORTRAM trams on a loop of track, powering it with an Adafruit Motor Shield mounted on an Arduino Uno microcontroller. The code was basically the Motor Shield’s “DCMotorTest” example code with modified timings.

I caught some video of it running, which I’ll post on the Throttles page as soon as I get a chance to upload it.

More on Throttles, new Block Switching page.

I’ve added some supporting graphics to the Throttles page, and have written up most of the Block Switching page.

Pretty soon I’ll start adding the pages which describe in more detail the design of each part of the project.  I’ll put links directly to them at the tops of the existing pages so readers who want to jump straight to the how-to pages can do so easily.

This past week I realized there’s another useful subproject which, although not needed by this project, will eventually become very useful.  That is a Track Speedometer, using a pair of the same sensors I’m using to detect the positions of the trains, but measuring the time between two sensors a known distance apart to calculate and display the train’s speed and direction, in real units (mm/sec) and scale units (km/hr).  More on that later.

First draft of Throttles page.

I’ve posted some background information on my planned Arduino-based train throttles.  I haven’t started working on that portion of the hardware yet, but I expect it will be straightforward enough.  First though, I need to solder into place the header strips that came with the two Motor Shields….