Kentony Shops

Enhancing Your model railroading experience.

The Smart Engineer – Beginnings

When I was a kid, we had a nice big layout. It had all the things a kid could want. There were log loaders and cattle platforms, barrel loaders and milk platforms. We had sidings and mainlines and could do just about anything. I remember putting together work orders and trying to stay on schedule. I remember one particular day when the train jumped the track and I had to bring a wrecker train with a crane car on a parallel track to get things back on the track.
It took hours!!! (It was a lot of fun)

But as I got older, my interests changed. Home computers came onto the market and soon that took my attention. As I got more and more into the technological world, the mechanical world grew less attractive, but I always kept my love for Lionel trains. Then I got a good job, as I started bringing in money, I could start to explore my love of trains again.

This was the time when the Web was starting up. I began to find all sorts of fun things for trains. The break out page that go the trains running through my blood was I was able to build this circuit and get a 154 Highway Flasher working in time for Father’s Day.

Before this, the best we could do was lay down track with an insulated outside rails that alternated between the left and right light. The results were far from desirable. But this circuit started a new era for Kentony Shops.

Soon we had made circuits that would turn block signals for track heading into a Lionel 2317 Drawbridge to red or green depending track power. That circuit is available in the Lad, Dad and Daughter section.

It was shortly after that, when I got Lionel TMCC and discovered the serial interface. That was the same time that I was getting into embedded programming and the world seemed to open up.

So that brings us to the Smart Engineer, the Smart Engineer is a series of enhancements that are provided using simple microprocessors, like Arduinos and Raspberry PIs and BBC Microbits

So keep an eye on The Yarnspinner’s Tavern and the Lad, Dad and Daughter for more Smart Engineer tutorials

Coming Soon to the Smart Engineer

1 thought on “The Smart Engineer – Beginnings”

Leave a Comment