Using Arduino microcontrollers, there are a lot of ways of controlling model railway layouts. A keyboard has a great advantage of having a lot of keys to add a lot of functions. Here let's see how can we start with a simple layout with locomotive and turnout control. This is an upgraded version of one of my previous projects. So, without further ado, let's get started!
Step 1: Watch the Video
Step 2: Get All the Stuff
For this project you will need:
- An Arduino microcontroller board.
- An Adafruit motor driver shield V2.
- A female PS/2 connector(Get the one shown in the picture, it will make work easier.)
- 4 male to male jumper wires(For connecting the female PS/2 connector to the Arduino board.)
- 4 male to male jumper wires(2 for each turnout.)
- 2 male to male jumper wires(For connecting the track power.)
- 12-volt DC power source with a current capacity of at least 1A(1000 mA).
- A PS/2 keyboard(USB one will not work!)
- A suitable USB cable for programming the Arduino board.
Step 3: Program the Arduino Board and Plug on the Shield
Get the library for PS/2 keyboard from here.
To install the library for Adafruit motor shield, goto Sketch>Include library>Manage libraries and search for Adafruit motor shield V2 library, install it and you're good to go.
Step 4: Identify the Pin Connections of the PS/2 Connector and Connect It to the Arduino Board
Using a multimeter set to continuity test and using the given picture as a reference, mark the pinouts of the PS/2 connector/extension cable wires and make the following wiring connections between the PS/2 connector and the Arduino board:
- Connect the 'CLOCK' wire to pin D2.
- Connect the 'DATA' wire to pin D3.
- Connect the 'GND' wire to pin 'GND'.
- Connect the '+5-volt/VCC' wire to +5-volt pin.
Step 5: Connect Wires to the Motor Output Terminals
Step 6: Set Up a Test Layout
Step 7: Connect the Motor Output Wires to the Turnouts and Track Power
Double-check all the wiring connections and make sure no wiring connections are loose.
Step 8: Connect the Keyboard to the PS/2 Connector
Step 9: Place the Locomotive and Some Rolling Stock on the Tracks
Step 10: Connect to Power and Turn It On
Step 11: Sit Back With Your Keyboard and Operate Your Layout
Step 12: Go Further!
There are a lot of buttons left on the keyboard. Go ahead and try adding more turnouts and functions to your layout. Whatever you do, don't forget to keep trying new stuff and happy model railroading!