- Indicators of arrival in the shadow station
- Making the "Polyp" ride operate
- Coordinating 60's rock and roll music to the "Polyp".
Shadow StationBecause of my arthritis, I can't turn to see the trains when they reach the end of the shadow station board and control the loco from the ECOS. The simple answer was to put up some visual indicator of position for each of the shadow station tracks. The final answer was to use light dependent resistors (ldr) buried in the track to control coloured LEDs on the fascia board beside the ECOS. After a lot of messing around due to a faulty ldr, it was all resolved and in place. LDRs are very expensive - NOT. £4.99 for 70! Once I replaced the dodgy one, everything works. I now have this nice little display in front of me where each track is aligned to a coloured LED which lights up when a loco moves over it.
The white light is just to show that it is working because, when there are no locos in the shadow station, all the lights are off so it is nice to have a pilot light.
Although this is the one for the level crossing, it shows you how the LDR is placed in the track. It is not at all noticeable.
Making the Polyp ride operateThe Faller kit for a fairground ride is called the "Polyp". It looks like our Octopus ride. My wife remembers going on something similar in her early teens at the Funfair in Raphael's Park in Romford. I think that she remembers "The Whip" where the boys from the ride would hit the brake in one of the compartments to make it swing round. As she say, she always remembers not only the ride but the music that was played. This was all the excuse I needed. First off, I have to make the ride operate. It comes with a motor but this is a simple 16VAC motor that can be turned on and off. It needs an AC power supply, which I didn't have. I had a nice 12V Chinese PS sitting there from an earlier attempt to put under-shelf LED lighting in my old railway room. I was able to get a nice little 12V motor and gearbox from Amazon and fit it instead of the provided one.
The Arduino program drives the motor for a period and then keeps it still for another - random - period when the whole things starts over again. Notice that it starts up slowly and slows down nicely at the end.