TESTING an alterative to Tortoise switch machines

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Denyons, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. Dougwysham

    Dougwysham New Member

    I took a look. It seems quite simple. Wonder if they have any online video to show how it really works. By the way i remember taking a basic computer course many years ago. 386 was the latest model at that time:) The instructor told a real story. There was a guy who learned that a computer could read a disk. So after buying the computer and placing it on his desk, he took out a floppy disk and started to wave it in front of the screen. At the mean time he was saying "read my disk". Figure that one out:)
  2. rich1949

    rich1949 New Member

    I haven't installed them yet but they are amazing. The board controls 4 servos each independent of the others. you can program the center position, the distance of travel in each direction and the distance can be different for each direction as well as the speed, from about 8 hundredths of a second to 20 seconds. imagine using them for anything that moves. Crossing gates, garage door, oil change lift in a gas station. I had great fun playing with them on my kitchen table and am looking forward to integrating them into my layout. dcctrains sells them in the USA. when you consider you get the programmable board, 4 miniature servos and all the mounting hardware for less than a $100 and how adaptable they can be for anything that moves you can imagine, the price isn't so high.
  3. Geoff H

    Geoff H New Member

    Smartswitch turnout machines


    A little advice about installation.

    You will get excellent service from them if you use a regulated 12v dc power supply for powering the motherboard and the decoder. Something as simple as a 1.5 amp wall plug pack from one of your local electronic stores.

    The sales of them is going very well in Australia and there are new item in the pipeline such as a stationary decoder for lighting alone which is fantastic for people who have friends around for running sessions as the Dispatcher can have DCC control of four sets of lights and can call trains onto the main line without issuing voice commands. I have one under test at present and also another under Beta test by a friend of mine. These are so new that they don't even have a price yet.

    My web site should be up and running in a few weeks and will have all of the latest info as I get it. Anyone who wants any technical info on any of the ANE products is more than welcome to email me at timesaverlayouts@bigpond.com and if you wish you can request to be added to the email newsletter which will only come out when new products arrive.

    You will also be pleased to know that Walthers have also taken on the ANE range for resale. This is Hot News and advertising will be coming up in the NMRA Scale Rails magazine in the near future and for Aussie readers the advertising will be coming in the local NMRA Mainline magazine.

    Another unit on the way is one to control boom gates at your crossings but this is a little way off. I will keep this site informed.

    The Super SmartFrog unit is also now available and acts as a reversing switch and senses the approaching train and this causes the lights to go to yellow and kills the power to the frog and then moves the turnout to accept the train and when the movement of the blades is complete , the light goes to green and the frog powers up and ten seconds after the last set of metal wheels passes the sensor gap the light goes back to yellow and the process reverses until the turnout direction is back at the default direction. These units are $30 Australian. I am using them on a Y for turning short trains so I don't have to use any switches of tell the turnouts what to do. The standard SmartFrog doesn't have the auto sensor feature and it has two aspect lighting outputs for LEDs instead of three as on the Super SmartFrog.

    A new large size set is now available as well for those O and G gaugers but no pricing yet.

    Geoff H
  4. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    FYI: There are a number of hobby robotics boards that let you connect standard RC servos right up without any soldering etc. Just connect the power supply, program the board from the PC and go. The oopic-r supports 8 rc servos directly (16 IO lines, so 8 for buttons and 8 for servos, if you really cleaver you can use a resistance ladder and the analog IO inputs to reduce IO for input and free up the IO for more servo lines ), less than $60, servos are cheap, 2 or 3 bucks a piece. The nice thing is that you can then expand more servos with some of the servo only boards, these boards dont have any programming, they take commands from your oopic-r (or other micro controller) and let you control up to 20 or more servos. These add-on boards are about $20. So, for 80$ in plug and play circuit boards you can have enough PWM (RC servo drive) to run 28 switches. You would have to craft your own mounts, but this is easy enough...

    But you have to be able to program. The OOPIC-r is nice in that all the hard programming is done, just write easy C like code using the built in servo "objects" set a few variables and update the servo position..

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