Simple Model Railway & Arduino
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Simple Model Railway & Arduino

by J3SSi on Thu May 09, 2013 8:03 am

Hi all,

As part of my final university project I'm creating a data visualisation that will physically show the tubeupdates.com live data. I'm making a simple model railway, an outside loop with 3rd bends and an inside loop using 2nd bends. I hope to power this via arduino. I'm not a model railer, it's not meant to look and move exactly like a train. I just need to be able to turn the train on and off to start, at a fixed voltage of 10V, and maybe change direction too once I've got the on/off working. At a later date I will be changing the crossing points via arduino too, but I'm starting with the basics.

Most things I've found online are for serious model railers who want full range of choice of voltage, and there's code written to slow the the train down to a stop, and accelerate too. This is unnecessary for my purpose, and as I'm definitely not an electronics expert I'm looking for something simpler.

I have an arduino Uno and a breadboard, I can also get hold of any other kit you think necessary. Any help would be greatly received! I apologise for my inexperience!
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Joined: Thu May 09, 2013 7:52 am

Re: Simple Model Railway & Arduino

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu May 09, 2013 8:50 am

The Adafruit Motor Shield is probably a good place to start: http://www.adafruit.com/products/81
It will control up to 4 motors with direction and speed control. (Speed control does not add any hardware complexity since it uses the native PWM capability of the UNO)
Do you know the current requirements of the train you are using? The stock motor shield can handle up to 600mA. There are ways to increase that if necessary.

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