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About aawsum

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    Trains (city)

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    Het groene hart (NL)
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    Lego trains


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  1. Thanks @michaelgale as said it is up to everybody him/herself to decide. Good to see how solid the base has been setup and the tremendous amount of work that is needed to get a product like this. My curiosity will always stay but let it not be food for discussion.
  2. So what is not clear to me, is why you have chosen to defend yourself against people questioning the price with stating that the FX brick rails is comparable to the market. The competitors you are mentioning are like apples versus pears as this is for model train and not for use with Lego products. A lego switch is maybe compatible but also not comparable. Not sure what the production cost was in the past but with a current price of maybe 20 euro it is obviously far off. The trigger for me is in your statement that pricing is based on the same base cost, expenses and margins. I would have expected a base cost that is much lower then the current price, so is this maybe due to other differences like the addition of the jumper to connect or isolate the diverging route rail for crossovers. So my real puzzle is if this switch has maybe been made overcomplicated (for some of the users) and therefore also increasing the base cost. And let me be clear, I am not debating the price as everybody can do that for him/herself. I am just curious.
  3. aawsum

    help me automate my trains

    I have used some of the methods above, but also I have used rfid detection. An rfid chip somewhere in the train is detected by a loop and tells you when what train is where. Based on this or using reed detection, and dividing your track in blocks you can do a lot however there is a very big disadvantage compared to DCC. With DCC you control the motor of the train, meaning you can stop and start it whenever you want, without this you need to use the track to cut the power or lower the voltage resulting in the problem that the train needs time to stop. I have automated a lot but have to say this is the most tricky thing to handle. Currently I am successfully using modeltrain software package (rocrail) which I have connected via DCC++ and my arduino's. With this I am able to control a layout, see where trains are based on 2 sensors per block and control the power of these blocks, the switches, etc. Maybe in the future I will have a look at dcc, because my current 9v motors are slowly dying and therefore need a heart transplant anyway someday.
  4. aawsum

    Lego train 80's layout with all 12V trains

    Well well well, I have to say this is something different then your previous videos. This is actually really cool to see how you added all the sets from this great era together and and with some of your automation skills made sure all these trains can run together. So nice to look at this.
  5. aawsum

    New 9v motor

    I would be interested in just a new motor that fits in the 9v motor unit. For me it all works all fine now, but I am running out of (v motors because the small motor inside gives up and I have not found a replacement yet.
  6. aawsum

    The Love/Hate stage of a layout/build

    I'd love to have everything on a MILS setup, but the 12v wiring makes that a little tricky... I did have a layout of four boards each 3x5 baseplates I could move around to shows but only did it once. MILS is ideal to hide wires and bare in mind that you do not have to stick to have all baseplates separately. For my rail yard I use a transport plate that holds a 2x3 MILS setup, so 6 baseplates together. That works really well with all wires tucked away underneath.
  7. aawsum

    The Love/Hate stage of a layout/build

    I build a new layout every 2 years, and as we are using a MILS based setup I always reuse my old layout. So never have this issue ;-)
  8. aawsum

    New (Noob) Arduino Train automation project.

    This was also what I was going to try, mount them in between the rails, facing upward. I am going to try the ones that are adjustable in range and set them as small as possible.
  9. aawsum

    New (Noob) Arduino Train automation project.

    So this is exactly what I use at the moment. Reed and IR for detection and the L298n with Lego m motor for the switches. Plus Rfid for recognizing trains. So I few remarks/questions; - I started with IR beams because due to the movement of the trains on exhibition tables the reed sensor sometimes breaks. Can someone provide a link to "Mattzo" as mentioned in the quote, as I am interested to see in what way his setup is different and maybe it will help me to improve my setup. - I also use IR to stop trains, and then the advantage is that the train will keep the ir sensor blocked so I can use that in my code. The reed sensor is only triggered by a magnet, so that does not suit me - @Venderwel you state the IR is also triggered by other things, can you elaborate a bit. If you set the range to a few cm I would say only the train or a manual intervention can trigger it. Or is it also triggered by dust or shadows (which sounds a bit strange)
  10. aawsum

    Successor to Bluebrick?

    I think I read somewhere else that new track has also been made available, however can't find it know. (and hereby the topic where eg the trixbrix library has been made available) It is however really easy to create new parts and still use bluebrick. Maybe good to look on the website.
  11. aawsum

    New (Noob) Arduino Train automation project.

    so regarding the code, I see a lot of delays(). Every delay makes the loop through the code stop and wait.... When you run 1 train only, then this will not be a big issue, if you want to run more and have more sensors triggered then this will case issues. Code in itself does not look like it needs a lot of cleanup. Like toastie says, when the code gets bigger and more complex it will need more looking into.
  12. aawsum

    New (Noob) Arduino Train automation project.

    Exactly, delays in your code will give big headaches. I use counters and case statements. There are a few ways to do this, but delays definitely not ;-)
  13. aawsum

    New (Noob) Arduino Train automation project.

    So is every movement detected within that 1cm? For example if you put your hand on top of it? I am not sure how that will work. The IR that I use is a beam between sender and reflector. The train driver through and that is the trigger. I am curious about your IR solution, because it will save wires and as my IR stuff is visible next to the rails yours can be 'hidden' in the rails. I'll see if I can get such a sensor here to do some tests with.
  14. aawsum

    New (Noob) Arduino Train automation project.

    IR is a tiny chip. Has a send on 1 send of the track and a receive on the other side. I have hidden them in these DBG objects. For best performance place them not exactly across each other, but at an angle. (this is to eliminate the gap between 2 wagons. And yes the picture shows them exactly opposite of each other, but this is before I learned the lesson :-) Started mounting infrared sensors in Lego that are controlled by arduino. These will sense a train passing and signal 2 red lights at a train crossing. This all will go in a train layout that will hopefully be at Legoworld Utrecht this year. by Aawsum MOCs Lego, on Flickr IR setup by Aawsum MOCs Lego, on Flickr The reed setup is the following. Reed sensor is placed as high as possible. I created these square blocks that can be clicked in the rails I use. Another advantage is that these blocks 'protect' the reed sensor. As it is a glass shell it will break easily, however since I use these blocks I never broke one when travelling, only by my own stupidity ;-) The picture shows how I setup the rail yard. Trick here is that not each train is as fast or will stop at the same place. During testing you can mitigate this to place the magnet at a different place in the train. This gives you flexibility instead of having to move the reed sensor. Reed sensor detail by Aawsum MOCs Lego, on Flickr Reed sensor overview by Aawsum MOCs Lego, on Flickr
  15. aawsum

    New (Noob) Arduino Train automation project.

    Yes it wil also detect faster running trains, that is why I made the antenna larger. I have to say I never tested it with just a loc on full speed, but that has another reason (below). On the video that I posted earlier there are 2 RFID detection points, 1 is underneath the switch in the bottom left corner. You can see the speed of the trains in that one. All trains except the blue passenger train will trigger the RFID detection and will then take the inner route t the rail yard. Main reason why we are not running faster is that I also need time after triggering the detection to turn the switch. Out of experience a minimum of 5 rail pieces need to be in between (with the speed I am driving). If you will drive faster then you need more space as turning the switch will take some time. Nice to hear, it is not a difficult sketch indeed but it is always satisfying to get your code to work. Light sensor is really nice but with all the shadows and diffuse lighting it is so unreliable. I tried multiple detection sensors, but so far only reed, rfid and IR work stable in my setup.