Thanks for you endorsements. It is a cool idea
One of my associates has had considerable success using the UHF module by RF Ltd that transmit on 433MHz.. He has developed for himself a live steam locomotive that uses cruise control. The Radio is an intermittant key fob controller system that only transmits to increment or decrement the speed or to make an emergency stop. He has a slotted wheel encoder on the wheel axle of the locomotive and uses it to provide a speed related output.┬* He is "old School" and uses TTL logic throughout , it works fine.┬* I suppose a more modern solution would use a PIC chip talking to the USB of the laptop and a radio link.┬* If any of you guys have that PIC chip expertise I'm listening.
In any execution of the task at hand, it is only the┬*instanteous speed which needs to be accurately detected at all times. A digital or frequency modulated signal┬*could be relayed back to the laptop via a radio link and it would be used in the control program to determine any change in outgoing command from the laptop to accelerate or decellerate.┬* The walky talky channels may provide a frequency to use with a simple variable fequency audio tone which could be converted to a digital signal once received at the laptop end.┬* The accuracy of the speed signal would depend on the accuracy of the analogue to frequency and frequency to analogue conversion. It could be pretty close. The aristocraft power bogies give an opportunity of fitting the slotted wheel encorder to the motor shaft and a disk with a high number of slots would allow good differentiation even at low speed.┬* The motor control would be via a FET PWM motor contol system that was close loop controlled as directed by the input command from the radio link.
The accelleration profile of a particular┬*loco would be a function of the load on the drawbar but this is a real parameter that the driver punches into the loco's on board computer in real life. It is the "train length" parameter. I suppose it could be used as an indication of the train load.┬*┬* This is a gap in my experience and a chat with a Class66 driver would be a great help.┬*┬*┬*
I have the expertise to produce a convincing 3D cab environment but need help merging the incoming video of the track image with the 3D graphic.┬* I am lead to believe someone with Java script experience would be a great asset.
Are you out there?
The cab 3D image could be changes by program selectio so that you could be driving any locomotive you want. Could this be a super train training simulator.
The other function like, notching up, braking, and horn can be communicated from the laptop control to the engine via a digital radio link.┬* The suggestion is that a blue tooth link may have some merit as an option though the┬*433Mhz is ┬*considerably cheaper to implement. Normal 27Mhz radio control could be used also.
Must speak with a Class 66 Driver