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Old 08-27-2017, 05:07 PM   #11
Maquinista
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I was playing with Lego mindstorms and made a train (playmobil) with a color sensor i.e. Inverse direction whenever detect red. That made me wonder why not a model train with a "brain" that could read signals (stop, slow...) is there something like that already?
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:12 PM   #12
gunrunnerjohn
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Imagine the spectacular crashes you could have while you debug the system!
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:26 PM   #13
gregc
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Originally Posted by gunrunnerjohn View Post
Imagine the spectacular crashes you could have while you debug the system!
for debugging, you simply need a "stopping block" - an isolated section that is unpowered when the signal is stop - beyond the signal.

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Originally Posted by Maquinista View Post
I was playing with Lego mindstorms and made a train (playmobil) with a color sensor i.e. Inverse direction whenever detect red.
how big is the color sensor and how big and bright is the red signal it detected?


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Originally Posted by Maquinista View Post
That made me wonder why not a model train with a "brain" that could read signals (stop, slow...) is there something like that already?
to "see" a signal, you would need to identify multiple locations of varying sizes to monitor for specific colors. That would be a significant amount of hardware and processing within the locomotive.

Existing centralized control recognizes that a specific engine is in a block approaching a signal and controls the speed of that locomotive. This requires no extra hardware in the locomotive
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:38 PM   #14
Mark VerMurlen
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Originally Posted by Maquinista View Post
I was playing with Lego mindstorms and made a train (playmobil) with a color sensor i.e. Inverse direction whenever detect red. That made me wonder why not a model train with a "brain" that could read signals (stop, slow...) is there something like that already?
I've never heard of anything like that. There's more to it than you're thinking. Just like in real life, you have the train engineer that controls speed, but you also have dispatchers tracking the trains, planning the routes, throwing the switches, and setting the signals. By the time you build the hardware and software to control throwing the turnouts and setting the signals on a model railroad, its a small step to have it also control the speed, stopping, and starting of the trains too. Having a separate optical system to start/stop the trains seems like it would be far less reliable than an integrated system that does it all.

Mark
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:34 AM   #15
Maquinista
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Well...I am just wondering! And definitely no expert in electronics or computer programming. The idea in my mind is something like having the computer inside each train, give them some sensors (I believe they are LED sized) and the capability to communicate with each other (Bluetooth?!) and also communicate with accessories (like in DCC...) everything connected to a regular computer where the person controls it all. Besides this I like the idea that signals were not wired.just there for the train to read

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Old 08-28-2017, 10:25 AM   #16
DonR
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I'm too far out of my pay scale to be of much
help in today's digital capabilities beyond the
currently available DCC controlers et al.

But I do think that to have any form of automated
control of DCC trains you are going to need more
than isolated blocks and occupancy detectors. There
must be some device to 'talk' to loco decoders with
ability to stop and start on command.

I guess you could go to the way it's done in DC,
just simply have a relay that kills the power in certain
iso blocks thus controlling the train, but the sudden start and stop of the train is kinda toy like.

Don
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:00 PM   #17
Maquinista
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Found this...
http://zapmaker.org/arduino/controll...board-arduino/
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:37 PM   #18
gregc
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I guess you could go to the way it's done in DC, just simply have a relay that kills the power in certain iso blocks thus controlling the train, but the sudden start and stop of the train is kinda toy like.
on another forum, someone models an automated subway. He has multiple blocks approaching a stop with different size resistors to slow the train and gradually increase speed. Yes, he uses DC.

With centralized control, optical detectors can detect the train at multiple locations approaching a stop (or any spot on the layout) and control it's speed via DCC. Multiple detectors also allow speed measurement.

again, centralized control and sensors on the layout avoid any additional electronics in each locomotive. the approach depends on how many locomotives you have.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:58 PM   #19
fcwilt
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centralized control and sensors on the layout avoid any additional electronics in each locomotive. the approach depends on how many locomotives you have.
The hardware and software to automate a layout to any degree desired.

One particular automation application supports both DC and DCC, although the hardware needed for a DC setup is limited to offerings from one small company. There used to be two but so often happens with small companies they faded away.

My layout is fully automated and is intended to support both DC and DCC but the DC hardware is having issues and it was from the company that "faded away" so I am on my own to determine why it is not working.

The layout works fine with DCC.

Frederick
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:55 AM   #20
Steve Horvath
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I think what you are looking for already exists. Check the website www.CTI-Electronice.com . I remember wiring a layout in 1999 for a gentleman in MA. that decided he wanted the CTI system to run his signals.
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