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About skaako

  • Birthday 01/18/82

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    Rotorua, New Zealand


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    New Zealand

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  1. Awesome work Rob!! Can't wait for the 3 wire version to be available What would the price point (rough estimate) be for these once in production? Would you consider selling the parts as a set? I'm guessing the labour involved for putting these together must take a while.
  2. Lego Railway Signaling

    What's your plan for telling the difference for a train leaving the block opposed to another train entering that same block from another direction? I have been thinking about this too and the best I can come up with so far is by using 2 sensors at each signal to detect the train and its direction.
  3. Lego Railway Signaling

    Thanks for the explanation. I was trying to see if I could figure it out from the video Would you be looking at automating it so it could stop a train if another train tries to enter a block that is red? That would be cool!
  4. I have exactly the same dilemma as I'm trying to feed lighting through my Horizon Express and wanted something that could easily be connected and disconnected. I settled on using the simple pin jumper cables used for hooking up breadboards. Easily available and very cheap.. pre-wired and use the longer cables so i can get a male and female by cutting one in half. If I can find a smaller connector would be nicer but all the extra time to wire them up outweighs the benefit for me. I am using addressable led strips so all the carriages have to face the same way but they can be put in a different order and work by re-configuring the program. I only need 3 pins for 5V, Ground and Data so if makes the cabling less bulky. All the carriages are wired with the male plug one end and female the other so I can't get them the wrong way around It would be good to know if you could get something like this in small orders.. I would interested as well. Although the last time I approached a Chinese company with a request their minimum order was 10,000
  5. Lego Railway Signaling

    Wow @McWaffel that looks awesome How many sensors are you using with the signals? It looks like 4 but can't quite tell..
  6. Custom LED Train Lighting

    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
  7. Custom LED Train Lighting

    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.
  8. Custom LED Train Lighting

    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.
  9. 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
  10. Train Automation - Track Switch Motors

    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.
  11. Train Automation - Track Switch Motors

    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?
  12. 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
  13. Train Automation - Track Switch Motors

    Finally had the time to make a short video of my progress with a custom controller... More to come...
  14. Cleaning my parents' attic...

    I spotted the awkward out of place Playmobile guy in there!! Now it would be cool to see some before and after shots :)
  15. Train Automation - Track Switch Motors

    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 :)