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Offline BenP  
#1 Posted : 21 September 2021 18:19:06(UTC)
BenP

United States   
Joined: 04/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 11
Location: Michigan, Ann Arbor
I converted from analog to digital with decoders in trains and for track (incl S88). Next, I want to get train shuttle operation (back and forth on one track), just like analog Marklin 6600. I do not want to use a PC for operation, so found IR detectors options. I use Uhlenbrock Intellibox I, which seemingly has connectivity for systems Marco and Lissy. Not sure what their difference is.

I want to run a small tram (equipped with basic decoder):
  • Stop at end of track
    Wait for, say, 30 seconds
    Reverse direction and move
    Stop at other end of track
    Wait for 30 sec
    Reverse direction and move

What do users recommend?
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by BenP
Offline DaleSchultz  
#2 Posted : 21 September 2021 19:22:11(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,891
Originally Posted by: BenP Go to Quoted Post

What do users recommend?


A PC.

Some processor needs to do the 'thinking' of taking a sensor input, slowing the loco down, stopping, changing direction, waiting 30s and starting the loco up again, ignoring the sensor as the train moves away from it and waiting for the sensors at the other end.

If you don't want to use PC you need something else to do the data processing. I don't think the Intellibox I does that by itself.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by DaleSchultz
Offline marklinist5999  
#3 Posted : 21 September 2021 20:17:36(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,036
Location: Michigan, Troy
Circutron had a reversing relay with limit stops for analog operation.
Offline kiwiAlan  
#4 Posted : 21 September 2021 22:01:05(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,358
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: BenP Go to Quoted Post
I converted from analog to digital with decoders in trains and for track (incl S88). Next, I want to get train shuttle operation (back and forth on one track), just like analog Marklin 6600. I do not want to use a PC for operation, so found IR detectors options. I use Uhlenbrock Intellibox I, which seemingly has connectivity for systems Marco and Lissy. Not sure what their difference is.

I want to run a small tram (equipped with basic decoder):
  • Stop at end of track
    Wait for, say, 30 seconds
    Reverse direction and move
    Stop at other end of track
    Wait for 30 sec
    Reverse direction and move

What do users recommend?


For a single tram running on a DC track this could be done quite simply by having a delay module that reverses the voltage to the track periodically. A diode in one rail at each end will isolate the voltage in the direction of travel towards the end, but then allows the current to flow when the DC voltage reverses to allow the tram to go back.

Otherwise as Dale said, to do that sort of thing will require some form of computing device.

However this can be as cheap as a Raspberry Pi. An RPi model 3 or model 4 will run the JMRI program (which is free) just fine, and it will talk to an Intellibox through Loconet just fine. There is also a high level language on JMRI to simplify programming up what you want to do (look at the YAAT pages).

On top of this you will need some way to detect train position, using contact tracks or other sensing options (Infrared detectors, reed switches, etc). The choice here is almost as broad as you want to make it. If you are happy assembling electronic projects then there are kits for s88 sensor units (available from Viessmann or LDT, among others) or you can buy completed units. The Intellibox will connect the s88 units to whatever computing device you use.

Alternatively you can use a hobbyist computing element like an Arduino to process the detectors to get them to your computing device.

If you need only a handful of sensors then JMRI can use the GPIO pins on a RPi as inputs. This would work well for a single line shuttle with four or five stopping points including the end points. This could allow a couple of trains to shuttle up and back with a passing loop at the half way point.

thanks 1 user liked this useful post by kiwiAlan
Offline DaleSchultz  
#5 Posted : 21 September 2021 23:10:15(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,891
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
JMRI can use the GPIO pins on a RPi as inputs



I have envisaged (and coded) this for my RemoteSign devices, even mapping the sensors on multiple devices into the s88 address space in my train software, BUT certainly the ESP8266 modules I am using expect the GPIO pins to be grounded to the GND pin of the ESP. I built some optoisolated circuits to ensure that DCC or 16VAC or DC current from the layout would not fry the ESP and it that worked too. Do you know if the RPi also needs an isolated solution? I don't think I can share the ground of the ESP with layout ground even if the negative of its DC input is the same as layout ground. It may be worth frying one to find out.


Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline kiwiAlan  
#6 Posted : 21 September 2021 23:47:58(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,358
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
JMRI can use the GPIO pins on a RPi as inputs



I have envisaged (and coded) this for my RemoteSign devices, even mapping the sensors on multiple devices into the s88 address space in my train software, BUT certainly the ESP8266 modules I am using expect the GPIO pins to be grounded to the GND pin of the ESP. I built some optoisolated circuits to ensure that DCC or 16VAC or DC current from the layout would not fry the ESP and it that worked too. Do you know if the RPi also needs an isolated solution? I don't think I can share the ground of the ESP with layout ground even if the negative of its DC input is the same as layout ground. It may be worth frying one to find out.




I would certainly use an isolated solution, otherwise the engineering involved in guaranteeing that the grounds are common can get mind bending. In terms of the OPs requirements i was envisaging using the C track 2499x pieces with the microswitches, and lifting the common wire from the track ground and taking it to the RPi common.
Offline Johnvr  
#7 Posted : 22 September 2021 10:57:53(UTC)
Johnvr

South Africa   
Joined: 03/10/2010(UTC)
Posts: 1,236
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Originally Posted by: BenP Go to Quoted Post
I converted from analog to digital with decoders in trains and for track (incl S88).


Which train controller are you using ?
Marklin Central Station / Mobile Station ?
Other brand ?

If you are using the Marklin Central Station or the ESU Ecos, and your s88 is connected to your Central Station/ESU ,
then all you need is to have a Marklin circuit track on either end of the shuttle line in order to feed back the endpoints,
and then you programme the shuttle and timing into the central station.
Easy-peasy !

RegardsBigGrin
John

thanks 2 users liked this useful post by Johnvr
Offline DaleSchultz  
#8 Posted : 22 September 2021 15:13:36(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,891
he is using Intellibox I
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline Harvey  
#9 Posted : 23 September 2021 23:25:19(UTC)
Harvey

United States   
Joined: 17/02/2008(UTC)
Posts: 561
Location: Glen Oaks, N.Y.
Not sure if this helps you as I use a CS2.

I run 1 shuttle on K track with sensors ( circuit tracks). The train sounds the whistle, leaves (station 1) as it approaches the other station (station 2), horn sounds, stops, reverses, sounds horn and leaves. As it approaches the home station, sounds horn. Stops, reverses direction and repeats. All done with CS2, sensors. Took a while to get running but basically flawless operation. I also use this shuttle to launch a rail bus on a separate circular route when the shuttle leave station 2. The rail bus has a stop half way around the loop. Sounds it's horn at each stop.

The only issue (seldom) is if I stop the operation and switch other locs on/off (on other tracks), the shuttle may get confused and go in the wrong direction at first. Just need to stop, change direction and launch the shuttle route on the the CS2.

Regards
Harvey
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