NP Lester WA T-Trak Z Module Set Project

rray Feb 11, 2020

  1. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

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    Now thats what I call Fun. I love going 4-wheeling and camping out under the stars. Your pictures sure do bring back fond memories of sitting around the camp fire in the rain with good friends, then waking up in the morning with 6 inches of fresh snow on the tents and hitting the trails again. Though I do prefer a cage around me As winding up on your side or "wheels up" was not out of the ordinary for us.

    z1-s.jpg z2-s.jpg z3-s.jpg z4-s.jpg IMG_0353-s.JPG DSC_0119.JPG

    I love what you have done with the welding animation. I've thought about doing something similar with a Sawmill and having the sawing sounds play but never knew how to do it. I've always thought that the 2 big things Z scale was missing was Animation and sound and now you've gone and filled that Void. My hat's off to you. Your modeling skills are defiantly a step or two above the rest of us. Keep up the great work

    David
     
  2. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I really like to get up in the woods several times a year. Especially with my grandkids. I can't wait till the lockdown is lifted and everything is opened up again.
     
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  3. animek

    animek TrainBoard Member

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    That's a really nice project.
    I've tried to create the diagram from the video, I've included the diagram below.

    Robert can you correct the values of the 6 resistors? And see if my wires are right? I'm way rusty with electronic diagrams.
    Will you keep your montage into your breadboard?
    Thanks.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I'm going to just use cheap perfboard from Amazon and make a small under layout board for this project.


    On Data 2, you need to add a 10K pulldown resistor to make sure the trigger changes a state.
    On Data 10, which is Transmit to the DFPlayer, you need a 1K resistor or you will hear 9600 baud hum.
    All LED's need a 330 ohm current limiting resistor. You can use 1K resistors if you want to dim them.
    Diagram.jpg
     
  5. animek

    animek TrainBoard Member

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    Cool! thanks, I missed that 10k one :whistle:.
     
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  6. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Right. Moving on... since I am waiting for the SMD LED's to come in, I am starting on my roundhouse details. I really have no idea what you might find in a roundhouse machine shop, but I did receive some N Scale details from ModelTechStudios.com. I found that I needed to cut the goods on shelving down to half height, and that if I sanded the shelf sides thinner, I could get a lot of usable details for the roundhouse. The key point is SAND, SAND, SAND until it looks about right. I'm going to redo the painting too, as they did a sloppy job, but here is what I got for about $30 worth of details so far:
    1.jpg



    I also have an N Scale lathe on order from an ebay seller, that called it an N Scale Mesta Machine. I figure I can sand it down in height and it should look like it belongs:
    2.jpg
     
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  7. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Here are the roundhouse details painted:
    1.jpg

    The 2 flat pieces at the front right are workbenches that I need to laser cut some legs for.
     
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  8. Commodore

    Commodore TrainBoard Member

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    That's brilliant. Vacations do give quite a different perspective. This board is Super!

    Now I'm wanting to build a Lester module...
     
  9. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Got up early today and mowed the lawns, and did a little weed pulling. Got done line trimming and all of a sudden the 70 degree morning turned into a lightning and thunder afternoon. Went to the garage, and started messing around with detail placement ( Yeah Jeff ) in my roundhouse. Here's what I got so far: 1.jpg 2.jpg
     
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  10. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Fantastic job! One note... Those roundhouse floors and details are far too clean. One might expect a lot of soot and grime everywhere, right?
     
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  11. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Oh yeah, it will be sooty and dirty. I have a lot more work to do before that though, I have a lathe coming in, got to install the welding scene, and I decided to add a second grinding scene with a 6th soundtrack for that, because I still have memory and digital outputs left on my Arduino. I just might spend all summer detailing and adding to this roundhouse. The current thinking is I might enter it in the NMRA National contests in Santa Clara next year. Been a while since I won anything at a National.
     
  12. Commodore

    Commodore TrainBoard Member

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    You'll win this time!!!
     
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  13. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Heck for just capturing the look of Lester alone is a winner...then you add these details and sound? Can’t see what would be any better! Oh and it’s Z!!!
     
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  14. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    You've got my vote. It is coming along great. I like those details. You can hardly tell they are z-scale. They do good work. I have used some of their waterfront n-scale details on my waterfront builds. I can't wait to see this when it is done. You keep raising the bar. I t sounds like you conquered the Arduino programming glitch. When you publish "Arduino's for Dummies" let me know. Jim
     
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  15. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Well, well, well, what have we got here... I just closed up shop for the day to make dinner, and grabbed the mail, and all my LED's are here. I ordered them Monday I think, maybe Tuesday. Anyways, off eBay, and they are already here:
    1.jpg

    I ordered Red, Cool White, and Blue for the welder, Yellow-Gold, and Orange-Amber for the grinder sparks, in the prewired 0402 size. I also ordered Yellow-Gold Breathing Fading, in the 3mm size, which I plan on turning down into 55 gallon steel drum to represent a barrel fire to warm a couple guys hands. And I ordered 5mm Yellow Flame Flicker to use embedded as a campfire/rubbish fire. They gave me a pack of 20 Red Breathing Fading 5mm free for making such a large order, and I think I will use them embedded in a rubbish fire also. So I got 310 LED's on hand, to use for multiple projects.
     
  16. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Over the weekend I had my Daughter's family here, birthday party, etc., so I didn't have much time to work on the roundhouse till today. My granddaughter got the best present ever from one of her uncles, a sweet Savage 243 Bolt Action w/Scope.

    My dad complained it's too much gun for a 9 year old, but she already has a pink camo 22 she got for her 7th birthday, and my daughter wants to use it instead of her Tikka 30-06 for deer this Fall cause the Savage is much lighter. Here is Edith with her new gun:
    3.jpg

    But I did receive my Mesta Machines wheel turning lathe, painted and installed in my roundhouse shop extension. I also mounted 4 small rectangular super magnets to hold the roof on:
    2.jpg

    And today I built my Arduino sound and lights perfboard. It has a 5V regulator so I can connect it to the 12V accessory bus, the MP3 player, Arduino Nano, a speaker, an amber fire flicker barrel on fire, 2 separate dual LED grinder simulators to be placed in different locations, and the 3 LED full featured welder. Now I am almost ready to mount the roundhouse on the module, and start running the sound and lighting effects in the roundhouse:
    1.jpg
     
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  17. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Last night a MASSIVE DIGITRAX HORDE arrived for my Lester WA Module Set. I also picked up a few boxcars at the sale, as I could not resist the price.

    Why Digitrax? Well Z Scale as we know is far too difficult to install sound decoders for most locomotives, and even if we could they would be almost inaudible. So having sound that follows the locomotives around is a difficult proposition. There is one solution however, and it's one I have weighed many times.

    What is that solution? It's Surroundtraxx. It's an under table sound system that follows your locomotives around by using Digitrax transponding and block detection.

    Each sound block has a full range amplified speaker mounted under one of the modules near the center of the sound block. As a transponding locomotive enters a sound block, the volume of that loco is increased in that block, and decreased in the previous block, so in effect, sound follows the loco around. I seen this system in operation at the NTS in Portland, following several N Scale locomotives going opposite directions, and it sounded great. Here is how I have broken up the blocks on my module set:
    Lester Modules.JPG

    I was going to build up a DCC++ system with transponding, but with Terry Anstett of Needtrains's passing after battling cancer a couple weeks ago, I decided to support his wife by purchasing Digitrax components from her sale. I got a great price for the Digitrax DCC system, and helped reduce excess inventory at Terry's shop, so it's a win-win.
    Here is my first order bounty; I got 18 Z Scale decoders, the new Evolution Advanced starter set, the Z Scale voltage reducer, and a UTP panel. I also got 6 era specific AZL boxcars:
    1.jpg
     
  18. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Sound is an interesting element to which I haven't really thought much about. I'm curious to see how that all works when this is finished.
     
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  19. gmorider

    gmorider TrainBoard Member

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    Great! And thank you for helping others.
     
  20. Commodore

    Commodore TrainBoard Member

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    I know Roxie appreciated it. Wonder who got all the AZL NP passenger cars? I thought it would be you...
     

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