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About skaako

  • Birthday 01/18/82

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    Rotorua, New Zealand


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  1. Sorry about that and thanks again for the comments Using the Programmable LED's makes this quite a simple task for wiring. Using conventional LED's you would need 6 channels for the headlights (1 each for the white LED's and 1 per pair of red LED's) 2 channels for the cab lights. Then.. if you wanted the dimming you would need the white LED's and the cab lighting on analog outputs. Now I need to finish lighting up my station so I can create the whole scene
  2. Thanks I was playing around with different styles to see how they would turn out. I was trying to copy the action of how ditch lights alternate when a train approaches a station or a level crossing. I ended up reading about how in a study they found that trains appeared to be closer to pedestrians or drivers with alternating lights. In the last style on the video (Fade Each) I was trying out something similar to how a Mars light looks. I think I like this one the best out of them. It would look really cool on the Sante Fe engine.
  3. Thanks I'll make another video of the internal details and how it is setup. Getting the LED's right was probably the most difficult part but am quite happy with the result. The LED's are individual 5050 programmable RGB LED's each on their own board daisy chained together. I had looked into using 3mm White/Red LED's but I couldn't find a supplier in NZ. I might look at using them in future but the 5050 programmables are more brighter and can be any colour you like. Also you only need 1 data pin to control the lights and the power is fed directly to the lighting so there is really no current limitation. For the power supply I have a battery pack made of 2 18650 cells onboard. I think they are 2600mAh each and have built in protection.
  4. Hi Guys, I got a bit carried away with my latest lighting setup and thought I would share my progress. I started off just wanting front and rear white/red lights but... well video's speak louder than words.. I have an ESP8266 onboard programmed with the Arduino IDE. The motor is controlled with a RC brushed motor ESC and the LED's (6 in total) are all programmable so they only need 1 output pin for all 6. It is communicating by MQTT and at the moment I am using Home Assistant just as a test controller but the plan is to use it with 4DBrix's nControl software as the features become available. A benefit of using Home Assistant lets me control it from my phone or PC. It will work across the web as well but I don't really have the need to control my trains from outside the house. Not yet anyway... I'll get some video's about the build up when I can Mike
  5. I'll have to try that out too. I use the MS RDP app on the Mac and it works really good for this too. That's how I have it setup on my first video. Thanks Tom :) I had been thinking for a long time that MQTT would be the perfect protocol for a layout. And nControl works great with it. I've got my train loaded up with gear too (Just waiting for some special LED's as I want to try something different with the lighting). I'll try and get a video together once it's all up and running too. I'm excited to see what you have got running. Can't wait to see the video :) Thanks for the effort put in getting this going. I'm still a while from having my test layout going so not too urgent for the sensors. That's great about the 3 aspect signal! Yea getting all of that into a signal is not the easiest of tasks. Will be great to see them when they are ready! Thanks :) I was testing the lights on the train and had to keep turning off the monitor to get a good idea of the brightness. Could you create another set of bitmaps with the dark colour scheme and switch to them when night mode is active? Having a light sensor would be even more awesome. When the light reaches certain levels it could trigger delays to turn parts of the scene on or off gradually.
  6. Thanks for the effort with the software. Hopefully we can get the sensors sorted out :) It's nice having a lot of features for the signals and as suggested having a 3 aspect signal would be even more cooler! I just had another thought.. How hard would it be to make nControl handle colour schemes so we could have a dark night running mode?
  7. I always use Philo's page for getting the details I need about the electric motors. It has a ton of information on every detail you could imagine. Mike
  8. Finally had the time to make a short video of my progress with a custom controller... More to come...
  9. I spotted the awkward out of place Playmobile guy in there!! Now it would be cool to see some before and after shots :)
  10. You're welcome :) For a simple serial controller you could have it checking for incoming data from the serial port frequently and maybe have it read in multiple sensor values from a string and convert them to python variables that can be used in the tile code. e.g. S001=1,S002=0,S003=256 etc. I started off with a simple tile script that could change multiple switches and lights (let me know if there is a better way of coding this) curState = self.getState() switch4 = self.getTile('Switch 4') light1 = self.getTile('Light 1') light2 = self.getTile('Light 2') if curState == 1: self.setSwitchTurn() switch4.setSwitchTurn() light1.setGreen() light2.setRed() elif curState == 2: self.setSwitchStraight() switch4.setSwitchStraight() light2.setGreen() light1.setRed() I then added some code to open a serial port and write some data to test it, but having the ability to setup a custom controller would be great. If it could be made to support MQTT directly would be awesome!! But one step at a time. I'll get some photos of my test setup to show my setup. I'm using ESP8266's as the nodes and using MQTT as the communications protocol. They work well over WIFI, really cheap and have them working over their own VLAN to separate them from the rest of the network traffic. At the moment I'm using Mosquitto as my MQTT broker running on the same PC as nControl and have an ESP8266 connected by serial as a basic MQTT adaptor. I'm looking forward to testing it with some sensors, let us know when it's ready :)
  11. I've had a play with the software and it looks very promising. Good work :) How far away will the ability to add sensors to the software so we can start creating some really cool automated layouts? Also I would be looking at integrating the software with my own controller that communicates over WIFI using MQTT. How can I purchase the subscription for the software? Is it possible to run all communications through a single COM port and have my controller send it out to the relative device? I don't really like the idea of having a separate USB for each group of devices, especially when the numbers and distance gets up. Awesome work :)
  12. Thanks.. No changes are required at all to the switch. And i have tested it with various switches old and new and works fine with all.
  13. Here is my smaller PF points motor.. I finally had the time to make instructions and take a few photo's
  14. For Duq's design the liftarms limit the travel as they rotate. With my design i added the headlight bricks with 1 x 1 tiles to limit the travel in this direction as it did cause a slight amount of stress on the bottom cover of the switch. In my newer design the tiles at the top of the housing limit the travel too.
  15. This is a really good design however when I built it I realized the two extra liftarms rub against the studs on the switch and causes a bit of flexing of the switch itself. So I started again with a similar design and this is what I came up with.. You can view the set of instructions here. It's slightly smaller in design and there is no flexing of the switch and causes very little pressure on the bottom cover of the switch.