Fun with Arduino - a Series of Introductory Videos

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

#21
Fun with Arduino 18 Railway Crossing, Servo Motor to Operate the Gate

In part 2 of the railway crossing project we are going to connect the servo motor that operates the gate and control it with the Arduino. With the example in the video, the gate beam is mounted directly on the servo. On a layout, the servo motor will probably be mounted under the board, and a metal rod pulls / pushes the beam up and down, through a hole. No matter how it is mounted ... we need to find the correct servo angles. We will write some code with which we can fine tune the servo to find the angles to be used in the code later on.


Fun with Arduino 18 Railway Crossing, Servo Motor to Operate the Gate


 
#22
Fun with Arduino 19 Railway Crossing Train Detection with Optical Sensor

There are several ways to do train detection, like sensing rail current, or a magnet under the train that triggers reed switches along the track, or with an optical sensor. The latter is used in this video, only because I had some TRCT5000's lying around and they were easy to setup for a demo. As soon as we have them working, we have some fun with them by making a train speed measurement device.


Fun with Arduino 19 Railway Crossing Train Detection with Optical Sensor


 
#23
Fun with Arduino 20 Railway Crossing Putting it all Together

We have seen the separate ingredients for a level crossing in the previous three videos: blinking LEDs, servo to operate the gate, sensors to detect the train ... it is time to put it all together now into one piece of software. We'll use the State Transition Diagram as our starting point and build up the software in 5 easy to follow steps.


Fun with Arduino 20 Railway Crossing Putting it all Together

Railway Crossing UK version


 
#24
Fun with Arduino 22 Step Sequencer for LEDs with array[] and for() loop

A police car, fire fighter car or an ambulance with flashing lights can liven up any model railway laout. The challenge that we set ourselves is not to have to write different code any time we want another flashing pattern. We want to hav one and the same code and we only want to configure the number of stepd, number of LEDs and the flashing step sequence. Can we manage that? Yes of course we can ...


Fun with Arduino 22 Step Sequencer for LEDs


 
#25
Fun with Arduino 23 Neopixel Addressable LED, WS2812, struct{...}

Neopixels, or addressable LEDs, are color LEDs with a built in chip that takes care of the one wire data communication and of the Pulse Width Modulation for the built in RGB(+W) LEDs. The LEDs are connected via just 3 wires, GND, 5V, Data. The Data line is connected to an Arduino output and we can control the color and brightness of multiple LEDs, via just one output. Wonderful to use in say a village with multiple houses on our model railway layout. The wiring is super simple and the lights in every house switch independently and can each have their own color an brightnes ... just like real.


Link to Fun with Arduino 23 Neopixel Addressable LED, WS2812, struct{...}


 
#26
Fun with Arduino 24 Neopixel Sequencer with Flexible Timing and Colors

In video 23 we made a step sequencer for addressable LEDs (Neopixel). The beauty of it is that a LED on/off sequence is created in a visual way by editing a series of ‘1’s and ‘0’s: 1,1,1,0,0,0,1,1,0,0,1,0,1,1,0,0. The drawback being that the color of every LED is fixed and also the interval time is fixed. The sequencer in this video has full flexibility, every action step has its own timing and LED color / brightness.


Link to Fun with Arduino 24 Neopixel Sequencer with Flexible Timing and Colors


 
#27
Fun with Arduino 25 Rotary Encoder with Switch

A rotary encoder is a digital device, approximately the size of an analog potentiometer. When rotated, it generates 2 pulse signals from which we can deduct the number of rotation steps and the direction of rotation. It also has a push button on board. When connected to the Arduino we can read out the encoder and change the value of a variable. The variable can be used for anything we like: control the brightness of a LED(strep), control the angle of a servo motor, and more.

In this video we build the software to read out the encoder and switch and control the brightness of a LED (via PWM). In the next video we are going to beuild a servo tune application based on it.


Fun with Arduino 25 Rotary Encoder with Switch


 
#28
Fun with Arduino 25 Rotary Encoder with Switch

A rotary encoder is a digital device, approximately the size of an analog potentiometer. When rotated, it generates 2 pulse signals from which we can deduct the number of rotation steps and the direction of rotation. It also has a push button on board. When connected to the Arduino we can read out the encoder and change the value of a variable. The variable can be used for anything we like: control the brightness of a LED(strep), control the angle of a servo motor, and more.

In this video we build the software to read out the encoder and switch and control the brightness of a LED (via PWM). In the next video we are going to beuild a servo tune application based on it.


Fun with Arduino 25 Rotary Encoder with Switch


Hmm, might be just the thing for stepper motor movement of turntable.
 
#29
Fun with Arduino 26 Tune a Servo with a Rotary Encoder

In the previous video we wrote code to read out the pulses and the switch of a rotary encoder. We are now going to use this to tune a servo motor.

With every mechanical construction where a servo is used to move something (garage doors, a gate beam, a turnout), the minimum and maximum servo angles need to be found for the construction to operate like we want it to. In this video we are going to build a 'servo tuner' to find those angles.

Fun with Arduino 26 Tune a Servo with a Rotary Encoder


 
#30
Fun with Arduino 27 Recognize Slow / Fast Rotation of Rotary Encoder

The Servo Tuner that we built in the previous video can be enhanced with two features:
1: Recognition of slow or fast rotation of the rotary encoder, to be able to increment the motor with small steps or with larger steps.
2: Recognition of short or long press of the button, to be able to move to the min/max angles or to the midpoint of the servo.
In this video we will have a look how we can add these functions.

On the blog there's also code available to operate the Servo Tuner with a wire or with push buttons, in case you don't have a rotary encoder available.

Link to Fun with Arduino 27 Rotary Encoder Slow / Fast Recognition


 
#32
Fun with Arduino 29 DCC Accessory Decoder

With the aid of very little extra hardware we can use Arduino as a DCC decoder, with a price tag that is almost 10x lower than commercially available decoders. In this video we create a DCC Accessory Decoder. In the next video we'll make a DCC Servo Decoder.

In stead of DIY, alternatively you can use the ARCOMORA software, which is fully configurable via a user interface.


Link to Fun with Arduino 29 DCC Accessory Decoder


 





ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Top