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QUESTION: Dear Frank

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: Thank you for your question.  The answer is probably no for a battery operated train. If on the other hand the train was electric, picking up current and computer signals from the track, it probably could be done under computer control.    Remote control is rarely possible with battery operated trains, unless you use radio control.Unfortunately radio control is not one of the areas of my expertise, so I won't speculate further. Having the train pick up power and control signals from the track would be far easier.  DCC (Digital Command Control) allows many trains to run on the same tracks all being controlled by digital signals fed down the tracks from a controller.  Speed , direction, lighting and locomotive sounds can all be fed to the locomotive.  The locomotive carries a computer chip which deciphers the commands and can have a speaker for sounds. Lighting can also be controlled.  The controller can be hooked to a computer which could program the stopping and starting of the train, as you wished.  I would suggest you read further information on model trains using DCC. Here is a link to one system called Hornby Railmaster.
http://www.hornby.com/hornby-dcc/hornby-railmaster/
Frank

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

QUESTION: Dear Frank

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
Hi!   With DCC control you can alter the speed of each train all the way from a crawl to a speed probably higher than that which the real train operated.  Moreover you have control over the acceleration rate and deceleration rate or amount of braking.  You can set both values and also the top speed of each locomotive.  One controller can run any number of locomotives as each locomotive responds only to those commands sent to it by preceding each command with a set of digital identifiers which you program ahead of each command.  You can pull up on the display of the hand held controller even an image of which locomotive you wish to control.  Buttons on the controller give the operator the ability to choose locomotives; control speed, direction, acceleration/deceleration rates, sounds (whistles, horns, prime mover sounds, exhaust sounds, coupling and brake sounds, etc). You can also control the switching of tracks and points by computer control from the hand held controller.  Here are some links to makers of DCC systems.
http://www.digitrax.com/
http://www.ncedcc.com/home.html
www.bachmanntrains.com/home.../EZ_Command_instructions.pdf
www.hornby.com/hornby-dcc/
www.lenzusa.com/
There are many more manufacturers of DCC systems, in Europe, United Kingdom, United States and probably they are available in your country.  The locomotives can be purchased already with controller chips already installed, or the modeler can purchase chips to install in his owned models.  Different gauges require different sized chips.
I hope this helps.
Frank.  

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Frank Edgcombe

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I CAN NOT DIAGNOSE equipment problems or ESTIMATE DOLLAR VALUES of your equipment, by email. I have been active in model railroading for forty years. I can answer, or find answers, to questions on most aspects of model trains, railroad equipment or buildings. I have a good knowledge of prototype railroads. I have been employed by five model railroad equipment manufacturers/suppliers and worked for a prototype railroad. I have served, twice, as the president of a local model railroad club. I have been employed as a Reference Librarian, at a university, for the last fifteen years and am used to tracking down resources for patrons.

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