Another use for robot mechanisms…

I build scale model brass locomotives (O scale Proto48) that are electronically controlled. One of the functions of a steam locomotive was its valve gear which can be compared to an auto transmission. Forward and reverse with different settings. How, on a model, could this be done? On a Google search I came across Pololu Robotics and saw their micro metal gear motors which looked like the perfect ‘machinery’ to operate a scale model valve gear. And it was! I have installed 4 of these micro gear motors in different engines; they are powerful, quiet, and easily controlled by a decoder. Kind of neat to watch the valve gear slowly move into the correct position before two blasts of the whistle and the steam locomotive slowly begins to move. The photo shows the valve gear in the engine reverse position.
Thomas Mix
USMC Retired


Hello, Thomas.

Your project looks really cool. We always enjoy seeing different ways our products are being used, and we would love to see more photos or videos of your model locomotive in action!

-Brandon