RoseOnRails – We learnt some useful facts today !


This morning, Valeh, Gleison, Yann and I had the opportunity to meet with Clément Perron who had worked on the locomotive for ROSE in 2011 and thus we learnt a lot on his project : SaMoRa. He explained to us how they had built their architecture etc. which helped us understand how the locomotive and railroad were controlled and determine what we had to do next.

Thank to this encounter plus several discussions we had with Alexis and Samuel throughout the day, we made up our minds about some aspects of our project.
And because a picture is a worth a thousand words, you’ll find our idea of architecture bellow… this is a draft



(Only one railroad switch and light are represented, but there would be several sets as such. Ideally we’d like to have a PCB underneath each “railroad switch-light” set)

While designing our new draft of architecture a lot of questions arose:
– What kind of technology should we use to locate the locomotives ? RFID ? Optical sensors ? Magnetic sensors ?
– How will we regulate the voltage in the locomotive ?
– How will we control the motor ?
– Which kind of microcontrollers should we use ? Should we use STM32 like SaMoRa did, or a microcontroller with a BLE interface ?
– Cost-wise, will it be possible to put a PCB with a BLE interface underneath each railroad switch ?

We’ll try to tackle those questions in the following days !

PS: This afternoon, we finally managed to open the locomotive! Yay! We now know exactly how much space we have to integrate a PCB and other cool stuff in it 😉 Tomorrow we’ll try to understand better how it works, and determine what we have to change and what we have to keep.

Noémie Bristol-Courgeon

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3 comments to RoseOnRails – We learnt some useful facts today !

  • Please forget RFID : you won’t have the physical space to locate the antenna inside the locomotive.
    Optical and magnetic sensors are indeed a good choice. They can even be very simply modulated if you need to differentiate them (transmit an ID).

  • guillaume Bolbenes

    Hello everybody,

    I’m please to see that railroad model comes back this year.
    Just a small question, you will not drive your train by DCC this year ?
    Because I remember that trains are very very small.

    In all case,

    Good luck and enjoy your project.


  • Noémie Bristol-Courgeon

    Hi Bolbi!!
    Thank you !
    Indeed, we don’t intend to use DCC this year. We know we don’t have a lot of space in the locomotives, but we’ll try nontheless to integrate a PCB and everything we need in it 🙂