December 07, 2015

Create an automated LEGO train decoupler with Arduino

Next in the series of ongoing tutorials for the beginner from the Arduino LEGO Trains YouTube channel is a neat explanation of how to make an Arduino-controlled decoupling unit. This is a great idea as thanks to the strengh of the magnets in LEGO train couplers, decoupling can be a two-handed or difficult affair.

The system uses an motor to raise a bar which can block the reverse passage of a wagon - and as part of the automation system on this layout the use of a light sensor ensures it can only operate when the wagons are in the right spot. Although this project is specific to a certain track layout, it can be used in your own and offers some inspiration for your own layouts. Check out the video for the latest demonstration:

The sensors used in the demonstration can also be used for other applications, such trackside detection or adding collision-avoidance to other devices. For more interesting LEGO train videos, subscribe to their YouTube channel. And for more, we're on twitter, facebook and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you're looking for an Arduino Uno-compatible board for various projects, choose what tens of thousands of others have done and use our Freetronics Eleven - the Arduino-Uno compatible with low-profile USB socket, onboard prototyping space and easy to view LEDs: 

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