These are Quick & Dirty how-to guides exploring the many uses of Arduino and robotics hardware in N scale model railroading.
- An Introduction to Arduino & Addressable RGB LEDs
- Ethernet Shields, Addresses & EEPROM
- Turnout Control with Arduino and Servos
- Multiple Turnouts and Other Multitasking
8 thoughts on “The N Scaler’s Q&D”
Hello, was wondering if you knew of any sketches for a dual blade semaphore? I’m new to arduino. I do have 2 servos, a board but lost on the sketch writing part. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!
I’m sorry but I don’t have anything that would be specifically for that. However, the general approach should be the same as for turnouts: setup your servos so that they will move the semaphores, then define a range of motion that gives you the movement you want — say from 60 to 120 degrees, or whatever is appropriate. You could then use your (or mine on this site) turnout code to run the semaphore. Different object, same motion and timing problems.
I am just starting out with Arduino (I have brought a Nano Arduino).
I am experimenting with servo motors to control my points(turnouts).
I have a question, on the layout that I am building I have some cross over turnouts which would like to switch two turnouts with one switch. (not a problem with solenoid motors) I have seen on the internet that you can buy servo connection wires that split to for two servos.
How do you wire these to an Arduino to work properly?
I suppose you could attach both data wires to the same pin and thus control both simultaneously. But I’m not sure that’s such a good idea because of current draw and possible sync problems.
What I would do is keep the two servos electrically separate, using separate data pins to run them. Your button simply triggers a software sequence that causes both servos to move at the same time.
I suggest you use the Object-Oriented approach to turnout control, so see C++ Objects for Layout Control, Part 2 — Turnouts. Using the techniques described, you would create a turnout object for each servo used by the crossover. When you detect the button push, you call either the .set() or .toggle() methods for each turnout to start the movement process. If you are continuous running your .update() methods on each iteration of the loop(), your servos will move themselves into position as requested.
Let me know if you have more questions.
Hi, I’m showing my shortcomings here as I have now been trying for a long time to get your sketch together from your article on ‘multiple turnouts’, but am failing miserably.
I’m getting errors on variables not being declared, where I’m certain I did. Probably in the wrong location….
Is there a location where the full sketch is available? I’m just trying to get one servo to work with the sketch as it looks such a good one to build further on, but I’m stuck before even getting to the starting line.
Many thanks for your efforts to educate us!
Kind regards, Rene
Available code can be found in TheNscaler github repository: https://github.com/rpsimonds/thenscaler
If you don’t find what you need, let me know.
Hi Robin: I am too old to learn a new language and not technical enough to implement the concepts.
But I have a small HO scale plan and would like to implement Arduino controls. I believe I know what I want but not how to do it. I have access to a hardware person with little model railroad knowledge. So I need a ” consultant of sort” to help with the planning and coding.
I assume there would be a charge for such serves. Do you know of some one? They could email so share it fi need be.
Regards Rich sr.
There are options. I do know somebody who could help you with a custom solution.
I can also help you, and I have a comprehensive layout control system that is in testing now and will be available soon. LCOS (The Layout Control Operating System) is a hardware + firmware solution built on Arduino technologies to create a “plug and play” system for model railroading. The website for the line is incomplete and under construction but coming up: Lew’s Duino Gear. I can assist you installing the system; your only cost would be the components.
Let know what option interests you and I’ll respond by email.