For reasons we can’t comprehend, model train layouts are incredibly popular in Germany. [Gerhard] is one of those model train aficionados that has moved far beyond a layout with a transformer controlling the speed of the train; he sent in a tip for a very tiny Rocrail server he built to control the locomotives moving across his layout.
[Gerhard] uses Rocrail – a control system for train layouts large or small. Rocrail comes in both client and server configurations. The client is able to run on iDevices or Android. [Gerhard]’s server runs on a very tiny Linux computer tucked away under the layout.
Instead of a Raspberry Pi ([Gehard] couldn’t get one in time for this build), he used a Carambola board. The Rocrail server is installed on this single board computer and connects to a CAN bus controller. It’s a step up from [Gehard]’s previous CAN/Ethernet gateway built around OpenWRT, and makes the entire device much smaller.
[Gehard] doesn’t have a video of his layout in action, but after the break you can see how much the German people love their model trains at Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg.
Continue reading “Small server for model trains”
[Derek] likes to get a little bit of drivers-eye footage when racing his motorcycle, but there’s an inherent problem with mounting a camera to a moving and tilting platform. When he leans into turns, the camera can’t keep the horizon level. Cinematography and electronics go well together. so [Derek] built a horizon-stabilized camera mount for motorcycle videography.
The build was inspired by footage shot from [Valentino Rossi’s bike in 2010. Of course the professional model costs a small fortune, but [Derek] managed to make his own out of 3D printed parts and a hobby servo.
Based on the Contour Roam camera, [Derek] had a pair of gears printed at Shapeways to fit over the camera and attach to a servo. The electronics are an ATMega32 with a L3G4200D gyroscope. When the ‘micro detects a change in the gyroscope it rotates the servo in the opposite direction, keeping the horizon in the video level.
It’s a very cool build, and judging from the action videos after the break, makes for awesome track footage.
Continue reading “Gyrocam keeps the horizon level even when the camera isn’t”