Print Story Planned deckwork for the train layout
Toys
By ObviousTroll (Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 07:13:19 AM EST) trains, trolls, automation (all tags)
... because wiredog says this is a great troll.


Okay - so before I can automate (and I have plenty of ideas for that) I need to finish the deck-work. The design for the 2009 layout looked something like this, although the actual layout was somewhat different.

Currently, this is all on a 2x4' sheet of plywood with 1/4" rubber feet. To make room for the electronics and wiring underneath, I need to lift it up onto a base - but it also needs to be able to come off the base again for storage. (And "storage" means "in a protected spot where neither cats nor children nor spouses nor self will smash the landscaping".) The best idea I've been able to come up with is this.

There are a number of advantages to this design: it will hide the Arduino and the wiring, the feet will be easy to remove and store, the inset front means it will fit on the bricks in front of my fireplace, the cut out in the back will fit around the projecting knobs on the fireplace, and, most importantly, I have a bunch of 1'x4' and 2'x4' strips of plywood left over from cutting the original layout.

The downside is that I don't like the way it looks very much. Since this is going to be displayed in the living room I'd like it to look as nice as possible. Anyone have any better ideas?
< Apologies for the light blogging. | Man, my lunch is delicious today. >
Planned deckwork for the train layout | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Pollv needs to be multi... by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 07:23:16 AM EST
Damn. Need to add that one to the list..

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Automation by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 07:27:28 AM EST
Do they do DCC at N scale? Automating the switches would be fun. Looked at doing that for Dad's layout but gave up when I realized it would take about 4 DIO-48 cards with associated relays and wiring to cope just with the switches. Probably another two DIO-48s to deal with the power blocks. Gets expensive in a hurry.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

They do, but by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:10:28 AM EST
as you say - it gets expensive. Also, AFAIK, there's no feedback. My long term plan is to add sensors to the track and have the Arduino control and monitor the trains and issue an alert if it detects a derailment.

You'll know when I reach that point because I'll be posting a bleg for help on designing the circuit - I have little idea about how to have the Arduino drive the trains except that there will be MOSFETs involved.



An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I'm pretty sure there are switches by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 09:30:29 AM EST
with feedback on their state. Or rather, switch machines.

Good luck on derailment detection. Not sure how you'd do that. Unless you are looking for full derailment rather than just one truck misaligned.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
derailment detection is easy by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Mar 23, 2010 at 10:31:06 AM EST
I'm thinking hall effect sensors to monitor the train's position - if the arduino notices that the train is no longer making progress, then it knows the train must have derailed.


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Idea. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Mar 24, 2010 at 01:12:08 PM EST
Cabinet doors. You can buy just the doors. Make up your layout board, mount it on a hinge with a lock at the top. When not in use, you swing it up. Put in a false bottom that can be slid outward when it's handing down for use to access the wires. On this false bottom, mount cabinet doors to make it look like a regular old cabinet. Or at least stain the false bottom so it looks like fancy wood work and put a handle on it somewhere to make raising and lowering easier.

We had a layout made up that way that sat over the top of the couch in the basement many many moons ago. The bottom was painted instead of stained, but it matched the walls that way.



Planned deckwork for the train layout | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback