Welcome to MattzoBricks Forums MattzoBricks General Forum Fiddle yard/ Schattenbahnhof; remote control; ideas

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    • #5781
      Max T.Max T.

      My layout is pretty much at the maximum now, incl. 31 switches and 4 trains everything controlled with mattzo controllers with rocrail. The layout has two reverse loops (deu: Kehrschleifen) so it can be fully used bidirectional, without ever having to drive backwards. Which is a lot of fun to play with. I do control the trains manually with rocrail. As automating the whole thing would be almost impossible due to the amount of sensors that would be needed to fully use it bidirectional. To control I use a simple laptop at one corner of the layout.
      To further expand it came to my mind to upgrade the layout with a fiddle yard (deu: Schattenbahnhof) underneath the current layout to store trains, have a loco shed and things like that. This would probably add another 20+ crossings in the lower level.
      After some planning, (might as well call it dreaming) I came across a big problem, which I do not know how to solve it:
      As I do control manually and won’t be able to see the lower level when I’ll be sitting at the laptop. I won’t know what is going on in the lower level. Therefore, I would never know when to stop a train.
      Same problem would be if I want to drive around the train yard down there with a loco just out of fun I would need a solution to drive it remotely.
      Third problem are the switches, if I control them also with rocrail I always have to walk to the laptop to change the way of travel. Which also doesn’t make sense.

      So question does anybody have some ideas to help with this? Has anybody done something similar? How do you control the trains?
      And a question to Matze and the development team: do you have any timeline for the remote control integration into Mattzobricks.

      Thanks a lot, playful regards, Max

    • #5789
      Matthias RunteMatthias Runte

      There is a number of options that come into my mind:
      – Install a camera in the shadow station.
      – Install one or more sensors in the shadow station. Monitor the sensor in Rocrail and stop the train.
      – Use a mobile phone or tablet as an additional device for Rocrail. This relieves you from sitting on your laptop.

      If I may, let’s go one step back and look at it from a distance. Then the following suggestions come into my mind:
      – Install sensors. Yes, it’s a lot of them, but they are the key to automating your layout completely. And that’s really fun!
      – Do not build a shadow station, but a visible fiddle yard instead. Maybe use plexi glas somewhere to be able to see what’s happening. You have more fun with LEGO trains if you actually see them. An investment in an loco shed is also better when you can actually see it.
      – Do not use too many switches in the shadow station; use staging blocks instead.

      Maybe somebody has more ideas for you?

    • #5796
      Max T.Max T.

      Thanks to a college at work, I found an easy solution to have a “remote control”. Teamviewer. This lets me control everything with the smartphone or the tablet, which is perfect.

      Regarding your suggestions, the layout is integrated in a LEGO city and as you know space is limited, so there is no way to expand further. This is why the second level idea was born… to have the ability to still expand.

      Maybe I’ve to sent you the layout via mail so you can have a look at my problem: The amount of sensors that would be necessary to automate the layout with trains going in both directions is just overwhelming. There is nobody I can think of how would like to run all the cables…

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