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  • It actually looks like a fun project. And you can't argue with the results. so the Arduino controls through the microstep driver? how many tracks can it control?

    Looking Good too.

    Bob
    It's only make-believe

    Comment


    • quote:


      Originally posted by Frank Palmer



      I thought electronics were supposed to "SAVE" time.


      It'll be saving time until at least Monday. The computer I do the drawing and control software work, laid an egg this afternoon. Back in the grips of the Post Office delivery system. I just hope I can recover the work already completed. I've backed up that work, but lost the system.

      :erm: Time to clean the garage.

      Jim
      Take the red pill

      Comment


      • quote:


        Originally posted by BurleyJim


        quote:


        Originally posted by Frank Palmer



        I thought electronics were supposed to "SAVE" time.


        It'll be saving time until at least Monday. The computer I do the drawing and control software work, laid an egg this afternoon. Back in the grips of the Post Office delivery system. I just hope I can recover the work already completed. I've backed up that work, but lost the system.

        :erm: Time to clean the garage.

        Jim


        I fell your pain. I'm still recovering from my last computer crash.
        It's only make-believe

        Comment


        • Thanks Bob,

          Yes, the Microstep driver I used is a TB6600. You can use the stepper library included with the Arduino IDE, but that code has limited function. I ended up including the AccelStepper library which was harder to understand, probably overkill for the project. You only use two output pins on your Arduino one for step, and one for direction to the TB6600. The TB6600 works with 4 wire BiPolar steppers. The 5-6 wire unipolar steppers use a different driver. I wrote the code to locate the track to the 5 tracks to the roundhouse, the 2 through tracks, and a service track to one side of the roundhouse. This could be accomplished with the Arduino Uno. When I get my system put back together, I'll work on the roundhouse door controls, and will need to move everything to the Arduino Mega, because of the additional input lines. The code I've already written will transfer to the heftyer Arduino.

          Jim
          Take the red pill

          Comment


          • Some minor activity, after the computer hard drive episode of this past weekend. I got the servo program running with all 5 door servos running. The low end Arduino Uno is taxed with processing power and available I/O connections to deal with. An Arduino 'Mega' will handle the servo/roundhouse operation. About $6 more for an eBay clone. The servo handling is OK for one servo, but it is a one trick pony. All other operations, (including stepper control would stop while the servo opens and/or shuts the roundhouse doors. I've got the doors operating very slowly, so the turntable would be dead while waiting for a door activity to complete. :yuck:

            The .032" phosphor bronze is a little wily to handle and try to solder at the same time, so I used a couple of scrap ABS chunks and made some simple clamps. After positioning the door end of the linkage, a spot of solder anchored the position.



            The surplus servos and control horns would not give me enough thow (1 inch) that I needed to fully open and then close the doors.




            So I looked online and saw control horns that would probably work for $5.95 each. I'd need 5 plus shipping plus waiting, bummer! So I drew some up, printed them and 2 hours later test fit one.




            That design would definitely provide the throw I'd need to actuate the linkage...with a bit of a collision on the port side. I could have just lopped off the problem appendage, but I decided to go even longer with the long arm. Giving me a straighter motion from open to close. The endpoints are settings in the program design, so shorter mechanical motion won.




            I used brass RC plane clevis' and sweat soldered the linkage wires. I think I'll leave the clamps attached, making the linkage a little stiffer.

            Here's two of the servos in place, and tested as I proceed.



            Jim

            Take the red pill

            Comment


            • Jim,

              Nice mechanical work! I like that you just made the linkage instead of ordering.

              Can you still get the stiffness you need if you solder a piece of brass sheet between the two arms?

              It might look more integrated than the clamps.

              Scott

              Comment


              • Who's Bruce?

                I think that would work, if I got down in there with a hot soldering iron with all that plastic. Once it is flipped right side up, never to be seen again.

                Jim
                Take the red pill

                Comment


                • Opps...Sorry Jim, I thinks it from jumping from thread to thread.

                  Scott

                  Comment


                  • Scott,

                    It gave me a chuckle.

                    Jim
                    Take the red pill

                    Comment


                    • Nice job. How did you get started with Adriano?

                      Bob
                      It's only make-believe

                      Comment


                      • Bob, I'm still a nerd. I probably played with one after hearing that they came out maybe 5-6 or more years ago. Electronics/computers have been a 57+ year ride for me. Computers as big as a garage, like you see in old movies.

                        Jim
                        Take the red pill

                        Comment


                        • I remember punching “IBM” cards for the simplest arithmetic problem using Fortran taking a 4-5 inch bundle across campus to the Computer Center, turning them in to a window to be run, going back in a couple days to get a big wad of wide paper with the results, usually a comma or colon out of place. Then repeatedly until it was right. Back then 2+2 did still equal 4. Nerdish didn’t stick until years later. I lost a lot between then and the advent of the TRASH-80 Color Computer led to DOS...

                          I’m fascinated by what you’re doing Bruce Jim...
                          Karl Scribner-Curmudgeon

                          Cedar Swamp
                          SW of Manistique, MI

                          AVATAR Image stolen from Model Train Stuff advertisement in my e-mail

                          Comment


                          • quote:


                            Originally posted by k9wrangler


                            I remember punching “IBM” cards for the simplest arithmetic problem using Fortran taking a 4-5 inch bundle across campus to the Computer Center, turning them in to a window to be run, going back in a couple days to get a big wad of wide paper with the results, usually a comma or colon out of place. Then repeatedly until it was right. Back then 2+2 did still equal 4. Nerdish didn’t stick until years later. I lost a lot between then and the advent of the TRASH-80 Color Computer led to DOS...

                            I’m fascinated by what you’re doing Bruce Jim...


                            Certainly the rate of change in his area has been phenomenal. The first computers I worked on, we use to put our lunches on the power supplies to warm up the sandwiches. My first 'personal computer' was something called Northstar S-100 bus machine with an 8080 processor. 2 kilobytes of memory. When Zilog came out with the Z-80 things started to move forward very rapidly. I built a new' machine, a colr version of the TRS80 that was a printed circuit board, a Z80 processor and a schematic/parts list. LNW Research was the Printed Circuit designers. I use to joke about it when the mainframes were 'the answer'. I'd tell my cohorts that my Larry, Nick, and Willie machine would someday take over for the pillars that we put together. I just never thought it would happen as fast as it did. Once people had that piece of equipment on their desks, there was no turning back. Lots of zigs and zags along the way. I still have a few of those 5081 cards. Hard to believe they're on eBay, and at the Smithsonian. Each card could only hold 80 bytes of data. Plenty of 'Keypunch Operators' back in the day, became 'Data Entry Specialists'.

                            Jim
                            Take the red pill

                            Comment


                            • Having spent a lot of time doing real-time stuff on minicomputers of 40 years ago, I bet the servo driver function the Arduino sketch is using is polling/blocking. I don't know if the development environment allows the use of interrupt handlers and data structure locking, but if it does I'm sure there's enough CPU for the job.
                              James

                              Comment


                              • This is some amazing stuff!
                                Jerry



                                "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

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