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gavino200

Tram line plan

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gavino200
11 hours ago, kvp said:

Essentially, what i'm saying is that you can leave out the isolation, the traction power feeds into the circuit and from there into the tracks. Just connect the regular controller to one of the loops. Only set up the turnout control and the sensor parts of the circuit and it will work. Half of it is not needed because of the Tomix turnouts that have everything else inside of them, including all circuits to prevent shorts.

 

If this doesn't work, you can still add the isolators, the feeders and everything else, but they are completly not needed. You only need the 4 sensors, the main control circuit and the turnout control outputs. The track power part could be left off.

 

IDEA: You can try out the Tomix power routing without connecting up the circuit. Just connect your controller to one of the loops. Then connect the two turnouts to a single common Tomix manual control switch. Throw the switch manually before the tram, while it's moving forward at a steady pace. You will see that all polarities are matching and the tram keeps moving forward as long as the turnouts are thrown in time before the tram.

 

If this works, you can see that the optical control circuit is only needed to throw the two turnouts and nothing else need to be connected to it. (the circuit in the video i linked above does that, without isolations or messing with track power, just throwing the two turnouts at the same time back and forth)

 

Thanks kv. I get what you're saying (now). And it was a fun exercise thinking through this. But I'm still going to follow the Azatrax plan for one reason. If the system has a problem at some stage and I call Azatrax, they're going to walk through how I connected the system. If I told them about this alteration, I'm certain that would be the end of the conversation.  That plus, I've already ordered the isolators. It was a nice excuse to buy some other small items. Y'know, to justify the shipping costs 😉

 

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gavino200

I have my loops and Azatrax system set up on the kitchen table to get it working. The picture below show one of the two emitter/sensor sets that detect the tram approaching the junction. I'm looking for suggestions for a small trackside piece of equipment or structure that might hide these things. If there's nothing available I'll just make little open boxes out of styrene and paint them gray.

 

u6ibA8p.jpg

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Kiha66

How about some signal electronics boxes?  They are very common in the US, and I'm sure japan would have something similar.  If not perhaps since it is a street track you could have two parked cars on either side of the street, just hollow them out and drill a hole for the LEDs to sit in.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/BLMA-606-Modern-Trackside-Electronics-Box-2-per-pack-Medium-N-Scale-/112846873351

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gavino200
3 hours ago, Kiha66 said:

How about some signal electronics boxes?  They are very common in the US, and I'm sure japan would have something similar.  If not perhaps since it is a street track you could have two parked cars on either side of the street, just hollow them out and drill a hole for the LEDs to sit in.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/BLMA-606-Modern-Trackside-Electronics-Box-2-per-pack-Medium-N-Scale-/112846873351

 

Thanks. Those look great. For the final installation something like that will work perfectly as the sensors will be sunk vertically down through the layout board. As this is a temporary installation I'm not going to drill, and I want to leave the sensors untouched as I haven't decided exactly how they'll be configured. So I made a jerry-rigged crude little housing for them. It's just to hold the sensors in place while I trouble shoot the system. After I get it working I'll make something more subtle. 

 

Tomorrow I'll attempt to wire up the system.

 

OqQmapd.jpg?1

 

9RBpSAI.jpg

 

dZDnX6h.jpg?1

Edited by gavino200
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gavino200

I'm glad I set this up on the kitchen table and not on the layout. It's really quite a mess of wiring. It works pretty well unless you drive the tram too fast. Above a maximum speed (which is above scale speed so no big deal) the sensors aren't completely reliable. If a sensor fails to activate, the whole system gets completely confused. It took me a long time to work out what the problem was. I checked wiring, sensor distance, and ambient lighting before I realized there was a critical speed. 

 

Next I'll make a semi-permanent sensor housing. After that I'll adjust the viaduct pillar height to make an  even incline and then I'll install the tram line on the layout.

 

mazzwRD.jpg?2

Edited by gavino200
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Kiha66

Glad to hear its working out, cant wait to see a video of it in action!

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gavino200

I got the system working on the layout. It took me a long time. It's a good system. The main drawback is that the tram has to pass the sensors quite slowly for them to be reliable. I'll talk to the manufacturer about this next week. Possibly a longer tram could go faster and still trip the sensors. 

 

For the sensor housing, I went for the idea that Kiha suggested. Though I don't have a product and didn't feel like waiting for one, so I jerry-rigged my own ghetto style. On the final layout perhaps the sensors could be hidden in a couple of cars or trucks, as they're essentially right on the street. 

 

I sawed down the Kato viaduct piers to make the slope  gradual. The piers are at equal track length intervals and are for the most part in 2 or 2.5 mm steps. 

 

Thanks to everyone for your ideas and information. I wouldn't have been about to work this out by myself in a gazillion years. 

 

 

 

Some pictures:

 

A TV crew and a few locals come out to see the Tram service debut. Unfortunately the tram is missing the pantograph bar. A search will begin tomorrow.

 

ZPArY3p.jpg

 

 

You can see both sensors here hidden in their little boxes. The tunnel in the background is still uncovered. But my son has taken to pretending it's a "particle accelerator interdimensional travel device". His train can magically escape to parallel dimensions when playing cops'n'robbers. Something always goes wrong when my train tries to use it. Go figure.

 

Cnh8Rhe.jpg

 

Cut piers

 

62oRccR.jpg

 

 

ypzuULh.jpg

Edited by gavino200
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Kiha66

Looks amazing Gavin. I love how the little boxes came out, they blend right in!  Glad to see the project wrap up successfully!

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