Well, Terry Terrance has done it again. After watching a video he posted recently and reading his description of the circuits he used to create a Back ‘n Forth Shuttle, I had to rush out and buy some photoelectric sensors. The idea, of course, is to position these at ends of tracks to sense when a train gets to the end of its run. Combine that with the relays mentioned in an earlier post and either the Raspberry Pi or some other controller, and I should be able to completely automate a small shelf switching layout. Such as my EuroNook.
What I need to do now is get building. The programming really shouldn’t be very hard – just sense the train when it crosses the sensor, set the switches to whatever desired position, and then send the appropriate power to the tracks to make the loco move. My problem is that I am much more comfortable with that programming and electrical part of the build than with the actual creation of the little layout. I am sure it would be exactly the opposite for a lot of folks, but putting knife and glue and paint to wood and such is a whole lot harder for me than programming.
If only all of life was as easy as just hooking up a few sensors and then reacting to what they tell you. If “train” then “buy”. If “cat” then “pat”. If “wife” then “apologize”. See how simple?