Daydreamin model railroadin at work!

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by kf4jqd, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Hi Gauger's:

    I have a new job at Carlex Glass in Venore, Tennessee. They temper glass for Nissan, Toyota, and the Hummer. They use alot of robots on the assembly line. To make these robots work properly, they use optical senors on the lines. They "see" the glass coming down the line. This enables the robot to pick it up and move it. What does this has to do with model railroading and daydreamin'? :confused:

    Lets look at out layout. The tracks can be our convayor. The locomotives, rolling stock, etc is our "glass". Lets use the easiest type of train to work with, the passenger train. They get people to point A to point B. They make stops at stations to unload and load passengers. So lets take out assembly line into the picture. We use an optical senors at Station A. That senor, lets say, is on a 5 minute timer. So when the train arrives at the station, it trips the senor. The senor is connected to a timer. The train stops for 5 mins. The signal light is also connect to the senor. When the train is ready to go, the light will turn green. The train leaves. Lets say you want to slowly increase speed of the train. You will use optical senors to sense the train. The senors will be contected to a relay to increase voltage and amps to the locomotive. Now the train is going faster. As the train is appoaching point B station. Use the same process to decrease the voltage. Plus the senor also trips the yellow light to tell the train to slow down. When the train arrives at staion B, it stops. There's an optical senor "sensing" the train.

    With a frieght train, there's many possiblities. Such as if the track is hidden and occupied. Controling the train's speed. Signal light control. Even switch your track!

    You do not have to buy $300 industrail senors. There are model companies out there you can buy from. Take a look at August 2005 issue page 81 of Railroad Model Craftman Magazine. By the way, you can replace those LED's with a 5 volt mini relay from Radio Shack to switch higher voltages and current.

    I hope this gives you some ideas. I love an automated layout. It makes things look so real. Next project will be connecting everything to a computer. I am going to have to relearn BASIC programming again! :eek:

  2. sidneylopsides

    sidneylopsides New Member

    I had the same idea a few days ago, but with something else in mind. I was trying to think of a way of making an automated system for filling coal hoppers, so that it "knew" when the hopper was under the nozzle.
    You could use simple IR LED beam breaker systems, like they use at supermarkets to open the automated barriers. They could easily be hidden in buildings etc.
    You can have a sensor at one side and the emitter at the other, if you have somewhere on each side of the track to hide them, breaking the beam activates, or if you only have one side to hide equipment, use a reflecion system, the reflection of the IR light to a sensor mounted on the same side. This type can be used roughly for distances too as the reflected signal gets stronger the closer the train is.
  3. onceler

    onceler Member

    I was thinking allong the same lines, but thinking about RFID technology where it could tell different items apart from one another.
  4. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Actually, most businesses use motion detectors to open automatic doors. They would work just as well. A relatively inexpensive place to get something like that would be motion sensative lighting. I picked up a pair of porch lights at a warehouse club type store for $20 each.
  5. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    RFID and me??? Well as a Ham Radio Operator, I try to keep my RF outside away from my station. You still have to use a laser scanner to scan the car. I suppose you could add RF transmitters in them too. All that RF, could cause interference issuses.

    Andy KF4JQD
  6. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    You could always build your layout in a Faraday Cage. :D :D :D
  7. KATY

    KATY Member

    If you guys are going to give the real railroads ideas like this, they'll be putting more people out of work! :eek:

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