. Given today I'm a little inebriated so I hope this makes sense.
Under the alfluence of incahol?? Tut! Tut! Drunk in charge of a keyboard!
I know it's kind of hard to describe how things work.....but take one controller. It has pots to control both running and crawling speed, and when in operation, it's say first connected to just section 1. It's slowed down after it trips the sensors in that section. After the stop, the controller is connected to both sections 1 and 2 so the train can smoothly accelerate up to speed, passing over the joint between the sections. After a few seconds the connection to track section 1 is cut and the controller is just connected to section 2. This process is then repeated with sections 2 & 3....and so on through section 4 and then back to section 1.
There are three controllers, and the clever bit is ..lets pick an instant in time....each controller is connected to a separate section (sections 1, 3 and 4) and one section (section 2) is "free" and unpowered. The train in section 1 is stopped at the stop point and the pause timer is ticking....and trains are either running, slowing to stop or are already stopped in sections 3 and 4. The timer on the train in section 1 times out. With section 2 free, it is connected to the controller and the train accelerates away....and after a few seconds, section 1 is freed. The train then sitting in the stop point in section 4 (controlled by a second controller, which has its own preset pots, etc) can then be started as previously described.....and then the train in section 3 (on the third controller)....and then its back to the first train, which by this time is waiting at section 2's stop point.
Its a concept that is sort of magic!! And its all controlled by a couple of microprocessors that Martin has written the control software for. Which will account for the system's capability of the power output of each of the controllers being switched from section to section. Well its either that or there's four controllers and their control inputs are rotated round. Either way, I'm quite excited about getting Martin's system installed and running!
I'm actually part way there. I have almost all of the power circuits wired up...four feeds and a neutral return, and I'm currently working on making the breaks in the sections ...in one rail only! I'm also working on the wiring for the sensors.....all eight of them....which are mounted on four of the layout sections, so there needs to be cable connections between the boards. And the same will go for the feeds to the signals....which I've yet to make!
Let me get Boxing Day over....and I'll start posting some photos of progress.....