HandCab Build, Software & Print Files....

Sumner Jun 16, 2024

  1. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Thought I'd start a new build, software & print files thread. I build a second throttle for Peter Akers who is responsible for the majority of the HandCab's software (EngineDriver developer) so was able to refine the build of the throttle and completely redid the build pages that are on my website ( HERE ).

    I think they are laid out better, but please if any of you take the time to go through them please let me know if there are areas of the build that are confusing so I can work on those.

    Software is done but still needs to be cleaned up a bit with some documentation revisions also needed there. I'll post a link to it here soon. One program is run first to read the pot values so they can be added to a config file that works with the main HandCab software. In the config file you also add the values you want to setup acceleration and braking momentum's that fit your needs along with 8 speed steps for the 8 notches on the throttle.

    Now that the throttle (2 of them) is/are done I've gotten to run one quite a bit. I love how the throttle controls feel. Way different than my other throttles that have an encoder knob. I've never been in a cab before but using the controls feels like I'm really controlling something vs. using a more conventional throttle knob or slider where there isn't much connect. You also have to pay more attention to what you are doing since the built in acceleration and braking momentum will make your train react more like the real thing. A real train doesn't accelerate and brake instantly;). If needed there is an emergency button to stop a loco and another to instantly turn off track power. You also don't have to program momentum via the decoder's CV values, the throttle handles it.
    [​IMG]

    Click on the image above or ( HERE ) to see what the throttle is all about. This will probably be my go-to throttle now as it is so much more interesting to use and run a loco/train with vs. turning a knob.

    I'll add more in depth videos on operating the throttle that will also show you how powerful the throttle software is in regards to adding/dropping locos; sound and other decoder function options; consisting; controlling points and routes and much more.

    ============================================================
    Software will be posted soon on a GitHub page along with links to all the print files there and here and on my website.

    For the whole build of this throttle go ( HERE ).

    Sumner
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2024
  2. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I rewrote almost all of the step-by-step build instructions and added more images to help anyone wanting to build the HandCab throttle. The revised menu/pages are here....

    https://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/DCC/HandCab-Index.html

    ... If you think this might be in your future at some point bookmark that page.

    Also got a page up with the parts list and links to info on the parts with pricing at the time I'm writing this....

    ===========================================================================

    [​IMG]

    The following parts list shows where I bought the parts. Use it but also by using it you will be able to get a description of the parts used that you could use to search for parts from other suppliers.

    1 - ESP32 LOLIN32 Lite …....................................................... I bought 3 for $16 ( HERE ) but here is one for $7 ( HERE ).
    1 - 3x4 Keypad …This one fits the case for sure …................... $5.00 ( HERE ).
    1 - 1.3” OlED Display … This one fits....................................... $9.00 ( HERE ). (The display looks small but actually works really well.)
    1 - Encoder …............................................................................. 5 for $10 ( HERE ). (The build doesn't currently use this but probably will.)
    3 – 50K potentiometers ….......................................................... 20 for $10 ( HERE ).
    2 – On/Off Pushbutton switches …............................................ 5 for $10 ( HERE ). (Only 1 needed if you opt out of using the voltmeter circuit.)
    1 – Momentary Limit Switch …................................................. 12 for $5.00 ( HERE ).
    7 – SPST Momentary Pushbutton switches ….......................... 30 for $11.00 ( HERE ).
    1 – Battery Selector DPDT c/o switch if have 2 batteries ….... 10 for $9.00 ( HERE ).
    1- 3 stage Adafruit 4410 USB charger (optional)...................... $6.00 ( HERE ) or ( HERE ). (for $6.00 I like having a better charger than the ESP32 one.)
    1 or 2 Batteries …... (I like 2 so I could change if needed) ...... $11.00 (1150 mAh ( HERE )) or $14.00 (2000mAh ( HERE )).
    1 or 2 or no JST connectors …............................................. 10 for $7.00 ( HERE ).

    All of the above priced individually with one 1100mAh battery …................................................ $51.00 (or less if you don't by charger and other parts)

    All of the above priced individually with one 2000mAh battery …................................................ $54.00 (or less if you don't by charger and other parts)

    All of the above priced individually with 1150mAh & 2000mAh batteries .................................... $65.00

    You have a couple buying options. I don't mind buying the larger quantities shown above as I use about all of that on other projects or the layout itself. You might want to split costs with a friend or maybe someone will come along that will put the above in a package deal with all the parts for a fixed price plus a profit (SEE BELOW). I believe one person that has talked to me found a place that would package parts as a whole. Then there of course is the order from China option.

    Printed case parts: I printed part with my resin printer and part with my filament printer. Resin and filament....maybe ….... $18.00

    .................................................................................................................................................................................

    NOTE:
    Would like to take this opportunity to remind you that if you don't have a printer or no plans to get one there are print services out there that can print the parts. I'm personally not interested in doing that but if there is anyone that would be interested in doing it contact me with what they have in mind and I'll possibly put a link here to their services.

    Also if someone is interested in buying parts in quantity and repackaging them with the right ones to build a throttle contact me with what you have in mind.

    NOTE: Regardless of what one would pay I don't think there is a comparable throttle on the market for anywhere near the price to building this one. Maybe the closest to it is Iowa Scaled Engineering's ProtoThrottle that sells for $500.00 and has controls that are also more like the real thing. If building this one is not in your future you might want to take a look at theirs.

    For the whole build of this throttle go ( HERE ).

    Sumner
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2024
  3. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    Thank You sumner for all you share an do. Ill copy a list of things for possible future build or at the very most to have a file of your work maybe for somebody else in the future whom would like to pursue this build....
     
    SLSF Freak and Sumner like this.
  4. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    HandCab Wiring Schematics...

    [​IMG]



    Above is the main wiring diagrams (there will also be some for the battery circuit added in the build further along). I would print it out and use it for the color coding of the wiring. It will make wiring a lot easier if you follow what I've done above and what you will see in the build. Notice that I used 5 wire colors the ones in one of the two choices of colors for the wires I've recommended.

    If you are going to build this I'd print the image above to use during the build and use the same wire colors. Will save a lot of confusion. If it is hard to print that image here is a link to it alone that you should be able to print that page alone ( Image HERE ). If that doesn't work the following link is to a pdf file of the image that you can blow up and also should be easy to print ( Image HERE ). …..................................................................................................................................................................................................

    Next are some different wiring options for batteries and charging:

    [​IMG]

    Above is the wiring diagram for one battery with an On/Off switch between it and the battery. Also the option to add a $6.00 3 stage charging board so you can charge with the ESP32 off. There is also an optional On/Off indicator LED.

    [​IMG]


    Above is the wiring diagram for two batteries with an On/Off switch between them and the battery. A DPDT center off toggle switch has been added along with indicator LEDs. The switch allows a center off or the choice to power the ESP32 from either battery and is also use to direct charging to the appropriate battery.

    Previously in the build I showed briefly the option to add a $6.00 3 stage charging board so you can charge with the ESP32 off.

    [​IMG]

    The WEMOS Lolin32 Lite ESP32 is capable of charging the battery/batteries but I like using the Adafruit 3 stage LiPo battery charger. It only cost $6 and is available from Adafruit or DigiKey. It comes setup as a 100mA charger but if your battery is over 500mAh you can solder across the 2 part pad at the bottom and it will charge at 500 mA per hour. Since both of the batteries I'll use are quite a bit over 500mAh I solder across the gap for the higher charging rate.

    I can't find out much about the Lolin32 Lite's battery charging circuit but don't imagine it is as good at the Adafruit one. Also to use it the ESP32 has to be connected to a USB charging (5v) cord and the ESP32 itself is turned on while charging. I like the fact that for a few dollars more using their charger the ESP32 can be off except when you are using the throttle.

    For the whole build of this throttle go ( HERE ).

    Sumner
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2024
    sidney and SLSF Freak like this.
  5. urodoji

    urodoji TrainBoard Member

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    Nice!
     
  6. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I got the print files up on thingiverse.com here....

    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:6667946

    ...for the HandCab.

    NOTE: If you are printing or having a print service print the parts using a resin printer they need to be printed with a resin that 'is not brittle' as a number of the parts will need to be drilled, tapped and need to be strong. I use Siraya Tech 'Build' Sonic Gray and highly recommend it works. It can be drilled, tapped, has great detail and isn't brittle. I use it for even small parts that have a lot of detail. It is basically the only resin I use as it works so well regardless of the application.

    Also if you have a printing service print make sure they are keeping the wall thicknesses on the parts as designed. You don't want parts like the handles hollowed out to save a buck or two.

    [​IMG]

    Above are all the main parts minus three small brackets that will be shown later. The case top, middle and bottom were printed on an Ender 3 Pro filament printer with the control stand pieces printed with an AnyCubic Photon M3 resin printer. You could probably print all with either printer. I did it this way as I didn't need supports for the main case parts and using supports made the resin prints easier to setup and print.

    Following are images from designing with Fusion 360.

    [​IMG] . [​IMG] . [​IMG] . [​IMG]

    More images and info here ......

    https://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/DCC/page-16.html

    Print files on thingiverse.com ( HERE ).

    Also looking for individuals/businesses that want to be a source for the printed parts.


    Sumner
     
  7. Erik84750

    Erik84750 TrainBoard Member

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    Good morning Sumner, your work is astounding! Congratulations for all the details posted here, for the fantastic graphic explanations, .. you are a true genius.
    Erik
     
  8. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    HandCab is up...please let me know if there are areas that could be changed....thanks.

    [​IMG]

    * HandCab install files on GitHub.... HERE

    * HandCab print files on thingiverse.com.... HERE

    * HandCab video overview on YouTube.... HERE

    * HandCab Step-By-Step Documentation.... HERE


    Sumner
     
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