14 - 20 Oct
Two long days and all the turnouts/Tortoise/Wabbits are wired, tested, reconfigured and tested again. Looking at the Wabbits configuration you will see several (lots) if entries with an asterisk. The asterisk indicates entries that work as needed but are different than indicated by the Wabbit documentation.
Three of the turnouts need work to get the points to move up agents the rails.
Started to build the cables to connect the IR sensors to the Mega and Motor Shield. Cut the first ribbon cable and then discovered that the plug parts do not match, and I need a crimping tool. Delays.
Also discovered issues with Java on the Raspberry and NetBeans development environment. Delays.
Constructed, installed and cabled the 12 red/green LED boards indicating turnout state: clear (green) or turnout (red). I thought these would be helpful while developing control software.
Double checked all the turnouts and dropped the track. Applied power and ran a train! Discovered a dead track and two frogs reversed polarity. Need to finalize the design and build the four "parking lot" signals. Also need to redo my tool; it drags on the frogs and rail guards. Lots of work to do before the cabling parts arrive.
After several hours it is obvious that the way to check track and frog polarity is with DC not with DCC. Of course, that means disconnecting the six Wabbits (they are not built for 5vdc). With that I am down to two turnouts that don't go from CLEAR to THROWN and back well.
In the process I stepped on a cable and ripped a plug out of the Arduino MAGA. Part on order. Delays.
Using an Arduino UNO in place of the MEGA ran a loco over track, avoiding the two dodgy turnouts. Worked to correct two joints that tend to derail.
After sleeping on it, I realize there is a need for 24 more sensors to know when the turnouts are in the required state. The sequence is: 1) send a command to DCC++ to change a turnout, 2) DCC++ automatically returns status, 3) After 2-3 seconds the turnout is in the required state. There are not the required pins available for the extra sensors to know when the turnout is set. Driving software will need to include timers to delay the loco to give turnout time to move to required state.