January 20, 2015

Automating LEGO train crossings with Arduino

Although at first glance the LEGO train system may seem to be quote proprietary, there are many people who have worked with their own electronics to harness these fun trains for even more enjoyment, and one of these is YouTube member almightyarjen who often surprises us with his LEGO train creations.

His latest work involves a custom-made PCB containing an Arduino compatible circuit that ensures train crossings are accident free, by determineing the location of a train before a crossing and controlling the power to the track to ensure two trains don't collide. The system is customisable with adjustable timers for the delay between trains and other fun. A full demonstration is shown in the following video:

Although still a work-in-progress, it's a great project and quite inspiring for LEGO train fans. To keep up with the project, subscribe to the creator's YouTube channel. And for more, we're on facebook, twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well. 

If you're wanting to make your own Arduino-compatible project such as the train controller above, you'll need an ATmega328P MCU with Arduino Uno bootloader:

This is the same Atmel AVR ATmega328P microcontroller used in the official Arduino Uno, as well as our ElevenEtherTenUSBDroid, and other boards. Perfect for building your own Arduino-compatible project directly on a breadboard or on a custom PCB, or for replacing the MCU in an existing board. Comes with the Arduino Uno bootloader pre-installed. Better still, it even has a special label stuck on top with details of the pinout, so you don't even need to look up the datasheet when connecting it up in your project! For more information and to order, click here!

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