If you didn't know...back in 2013, my family won the ABC Great Christmas Light Fight reality show. That should give you a good idea as to how much my family enjoys putting up Christmas lights.
So for 2016 they want to add a train that runs on tracks around the yard. They asked me to build one for them and I got started right away. So I searched the net for plans for a garden train. I found a train in the August 1965 issue of Popular Mechanics. It's designed for little kids to ride on but I had a good idea that I could scale it and use it for the Christmas display.
I wanted to build a train that met the following requirements:
1. Battery powered
2. Controlled via a WEMO MAKER
3. Have a safety sensor to shut off the train if something jumps in front of it
4. Play sounds like a train
I started by gathering the components for the build.
- 12 volt battery
- 12 volt relay
- wemo maker
- 18ga wire
- 12 volt geared motor
- Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board
- 12 volt amp with speakers
- miscellaneous on/off switches
- IR switch (used for the safety switch)
- Magnetic Switch
- multiple axles, pulleys, chains and sprockets.
From this point, it was pretty easy. I just pasted the templates on some 1/2" plywood and cut out with the band saw and jigsaw. I also used the laser printer to cut the the train name and number.
Here's where it stands:
After the I partially completed the woodworking part, I started on the electronics. Here's a short video of the train's electronics in action:
After I got the electronics working, I shipped it to Georgia. I will finish the build when I go out to visit this spring.
So that's it for now. I will post more pics once I start working on it again.
Thanks for reading!