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Control & Automation FAQ

1. How many 90 cm extension cables can be used between the controller and the switches? What is the maximum length before the voltage drops too low?

6 extension cables for Trixbrix switches and 4 for lego switches (more torque / voltage needed)

 

2. How many switches can you connect to a single output using splitter cables?

3 switches per output. Outputs are switched one after another (not simultaneously), so the amperage is always drawn from a single output.

 

3. If I connect 2 switches to a controller, could I control them independently, or the 2nd switch will change state together?

100% independent control of two switches connected to a single controller is not possible. Both switches are switched when you press the button on the controller.

 

4. Is there a DIY way to cut extension cables? All my wiring will be “underground” and it’s difficult to cope with all the excessive cable. Do you – by any chance – provide optional cables with shorter and/ or custom length?

We don't have custom length extension cables, we source them as they are sold. Anyway, it's a simple 3 wire cable (26AWG) finished with a male/female servo connectors (JR type). Both 26AWG cables and JR connectors are available virtually everywhere. It's good to have a crimping tool too, otherwise it's very cumbersome to attach the connectors to the wire.

 

5. Can you connect the automation to Arduino?

Yes, you can connect our automation with external I/O boards, for example Arduino Uno. A few examples follow.

Our servos are standard analog servos (PowerHD 1160A and 1800A), the angles are:
  • 58 - 100 deg. for switches
  • 30 - 128 deg. for boom barriers
The model of the optical sensor: TCRT5000

 

 

6. How many controllers in total can be linked by power transfer cables?

Up to 3 controllers powered by 1 supply, but it depends on the sophistication of the automation set. If you plan to max out each controller with 4 servos, then you should not switch points in multiple controllers at once. The worst that happens when there's too much power drawn is the controller reset so if that happens, this is a clear message to add more power supplies. You can use either ours, or a regular micro-usb power adapter with a rating of about 2 Amps. Each servo takes about 0.5 Amps when switched, but 0 after that, and the controller when rests, takes a very small current, so it's all about switching stuff simultaneously.,

 

7. Will I get a more detailed description or user guide with the items?

We plan to release a series of short films explaining the principle of operation of our automation products.

 

8. What distance to neighboring tracks need to be considered placing a train detector to work properly?

The train detector works on a very short distance: ~2cm. If you ever need to trigger an action on 2 parallel tracks you can connect multiple detectors through a splitter and position them at each track.

 

9.  I understand  that in boom barrier mode the leds blink alternately, but what's about the train signal masts in switch mode? Do they blink too?

In the switch mode one of two lights is on, after changing the state of the controller the opposite light comes on.

 

10. Do you plan to produce train signals with more leds (3 or 4, like IRL)?

No, we do not plan to produce train signals with more leds.

 

11. Do you plan to expand/develop automation system?

Yes, we plan to develop a new version of the controller.

 

 

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