Final Train Update (until next year)
Well, it finally works. For a while, anyway. I built a simple train garden with a loop around the outside and a windy piece of track that went through the center of a very sparse town. I eventually used photoresistors, two bright white LEDs shining at them, and the basic stamp’s RCTIME function to measure the resistance to detect when the trolley got to the end of the track. It worked pretty well for a while, but then something happened to the 5V transformer i was using to power the switching circuit and now it doesn’t work anymore. I’ll fiddle with it some, but now that I know what I need to do it should be a lot easier next year. The trolley also had problem with my hodgepodge of track that I’ve gathered over the years. Half the time the circuit woudl work fine, but the trolley would get stuck on the curved track and just stop moving. I may have to come up with a mod to this trolley and it’s -very- weak motor. Or, at least, invest in some new, cleaner track.
I also build some model houses for the garden for the town. It was the fist time since i was like 15 that I’d put together a model. I’d forgotten how much fun it was. I wound up using some Faller “Super Expert” Polystyrene glue that came in a bottle with a long needle tip, and man, it sure made putting those building together very easy. MUCH better than the old bottles of Testor’s glue I remember using. It’s probably due to the tip, which was very good at getting just the right amount of glue where I needed it. Good stuff.
All in all, it was a great experience, and I’m very glad I did it, even with the frustrating hours of work that went into getting that damn auto-reversing circuit to work. But work it does, and I was able to create something from scratch, and I learned quite a bit about myself in the process.