I would like to know if anyone has any experience of using any of the servo controllers for controlling servos to throw a model railroad point. I would need to vary the speed and throw of the servo, and the servo will have to be activated using a DPDT switch rather than computer control. In the future I would like to control the railroad with DCC controllers such as a NCE powercab.
Check out this thread where someone used a Micro Maestro 6-Channel USB Servo Controller to control some railroad signals with a switch. Using the internal scripting abilities of the Maestro, he was able to accomplish this without needing a computer control. (A computer was, of course, needed to configure the Maestro but after that it is not needed.)
Basically the Maestro lets you write a simple program (script) that runs inside it. The script can read input voltages (allowing it to read a DPDT switch) and it can perform arbtirary sequences of servo motions. The script can also change the speed and acceleration limits of the servo channels.
I don’t know anything about DCC controllers, but if they can drive a digital output signal or transmit arbitrary non-inverted TTL serial bytes then they could be used to control the Maestro. Do they have either of those capabilities?
Thanks for your reply. I am a bit of a novice in electronics and any suggestions on how to connect the switches to the Micro maestro 6 channel USB controller and an example of the code would also be much appreciated
For wiring diagrams and example code, check out the Maestro User’s Guide. In particular, look at the Attaching Peripherals to the Servo Ports section for wiring diagrams, and read through the Example Scripts section. The example script most relevant to you is called “Using a button or switch to control servos”.