Points Control

Gtarling

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I'm currently fitting my Piko/LGB points with small radio control type servos to operate them. A 3D printed housing, fitted with a cheap servo seems to work well so far, anyway. I'm now looking for suggestions for how to control these points - a mimic panel seems almost ideal, though the lack of portability in a garden layout may be a hindrance. I was looking at the Megapoints system yesterday, which seems to do all that I'd want, though it's not what I'd call 'cheap'. Just wondering what other options there might be - I'd be particularly interested in some sort of system which would allow me to move around, but I've not come across anything like that yet. So, what's everybody else using?

Gordon
 

Gizzy

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Servos do sound interesting, but I will eventually be operating my points with LGB motors and decoders.

Previously I used MTS and a Universal Remote, but I now have a Massoth DCC system with a Navigator. Eventually I hope to control the points with Stellwerk running on a PC....
 

dunnyrail

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I'm currently fitting my Piko/LGB points with small radio control type servos to operate them. A 3D printed housing, fitted with a cheap servo seems to work well so far, anyway. I'm now looking for suggestions for how to control these points - a mimic panel seems almost ideal, though the lack of portability in a garden layout may be a hindrance. I was looking at the Megapoints system yesterday, which seems to do all that I'd want, though it's not what I'd call 'cheap'. Just wondering what other options there might be - I'd be particularly interested in some sort of system which would allow me to move around, but I've not come across anything like that yet. So, what's everybody else using?

Gordon
You could look at getting some cheep RC units that would allow with receivers to control 4 or 5 at a Station. Not sure how extensive you line is so that idea may not be for you. In any case I would certainly look to make 1 servo operate 2 points if you have crossovers. Can be done with cheep home made bellcranks and stiff wire.
 

a98087

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How many points are you hoping to operate?
And are you able to operate any ends together either with a linkage, or two servos in parrallel?
 

Gtarling

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Thanks chaps!

Gizzy - I'm considering using DCC and that Stellwerk system looks interesting, so will be investigating that further - thanks!

Dunny - The R/C systems that I'm aware of won't really be suitable - the points will be fairly well spread out on the layout - see my post in the 'Show your track plan' thread.

A98087 - At the moment, I'm planning on six or seven points, though that may change with future expansions! Take a look at my track plan, but I don't see much opportunity for linking points in pairs, either electrically or mechanically.
 

LGB-Sid

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You could look at getting some cheep RC units that would allow with receivers to control 4 or 5 at a Station. Not sure how extensive you line is so that idea may not be for you. In any case I would certainly look to make 1 servo operate 2 points if you have crossovers. Can be done with cheep home made bellcranks and stiff wire.

ge_rik used a RC unit to control signals if my memory is correct :think: operated by Servos similar idea ?

 

phils2um

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Not intending to hijack your thread -
I ordered a few of these SWD (Servoweichenantrieb analog/digital) - MD-ELECTRONICS last Fall. I'll finally be getting them in the next couple of days. The delay is nothing to do with Marius Dege (MD of MD Electronics). He has been very helpful. It is all shipping issues related to CV-19. The cost, €34.48 or about $42 each for me in the US was just too appealing. The VAT was removed and no US Customs duty collected. The drive is a bargain as it replaces a LGB 12010 EPL Drive ($28) and 55524 1 Channel Decoder ($55) for half the price. I'm sure I'll be pleased if it is anything like the other MD products I've tried. I think the servo drive will function even better than the EPL drives at throwing LGB turnouts. I'll post my experience after I've had a chance to use them a while.
 
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The Shed

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I'm currently fitting my Piko/LGB points with small radio control type servos to operate them. A 3D printed housing, fitted with a cheap servo seems to work well so far, anyway. I'm now looking for suggestions for how to control these points.

I have found this particular 3D printed housing, has possibilities, as for control, would probably go for some form of Home Brew DIY Arduino DCC Servo Decoder......

Servo Point Control Top.png

Servo Point Control Bottom.png
 
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dunnyrail

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The Shed

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Hmm, I'd have to revisit my old Arduino sketches, been a few years since I worked or programmed anything other than for DCC.
Jon, can you refresh my memory, I think you have an Arduino Mega?

I'll put together a some simple samples for you work through and get a feel for how to control and operate a Servo.

Also I'll put together a 'bill of material' for items that you may need to purchase.

As I have your email address, I can send the how to as a PDF, and send you the *.ino files for loading directly into the Arduino IDE.

For simplicity, tactile push buttons could be used to send the (1) ON and the (0) OFF signal to activate /deactivate a Servo, depending on which Arduino, governs the number of Servos, quality and design of the Servo power supply will govern the number of Servos able to operate at any one time.

Bluetooth and WiFi are other options.
EDIT: Notes in the form of a PDF and two example *.ino sent via email.


Sample of DCC code, address to use, pin to activate Servo, offangle to move the point to the Normal position when activated by Navigator Handset (Left Arrow) sends the DCC packet to include a 0.

onangle, Navigator (Right Arrow) sends a 1 to move the Servo to throw the point..........

// CONFIGURATION OF SERVOS

servo[0].address = 1 ; // DCC address
servo[0].servo.attach( 3); // Arduino servo pin
servo[0].offangle = 70 ; // Servo angle for DCC state = 0
servo[0].onangle = 150 ; // Servo angle for DCC state = 1

A more sophisticated version, uses a modified version of the nmra (god awful specification), brings all my equipment into line and complies with the European RCN standard.

Servo.PNG
 
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dunnyrail

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Hmm, I'd have to revisit my old Arduino sketches, been a few years since I worked or programmed anything other than for DCC.
Jon, can you refresh my memory, I think you have an Arduino Mega?

I'll put together a some simple samples for you work through and get a feel for how to control and operate a Servo.

Also I'll put together a 'bill of material' for items that you may need to purchase.

As I have your email address, I can send the how to as a PDF, and send you the *.ino files for loading directly into the Arduino IDE.

For simplicity, tactile push buttons could be used to send the (1) ON and the (0) OFF signal to activate /deactivate a Servo, depending on which Arduino, governs the number of Servos, quality and design of the Servo power supply will govern the number of Servos able to operate at any one time.

Bluetooth and WiFi are other options.
EDIT: Notes in the form of a PDF and two example *.ino sent via email.


Sample of DCC code, address to use, pin to activate Servo, offangle to move the point to the Normal position when activated by Navigator Handset (Left Arrow) sends the DCC packet to include a 0.

onangle, Navigator (Right Arrow) sends a 1 to move the Servo to throw the point..........

// CONFIGURATION OF SERVOS

servo[0].address = 1 ; // DCC address
servo[0].servo.attach( 3); // Arduino servo pin
servo[0].offangle = 70 ; // Servo angle for DCC state = 0
servo[0].onangle = 150 ; // Servo angle for DCC state = 1

A more sophisticated version, uses a modified version of the nmra (god awful specification), brings all my equipment into line and complies with the European RCN standard.

View attachment 280268
Oh thanks, was only wondering. Looks like I have set you off on a task! I have a Mega for my 00 Layout’s servos. I just wondered if it may be a solution to some others and the poster of the original query here. There was also someone asking the other day on the ‘What Layout‘ thread I think about points control.

But thinking of my Arduino tis a Mega 2560 R3 as you remembered, though I have just ordered an Elgoo Mega 2560 Project from Amazon to play with. So should be able to play with the Servo project that comes with it.

Just one thing though, is it possible to have more than one set of Code (forget the proper term) on an Arduino to be selected by say a switch? Nerdforge used an SD card in this Vid to revise the way that LED’s came up on a face mask. I suspect that a button was downloading different sets if code to do the differing sequences, but very cool.
 
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Gtarling

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Shed - I appreciate that the Arduino solution may well suit some people, as it's very customisable. However, I'm afraid that it's not for me, as i'm getting on in years and can no longer get my brain around such stuff.

I have found a servo housing that is 3D printable and which closely resembles the LGB/Piko point motors, so I'm planning to go with those for the time being and see how well they work out in practice. Cost is that of a cheap servo, plus a few metres of filament and a few stainless steel screws. I'll post a pic here once I've got one working. As for controlling these servos, I'm currently favouring the Megapoints solution, as it'll be simple to install and set up, though not particularly cheap.
 

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JimmyB

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I do find this thread confusing, The Shed The Shed the link shows a wired solution, so keeping it simple just use a LGB points motor wire and a switch, or am I missing something :think::think:
 

dunnyrail

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I do find this thread confusing, The Shed The Shed the link shows a wired solution, so keeping it simple just use a LGB points motor wire and a switch, or am I missing something :think::think:
Started off talking about LGB motors in post #1 then went on about servos and not wanting to wad out for a Megapoints servo board. Kind of emerged into sundry discussions about servo’s and control methods since.
 

The Shed

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Have a tried a few more designs, this one shows promise, unfortunately I have no PETG filament to print with as per the designers notes. Printed using PLA, will have a closer look at the PLA settings.

As for the design, well thought out, the cog requires a small dab of Superglue to attach to the Servo, the slider and cog mesh together correctly, smooth operation.

Neat design for use with an SG90 Servo, slider travel is at the extremes of the Servo degree angles and limit of travel, no messing about to change the angle of degrees for operation.

Servo Housing Internal.png

Servo Normal.png

Servo Reverse.png
 
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PhilP

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That looks quite a neat solution..

PhilP
 

Gtarling

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