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Model Railway elevator

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by oasis747, Apr 7, 2016.

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  1. oasis747


    Apr 7, 2016
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the forum and a bit of a novice but was seeking advice from anyone who can help me with a project.

    I am trying to use a linear actuator to raise and lower a shelf with model trains which is ok as the actuators and up/down remotes are readily available on eBay. The problem arises when I need to be able to control fairly accurately the stopping positions of the levels so the trains can go on and off. I have attached a link from youtube that is basically what I'm trying to achieve but can't find out how to program the actuator to stop at the levels.


  2. Minder


    Apr 24, 2015
    What type of motors are the actuators using?
    The fact it is operating very slowly I believe you may get away with a miniature sensor of some kind, the problem is that your controller is going to have to have some way of programming a certain level.
    You also don't mention detail as to what the system you are using consists of?
  3. Alec_t


    Jul 7, 2015
    Can you source actuators with built-in position-encoders?
  4. Bluejets


    Oct 5, 2014
    You could use these slot opto sensors.
    Mount the sensor on a fixed section and a vane on the moving section.
    In the past I have found similar ones from old printers to be repeatedly very precise.(within 1 thou inch on a travelling carriage)
    You will need some interface between these and your motor or whatever, perhaps logic level mosfet would be the easiest.
    Looks like you will need a few to cover the number of "shelves" you need and connect each to a different input on an Arduino.
    The "shelves" appear to be speed controlled also when it comes to the parking position it slows down which is why I suggested the Arduino.Not an easy project for a beginner but plenty of help out there.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2016
  5. Minder


    Apr 24, 2015
    There is also miniature prox sensors such as Honeywell S400 series, but system details need to be known?
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