Using R/C Servos for turnout actuation.

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Steve S

Member
Geoff Bunza shows how to control up to 17 servos with an Arduino Mini Pro for about $5 (not counting the cost of servos.)

[video=youtube;iAJFDnmD7YE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAJFDnmD7YE[/video]

Steve S
 
N

NP2626

Guest
O.K., first of all, how do I say Arduino? Then, where do I buy this item? My guess is that in this instance we are controlling the servos via a DCC link, something I don't feel a strong urge to do. However, if this thing was to be easy to install, use and cheap, I might be interested.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
Things seem to be getting out of hand! I started this thread asking very specifically what I was interested in. I am somewhat of a ludite, I don't want to control turnouts via DCC. This would be a change to how I currently operate and I simply don't need to go down another new road, again! Possibly, because I am not interested in using a hand held throttle to operate, using R/C servos may not be an option for me.

I understand that many of you are interested in the DCC actuation of your turnouts. I am posting a new thread where you can talk about the DCC method of controlling turnouts with your Arduino whatevers to your heart's content.
 

railBuilderDhd

Active Member
NP
Sorry to have misdirected your thread. I had never intended on having the subject get to the point it was out of hand. I felt the subjects of both turnout controls were alike so it wasn't out of place having these together. But I understand your point and how each just gets lost together. Good call on starting a new thread.
Just know I never wanted meant to take over your discussion.

Dave
 
N

NP2626

Guest
NP
Sorry to have misdirected your thread. I had never intended on having the subject get to the point it was out of hand. I felt the subjects of both turnout controls were alike so it wasn't out of place having these together. But I understand your point and how each just gets lost together. Good call on starting a new thread.
Just know I never wanted meant to take over your discussion.

Dave
No problem Dave. I just felt there were going to be more people interested in doing it via DCC actuation, than doing it my old fashion Ludite method!
 

jdetray

Well-Known Member
No problem Dave. I just felt there were going to be more people interested in doing it via DCC actuation, than doing it my old fashion Ludite method!
One important factor in the non-DCC solution from Tam Valley Depot (their Octopus board). If you ever DO wish to control turnouts with DCC, they sell a $20 add-on for the Octopus that adds DCC capability. So you can be a Luddite now and a high tech wizard later without obsoleting any equipment!

- Jeff
 

Red Oak & Western

Active Member
Let me add again -- I am a fan of Tam Valley products. I have several and they are great. I chose to use Arduinos for my turnout control solely because I love to tinker. That's the great thing about the current state of model railroading: there are a whole bunch of different ways to achieve a goal.
 
N

NP2626

Guest
R dwee (rhymes with whee) no

Many, many sellers on eBay, as well as experimenters' and makers' suppliers (Allied, Newark, etc.). Here's one in the US with good prices -- http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-UNO-R3-A...AAAOSwB09YK75I

Thanks for explaining how to say Arduino!

Now, can I redirect this thread to be for Non-DCC Actuated Turnouts? I guess if Tam Valley supplies everything I need, to actuate my servo powered turnouts, there maybe nothing further to discuss about Non-DCC Acctuated Turnouts, unless there are other methods that others might like to explain? Please remember that I have provided another thread here in the Gen. Discussion topic on Activating Servo powered Turnouts with DCC. Thanks!
 
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jdetray

Well-Known Member
There are vendors other than Tam Valley for servo-based turnout control systems. A Google search will uncover them. I have never used or even seen any of the alternative products, so I can't compare them to Tam Valley.

- Jeff
 

railBuilderDhd

Active Member
I was thinking more about this and I wanted to know if you wire the servos to run from a DCC decoder can you also have a button on the side of the layout to throw the turnout if you want to override the DCC or work in conjunction with the DCC controller?

OK I just read the Tam Val and see they have just what I wanted. The Singlet II Servo Decoder is perfect. Now if I can program the Arduino to do this I'll have just what I want.

Dave
 
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Red Oak & Western

Active Member
The Singlet II Servo Decoder is perfect. Now if I can program the Arduino to do this I'll have just what I want.
If you use the TVD Singlet, you do not need an Arduino for the same turnout. The Singlet performs the same function (sending pulses to the servo motor) as the Arduino would.
 

railBuilderDhd

Active Member
Kevin,
Yes, and I may end up using the TVD Singlet but after programming the Arduino it would be much cheaper then the TVD boards. Not sure it would be much work to get them working as well. That is what I have to figure out next.

Dave
 

Red Oak & Western

Active Member
Here's where you need to do some cost/benefit analysis. You would need 2 Arduino boards, plus the parts to build the DCC interface and panel indicators. With the cost of UNO's currently running about $3.50, you're looking at about $12.00 to get the first DCC controlled turnout up and running. Then add the need to build the interface on a protoboard and program both Arduinos. Compare that to the cost of a Singlet kit at $15.95, when, once assembled, its virtually plug and play.

I went the Adruino route because I love tinkering with electronics - remember I've been doing that for 45+ years.
 

jdetray

Well-Known Member
The Tam Valley Quad boards control 4 servos each and also allow you to add a button (fascia controller) for each turnout. I've done exactly that on my layout. So I can throw turnouts either from the pushbuttons on the fascia or from my NCE Power Cab.

Using the Quad boards is less expensive per turnout than using Singlets.

- Jeff
 

jdetray

Well-Known Member
There you go, trying to confuse Dave by giving him more options to think about! :cool:
Let me say this about that!

For sheer simplicity, the Singlets are probably the way to go (in the Tam Valley product line). You're only working with one turnout at a time -- easy-peasy.

To save some dollars, the Tam Valley Quad boards are the way to go, but you're controlling 4 turnouts with each board -- slightly more complicated.

Now, to really complicate things, Tam Valley is not the only maker of servo control systems for model railroads! I have not used any of the others, but they include:

ANE Model - http://www.anemodel.com/
ESU - http://www.esu.eu/en/products/switchpilot/switchpilot-servo-v20/
Berrett Hill - http://www.berretthillshop.com/store/products/servo-control-base/
Iowa Scaled Engineering - http://www.iascaled.com/
MegaPoints - http://megapointscontrollers.com/megapoints/
Team Digital - http://www.teamdigital1.com/

I apologize for providing too much information!

- Jeff
 




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