Today I painted and finalized the signal, Thebox, the signal is mounted on, contains the ESP8266 and the power supply unit, coming from the tracks. So it getting very compact and easy to connect.
Would I do something better next time? Of cause! There is always room for improvements. I would take 5mm LED’s instead of 3mm in diameter. I also would take brighter LED’s, because its hard to see the LED’s during daytime. I also would take finished U-profiles made of brass and would not try it on my own.
On the other hand side: its a prototype and I just wanted to see, if it is possible to make this idea become true.
Today Imade some soldering. I found some cupper plates in my basement and started devoloping the signal by cutting, bending and drilling the parts. As soonas all parts got prepared I started soldering together.
The prototype is not the quality of a mass production, but for the very time it is possible to see, what the idea is.
It will get some painting within the next days. Then the electronics will get included.
Software developed and flashed to the ESP8266-01. I usedto take some CSS elements to display the signal on the website. By clicking on the red circle, the red LED turns red and turns off the green LED. By clicking the green circle – well – guess what happens
I supply the board with 18VAC as I have it at my tracks. The LED’s have a common ground. So just three wired are required to control the LED’s.
OK – result: It took a while, but finally this works.
I “just” need to build the signal out of cupper profiles and mount it on top of the black box with the electronics inside.
I ordered 5 ESP8266-01 microcontrollers and a programmer kit for controlling my signals. This version of the WIFI controller has 2 GPIO’s, which perfectly fits to control 2 LED’s – a green and a red one.
After digging thru Google, I finally got the Arduino IDE plus ESP8266 plugin. Yesterday I tried some experiments and – tah dah – It is working as webserver…..
Now I’m on to implement a web interface to control the signal. More to come
The days are getting long and warm. Perfect to stay outside longer the day.
Pefect to run trains late night. My Christmas train has some interia lights – so a great time to run the train outside in the sunset.
I took my camera and made a little photo session. Please enjoy the ride
Another saturday, but this time I havetime left and the weather is dry and not too hot. So a perfect day to proceed working on the garden railway.
Anonther 4 meter (12 feet) of track laying are done and the bridge is getting connected. First task was filling the gravel and laying doen the concrete bricks as base for the tracks. Then installing the tracks by drilling holes into the concrete bricks and screwing the tracking to it. Finally filling the tracks with gravel.
I also did some wiring. As you may remember from previous posts, I install power supplies every 2-3 meters (6 to 9 feet). I also finally connected the tracks to the transformator, which delivers permanently the tracks with 18 volts AC. This transformator can get turn on and off by a Raspberry Pi, which is installed in the garage. But this is a different story.
The last days I developed another board to control the rail joints. The old board uses just diods to the a positive or negative voltage to switch the joints. So it is delivering only every second half wave at its output. The new board is having a bridge rectifier. So it produces both halfwaves to switch the joint – the power is doubled with this new board. I connected it to my WIFI relay board and tested it. The difference is pretty awesome! The joints are now switched without any issues.
Finally I have some hours left to enjoy todays work. So I made some pictures with steam loco Stainz and the christmas train 😉
The meteorolists were right: it was getting a warm and sunshiny springday! Hurray!
Today some concrete work again. The bridge got on it’s final place and filled up with concrete. As soon as it dryed out, it is getting rock solid. You may wonder, why the wall before the bridge is lower than the bridge itself… That’s because I have to add two additional rows of jigstones afterwards. Otherwise I wound not being able to install the bridge and fill it up with concreate. So some additional work to do for the next few days.
I had some concrete left. So I build the platform of the station for my little town. Now it is getting way easier for people to enter the trains.
The concrete base for the bridge is build. I put round about 100kg of concrete into the earth in order to get a solid and stable base for the bridge. I also added some iron in it to get the pylons rock solid. Maybe the iron is still to long. But then I will cut them down to the right length/height.
Tomorrow will be (hopefully) good weather. That’s at least, what the meteorolists are telling us. Maybe the concrete is already that dry, that I’m able to put the pylons on it and fix them with some cement, before filling them up with concrete as well….
First ideas to create signals for the railway. I simply want to control a green and a red LED with it, without any additional functionallity. So it looks like it’s getting pretty easy and cheap to get this realized. Just need an additional power supply to get 18VAC to 3.3VDC. That’s it….
A good project description is here…