Strange IDEA for a remote switch.

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Dansco, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    Feb 26, 2007
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    OK, In another thread I talked about using robotics boards to control servos for switch machines, which got my silly brain working..

    Iv not tried this idea in RR but Iv seen it done for remote actuation.

    Very simple idea, needs flushing out of course.

    • take 2 small DC motors. Cheap..
    • Connect them directly to each other, no batteries just wires.
    • Connect one to linkage to move your points.
    • Mount the other on your control panel and stick a knob on it.
    • When you turn the "motor" with the knob, it becomes a generator, which then drives the other motor which moves your points.

    Some interesting features of this:
    As there is energy loss (sorry, I cant reveal the secrets of perpetual motion at this time:mrgreen:), you will need to move the knob MORE than you need to move the switch. Could be a Good thing?

    You should have a tactile feeling when the switch moves, more physical resistance will make the knob feel "tighter." Maybe when the actuator motor hits the positive stop, you will feel it in the knob?

    The switch machine speed will be proportional to how fast you turn the knob. So if you feel like slow motion, then turn slowly. I imagine that you will have to turn the knob at a certain speed to get over the mechanical resistance and get the other motor turning, so proportionality might not be there in the low end.

    Further ideas:
    Add a capacitor and a diode for warning lights. Wont stay lit for long, but at least signal that the switch is changing?

    Use linkage rather than a knob and have a lever throw!

    Or a "winding" knob like the crank used in army radios in old movies.

    Using a smaller motor on the knob could require several turns to open, close the switch.

    Done.. whew, I got that out.
  2. seanm

    seanm Member

    Oct 11, 2004
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    This is a very interesting idea! I like the way you think. This is not something I would have ever thought of. Have you tested it out at all?? I would be interested in hearing more as you develop this idea. Good show!!