The PIKO VT98 is changed to the “BlueHorse” board. For switching the front and rear lights – and in addition the interia lights – it is not possible to connect the LED’s directly. I connected the ACC outputs with a reed relay instead. One relay for each channel. The “BlueHorse” board is that intelligent, that it is switching between white front lights and red rear lights automatically depending to the drive direction. The interia lights are independent and can switched on/off seperatly.
As you may see in the pictures, it was a lot of tiny soldering stuff – but it is working in perfection.
Updating the next locomotive with the BlueHorse board….
This time it is the PIKO VT98…
Putting some light into the wagons today. As you may know, I have a simplified power supply (18VAC / 6 Amps). So I had to add a bridge rectifier, a electrolytic capacitor and a voltage regulator into each wagon. The advantage is, that result is pretty nice and stable power supply for the LED’s, I build in. My personal goal is to hide all components as good as possible. The rear lights are 12V read LED’s. The interia lights are warm white candle lights.
I also had to exchange the axises from ordinary plastic to metal with power collectors. I replaced both axis and connected them in parallel for a better connection to the rails.
Today I build the BlueRail receiver into successfully into the LGB Stainz locomotive. Because I decided to put 18 VAC on the tracks, I had to build a bridge rectifier and a 15VDC voltage regulator (7815) into the locomotive as well. To smooth the DC voltage and solve issues with the power supply due to soiled rails (connection issues), I also added a huge capacitor (4700µF / 63V). I also exchanged the micro light bulbs by LED’s, which also can be turned on and off seperately by the “BlueRail” app.
So what should I say? It is running really smooth and the control by smartphone over BlueTooth is a pleasure. I’m really satisfied with the result!
The only thing I have to discover is, how to control the smoke generator. Maybe I’m going to use a small print relais. The only limit is, that the board is supporting 12V/20mA. But this will be the next challange….
Next project is coming up. The first BlueRail Board arrived today. The challange is now to get it into the LGB Stainz locomotive….
Thinking about putting buildings to my little railway world. I already know about PIKO and POLA stuff, which doesnt look like german northern style. So I was researching the internet again and kept hanging on some british manufacturers of buildings for garden railways.
I especially kept hanging on the “Thatched cottage“, which I felt in love with. It really looks pretty much fitting into my little world.
What do you think?
Today I found another interresting solution for controlling the locomotives! That board from “Blue Rail Trains” sounds very interresting. It is board constructed for HO scale, but is also able to get build into G-scale locos. It’s controlled by smartphone using the BlueTooth connection. The app is available for free for Android and iOS. This solution is streight forward.
Sounds like THE future solution. Its cheap and flexible!
I already contacted Dave Rees from Blue Rail Trains. They annouced a board with higher amperage to be released within the next 6 month. Very nice contact with Dave. He promized me to inform me as soon as the new board is available.
Well – I wanted to use the time for doing some progress in the garden and started with organizing new material, e.g. rocks, gravel, concrete, plates, etc. But then the weather did not allow me to do that. It was raining for almost 8 days… But finally it stopped raining and I used that chance to proceed.
In the meanwhile and I started to build the powersupply and the control of the rail joints. Yes – I ordered an Tx27 kit and an Rx105 receiver from DelTang. I started making some experiences with receiver and transmitter and have to confess, that the idea is pretty nice, but the hardware is really delicate. So I broke the first receiver while connecting them to the relais board. I had to re-order one in the UK and planned to add a ULN2803-A driver chip between the receiver outputs and the relais boards.
I wonder, if this DelTang solution is the right solution to control the trains in future…. I have some contrains to be honest….
Well – this topic is not an easy one…. You may run analoge, which is the cheapest, but nor very comfortable, because you are binded to a fixed place in the garden. Running digital (DCC) is able to run the trains seperated. This solution is pretty expensive and starts at round about 800€, which is a no-go for me.
Googleing a little, I found DelTang, a british on-man-company, building extremly small RC transmitters and receivers for model cars, boats and trains….. This sounds like a nice perspective…
Again doing some progress in laying tracks. This time I bought two electrical driven joints and added them at the end of the grade as entry to the station area.