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I've got my first turnout working with a servo driving it. 

An Arduino is controlling the servo. It is listening and responding to DCC accessory commands and local push buttons.

The main problem was getting the servo to connection to the turnout working. I used a wire in tube system proposed by IanR 10 years ago. The wire I had was too stiff. I bought some softer stainless steel wire and that works much better. The other problem was I'd got confused with my code and was making changes to the wrong servo, so not making any changes at all.

I'm going away for a few days tomorrow, so progress will pause until next week.

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  • 2 weeks later...


I got the other two servos working with the DCC accessory controller. All three are now working. They are usually controlled by DCC commands. I also have push buttons to throw them. I've actually got two push buttons for each. One panel of two buttons is next to the crossover and the other panel with two buttons is adjacent to the siding turnout. This means I can throw the both the crossover and the siding from both locations without having to walk from one to the other. I like it a lot. This is an temporary solution, which, with a software update will be able to be switched to a new system 

I needed to get the double slip  installed in Emble June. motorised. No point putting the car door locking motors back in or more DCC Accessory controllers. It was time to start installing a Layout Control Bus on Amblethorpe and transition away from DCC for controlling accessories.

I've converted my tramway over to a Layout Control Bus last year, and have started installing one on ems mates layout. This means I'm familiar with the electronics side. The bigger challenge was getting a 10 meter cable out from my controlling Raspberry Pi to Emble June and installing the servo linking mechanism.

The install went better than I expected. One of the servo linkages took a bit of time to get throwing, but the other there went in simply. I had and issue with voltage drop which mean there wasn't enough power and the Arduino switched off and on. One of the servos was working too hard. An adjustment to it's settings sorted the problem. But I think voltage drop will be a recurring problem. I'll probably change from 5volts to 12 and put in a 5v regulator on each node on my layout control bus.

It's all installed under the baseboard. I'll find out how it deals with the outdoors. A plastic food tray is offering the electronics some protection. The whole setup cost less than £20 so replacing a component or two isn't going to break the bank.

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On 04/09/2013 at 08:59, chris said:

The promised pictures.

This shows the state of the plywood boards (back in June)


I used correx to replace the ply. This piece was salvaged from an advertising hoarding from a rugby ground (it was advertising Northern Rail!).


Halfords aerosols were used and abused.


The ply was removed, exposing the fence, which my neighbour ignores the hints I give him to replace it.


The correx was screwed in place and it's a big improvement.


This Corex lasted 9 years. It had gone brittle, so yesterday I removed it and replacing a 6 meter length.

My style has of sky has changed to a more cloudy look over the years. This has everything to do with using less blue paint and cheaper grey and white. It also looks better.


Today I need to find my pan scrubs stash and create a 6m line of shrubs.

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My mate has printed me a ramp for my platform end. Much easier than faffing around cutting up a plastic chopping board to make them. The other end is being printed now and is a more complex design. I've painted the bathroom floor tiles for the platform surface. I should be able to instal them tomorrow.


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Looking good. (might have a H & S problem with passengers falling of platform down the steps) I was taking note of your point work and the wiring. That is something I will have to give a lot of thought to for a latter date.

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I had my station buildings on the workbench this week. They are 10 years old and two had faded badly. I removed all the windows, stripped the paint of the frames and re painted with white lacquer. New glazing was cut from acetate. I used weathering techniques to give the building a similar tone and painted the fittings a Northern Rail midnight blue. To fix it all in place before they get hit by rain and sun I gave them a light spray of clear lacquer.


That’s the platforms and buildings of Brymouth finished. I need to add some detailing in the form of fencing along the back and people etc. around the buildings. I’m adding a small compound of cabins beside the platform end. Mainly to fill a gap on the baseboard. My aim is to have all the space between the outer track and the back scene fully scenic. 

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