7/1/2020

There are three sections left :)

I thank Erik Bølum, Tim Humphrey, Martin Isaac for comments and corrects new site. Soon!

6/16/2020

Need your opinion

I am making a new version of the site with an extended description and examples. Today I finished a new example for a signal system. It will be very interesting for me to read your opinion about this. Write me about it to steve@arduinorailwaycontrol.com

5/31/2020

My plans

I made some mistakes introducing my project. Despite the fact that on my site and in my videos I repeated a phrase about the use of ANY microcontrollers, modelers stubbornly considered the need to use the URB unit as the main obstacle to using the project. I also counted on the independent programming of the project participants of their layouts. What also turned out to be a mistake, people do not want to program and they insist on ready-made examples.

I'm tired of trying to explain this situation, and I will redo my site into simple ready-made solutions. For advanced users who are able to independently program information "how do" will only be in the URB Club.

I received a new motor with a gearbox from China, and, unfortunately, it turned out that its characteristics (inertia when stopping, backlash of the output shaft, errors of position sensors and a small range of speed control) do not allow its use it for the turntable. I am very upset about this, but the turntable design will be completed using a CNC stepper motor. To do this, I need to learn using my 1310 machine to produce gears, which I will do.

5/29/2020

For big layouts with Interlocking

Arduino MEGA and URB units

5/28/2020

MEGA as COMM

Arduino MEGA as COMM URB unit

My friend Tim send me message:

Thanks for the drawing. It clears up the confusion I had. That would be great up on the Club site. I bet it may help others.

I hope I will have time to redo the site and add all interesting user projects. According to my plans, a new wireless project will be available for URB Club members, and information on the URB project will be available for free on the main site.

5/27/2020

Good luck Doug and Bob!

Launch Dragon

Update: Launch postponed to May 30

5/24/2020

My home network is finished

5/22/2020

My home network renovate

Sorry guys! I temporarily stopped working on the URB project. I needed to change the router and this led to changes in my entire home network. I need to lay new cables and move the server. I really hope to complete these processes before Monday.

5/17/2020

Final turntable design

 

5/12/2020

Long time renovating my self made PC case.

Four years ago, I made my computer case out of plywood, in which the motherboard was turned upside compared to ordinary PC. As a result, I got a very convenient computer that was well ventilated and all cables were easily accessible. It was also a continuation of my desktop and did not take up space.

This computer was my reliable assistant in creating projects. But I have long had problems with the hardware. Therefore, I bought new equipment, and of course it did not fit to case of my design.

As a result, I sawed plywood for a week, cut metal, putty, painted my old case for changing its internal dimensions.

Now everything is put back together and we can continue to develop project URB with you :)

My desktop has become comfortable again. Thank you for your support of my project.

5/5/2020

Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender

I don't understand these person. Why write a letter from a mail account, to which it is impossible to send an answer.

5/4/2020

Return to Turntable

I received a package with a new gear motor. Soon the completion of the turntable project.


5/2/2020

Vive la France!


5/2/2020

Maybe I'm in the wrong line of work


4/27/2020

Last mile

Low speed DC motor

Soon the final version of the turntable.


4/23/2020

Once again about ESP32

I understand your desire to use the most publicized and modern gadgets. My last video about using DEVKIT ESP32 unintentionally spurred this desire. Therefore, I have to give the following comment.

You can use ANY microcontrollers in your railway layouts using URB project. For example Arduino 33 BLE, ESP32 or powerful (in comparison with Uno and Nano) MEGA, Portenta H7 or even more powerful platform like PIC. But there is one very important problem — all these chips are much more complex and require more in-depth knowledge for programming. If any student, let alone an experienced adult person, can write his first sketch for Arduino NANO (UNO) in a few hours using the editor Arduino IDE. Then for the rest of the chips you need a much higher level of programming.

The Atmega 328P microcontroller is very simple and straightforward. Compare the schemes of Atmega 328P and ESP-32.

Atmega328 vs ESP32

Yes, if you have a high skill of programming, then it is better to use the wireless technologies like ESP-Now, BLE and others. And use cloud computing and MQTT. But, to be honest, this will not improve the railway management system. Therefore, I insist on using simple solutions that each person can program independently. Therefore, the URB project will focus on the use of Arduino NANO. You can read more arguments here.

The next stage in the development of the project — wireless units will also use Atmega 328 together with the NRF24 radio module. The connection of several modules on the URB block (instead solid multyfunctional gadget), among other advantages, eliminates the need for programming network interfaces and other things, since these modules already have these functions and you do not need the code in the sketch for their operation.

The goal of the project remains the same — a convenient, simple and most understandable tool for creating electronics for your hobby.


4/17/2020

Simple start of URB Project

Application of ESP32 for railway control system

A lot of modelers asked me to make a project with the simplest set of hardware, without using separate modules and URB boards.
I still believe that using Arduino NANO is the most effective option for building a management system. But, as stated in the description of the project, you can use any microcontrollers.

If you want to control your train using my applications, without control over the elements of your layout, then I suggest you use the ESP32. Soon video about building the system on ESP32 DEVKIT and a special sketch for this chip.


4/15/2020

Final Wireless Railway Unit (WRU)

Wireless Railway Unit (URB 4.4)

4/14/2020

Waiting the gearbox motor for a turntable

tracker

4/7/2020

Many thanks to my Norwegian friend Erik for this gift!

Gift from Erik CNC 1310

CNC 1310


4/7/2020

My sad story


4/6/2020

I didn't think that my project refers to casual games

gameskeys.net

When I selected a category for my applications for publication in Google Play, then it was funny. There were few options, and none of them were suitable for my project. But now, thanks to Gabriel from GamesKeys.net, I know for sure — these are casual games :)


4/4/2020

Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender

Mail delivery failed

In March, only three people made a donation for the project. At the same time, the number of letters requesting to send a free sample of URB, write sketches for the project, provide advice and requirements for free testing of my applications was about a hundred.

But there are still absolutely irresponsible people who write letters to the address, while they themselves have either blocked the possibility of an answer, or even worse...
Today I received a letter from a certain Paul. His address simply does not exist!

So hello to the trolls! The new rule:
From now on, I will respond only to those letters whose authors will make a Donation of $ 1.

This rule does not apply to my friends and members of the URB Club.


3/30/2020

Hobbies of my friends

Arduino Train Tablet

3/29/2020

Final

Making turntable

3/28/2020

Progress 4

Making turntable

Original sliding contacts


3/27/2020

Progress 3

Making turntable

3/24/2020

Progress 2

Making turntable Making turntable Making turntable

3/23/2020

Progress 1

Making turntable

3/18/2020

Demo platform

Making turntable Making turntable

3/15/2019

The turntable testing completed successfully.

I had to radically change the design of the rotating platform. For a week I could not understand why the movement of the platform occurs with constant jerks, instead of smooth rotation. The problem turned out to be precisely in the design from Kibri. I have not seen a more terrifying design! It is the articulation of the four parts through plastic clip-clips at different heights and an oval shape with an offset (instead of the declared circular shape) of the plastic circle that led to this result.

 

As a result, I developed my own platform. Do not use anything from this model company. Agggrrr...


3/5/2020

Assembling big Turntable

Making turntable

2/29/2020

DIY gearbox for Turntable

Gearbox

2/22/2020

Test bench for stepper motor

Test bench for stepper motor

Before starting the assembly of the turntable, I put together a simple test stand. On it, I will adjust the rotation speed, accuracy and smoothness of the turntable stop.


2/20/2020

Soon new original turntable

Turntable details

I had an idea to make a turntable with IR sensors. I even reserved buttons for this in the DUO application. And now my friend Erik sent me a set of Kibri. The rest of the details, continuing the tradition of level crossing, are as affordable and cheap as possible. Wait for a series about making this device on my YouTube channel.

Thanks again, Erik!


2/16/2020

Thanks all my subscribers on YouTube!

900 YouTube subs

2/5/2020

I'm very thankful Donators for new monitor

New monitor

I began to see poorly. Each new video, a new version of PCB or updating sketches and the site became painful. My old Lenovo monitor was very good nine years ago, but now it was becoming impossible to look at it even with glasses.

Very thankful to the donors Heather, Per Arne, Jørn, Ken, Philip, Imre, Gerwin, Alain, Hugues and Sven Erik – your donations paid for me half the cost of a new monitor. Now I can do much more.

Compared monitors Compared monitors

1/28/2020

Track plan of the winner of the 2020 competition


1/20/2020

Original track plans for Contest 2020

Track Plan 1 Track Plan 2 Track Plan 3 Track Plan 4

1/16/2020

Big respect

Extended URB system

Many thanks to Tore L. Tangen for participating in the development of the project. Brilliant idea with tokens!


1/2/2020

URB Club updated

URB Club apps

12/30/2019

New app for Android Tablets is released. Only for Donators.

Arduino Train Tablet

12/28/2019

Soon at 2020. Your own automatic train control.

YouTube title

12/26/2019

Share your hobbies with loved ones! Happy New Year!


12/12/2019

How installation URB system

YouTube title

Soon the video instruction.


12/10/2019

Future of URB project

After talking with a lot of modellers interested in Arduino, I made several conclusions:

  1. The users of my project are not comfortable the concept of multiple files for one sketch.
  2. Plug-in external libraries are a problem for beginners.
  3. Many users overestimate their knowledge and their experience and immediately make a complex project, instead of breaking it into several parts and implement it into their railway system gradually.
  4. People (and I, too) ALWAYS make mistakes when creating a circuit and connecting wires.
  5. The most unexpected thing for me is that modellers are afraid to experiment with sketches and Arduino, and that’s why they cannot find and fix errors.
  6. Most users perceive the URB project as a wireless console for controlling one train, although it is a flexible control system for any railway layouts with capabilities superior to most proprietary systems.

To fix this, I’ll make a few changes on the site and create some new tutorial videos. This is important, also, because next year I will introduce a wireless URB unit. Sketches for which will be more difficult than existing ones. The remaining components of the system will remain unchanged – you can still use your applications. There will remained also be a choice between a classic URB 2.X unit and a wireless one.


12/9/2019

Protocol updated to verson 2.3.1

More automate control

Before the release of the DUO 5 application version, the list of automatic control commands has been expanded. No protocol changes will affect your sketches. No worries.


12/5/2019

DUO updated to version 4.1

Updated features DUO 4.1

Friends! I need feedback on my applications. If you have ideas or comments, write me a message. In the DUO update, the direction selection method has been improved and the AUTORUN1 button has been changed. Soon a video – how running AUTODRIVER scripts function using these buttons.


11/27/2019

Interlocking Games


11/14/2019

Soon scenarios

Scenarios plan

The last video from series "Arduino for modelers" will contain an example of a game with a script. An example in the figure. For your donations, I ordered a rail kit for new videos. Thanks you. After receiving these rails, a new series of videos with detailed scenarios with automatic and mixed control will be launched.


11/8/2019

Soon update DUO

More efficient and convenient UI. Scroll vertically instead of menu tabs. Changing the vertical position of the lever with a single swipe of the finger.


10/30/2019

More ideas about hide IR sensor

SMD IR Hide IR Module inside tree

10/24/2019

Arduino IR Sensor Module as Relay Cabinet

For a week I invented, assembled draft samples and tested a new final design of IR sensor module. The result was even better than I intended!

Railway relay cabinet Railway relay cabinet Railway relay cabinet Railway relay cabinet Railway relay cabinet Railway relay cabinet Railway relay cabinet

10/15/2019

3 episodes "Arduino for railway modellers" completed

Arduino for railway modellers See videos

9/26/2019

My thinking about users skill of Arduino

For several days I corresponded with modellers who are trying my project for the first time. And it turned out to be the most difficult to explain the method of applying the URB project. Ready-made examples with sketches are very popular, but it is they that block the possibility of adapting the project to the specific needs of the modeller and his unique railway layout. The main advantage of the URB management system – adaptability and flexibility remains unclear when applied to ANY ideas of a modellerby using ready examples.

This is a normal situation for beginners of the project, but a very big problem for me. Since after several successful attempts at repeating examples from the site, the modeller makes an error in the sketch or connection diagram and refuses the project. Thanks to the user Peter, in the dialogue with him I understood a simple thing: most do not associate the coding of sketches in my project with the Arduino programming language itself.

Therefore, I will nevertheless make a series of videos for beginners about programming sketches with links to official documentation of Arduino.


9/20/2019

See URB controlled layout on Modelljernbanemessen

modelljernbanemessen

Layout by Sven Eric


9/18/2019

New hardware for Donators

Mini URB

9/7/2019

Realistic sound – expalnations

URB sound files

9/5/2019

My smart railway things

Arduino crossing signal

9/4/2019

Update Arduino Train TNT for Donators is ready

The new interface, as in the DUO application. A app Train TNT implemented all functions of the Protocol 2.3. A new thing of the updated application is the vertical scroll of the screen. I really enjoyed managing my layout in this new way. Now you can set the rudder in a position convenient for you. Really cool!


9/2/2019

How to migrate to Protocol 2.3

Firstly change the speed array in the COMM sketch header:


// 24 speed
byte speedArrayA [] = {20,30,40,50,60,70,80,90,100,110,120,130,140,150,160,170,180,190,200,210,220,230,240,255};
byte speedArrayB [] = {20,30,40,50,60,70,80,90,100,110,120,130,140,150,160,170,180,190,200,210,220,230,240,255};
                        
and add the code to void setup():

// Set default direction to FORWARD
  digitalWrite(IN1_PIN, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(IN2_PIN, LOW); 
  digitalWrite(IN3_PIN, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(IN4_PIN, LOW); 
                        
After it replace function_Speed.ino in COMM folder.

Another way – use updated sketches from my site.


9/1/2019

All apps upgraded to Protocol 2.3

Unfortunately Google Play again delays the publication of updates to Junior apps series. At the same time, the DUO update is already available. It's little strange...

Soon there will be a lot of interesting things, since Protocol 2.3 has added many new features. Train sounds and turntable support and so on will be added.Applications for the tablet and TNT are now being tested. After completing the tests, all venerable URB club members will receive applications updated to Protocol 2.3


8/31/2019

Site content updated to Protocol 2.3

The amount of interesting information on the site has increased. As I promised, some of the materials from the URB club are now available on the main site – thanks to those who subscribed to my YouTube channel. That is my gratitude. Please support my project informationally, share it.


8/20/2019

App DUO supporting Protocol 2.3 is complete


8/18/2019

More simple power solution for an idea about use a Tablet instead indicate and control panel


8/17/2019

Idea for railway layout Tablet Indicator with wireless charger

Especially for Alain and Peter:)


8/16/2019

Final edition...


8/15/2019

Process


8/12/2019

For guru UI - set DUO elements before coding


8/11/2019

User Interface Study Result and Implications...


8/10/2019

Soon DUO - new UI like loco cabin, bigger buttons, inertia and classic control modes, Protocol 2.2 and more... DNT also will be refreshed.

And new icon for DUO app


8/8/2019

All new icons


8/6/2019

AI have four questions:

1. I’m uncomfortable with the vertical position of the acceleration / braking lever. The phone must be held with both hands! Return horizontal slider to bottom of screen?

2. Since I can now determine the status of the train in the application, you can add sounds. That is, the phone (tablet) will simulate sound through its speakers.

3. To Android, you can program the vibration of the phone for various events. There is an idea to add a one-time vibration when reaching speed 100. What other events (AWS signal, maximum braking, etc.) do you read important for such an indication?

4. Inertial motion ratios are now quite conservative. Acceleration and braking have a linear characteristic. I will change these settings in the future.

For example, in the next test version of the application, I will change the HEAVY settings to more extreme, that is, the acceleration of the train will be very slow. I need your feedback on this!


8/6/2019

How to use. 4-mode of drive. LOW, MIDDLE and HEAVY the inertia toggle.

Club members can test 24 speeds and inertial control now. The sketch file and a test application updated. Username and password as earlier.


8/4/2019

24 speed control. Protocol 2.3 complete.

Ok! Test App working fine! The new type of control running excellent, very similar to a real train. Some changes - the protocol will be expanded to 20-25 speeds, the neutral position of the directional lever will be canceled and by default the direction of movement will be forward.

 

Older posts see on my FB.