Desktop Tram Layout

Massey Aug 22, 2020

  1. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    1,148
    2,425
    39
    Thank you. Yes it is running better but the code is still a bit wonky. I think I have figured out where the error is but I have not uploaded the new sketch to the Uno yet as this one runs pretty good as it sits. I do need to revise the wiring underneath and make a few other adjustments but it's coming along nicely. This is just a test bed really for a more complex system I want to build. I want to completely automate a multiple tram system that will allow 2 or more trams to be able to run independently on the same line at the same time, keeping track of which tram is at which stop and what the next stop is for each tram, and also allowing for a few other features like a "all stop" and or a "home". All stop is obvious as to what it does, and home will set the system to return the trams to a per-designated starting location. Oh and because of the limitations of the Kato trams I am going to be keeping this all DC.
     
  2. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    1,148
    2,425
    39
    This weekend was pretty good for my tram layout. I got the sidewalks in, some final building placement locations and I will be upgrading some of the wiring here in the next few days as Amazon delivers my stuff. Enjoy the pics.

    9F05B404-B7CF-4B1D-8E6B-1CAE08A823D3.jpeg 29070E35-94E7-4100-952E-B164EF910CC3.jpeg 9A1A3698-C0F6-4D5A-BF3B-3719F768A2E5.jpeg
     
  3. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    1,148
    2,425
    39
    Ok, so nothing new as far as scenery since this last pic, but I did let this thing run for 5 or 6 hours while I worked on the T-Trak modules, and some other goodies around the house. It ran flawlessly the entire time. So I consider this a success, but of course I’m not done tinkering. I have some ribbon cable coming soon so that will improve the condition of the wiring underneath, and after I install that, I’m going to work more on the scenery. I have a park to make, I may turn the gravel area in to a small pond, I have not decided on that quite yet.
     
    BarstowRick, MK and mtntrainman like this.
  4. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    1,148
    2,425
    39
    So the lower right corner looked a bit out of place being only gravel. So I scraped the majority of it off and made a little lake edge.

    CFF02DA8-377E-4B8D-8DF7-D933365AD2E7.jpeg
     
  5. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

    2,528
    1,521
    59
    Add a row boat with people in it (Woodland Scenics?) to complete the effect. :)
     
  6. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    1,148
    2,425
    39
    I was planning on a guy fishing on the shore, and kids swimming/playing on the rocks.
     
    BarstowRick, Kurt Moose and MK like this.
  7. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

    2,528
    1,521
    59
    That would work too. Something on the water rather than just "plain".
     
    Massey likes this.
  8. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

    745
    1,158
    21
    Or some ducks since it is such a small pond?
     
    BarstowRick and Massey like this.
  9. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    1,148
    2,425
    39
    i like that idea! Thanks
     
    BarstowRick likes this.
  10. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    1,148
    2,425
    39
    Here is the lake without the tape. I need to trim it up, but it isn’t hard enough yet.

    64846A53-5431-4624-AB78-CE95557302CC.jpeg
     
  11. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    1,148
    2,425
    39
    Not having any luck finding 1:160th scale ducks... or swans... Any one got any 3d printed ones to offer for the cause? The smallest I find is 1:148 which will be just about as big as the people! That may work for a floaty thingy but not for a curious waterfowl looking for a bit of dropped bread!
     
  12. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

    745
    1,158
    21
    The links says HO but they also do N scale waterfowl.

    might have to check if 1:160 or 1:148


    https://miniprints.ca/product/ducks-ho-scale/

    Wife wants swans for our pond, ergo I found them.

    Or a little bit of modeling clay and make your own?

    Massey I sent him an email asking for clarification.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
    BarstowRick, MK and mtntrainman like this.
  13. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    1,148
    2,425
    39
    OMG I will go broke with that site! There are so many critters that I could put all over my modules as Easter Eggs!
     
    BarstowRick, Onizukachan and MK like this.
  14. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

    745
    1,158
    21
    He answered, all his n scale is 1:160.
     
    BarstowRick and Massey like this.
  15. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    1,148
    2,425
    39
    OK update time.

    Last night I finally received my new buildings that are going on the layout. I ordered 3 but I think I will only need to use one. One is an apartment building that is about as wide as the 2 buildings in the center of the layout. I will build it first and if it looks good then there it sits. If not I have 2 new buildings, and even one left over from the last batch. I still do not have any playground equipment aside from a broken swing, and I need some fence too. Once I settle on the buildings, I will decorate the park and try to populate it with people.

    On the electrical side of things I now have a couple Raspberry Pi Picos that I am going to try to build into the control for the tram. I wanted this form factor from the beginning of this project and it looks like I will finally get it. Stay tuned here soon for that spot. I may even do some of it in video form.

    Speaking of video form, I cleaned up the wiring and replaced the jumper wires with actual ribbon cable. which looks so much better, and I did it all on video. I need to edit it and get some voice over work done on it before I post it.

    Lastly I am debating on the overhead wires/cantanary. I don't want to have this layout too over crowded with stuff. I know it would be more realistic, but sometimes too much realism takes away from the realism. I am still debating this aspect of the layout.
     
  16. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

    745
    1,158
    21
    I’d say add a few poles but not as many as would really be needed. It looks unrealistically cluttered to me when you really do as many as would be required.
    And I decided not to do fake cat because the pole wouldn’t line up in the curves anyway!
     
    Massey likes this.
  17. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    1,148
    2,425
    39
    What I have noticed in real cantanary around a curve is the poles tend to alternate which side they are on as you go through the curve. This helps route the wire back and forth across the contact on the train/tram. If you have ever noticed, the overhead wires are rarely ever straight, they zig zag to give an even wear pattern on the carbon contact brush. If they didn't do this the wire would cut right down into the brush in just a few miles.
     
    Onizukachan likes this.
  18. Chris Hall

    Chris Hall TrainBoard Member

    122
    303
    7
    Very Nice! You've sown a seed for me. Just wondering how I could fit something like this on my desk.....

    Been thinking about how to identify each individual tram. One way could be using RFID, however you would need quite a few readers to keep track of the trams and their location. Other option is using reed switches and magnets. By varying the number of magnets on the tram you could identify it that way. Probably the cheaper and easier method to program.

    To control the track, Opto-Isolators should do the trick, you can vary the voltage through the Opto-isolator and in essence control the speed of each tram in each block. That way you only need one power supply. Easier method would be relay banks, but you only get on/off and the annoying clickity-clack as they cycle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021

Share This Page