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'[OT] Fun ideas for a scale locomotive?'
2004\11\30@152235 by Mike Hord

picon face
Naturally, since I'm the sort of person who subscribes to/
actively participates in things like the PICList, I have
become the the "go-to" guy in my family for fixing broken
electronics.  Particularly toys.

I have an HO scale locomotive which had a minor electrical
fault.  Fixed it, and that's that.  But I can't shake the feeling
that I'd be a poor engineer if I didn't at least TRY to make
the thing a little, well, cooler.  I'm on a limited time frame,
because I need to return in within the next couple of weeks,
but I have time to spruce it up a little bit.

What should I do?  I've been thinking some blinking lights
might be fun, if a little uninspired.  A propeller, perhaps?
The child who owns it is almost 5, so he'd probably be
happy with anything exciting.

Mike H.
____________________________________________

2004\11\30@155815 by Jose Da Silva

flavicon
face
On Tuesday 30 November 2004 12:22 pm, Mike Hord wrote:
> Naturally, since I'm the sort of person who subscribes to/
> actively participates in things like the PICList, I have
> become the the "go-to" guy in my family for fixing broken
> electronics.  Particularly toys.
>
> I have an HO scale locomotive which had a minor electrical
> fault.  Fixed it, and that's that.  But I can't shake the feeling
> that I'd be a poor engineer if I didn't at least TRY to make
> the thing a little, well, cooler.  I'm on a limited time frame,
> because I need to return in within the next couple of weeks,
> but I have time to spruce it up a little bit.
>
> What should I do?  I've been thinking some blinking lights
> might be fun, if a little uninspired.  A propeller, perhaps?
> The child who owns it is almost 5, so he'd probably be
> happy with anything exciting.

Put a light in the caboose.

Voltage zero = stopped at station.
Voltage rises means train is leaving the station and starting to go
somewhere.
With a small delay, you could add some sounds.
Toot toot!
____________________________________________

2004\11\30@161754 by Josh Koffman

face picon face
Lights and sounds are always cool. However, make sure to give a way to
disable the sounds...the parents will thank you. Back when I was
caring for two kids, they seemed to love anything they could directly
control...so maybe a little wireless remote to turn on and off the
lights?

Josh
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

On Tue, 30 Nov 2004 14:22:34 -0600, Mike Hord <spam_OUTmike.hordTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

____________________________________________

2004\11\30@161757 by martinb

picon face
Amen. If none of us tinkered, wed all be driveing stanley steamers. Not
that it would'nt be cool, but I make my point...

Radio shack used to have a voice recording module and a voice synthesis
module. a voice recording module being simpler than a synth, but still
cool... " all aboard" and , "clear the tracks" come to mind.

For myself, i would tend to lean towards a realistic flame effect created
with a red led and the obligatory smoke generator...

Infrared wireles PWM motor speed control also comes to mind...

Best of luck,

Martin
>   But I can't shake the feeling
> that I'd be a poor engineer if I didn't at least TRY to make
> the thing a little, well, cooler.

____________________________________________

2004\11\30@163203 by M. Adam Davis

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face
If you have a spare motor controller and a PIC, then I'd make the thing
respond to a remote control.  There are a lot of options.  Put a switch
in to go from 'track controlled' to remote, or let the PIC decide when
to take over.  Build in a slow start so it acts like a real train with
momentum.  Add some simple sound effects with Roman Black's btc
algorithm http://centauri.ezy.net.au/~fastvid/picsound.htm

Very simple stuff could be using LEDs in the front and back so the front
turn on going forward, back going backward.  Maybe use a joule thief
type circuit to keep the lights on all the time even when the train
isn't running since there's usually a little voltage across the tracks
when plugged in.

Be aware that sounds lose favor with parents after awhile.  Perhaps
limit toots and chugs to a duty cycle of 10%.  For extra work, use a
dripping bucket model.  Every ten minutes he can make sounds for one
minute, but the minutes add up to a limit.  If not used for 20 minutes,
he can make noise for 2 minutes.  Requires some use of flash or eeprom
since they will learn quickly to reset the train by picking it off the
track.

Put magnets in the track, and put a transistor controller in the train
triggered by reed switches.  Each magnet slows and stops the train for
20 seconds (picking up passengers, getting water, etc) then it starts
again by itself.  Somewhat more interesting/amusing than a train that
goes full bore continusoulsy around a track.

Or use the magnets to trigger sounds/lights/etc as in many models of  old.

Buy a cheap tiny wireless camera from someplace like
www.compgeeks.com/details.asp?invtid=203C-50MW-N&cat=VID
for $40 and hook the reciever up to the tv.

-Adam

Mike Hord wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>_____________________________________________

2004\11\30@164315 by Richard.Prosser

flavicon
face

(Magic) smoke? - A bit tough to make it last for any length of time though!
maybe a chemical eng. type could advise here. I do remember smoke kits
fitted to electric trains.
Train sounding noises?
Sparks? - or at least a flashing white/orange/red led combo somewhere
inside the funnel - it is a steam train isn't it?


RP





Naturally, since I'm the sort of person who subscribes to/
actively participates in things like the PICList, I have
become the the "go-to" guy in my family for fixing broken
electronics.  Particularly toys.

I have an HO scale locomotive which had a minor electrical
fault.  Fixed it, and that's that.  But I can't shake the feeling
that I'd be a poor engineer if I didn't at least TRY to make
the thing a little, well, cooler.  I'm on a limited time frame,
because I need to return in within the next couple of weeks,
but I have time to spruce it up a little bit.

What should I do?  I've been thinking some blinking lights
might be fun, if a little uninspired.  A propeller, perhaps?
The child who owns it is almost 5, so he'd probably be
happy with anything exciting.

Mike H.





____________________________________________

2004\11\30@165511 by Robert B.

flavicon
face
> Buy a cheap tiny wireless camera from someplace like
> www.compgeeks.com/details.asp?invtid=203C-50MW-N&cat=VID
> for $40 and hook the reciever up to the tv.
>
> -Adam


I happened to be playing with a camera like the one you suggested last
night, and opened it up and took out the IR filter.  It makes a decent IR
camera if you do this and add a visible-light blocking filter.  I used some
developed but non-exposed pieces of film, which worked fairly well.  It's
still low-resolution and crappy wireless transmission, but I had a lot of
fun looking at the fireplace and other sources of IR last night.  So much
fun, in fact, that I'm trying to figure out how to remove the IR filter from
my JVC camcorder now!

To get the IR filter out, just unscrew the lense and with a small
razor-blade pop out the square piece of glass behind the lense.  It's kind
of reddish tinted 2-3mm square, and not too hard to get out.  Add a few IR
leds and viola! a camera that can see in the dark.

--------------------------------------------
Robert B.

____________________________________________

2004\11\30@170618 by Mike Hord

picon face
> (Magic) smoke? - A bit tough to make it last for any length of time though!
> maybe a chemical eng. type could advise here. I do remember smoke kits
> fitted to electric trains.
> Train sounding noises?
> Sparks? - or at least a flashing white/orange/red led combo somewhere
> inside the funnel - it is a steam train isn't it?
>
> RP

I think smoke might be a bit much, given the time frame.  It's not a steam
train, either. :-(

I do like the ideas mentioned by others of adding IR remote control, and
of starting the train slowly and adding a sound effects module.  The
Radio Shack sound module seems especially promising.  Thanks for the
wonderful ideas, guys!

Mike H.

Mike H.
____________________________________________

2004\11\30@171359 by Robert B.

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face
Try mixing up a 50/50 mixture of glycerine and water, then heating it with
some nichrome wire in a short length of capped copper pipe.  It's supposed
to smoke pretty good, but I've never tried it personally.  Adding more water
will make a lighter mist.  It might be a cool effect if you have the power
to run the heater.
--------------------------------------------
Robert B.


{Original Message removed}


'[OT] Fun ideas for a scale locomotive?'
2004\12\01@025111 by Robert Rolf
picon face

Mike Hord wrote:
>>(Magic) smoke? - A bit tough to make it last for any length of time though!
>>maybe a chemical eng. type could advise here. I do remember smoke kits
>>fitted to electric trains.
>>Train sounding noises?
>>Sparks? - or at least a flashing white/orange/red led combo somewhere
>>inside the funnel - it is a steam train isn't it?
>>
>>RP
>
>
> I think smoke might be a bit much, given the time frame.  It's not a steam
> train, either. :-(

Rats.
Smoke is easy. Radio Shaft sells fog glycol. A ni-cad cell
charged by the track and you have the current reserve needed
to heat a nichrome wire hot enough to boil the glycol and make
smoke.

> I do like the ideas mentioned by others of adding IR remote control, and
> of starting the train slowly and adding a sound effects module.  The
> Radio Shack sound module seems especially promising.  Thanks for the

Except that it was a 28 pin DIP.

Hallmark had some cheap greeting cards that you could record
your own message on. Cheap and ready to go.

Robert

____________________________________________

2004\12\01@041922 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>What should I do?  I've been thinking some blinking
>lights might be fun, if a little uninspired.
A propeller, perhaps?

Hmm, there was a German prototype before the war that had a propeller :)) It
has been modelled by European manufacturers.

>The child who owns it is almost 5, so he'd probably
>be happy with anything exciting.

Put a sound module in it. Using a PIC, and Olin's HAL code, digitise a
suitable WAV file and load it. Will drive the parents batty :))

____________________________________________

2004\12\01@043054 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Try mixing up a 50/50 mixture of glycerine and
>water, then heating it with some nichrome wire
>in a short length of capped copper pipe.

Essentially how the smoke units available for model trains work, except I
believe that it is actually an oil that they use which when heated goes into
smoke mode, like overheating oil in a frypan. I believe valve oil for brass
musical instruments also works well.

Most of the smoke units available are from a European company called Seuthe.
The same units are marketed by almost every model railroad company that has
the facility in their locos to fit them.

____________________________________________

2004\12\01@115655 by martinb

picon face

Cheap? Ready to go?

HA, i say and HAH again
A real engineer would design a voice synthesis module with a cell receiver
so that it could be reprogrammed with daily greetings from the
Grandparents.

Honestly, what kind of engineers are we producing today? :)

Martin ( the originator of the digital, automated, hydraulic walnut
sorter, sheller and shell pulverizer...)



> Except that it was a 28 pin DIP.


and your point would be?

you're not proposing a "simpler solution" are you?
> Hallmark had some cheap greeting cards that you could record
> your own message on. Cheap and ready to go.
>
> Robert
>


____________________________________________

2004\12\01@213758 by Jim Korman
flavicon
face
Robert Rolf wrote:

>
> Mike Hord wrote:
>
>>> (Magic) smoke? - A bit tough to make it last for any length of time
>>> though!
>>> maybe a chemical eng. type could advise here. I do remember smoke kits
>>> fitted to electric trains.
>>> Train sounding noises?
>>> Sparks? - or at least a flashing white/orange/red led combo somewhere
>>> inside the funnel - it is a steam train isn't it?
>>>
>>> RP
>>
>>
>>
>> I think smoke might be a bit much, given the time frame.  It's not a
>> steam train, either. :-(
>
Several problems with most model train smoke generators

  1. The oil that is used stinks.....
  2. You need to have a fairly high voltage on the track, (high speed)
  3. There's not much room in an HO scale locomotive

but on the positive side, I have seen smoke generators used on diesel
locomotive, but really the smoke just doesn't scale very well.

Jim



____________________________________________

2004\12\01@214500 by Herbert Graf

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face
On Wed, 2004-12-01 at 20:37 -0600, Jim Korman wrote:
> Several problems with most model train smoke generators
>
>    1. The oil that is used stinks.....
>    2. You need to have a fairly high voltage on the track, (high speed)

Shouldn't be a problem if you use DCC, which is becoming more and more
common these days. TTYL


-----------------------------
Herbert's PIC Stuff:
http://repatch.dyndns.org:8383/pic_stuff/

____________________________________________

2004\12\04@035955 by Peter L. Peres

picon face

On Wed, 1 Dec 2004 .....Richard.ProsserKILLspamspam@spam@Powerware.com wrote:

>
> (Magic) smoke? - A bit tough to make it last for any length of time though!
> maybe a chemical eng. type could advise here. I do remember smoke kits
> fitted to electric trains.
> Train sounding noises?
> Sparks? - or at least a flashing white/orange/red led combo somewhere
> inside the funnel - it is a steam train isn't it?

The smoke is made using a smoking oil and a heater onto which the hot oil
is dripped (nichrome wire spiral works). It is nothealthy and a permanent
fire hazard.

Peter
____________________________________________

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