Small N scale layout

Massey Oct 3, 2018

  1. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    531
    808
    18
    So the ballast crew finished their work last night and there was even some new growth in a couple of places.

    B7577311-7499-4386-98AC-8397CFFF4235.jpeg 7E05D355-6E1F-45E5-AFF9-69C06F850CF1.jpeg
     
    Mo-Pac, gmorider, Joe Lovett and 6 others like this.
  2. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    531
    808
    18
    Here is an update video of my Tram project and the small layout as well. Enjoy!

     
  3. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    531
    808
    18
    So the Tram now has a base and the electronics are in a box.

    49FD737F-85DB-43A8-9686-1EBE524F01A3.jpeg 115A46B6-5493-4CAF-A8D0-85C6F7ED89FD.jpeg
     
    gmorider, Mo-Pac and badlandnp like this.
  4. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    531
    808
    18
    Well this is enough to p!ss a person off. So a bit of history with the control for the tram. So the first Arduino I used I had not uploaded the sketch and when I was finally ready to upload the sketch it didn’t work. I had soldered the Arduino to a circuit card. Now I have done this before with no issue so I thought this would be the same. GRRR...

    So I upload the sketch to another one I have and it works, I test in a breadboard and it works so I solder this one to another board and wire it all up and that’s where you see the pics above. So I made a change to the sketch that would allow a bit better data flow, and tried to upload it. My PC no longer recognizes this arduino. Grrr... so I figure oh well it works good I will just start making arrangements to have it mounted to the underside of the base and plan out my positions for the sensors. I plugged everything back in and decided to watch the tram go round and round for a bit. Well it was now stopping at random times, and the #1 sensor wasn’t responding any more. Eventually the sensor indicator light on the sensor motherboard stayed illuminated. Sensor 2 dropped out later and did the same thing. I tried a different sensor board, and same issue. Then I found when the arduino was unplugged the sensor indicator light went out and the sensor started acting normal again.

    So now I’m back to square 1 with the whole thing as the device needs to be rebuilt again. This time I’m going to use a socket and not soldering the Arduino to the board.
     
  5. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

    223
    159
    14
    I have limited experience with Arduinos but my project was successful. It includes an IR sensor and emitter. The power for all the components comes thru the Arduino.

    I got frustrated that the system's behavior seemed very different in actual use with a wall wart power supply than while I was downloading and testing the program thru my laptop and the USB. I ended up adding an LED to tell me when the sensor was blocked or unblocked, and this really clarified what was going on. Suddenly I could tell what was happening without the serial monitor. I recommend doing this if you don't already have some indicator other than the monitor. Turns out the IR sensor was far more sensitive when I was using the wall wart to power everything than when it was powered by the laptop thru the USB.

    This got me wondering what would happen if I plugged in both the laptop and the wall wart at the same time. I decided not to find out.

    BTW I have three components - control panel, weigh cell/sensor, and Arduino/sheild. I used ribbon cable to connect them, but its sort of overkill: I cut the cable in half, soldered the wires to the boards, and connected the boards with the cable's plugs and sockets: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GN85RC2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I used these to connect the wall wart. These were way easier to deal with than the ribbon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C61434H/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
    Sumner likes this.
  6. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    531
    808
    18
    Having an arduino powered by a wall wart and plugged into the computer at the same time is perfectly ok. I have done this many times. My setup is using the Novak Power supply (big purple box) to supply 12v to the motor controller which has a voltage regulator built in which supplies the arduino with a 5v power. Ground is common.

    So my issue is either solder creep (doubtful after only 2 days) or cascade failure of a cheap Chinese product (most likely). The issue is getting worse and worse. I have not disassembled the unit yet to investigate as yesterday was beautiful outside and I finished building a planter box and planted a few strawberry plants.

    if you look in my little video you will see there are LEDs on the photo sensor mb that indicate when the sensor is tripped. The 4 pots control the sensitivity of each channel. I may just build this with an Uno instead of a Nano, I just wanted to keep everything small.
     
  7. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    531
    808
    18
    Well This train will never find it's way on to the rails of my little layout as it is waaayyy too long! Almost 7 feet here!



    Just wanted to test it out on my T-Trak Modules, which turned out pretty well.
     
    gmorider, TrinityJay and IronMan1963 like this.
  8. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    531
    808
    18
    I became an Arbor today. I planted 50 trees on my little layout. I have 60 more coming of a different type, these are firs. A bit small for old growth but they work here.

    44BBABFE-9F76-464B-81AA-1BC6E23A3EEF.jpeg 935F30BB-FFA0-4C18-8C09-88C3BE637BAB.jpeg
     
    jeffrey, gmorider, Mo-Pac and 6 others like this.
  9. TrinityJay

    TrinityJay TrainBoard Member

    28
    59
    2
    I had something like this that involved my servos going wacko, and it ended up being the switching power supply for my very old laptop. It wasn't even connected to the Arduino! Just to my PR3 & Digitrax. After a LOT of stuffing about I worked out that touching or just getting close to the power brick would cause the servos to play up, and as soon as I grounded myself on something it would stop. Needless to say I am not using that laptop around the Arduino anymore. Apparently this is a pretty common occurrence with old and/or cheap switching power supplies so that could be your culprit.
     
  10. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    531
    808
    18
    My power supply is new and when I check the signal on my O-scope it’s good and clean. It’s set at 12.5v unloaded and with the tram running it only drops to 12.1v. So that tells me there is very little current draw. When I wrote that post I was dealing with a software bug related to timing, I added a “dummy“ sensor and it’s routines to the mix and this solved the timing issue. I then moved the program to an Arduino Nano which is the form factor I wanted to use for this system but every time I did that the Nano would become messed up somehow and everything would go wonky on the layout, then the Nano wouldn’t connect to my pc. So back to the Uno I am. So here I am again... I will worry about the system more once I get the track down on the base.
     
    mtntrainman likes this.
  11. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    531
    808
    18
    Well guys, I have some news. The small layout is done... at least done from me. I sold it to someone else who will be the one to finish it up and continue to enjoy it. I don't know if he will post anything about it here, I did direct him to this thread so maybe we can all still enjoy it. So this will most likely be my last post in this thread unless the new owner continues with the build here. I will open a new one when I start working on the Tram layout again but that will focus on the tram.

    Thank you all for your helps and kind words on the build of this layout.
     
    jeffrey and Kurt Moose like this.
  12. gatrhumpy

    gatrhumpy TrainBoard Member

    704
    88
    16
    That snow dusted tree seems a bit out of place...
     
  13. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    6,388
    8,866
    113
    So now that you sold the small layout, what's next?
     
  14. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    531
    808
    18
    I am planning on another layout this time a bit larger and with some operations as well. It will be continuous running, maybe 10 feet long (ish) and about 3 feet wide. I have an idea for a double figure 8 that I posted about a while back but I am thinking that may be too limiting in the operations. I also have some T-Trak modules that could become a layout with some loop back modules added, and that would give me a place to store my modules while at the same time using them until shows. So I don't quite know what I am going to do just yet.
     
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  15. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

    531
    808
    18
    So... As of right now still no layout update, but I did just put in an order for the 2019 ONP set from Kato!! IMHO this is the nicest looking of all the trains and It will be here in November/December. This is a great charity to support and even better when we get a train while we also support kids!!
     
    BNSF FAN likes this.

Share This Page