All posts by AlexG

THE OTHER SIDE

Today the weather was not too warm but sunshiny. So a good reason to proceed working in the garden after a busy day in office. Past weekend I prepared the framing for the other side of the bridge. This is made out of Jigstones. Last weekend I also made the basement out of concrete. Today I mounted the Jigstone framing on the basement. So I plan to fill the framing up with concrete the upcoming weekend.

The trick of todays task was to keep it leveled and aligned with the other side, that already was build last year.

JOINT WIFI REMOTE CONTROLLER

Now there are two ways to switch the joints of my garden railway:

1) Raspberry Pi website
2) my brand new controller device

The controller device contains a nodeMCU V3 (contains a ESP8266-12) and a 16ch Multiplexer breakout board. Using this combination, it is possible to connect (at least) 16 electrical switches to the nodeMCU. I implemented the related code under the Arduino environment for the nodeMCU board a few weeks ago. Today I assembled the hardware components to a ready-to-use device. The USB port at the backside is for charging the 5VDC powerpack, which supplies the nodeMCU.

WIFI REMOTE CONTROLLER

The railway joints are getting controlled over WIFI. I created a website on my Raspberry Pi and that’s working fine for quite a while. But I’m notereally satisfied switching the webbrowser and the BlueRail app on my mobile for controlling the loco and turing a joint. So I started to build a WIFI remote controller for the railway joints.

First problem is, that a ESP8266-12 on has about 10 working GPIO’s, which is sufficiant to control 5 railway joints. Not that much – that’s what I think. I had a CD74HC4067 16-channelmultiplexer breakout board left in my basement. So this requires a little more programming efforts, but it is expandable. So you only need 5 GPIO’s to control 8 joints, 6 GPIO’s for 16 joints and so on.

It took me 2 evenings to solder the wiring and 3 further evenings to implement the Ardunio code for the nodeMCU. Next step will be buying a nice box and put everything in. The bis advantage of the nodeMCU is, that I’m easily able to use a USB powerpack for the power supply.

Maybe I’m going to use an additional GPIO with a blue LED to show a flag, if the ESP8266 is connected to the WIFI….

SOME LECTURE

I found some very interresting books by a sudden in on of the FB garden railway groups. I was searching for it on amazon and found it. Today I received them and the content looks really great in the first view.

So thumb up for everyone, who is interrested in creating buildings and planting for your own garden railway.

THE GREENHOUSE

Third building for my garden railway made of a ressin kit. This time it is just a small building kit from the UK. Again it is glued with a two-component expoy glue from Pattex. It takes round about 5 minutes to get dry. So it build up real quick. I took again the email color from Revel for painting.

NEW BUILDING

I found the british store modeltown.co.uk , which offers building kits, made out of ressin. It is unpainted, but it is weather proof. I ordered it already in october and received it just two weeks after. Finally in january I had the time to glue and paint it. Today I put in on my railway for the very first time.

It perfectly fits into the landscape! I love these british building kits! Way better than the plastic kits.

YEARLY GOAL REACHED

The goal for this year was to build a waterfall, create a railway station in front of it, to expand the tracks up to the corner of my backyard and to finish the gardening up to this point.

Well – my wife and I went to a huge gardening shop yesterday, bought some small bushes and flowers and I put them in the place we wanted them to be. This week I also finished the stationary platform in front of the waterfall using concrete and today I put some lights to the station.

So I’m done with my railway working for this year – at least for the work outdoors. 

LET IT BE LIGHT

The railway station was done – well – almost. Some light was missing. I had some brass tubes left from a renovation and some white plastic balls from a defect light chain. The plastic balls fit perfectly into the brass tube and a 5mm LED is fitting into the balls. So the only thing that was missing was a little bit of electronics to connect the LED to the 18VAC rails. Just a 1k resistor and another diode solved it. So just a few cent of investment to build some nice lamps for the railway platform.