I am helping our church build an O-scale layout for the Children's Center.
Does anyone have any recommendations on good reference material (web sites,
books, etc.) on installing a fast clock. We would like the layout to
simulate a 24 hour period of time in 30 minutes or so.
Thanks in advance!
A 48:1 time ration is much greater than is normally used in fast clock
operation. Fast clocks are typically in the 1:5 to 1:10 range and are
usually used when operating a layout to a timetable for the purpose of
making distances between timetable locations seem greater. Are you really
going to ask children to operate this layout to a timetable? Or are you
looking for a timer/controller to change layout and room lighting effects,
etc. over a 30 minute period to simulate the passage of 24 hours? If your
goal is the latter, you do not need a fast clock, but rather should be
searching for timers, sequence controllers, small PLCs, etc. GQ
Just a thought, if you know any homebrew electronics types(nuts) near you.
Lots of digital clock chips out there. They use AC line to generate the
seconds and minutes. Now if you can find an electronics hobbyist out there,
maybe they can be encouraged to build for you a clock using an outboard
oscillator much, much faster than the AC line.
A thought, drop a line over at rec.radio.amateur.homebrew. Public Service is a
big part of Amateur Radio. Explain what, and why. There are a lot of Amateur
Radio operators out there, maybe one of those folks can help you. You might
even find someone local to you who might actually be able to help.
John & Jill Mrazek wrote:
The easiest and cheapest way to make a fast clock is to remove the hour
hand from a clock. Use the minute hand for hours, and the second hand
for minutes. Every five minutes is one hour.
I talked to the guy in charge of the project for the church today.
He wants to use overhead lights in room and lights on layout. He would like
the lights in room to be used for day time and control them by dimming to
simulate change to night time. He would like gradual transitions on lights
across the layout. The layout is O scale and approx 110 feet long. The
layout will be used more than an hour a day and probably like a few hours on
weekdays and even longer on weekends. He wants different lights coming on
and off sporadically across the layout and to simulate day/evening across
layout as it spans from east to west coast. All your examples of lighting
below are preferred. There are only a couple of men and children building
the layout for the church at this time. We range from beginner to novice
modeler's. I have been in IT field for 20+ years and could figure out how to
integrate use of a PC. My other hobby is collecting and restoring pinball
machines, so electronics repair knowledge is good, just never built
something from scratch, yet? If there are any books out there that cover
these needs, they would help me a lot.
I have received HO train stuff for Christmas for years when I was younger
and finally decided to build layout with my son. With our volunteer work on
church layout we got hooked and started our own layout in HO scale. The work
on church layout has taught me a lot. My son and I helped with all the
benchwork, laying track, wiring, and now building the mountains. It is a lot
Thanks for your help!
You are describing something much more complicated than I have done. I did
a quick search on google using "Computer control lighting". Many of the
hits deal with stage production lighting, and I think that is the ball park
you are approaching. I liked the discussion at
page has a link to
looks like the an avenue to pursue to do the lighting you describe.
But the google search also will suggest many other avenues as well. GQ
Please contact me off-line. I have a system that does exactly what you
describe but I've never marketed it. (The prototype is on my layout.)
It uses a PIC (programmable chip) and X10 technology for the light
dimming. It's a stand alone system - doesn't need a computer.
Operating Traffic Lights
Special Effects Lighting