Schoema goes WIFI

Since Bluerailtrains is not able to deliver BlueTooth based controllers, I decided to turn over to a self-developed WIFI controller. I already developed one controller for my V100 diesel locomotive using a NodeMCU and a L298N development board. The huge advantage of using WIFI with a webserver based technology is, that I am able to use any device with an integrated web browser. So these locomotives can get controlled by using a PC, tablet, laptop or smartphone.

In a next step I wanted reduce the size of the electronics. So I turned over to use a WEMOS D1 mini as controller in combination with a Infineon TLE5206-2S motor driver chip. The specialty of my LGB Schoema locomotive is, that I use this one battery powered. In the past I placed the accumulators in a second coach, but my goal was to integrate it into the locomotive as well.

So after a complete disassembling of the locomotive I was able to place the AA size accumulators under the front bonnet, delivering 12VDC. The controller takes place under the rear bonnet including a 5 volts regulator and a self-developed shield to supply LEDs, controlled by the 3.3VDC outputs of the WEMOS D1 mini.

It is working without any issues as it was running for the VT100 locomotive with some additional features. One of the new features is a rehabilitation of the client-server websocket connection. I also implemented a safety slowdown in case the connection is permanently shut down. So if the locomotive is detecting that no client is currently controlling the locomotive, it slowly ramps down the speed to zero for safety reasons.

The biggest challenge was the integration of all parts into a very limited space. It will get a much bigger challange to get everything integrated into my LGB Stainz locomotive….

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