For your Kids

Arduino Train for Kids


Redesign of a cheap set of a kid's railway into an intelligent train with control from the Android device. See also Arduino.hub or Arduino Train for Kids.

Testing IR sensor block

arduino IR sensor and train

After several experiments, it became clear that:

  1. The optimal arrangement of the sensor is horizontal.
  2. Problems with the reflection of the signal from the low black platform-car are solved only by the addition of a reflective coating.
  3. You can use the sensor in linear sections of the path, but you need to enter an additional algorithm for blocking multiple triggerings.
  4. Adjustment of the sensitivity of the variable resistor is convenient and sufficient.

More videos about experiments on my Facebook group.

Just for fun

house underglass

WOW effect on Facebook

funs model locomotive


I participate in two facebook groups about railway modeling. And each time the posts of people looking for a solution for control their trains disappear in the flow of garbage wow-posts. Like: See i have somthing old unfit... or... That is bored heritage worthy of attention. These posts get a lot of likes, and that's fine. But it's abnormal! To my thinking.

So I decided to arrange a provocation, and see what happens. A bit of glue, a wagon platform and a couple of fans from the computer. For reality, the wires are really connected and this useless design is buzzing and blowed the air. Now I put a photo of this in Facebook and see what happens :)

At the same time I post another post, in which there is a link to this site. It has solutions for most real problems in managing layouts.

As a result, at the time of writing: the post about fan-train - more than 50 likes, post about this site - 2 like. What am I doing wrong? I'm ready to the discussion on this topic here.

History project Application


Arduino Train - the new application line
Obsolete app

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Some guys, like Josh, reproach me for the fact that the video on my YouTube Channel is muddy and sloppy. I know, and I can do better! I need a good camera and the result will not make you wait.

Revolutionary update the site

November 9, I had redesign the site, I hope you like it.

Painful point?

I have to repeat myself, I'm not opposed to Open DCC, LOCONET, JMRI and other solutions. I'm just trying to explain the physical principle of DCC. And I suggest a simpler solution.

In DCС there is one terrible restriction - the physical impossibility of feedback. During the movement, the locomotive briefly loses contact with the rails, especially in rail to wheel chain. Therefore the command station DDС constantly broadcasts signals to all devices. You can remove the locomotive from the rails, put it on another path, and, to DDC management, the locomotive will still execute the commands of the digital console. Devices use a one-way method of communication. This decision was made to provide the modelers a transparent transition from analog to digital control.

Improvement of this technology is a DCC+ uses arbitration, routing, and an algorithm for recovering data loss. And it's quite difficult. So that, DDC automation is a little bad idea. In addition, it is old, expensive, complex and, one more drawback, closed for modelers.

Applying network technology like TCP/IP, and high-level program languages like Java (Loconet, partically JMRI) over DCC greatly complicates programming and development for the modelers. And the manufacture and configuration of equipment for such systems requires a lot of experience. In addition, in order for this to work, a computer is constantly needed.

And finally, the smoothness of the movement the loco, especially on the small speed,is provided not by "magic" of the DCC decoder, but by a good DС motor, better if it is multipolar. And PWM control here is also not very important, important loco chassis and good mechanical transmission to the wheels.

And this is only my opinion.

Little sketch

The sketch show how data is exchanged between app ArduinoTrain BtControl and Arduino.You will see all the commands sent to URB from the terminal Arduino IDE.


Do you need a DCC?

The question has very controversial. In fact, if the layout is done by block sections, then stopping the train before the traffic lights is easier to implement by the good old analog contact break on the rail. The main advantage of the digital decoder in locomotives (DCC) is revealed only in complex shunting operations on a mock-up with the participation of several locomotives, in other cases its advantages are not so obvious. Is't it?

Fans of the DCC will rightly note both the lighting effects of the locomotive and passenger cars, and the sound imitation, and the ease of connecting peripherals (junctions, semaphores, etc.), and the dynamics effects in the train movement, and... It's all?

In the classical analogue DC, before the advent of microcontrollers, too, everything was very difficult, or rather simply, but very painstakingly and long timely. And now Arduino appeared, convenient and easy to learn, with an excellent open software. Although the word "appeared" here is superfluous, the platform is already 14 years old. And here with perseverance worthy of the best application on its basis many guys try to build an copy of firm developments.

People! Arduino is big, and to it also it is necessary to add a motor-driver, and smooth supply power device. It will not fit into small locos, and as soon as you start using the microcontrollers themselves, without Arduino boards, all the advantages of this platform immediately come to naught. And if you look at the truth, you try to repeat design of Bachmann, Hornby, ROCO and others. What for? Better them you will not do!

So maybe it's not necessary? Well, will the lights on the trains glow only during the movement - is it really that important? It seems to me that flexibility, speed of assembly, ease of control of logic at all stages and pleasure from the result is much more important, and the budget is completely different.

Really thanks donators!

With your support I moved the site to a new domain. From October 1, will not be developed further and will be closed in December.

Special thanks to Bozo, Leslie, Roy Andreassen and Daniel!