N-gauge Japanese-style Model Train
Working on the construction site this week.
First, new signboards and decals
Then, the first tests of the moving crane. The servo motor (controlled by an Arduino Nano) is right below the board. The rotation is not super smooth, I'll have to work on that!
Two years and five months ago, I managed to control a Tomytec bus by using an electromagnet under the road. I am now happy to report that I have finally been able to move the modules of the main street, bus interchange and Iwasehama station to the layout. All the wires for the bus control blocks, the hundreds of LED lights, the signals and the tracks are connected and everything seems to work fine. Well, not everything. There are still so many things to improve. These buses sometimes seem to have a mind of their own!
Next (major) step: finish the tram layout, and make sure that trams and buses don't collide! For that, I'll have to teach the Raspberry Pi Python application controlling the buses to talk to Rocrail! Interesting challenge.
- TFT display is 320x240 (240x320 portrait) ILI9341
- I use fbtft_device to drive the display
- The video is a h.264 mp4 file played by mplayer
Hardware components used:
* ESP32 (Lolin32) with 4BM Flash memory
* Tourist Information: 0.96" 80x160 RGB IPS display with ST7735 driver (only the top 80x80 pixels are used and visible)
SCL SCL (SPI Clock)
SDA MOSI (SPI Data (to slave))
RES GPIO4 (Reset)
DC GPIO2 (Data/Command)
CS SS/5 (Chip Select)
Uploading files to the ESP32 flash:
Install ESP32 Filesystem Uploader in Arduino IDE
The size of the ESP32 SPIFFS partition can be set in the IDE as 1Mbyte or 3Mbytes.
Place the video/image files inside the sketch folder, in a folder called "Data". Then upload all the files in the folder using the Arduino IDE "ESP32 Sketch Data Upload" option in the "Tools" menu.
The sketch loads
- an 80x80 pixel background image (back.jpeg) once at the beginning
- a sequence of up to one thousand 40x80 images (videoNNN.jpeg) stored in the built-in flash memory.
The videoNNN.jpeg files are built as follows:
- Scale and crop the source video to 40x80 (portrait) with Handbrake
- Extract the .jpeg files with ffmpeg:
./ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -s 40x80 -r 10 video%03d.jpeg
Trying to fit 0402 LEDs into Kato 23-214 traffic lights. It works, but I am just going to install one LED (either green or red) in each signal.
Next step: the bus interchange. I have built a switch for the bus: a servo motor moves the guide wire towards one of the two positions.
It works 🙂
Today, I have started the integration of the system into the python application that runs on the raspberry pi (the same one that controls all the LEDs on the layout).
I have added a screen to control the busses, it looks like that:
Each bus block is a white rectangle. The block is highlighted
The application makes sure that there is no collision. The video below shows the results of very the first test:
For more than a year now I am trying to control the Tomytec busses (fitted with a BM-01, BM-02 or BM-03 motor). My ultimate goal is to make the street at the centre of my layout look like this:
There will be
They will all be connected to a Raspberry Pi, which will be able to control the traffic flow.
All of this is still under development, but this weekend I have been able to connect eight bus blocks, and this is the result (that I find really encouraging):
I changed the "sky" lighting to two rows of individually-controllable RGB+Natural White LEDs.
In this first test, I used a 13x27 12V 1W 10N (size 13x27mm, 12 volts, 1 watt, 10 newton force) electromagnet that can easily be purchased from AliExpress (look for solenoid, electromagnet, or follow this link). Its power consumption is about 100mA, which is reasonable, and the heat dissipation is not too high.
The bus stops when the electromagnet is powered, then restarts when I switch off the power supply.
To make lighted sign boards, I glued together six square white LEDs (connected as two groups of three), then added a thin styrene sheet before pasting the signs.