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  1. I am developing a home-made controller for my Magnorail installation. I have an Arduino Uno with a display, and a set of five push buttons representing my four reed switches and a 'start/stop' control button: I have written a good sized chunk of the software for the Arduino, but hit a snag with the layout wiring to the reed switches. Essentially, the motor drive shield (sitting on top of the Arduino in the photo) consumes all of the digital I/O pins. I have built a ladder network using a series of resistors to make a simple digital to analogue converter, and this was intende
  2. No decent ideas I'm afraid. These are masonry nails so brittle and prone to shattering, and I've put mine into the bin as I've pulled them out of their clips. Brass pins are very cheap in "layout sizes" and I usually use these if I want a pin. - Richard.
  3. I think this comes with the territory for some of us here :-) A working traverser is always going to be an appealing project to many people, and the concept will inspire fresh ideas. I wish you all success with your own solution. - Richard.
  4. When power is restored your traverser will be in one of three states: - at one end or the other, with an engine across the gap - at one end or the other, but free to move - somewhere in between You need a visual inspection to tell whether there is an engine across the gap, and to my mind this asks for a sort of "permission to start" push button to let the DCC system take control. It is good the decoder doesn't lose its status, but I'm not sure whether you can rely on this where there are delicate models involved. If you are going to have such a button, th
  5. Here are a couple of ideas: (1) Supposing your traverser only stops at a road (and not at a gap between them), add a reed switch for each road, operated by a magnet attached to the mating surface. When you power-up the system, have the Arduino examine these switches to work out where the traverser is. (2) Use a wafer switch with three positions as the 'power' switch for the system. The positions being "run", "park" and "off". So when you switch off, you let the traverser drive itself to a known parking position, and the system will have a known position next time you po
  6. I think some marked-up photos could work well. My computer is in the office, the layout is in my hobby room, so a manual method would be best for me. If I desaturated them and printed them out on A4 paper, I could mark them up by hand and put them into a ring binder. Ten or twelve photos would cover the underside of the layout. What I need to do, is stop altering the wiring. The Magnorail system is going through multiple iterations at the moment. - Richard.
  7. I am cheating :-) The wiring is neat and tidy at its ends, but the excess is doubled back inside the plastic trunking. If I mess up making off the end of a wire, I use up a bit of the surplus and no-one is any the wiser. - Richard.
  8. I have started my second box of cable clips (100 in a box). With the layout tipped up and resting on its rear backscene, horizontal cable runs are in trunking and vertical runs are clipped into cableforms. It will all look ok when the trunking lids go on. So far, I haven't written down anything to do with the wiring (gulp!). I am working on the basis, the cableforms are small bundles. I never put more than three wires of the same colour together, and it is fairly easy to see where they are going, "so I don't need a schematic". After all, the wiring is pretty simple - th
  9. I have installed my "scenics processor" under the baseboard: For some reason it looks neater in the flesh than it does here. The board is finally running from layout power and not its USB port. I still ended up phoning a friend for help with one of the functions. I don't know why I struggle so much with software; all I know is that sometimes, the ideas and the code seem to come naturally enough, and at other times I am completely stuck. I will hardly ever want to alter the configuration, so I have tucked the two buttons "yes" and "no" away out of sight
  10. If you are really keen, you can drill a small hole through the middles of the buffer heads, cut off the heads and their shanks, and put the heads back in their retracted positions. A piece of styrene rod through the hole to hold the assembly together. Somehow, seeing a retracted buffer where it ought to be extended looks better than the other way round. - Richard.
  11. I am saddened to see, Model Car World aren't offering shipping to the UK. http://www.modelcarworld.de I do hope this is a short-term measure. I had added some Brekina RHD models to my cart, and had to give up. - Richard.
  12. I have finished the code for my "scenics processor". This has ended up just like building a layout; I keep on thinking of new details, and eventually decide to simply stop. My "scenics processor" is one Arduino Nano, and it is currently driving three servos, an LED replicating a rotating strobe lamp, and a narrative display. All of these are running at the same time and are working to their own schedules: The white lump on the harness to the left of this arrangement is a temperature and humidity sensor, so the display can include a "weather report" based on the lo
  13. Alan, A while ago I had a go at making a Mk1 brake composite using some laser-cut sides I drew up and had made by York Modelmaking. I had a lot of trouble getting the sides to hold themselves to the right shape (the constant curve of a Mk1 side) and even more trouble getting the very narrow strips above the windows to stay in a continuous straight line. Possibly, a strip of small L section brass would help along the tops of the sides. I suppose, much depends on how much of the Lima carcass you keep - I seemed to cut so much of it away, there wasn't enough left to build
  14. It's solid die-cast. Best kept as a paperweight. - Richard.
  15. I wonder why Brekina have made the model at all, and the only reason I can think of is for customers who have visited London and fancy a Routemaster. This would explain the choice of route on the model. I don't know, but perhaps there are Routemasters running as tour buses in Germany? The model is expensive by British standards, but I think this is reflecting the higher cost of plastic moulding production over die-cast. The result looks very good and I would hope most of us would get away with only one for a layout. - Richard.
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