Embedded Systems Conference
Breaking News
Comments
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
<<   <   Page 3 / 3
agk
User Rank
Author
re: Poor contacts stop model trains on the track
agk   12/25/2010 2:39:44 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes zeeglen I had lot of pleasure and fun as you said while doing it for play

sharps_eng
User Rank
Author
re: Poor contacts stop model trains on the track
sharps_eng   12/24/2010 10:29:06 PM
NO RATINGS
I was disappointed how unsophisticated the electronics was in model rail, but like so many real-world situations there is so much legacy kit investment out there you can't innnovate overnight. Every newcomer confidently attempting to sweep away the troubles of past systems completely underestimates the challenges of power distribution, control technique and packaging of the circuits. Model rail as a whole is its own universe, with only passing similarities to other fields. So at the same time I have to be impressed with how much modernisation is getting done, much by hobbyists with no engineering background.

DWilde10
User Rank
Author
re: Poor contacts stop model trains on the track
DWilde10   12/24/2010 2:22:16 AM
NO RATINGS
Way to go, Glen! That's the spirit that makes American ingenuity world famous. As a lifetime follower of model railroading I contend that my study of Dad's cabinets full of Model Railroader magazines is one of the primary reasons I'm really good with complex embedded computer systems today...

zeeglen
User Rank
Author
re: Poor contacts stop model trains on the track
zeeglen   12/24/2010 2:01:10 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, pulse width modulation in various forms is almost universal today thanks to the transistor. It makes a small motor develop a higher low speed torque than pure DC, very useful when performing operations such as realistic yard shunting or spotting freight cars on a siding. It can also overheat a motor if the voltage is too high with the duty cycle low (I^2R with very little back EMF), so the pulse peak must be kept within the limit of the motor full speed DC voltage rating. Many a Z scale motor has smoked at low speed when used with a PWM power pack intended for HO scale. In the article pulse width modulation was used but did not help the main problem which was the opening of the current flow to the motor. This was simply dirt and poor design. One of the fun things about model rail is combining the hobby with some of the cool things that can be done with electronics and mechanics. Sometimes after a hard day's debugging it is relaxing to come home, pick up a soldering iron, and build a gadget that flashes LEDs at a grade crossing. For examples see Model Railroad & Misc. Electronics http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/CircuitIndex.html

zeeglen
User Rank
Author
re: Poor contacts stop model trains on the track
zeeglen   12/24/2010 1:27:25 AM
NO RATINGS
Aluminum develops a non-conductive surface oxide which will insulate current flow to the wheels. Model rail tracks today are almost always made of nickel silver (actually copper nickel zinc alloy) whose oxide is electrically conductive. Your switch cleaning oil probably retarded the buildup of oxide. It sounds like you had a lot of fun with the conversions. Nice when folks can use their engineering skills for "play". Not many careers provide that option.

gah4
User Rank
Author
re: Poor contacts stop model trains on the track
gah4   12/23/2010 10:26:46 PM
NO RATINGS
I remember from many years ago, a quick Google search shows December 1965, a Popular Electronics article on a pulse power supply for model trains. I believe it used a constant pulse (width and amplitude) plus a variable DC to allow smooth control at slower speeds. Even larger gauge trains run poorly at the slowest speeds, but the article claimed that pulse power allowed slow operation.

agk
User Rank
Author
re: Poor contacts stop model trains on the track
agk   12/23/2010 3:46:30 PM
NO RATINGS
This article takes me back to year1992. I converted LEO hand pulled toy train engine compartments into electric train by fixing them with casette player motors,capstan shafts and pulleys.The metal wheels were from steei made in a lathe. The tracks were made from aluminium U channels(inverted) with wooden repers. Connect them with a battery adopter it use to run nice for some time and stops later due to the carbon deposited on the tracks and wheels. I got the idea of applying switch cleaning oil on the tracks and tested and found that it runs continiously for hours together.all the children around played the train and it was amusing!

<<   <   Page 3 / 3


Most Recent Comments
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
Martin Rowe

Leonard Nimoy, We'll Miss you
Martin Rowe
2 comments
Like many of you, I was saddened to hear the news of Leonard Nimoy's death. His Star Trek character Mr. Spock was an inspiration to many of us who entered technical fields.

Max Maxfield

Awesome 3D Electronic Sculptures
Max Maxfield
13 comments
I recently received an email from someone we'll call Martin (because that's his name). Martin's message was short and sweet. In its entirety it read: "You need to see this!"

Rajaram Regupathy, Cypress Semiconductor

Add USB Battery Charging Protocols to an Android-Based Design
Rajaram Regupathy, Cypress Semiconductor
Post a comment
Editorial Note: Excerpted from Unboxing Android: A hands on approach with real world examples, by Rajaram Regupathy, the author takes you through the process incorporating effective power ...

Rich Quinnell

Making the Grade in Industrial Design
Rich Quinnell
16 comments
As every developer knows, there are the paper specifications for a product design, and then there are the real requirements. The paper specs are dry, bland, and rigidly numeric, making ...

Special Video Section
The LT8640 is a 42V, 5A synchronous step-down regulator ...
The LTC2000 high-speed DAC has low noise and excellent ...
How do you protect the load and ensure output continues to ...
General-purpose DACs have applications in instrumentation, ...
Linear Technology demonstrates its latest measurement ...
10:29
Demos from Maxim Integrated at Electronica 2014 show ...
Bosch CEO Stefan Finkbeiner shows off latest combo and ...
STMicroelectronics demoed this simple gesture control ...
Keysight shows you what signals lurk in real-time at 510MHz ...
TE Connectivity's clear-plastic, full-size model car shows ...
Why culture makes Linear Tech a winner.
Recently formed Architects of Modern Power consortium ...
Specially modified Corvette C7 Stingray responds to ex Indy ...
Avago’s ACPL-K30T is the first solid-state driver qualified ...
NXP launches its line of multi-gate, multifunction, ...
Doug Bailey, VP of marketing at Power Integrations, gives a ...
See how to ease software bring-up with DesignWare IP ...
DesignWare IP Prototyping Kits enable fast software ...
This video explores the LT3086, a new member of our LDO+ ...
In today’s modern electronic systems, the need for power ...
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
EE Times Senior Technical Editor Martin Rowe will interview EMC engineer Kenneth Wyatt.
Flash Poll