What are you all using?

John Russo

John Russo

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John,

Thanks for the reply. I understand your response to the Arduino AC/DC question. I just ordered a Mega and a Motor Shield.

Regarding the sensors:

I tried both. I was using Massoth Hall Effect and had trouble with them

AllAboutLGB: Massoth Digital Track Contacts


I also tried the LGB reeds and those read abut 80% of the time.

LGB 17100 EPL Track Contact

I also tried James Shourt's stronger magnets and reed switches.

Shourt Line - Soft Works Ltd. - Products - SL-TC-17100 Track Contact (replaces LGB 1700 and 17100)


Did you say you had some suggestions for the Massoth sensors?

The Layout: (Toward the end you see some of the attempted automation)

 
John Russo

John Russo

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FWIW, If I can get some basic automaton to work I will love on to another phase of effort.

I am hoping to go to battery power. I was going to put a volt litium battery (basic battery from from my Milwaukee drill) in a cox car and wire it to ESP8266 Huzzah wi-fi board and motor controller from Adafruit.

Adafruit HUZZAH ESP8266 Breakout

and

Dual H-Bridge Motor Driver for DC or Steppers - 600mA - L293D

Going to try this to create my own sound unti.

Adafruit Music Maker FeatherWing - MP3 OGG WAV MIDI Synth Player
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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Over the years I have tried various sensor options including reed switches and infrared and the only one I have found that is 100% rock solid is current detection. Wiring is a PITA but you only need one wire to each block section. If you are serious about automatically running trains you need very reliable feedback whatever you end up using for DCC control.
 
PhilP

PhilP

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Tamworth, Staffs.
If you are serious about automatically running trains you need very reliable feedback whatever you end up using for DCC control.
Agreed!

if you don't know where it is, you don't know how to control it.. :eek:
 
John S

John S

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Wholeheartedly agree with idlemarvel, current detection is the way to go for automatic train control.

Train Detection Module
8170501 Train Detection Module – Massoth Elektronik GmbH

I have designed and constructed my own current sense detectors, one type as in un-powered works very similar to the Massoth one, and a powered version which connects also to a feedback module, but also has a powered output to connect to other devices and interfaces.

At some point I'll do a write up about them, probably won't post here on this Forum, getting a tad fed up with the tiresome individuals that hijack the subject matter with irrelevant comments and child like humour, have a look at some of the recent posts in the last few days!

Listed as what is available, probably available cheaper to purchase from say, aliexpress, Find Quality Wholesalers, Suppliers, Manufacturers, Buyers and Products from Our Award-Winning International Trade Site. Wholesale Products from China Wholesalers at Aliexpress.com.

ESP8266 Motor Drive Shield
L293d WiFi Motor Drive Shield Module for Arduino NodeMCU Lua Esp8266 Esp-12e | eBay

ESP8266 Module with Motor Drive Shield
NodeMCU ESP-12E ESP8266 WiFi Amica LUA CP2102 and Motor Shield L293D Expansion | eBay

Very good primer article, and an excellent place to start, plus heaps of useful information by Random Nerd Tutorials written by Rui Santos and Sara Santos.
ESP32 with DC Motor and L298N Motor Driver - Control Speed and Direction

Others worthy of a mention of articles that have proved useful.

Controlling a stepper motor via WiFi with an ESP8266 and Android
Simplest wifi car using ESP8266 Motorshield - Hackster.io
ESP8266 + L298N Motor Drive + Smartphone - Hackster.io
L293D Motor Driver and Controlling Motor using PWM - NodeMCU | Robo India
Motorize IoT With ESP8266

And, if you are still intrigued visit here, WiFi Model Railway - Everything ESP8266, download the file Wireless DCC v2.pdf.

DCC++, everything you will likely ever need to know will be found here, Introducing DCC++ ---a complete open-source DCC station and interface and here DccPlusPlus/BaseStation

John S
 
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idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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FWIW, If I can get some basic automaton to work I will love on to another phase of effort.

I am hoping to go to battery power. ...
If you go battery then track current detection isn't going to help. I guess you are then back to the options of reed switch or Hall effect or there is also RFID which has the added advantage of letting you know which train is on the track not just "there is a train on the track". I've not heard of RFID being used outside though.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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...I have designed and constructed my own current sense detectors, one type as in un-powered works very similar to the Massoth one, and a powered version which connects also to a feedback module, but also has a powered output to connect to other devices and interfaces.

At some point I'll do a write up about them, probably won't post here on this Forum, getting a tad fed up with the tiresome individuals that hijack the subject matter with irrelevant comments and child like humour, have a look at some of the recent posts in the last few days!...
I'm sorry you feel that way. This forum is a wild mixture of in depth discussions and frivolous comments, which is part of its charm. There is virtually no bad-mouthing or derogatory comments which is a blessed relief compared to other sites, and when there is it is stamped on quickly. There are certain forums on this site that are really a chat room (e.g. coffee lounge), which I dip into occasionally but rarely contribute. There are others that cover technical and practical topics and in general those do not get hijacked too much, at least that's how I see it.