PCB linear motor for model train

Modeling a railroad is difficult. Railways are a large, linear part of civil engineering. So many modelers are drawn to the smallest scale they can use. Recently a new scale called T at 1: 450 is pushing this barrier. But installing a reliable mechanical drive mechanism and MCU board in a package of this size is a challenge. In practice, even more problematic is the reliable electrical communication through a metal wheel on a metal track (about the worst possible design for an acquaintance).T-scale electric locomotive held in a human finger

T always seemed to us a long way to the brink of bleeding. But that could all change. In a recent Hackaday.io article, the author [Martin] T scale describes a PCB technology based linear motor system for operating locomotives externally.

The system uses 4mm planer coils. There is another coil at the bottom of the PCB, so the working pitch is 2mm. With microsteping, a step of 0.25 mm is possible, and the trains run smoothly. Current 3-400mA.

Since the system also guides the car, the actual ‘track’ is unnecessary, and [Martin] Using printed paper cover instead of 3D track 7 Items such as autos and boats can also be automated. Large scale modelers can make good use of this for automatic pedestrians.

Also an advantage, all cars are driven, so coupler reliability is a reduced problem.

It seems to be able to be used for many things outside of model railroads. This is an option at any time to move a few mm scale objects in 2D.

Image courtesy of David K. Smith, CC BY-SA 3.0

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