James Rice

Remote control/Motorised Switch tracks (Points)

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Hi All,

I'm new to this forum, and new to the Lego RC train world. I have just started collecting this range with my son (who's 5) so this is mostly about me.... :) In all seriousness, he is over the moon with these trains and the sets in general and we have 3 already (60051, 60197 and 60198). I'm looking for some expert guidance as to the best and most cost effective way to be able to remotely control/motorise the switch tracks (points). Having done some research online, I see there are many ways, although i haven't found a definitive step by step guide yet. It would be good to get some valuable feedback and guidance from someone who has been through this process if possible (i.e method and functionality vs cost and practicality).

Appreciate the time spent reading my post and any feedback received.

 

James.

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I've been on that subject for some time.

At first I wanted to make it cost effective so I ordered bunch of servos and wanted to hook some arduino. This failed, cause servo was too weak, and it was hard to fit it in without modifying any bricks (my goal was not to modify any switches).

Then I made a break and noticed the powered up looks like really nice system (with latest update to powered up app). So I essentially followed this:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/skaako/sets/72157629455967364/with/6933235178/

(Might want to use this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/skaako/sets/72157630024888612/).

And it worked like a charm. Of course it's more expensive but...I don't really have time for hacking around hardware, modifying bricks. So if you're in that position, that might be best approach.

 

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Looking good, I'm going to try this too.

Does the M motor really have enough power for this?
after all there is some "click" in the mechanism that cost quite a lot of force.

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I normally use a trick: you can elevate the points a little (two plates total), tiles underneath, on top of that use a 1x4 plate (92593) with a corner tile (14719) on one of it's ends. You connect e.g. a technic beam plus an actuator to the other end (e.g. cheap servo or any type of LEGO motor or pneumatics solution). The spring in the point will help you out: does not need a lot of force and no need to modify anything, you can even keep the yellow handle attached.

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Heh heh, a descendant of the railbricks switch motor.

remote_20_rb12p37_rc_switch_reveal.jpg

 

12 hours ago, JopieK said:

I normally use a trick: you can elevate the points a little (two plates total), tiles underneath, on top of that use a 1x4 plate (92593) with a corner tile (14719) on one of it's ends.

You can see an example of this trick in "fixing the double crossover" in RB9.

 

13 hours ago, JaBaCaDaBra said:

Does the M motor really have enough power for this?
after all there is some "click" in the mechanism that cost quite a lot of force.

Yes, they work very well. The one thing to be careful of is that you only briefly apply power since the motor will stall once the switch is thrown. The "switch-yard" films in this folder show them in action on an autonomous switching yard. I later incorporated them in a manual switching yard, here.

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Thank you to all for the replies and the inspiration so far.

So a general question:

Which is the best option to choose for automating say, 4 sets of points? 'Powered up' or 'power functions'?. I also want to bear in mind future capabilities for adding additional functionality such as potentially adding a distance sensor etc  (although i don't want to run before i can walk).

 

I'm also assuming everyone suggests bricklink for obtaining the parts needed?

Best regards,

James.

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8 hours ago, James Rice said:

Which is the best option to choose for automating say, 4 sets of points? 'Powered up' or 'power functions'?. I also want to bear in mind future capabilities for adding additional functionality such as potentially adding a distance sensor etc  (although i don't want to run before i can walk).

For me the Powered Up was better choice because of the programmability via the powered up app. Was able to set up some simple automation (even with sensor) in no time. And then you have Brick Automation Project as well.

Don't have much experience with Power Functions, and how would that scale given it has some nice things like extension cables, and I think the remote control is bit more flexible in a sense that you can control two hubs with two buttons, as opposed to PUP where you've one hub assigned (you can toggle those if I'm right), and two buttons can only control what's on that hub.

Quote

I'm also assuming everyone suggests bricklink for obtaining the parts needed

For me it was shop.lego.com for motors and sensors, bricklink for hubs. No idea why hub is so expensive on shop.lego.com.

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If you want to use Powered UP, the 76112 app control batmobile set when on sale is a effective way to get the PUP hub and 2 PUP M-motors 

Do note there is no PUP extension cables from LEGO yet, If you want the hub to be further away from the motors.  You'll have to make your own or find some 3rd party. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, dr_spock said:

If you want to use Powered UP, the 76112 app control batmobile set when on sale is a effective way to get the PUP hub and 2 PUP M-motors 

Do note there is no PUP extension cables from LEGO yet, If you want the hub to be further away from the motors.  You'll have to make your own or find some 3rd party. 

 

 

I don't think that it makes sense to buy the batmobile set. It's cheaper to buy the hub from bricklink (it costs below 20€) and the motors from lego (they cost about 15€ each).

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Nice to see I'm mentioned in Bartosz's link and Zephyr's blast from the past ;-)

This is my version. The description on Flickr tells you how I arrived here. I've used this for years now, most recently in my automated tram where it ran for two full days, switching once a minute, without failure.

6864496860_38b856aedc_z.jpg

PF points motor by Duq, on Flickr

 

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