Electronic Components/Train Toy Design.

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QUESTION: Dear Deirdre

Is the following Train Toy Design from my side feasible to be constructed/manufactured ?.

1. Circular Track i.e. Concentric Circles. Two large concentric circles having larger radius. A Single Train running on the Circular Track. i.e. on the Two concentric circles. The circles having five points namely Station Point A, Station Point B, Station Point C, Station Point D, Station Point E which are equidistant placed on the concentric circles.

2. Electric - Batteries Operated Train.

3. Remote control accessory. The Remote control will have four buttons namely Program 1, Program 2, Start, Stop.

4.Operation :

User clicks on the Start Button. On clicking on Start Button, the Train will move to Station Point A.
By clicking on Program 1 button on the remote control, The Train will start from Station Point A, travel to Station Point B wait for 1/2 a minute (30 seconds), then travel to Station Point C wait for
1/2 a minute (30 seconds), then travel to Station Point D wait for
1/2 a minute (30 seconds), then travel to Station Point E wait for 1/2 a minute (30 seconds), then travel to Station Point A. This will complete one revolution. Unless and Until the User doesn't press the Stop Button on the remote control, the train will continue its circular motion. As soon as the User presses the Stop Button, the Train wherever it was on the circular track will move to Station Point A.

5.Operation :

User clicks on the Start Button. On clicking on Start Button, the Train will move to Station Point A.
By clicking on Program 2 button on the remote control, The Train will start from Station Point A and continue its motion without halting at Station Point B, Station Point C, Station Point D, Station Point E and Station Point A. Unless and Until the User doesn't press the Stop Button on the remote control, the train will continue its circular motion. As soon as the User presses the Stop Button, the Train wherever it was on the circular track will move to Station Point A.

Regarding the above design, would you like to add more for functionality viz adding traffic signals, different geometrical shape than circular track, musical sound played when train in motion etc ?  

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: There are many reasons that people enjoy model railroading. Some like to make layouts with incredible amounts of detail and realism. Some like to model their layouts after existing systems, adding round-houses, turntables, etc. Some like to recreate railroads of the past. And some like to construct their own locomotives and cars. Some modelers who construct very realistic layouts will build locomotives with video cameras, and will watch the journey of their locomotive on a television or send these videos to friends.

A particular layout, such as you describe, might resemble some existing system, and the remote conntrol and automation, would be more valuable if it were in a common gauge (HO, N, Z, O, etc.), if users could reconfigure it, and if users could alter the programming. This way, they could more easily customize it to their own needs.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Deirdre

Thank you.

Is it possible also to program and alter the train speed in meters/second
within the Train Toy Design ?

i.e. On the remote control accessory, i fixed control buttons for altering the speed as 10 meter/second, 20 meter/second, 30 meter/second, 40 meter/second etc. That way the speed of the train will vary.

At 40 meter/second speed, the train will be running at the maximum speed and at 10 meter/second speed, the speed will be the lowest.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
Model railroads use trains with DC motors. The DC voltage on the track usually controls the speed of the train, though there are exceptions.
Most model railroaders expect an analog-like control of train speed. When assembling trains in a freight-yard, the engines are moving very slowly.

A speed of 10 meters per second is quite fast - about 20 miles per hour. A speed of 40 meters per second would be actually dangerous - almost 100 miles per hour. Even if you are speaking of scaled speeds, model railroaders would need better control, especially at the low end. If it were to be controlled digitally, at least 64 or 128 steps would be required.

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Deirdre Hebert

Expertise

I can answer most questions regarding electronic components, what they are and how to use them.

Experience

I worked for a number of years in the electronic component testing industry, designing and building automated test equipment for the electronic manufacturing industry.

Publications
Numerous technical manuals for the equipment we built.

Education/Credentials
UNH, CCAF and others

Past/Present Clients
General Electric, Motorola, Ford, Sensonor and others.

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