House lights for model railway

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Nippy
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:20 am

House lights for model railway

Post by Nippy » Sat May 28, 2016 11:15 am

Hi! Can anyone advise what module(?) driver (?) or shield(?) I would need to create a 4xLED random on/off light for 4 houses on a HO railway set up?
I would like to have between 1 - 4 house LEDs light up (only 1 LED/house). Sometimes have a random 2, 3 or all 4 LEDs light for random lengths of time. BTW, I am a complete novice with this stuff. Any help at all appreciated. Thanks

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stryker
Posts: 246
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: House lights for model railway

Post by stryker » Sat May 28, 2016 12:08 pm

Hi Nippy

Staring with the 'how', the Arduino can certainly drive 4 LEDs with random lighting. It's overkill in many respects, but you'll be able to do that and more over time so it's not a bad way to go if you think in future you may want it to do more.

To get started and learn about blinking LEDs, random actions etc you've got the examples explained at arduino.cc. There are also some excellent tutorial series around the interwebs, for example these at tronixstuff.com or this video series by Jeremy Blum.

There's nothing too much additional to the Arduino itself you'd need for your project. Presuming you start with an Arduino Uno (or Freetronics Eleven) one of these proto sheilds here or here will just serve as a place to solder your additional components to, including hte leads which run away to the LEDs mounted in your buildings. For 4 LEDs, you could power them directly from the Arduino for the simplest setup. For testing you could hold off buying the proto shield and just poke the wires directly into the Arduino headers too.

All the best with your project, Geoff

Nippy
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:20 am

Re: House lights for model railway

Post by Nippy » Sat May 28, 2016 11:41 pm

To Stryker,

Thanks for the quick reply. Is what I want to do overkill? Is there a simpler circuit I could use?
Again, thanks.
Nippy

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stryker
Posts: 246
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: House lights for model railway

Post by stryker » Sun May 29, 2016 7:32 am

Nippy wrote:Thanks for the quick reply. Is what I want to do overkill? Is there a simpler circuit I could use?
Hi Nippy,

There will always be a simpler way to do it, but for a beginner I completely recommend doing it with an Arduino as you're thinking.

Geoff

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