Model railways have tradition in our family. Since my elder brother possessed a model railway of the company Maerklin, it was an avowed goal to me, to construct a railway plant, too. So I built a model railway with the dimensions of 1.75m x 2.5m at the loft of my parents home. Very soon the wish raised to drive several courses on the plant independently and I decided to construct an electronically steered multi-course system. At that time my knowledge did not allow the project to exceed the test stage and due to lack of time and place the railway plant became mothballed. As head of the family I rediscovered my old locomotives and a new plant was developed. The electronically steered multi-course system now could be purchased. Because I did not want my old locomotives be located in the cabinet, I decided to realize a system based on Maerklin-Digital. Quite fast that digital system reached its limits because the number of the magnet articles like light signals and points could not be handled economically. So a computer control as well as a software was purchased. With this system individual locomotives can be controlled independently an the given plant.
Soon a new idea was born: Since the individual courses should not collide, one must know, which course is in which position. After research of different possibilities I decided to supply each locomotive by a barcode which can be detected by photoelectric light barriers mounted between the thresholds of the track at different places of the plant. The signals of the light barriers are evaluated by a micro controller and handed over to the control program at the computer.
Status of the project:
The analogue function of the course logging system could be proved experimentally. The light barriers and preamplifier are installed on the plant. An interpretative program was written in basic and \'C\' first, but has to be translated into a machine-coded program, when the micro controller is selected. The software binding to the program of the control computer is in the stage of idea collection.
|Copyright by Hans Joachim Ilgen seit 1950|