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….
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.
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.
It was a present of my wife to order a building kit at pendle valley workshop . It is called the “large halt”, which is a ressin kit in a british style. It is coming in cream colored blank ressin, needs to get glued using a two-component-epoxid glue and must be painted afterwards. I used Revell Email color for it.
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.
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.
The connection from the town to the beach is closed. This weekend I expanded the tracks to the bottom of the waterfall and mounted the sealing of the platform. I call the station “Rocky Beach”, taken from the tales of “The Three Investigators”.
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.
Today I mounted the rebuild joint switch. To give you an impression how it works, I made a short movieclip switching two times back and forth. 😉
The ordinary joint controller is build with a usual electric coil and a permanent magnet, that is turing the rails. It really fast, but not really powerful. Just a little piece of gravel is prohibiting its functionality. The resultis really frustrating. So I decided to change this behaviour.
First idea was to use a servo, but the creation of a PWM signal for its control is simply too complicated. So why not usinga simple electric motor with a micro gearbox? Well – that sounds perfect. DC motors are able to spin in both directions. I found a DC motor in an electronic online shop with an integrated 1:1000 gearbox. Next step is to establish an automatic end switch for both directions. I found a great circuit digram in the net. So with some patience I used to original case and replaced to content.
It is working in perfecting. It is moving very smooth, but also very powerful. It is that strong, that it my push 12 kg (24pds)!!! So there shouldn’t be any issue anymore! Let’s turn joints!