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  • Location
    East Sussex
  • Interests
    Building an 00 gauge '20s early '30s Southern Railway model railway.

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  1. So, given that I've been playing with servos it seems that producing something simple to drive them would be a good idea. If you are of a mind, and fancy a modest challenge, then over HERE (in Github) is the source for the Arduino firmware. This, after relatively limited testing, should work on a Nano, Uno or Mega2560 and control as many servos and the board has PWM outputs (with some reasonable exceptions). Here (and arguably meaninglessly) is a picture of an Uno operating a single servo: What this *has* shown (and provided justification for writing the
  2. Just a quick one. "Can I arrange to put the switches on the actuator" was, I think, the last question. Yes: and So there are "T Slots" in the chassis into which rather small M1.6 bolts fit and M2.0 might fit (I haven't any to try). I would hardly say that it is simple, but it is achievable. Attached are the STL files for the chassis, the rod and two wheels (one with 10mm throw and the other with 4mm throw). Please feel free to play though I would warn that I am new to this CAD for 3D printing act
  3. Hi Stu, I have looked at the MERG servo mounts, and thought they were a bit fiddly, especially the "pin" moving between the goal posts. The wheel I've modelled screws in-place of the arm normally found on a servo so it feels more rigid and secure. It's also put the loads closer to the motor so the twisting forces are reduced. To be honest I couldn't quite see how I was going to fit the pin to the arm reliably. On the subject of the built-in point springs, I would remove them. They're essential for the electro-magnet point motors, otherwise the blades would not remai
  4. Should I have said "Hi" in here? I'll keep in brief: Hi. I'm Jeff and I have a problem ... hang on, that's the other group Seriously now. The wife and I have been living in the Uckfield area for a few years now, and a couple of years ago thought "shall we try to build a model railway?" and that's when the trouble started. Since then I've been trying to combine every possible interest I have with that objective so, naturally, progress has been unpredictable. Her interest? Anything other than that which I am interested in. My interest? South
  5. Estimated cost per switch is a little tricky. The servos are really cheap at about £1.15 each off ebay, and a really cheap arduino to run it is about £3.50 but can control a number of servos. 3D printing is cheap but the printer isn't, unless you've a friend with one. How you make it all hang together and operate is really the question, to which there are many approaches, mine being just one (and technically far from the simplest). Could the switches be incorporated into the servo unit? Yes. The mount for the servo has been deliberately centrally located meaning the switches cou
  6. Well, I guess I ought to have known that I would end up doing this, so, yes, wheel re-invention was the order of the day. Putting that to one side I think I have come up with something a little different, perhaps more flexible while being simpler to print and deploy (though that last point really will have to wait until I have actually installed one and got it working). I have chosen to divide the whole "model railway point motor" thing into two distinct parts: The component which interfaces to the point itself, and the component which provides the driving force to act
  7. So here we are, again, in more than one way. It's been an interesting summer with the easing of lock down and some fine weather, but changes are afoot (on both fronts). So things have slowed a little on the layout, but mostly because the work on the Arduino concept has been trundelling (?) on with progress on both the hardware and software fronts. The hardware is migrating off the bread boards onto something that can be attached to a layout and the software is becoming more flexible and forgiving. It's almost working. I'm reaching the point where I actua
  8. I believe my last words were "I need to focus", and in a sense I have, just not on what I thought I should be. The trouble with "playing with DCC control" is that once I had a proof of concept working with trains and points moving smoothly under my control I realised what was missing. The result has been (and encouraged by the management) that I've re-written virtually everything but "properly" this time. But that's not all, oh no. Looking forwards towards a more automated layout (and freshly encouraged by my successes with the tiny Arduino boards) I thought to pull t
  9. Hi Justin, Yes, the "brains" in the handset is the cheapest Nano compatible board I could find on eBay. Working on the premise that I was likely to blow at least one up, I didn't want to spend too much. I think one was about £3.50. The MCU in the bread board in the title picture is an STM32 based MCU (so a 32 bit ARM processor rather than the 8 bit Atmel AVR chip). I've had this working too, thinking that the extra speed and memory would improve things, but the tiny Nano works just fine so there was nothing significant to be gained. The screen is an SPI attached 1.8 inch Colou
  10. ..on the modelling. But, to be honest, this really grabbed my interest as a bit of a technical "can I actually get that to work?" way. The answer is "Yes", but what is it? I decided to see if I could make a simple hand held railway controller that be used to operate a DCC layout. When I say "a" DCC layout, I really ought to be clear and say that I meant "our" DCC layout: JMRI with a DCC++ interface. I wanted it to be as simple as possible to operate, and as simple as possible to configure, and this is the first completed prototype in a 3D printed case (a story in it
  11. Ahh, thanks for your comment. I had already thought about some form of lateral control on the bogle but will worry about that once the model is complete enough to operate and test. Not having got the body compete I've not seen how high it rides, but I'll definitely keep an eye on that now.
  12. Now that the (apparent) rush with the blog is over a more sedate and relaxed pace will be the order of the day, but I mustn't allow lethargy to take control. So, in the spirit of showing that the lock down protocol hasn't resulted in me wandering about the house all day dressed in my slippers and dressing gown (what a terrible image, sorry , and I don't even own any slippers), there's been some progress on the SE Finecast I3 kit. I've rebuilt the chassis now with some new parts sourced from 'Finecast. It became apparent when making a more detailed inventory of bits and pieces tha
  13. Hi Keith, On the jib I had to resort to a spot of resin putty to fill in some gaps that simply wouldn't be resolved in any other way. I took to assembling it one piece at a time and letting the glue set before tackling the next piece. It is worth the effort though. Jeff.
  14. So impressed with the 3D resin printing. Just getting to grips with a new "old fashioned" PLA printer myself. All good fun.
  15. I once worked in a company where the phrase "JFDI" was occasionally fired at you. Essentially it means "stop procrastinating and Just Do It", I'll let you workout what the 'F' stood for . Happily, for me (and possibly them too), I no longer work for them so having this expression thrust at me has become a rather rare experience, but the other day I found myself thinking, "You can't avoid it, you're going to have to JUST DO IT", so what was I thinking about? A bit of an embarrassing admission really, I have had this white metal kit for a number of years now that I star
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