Katzhagen - Archive - November 2012

Oh God-o-rot...

or : Remedial action urgently needed with the level crossing's bells

The gatekeeper's hut seems to exert a magical pull over ants - they repeatedly filled this building with sand which most times resulted in some trouble with the bell's mechanism. Since the bells meanwhile were infested with rust, a general overhaul of the hut and a replacement of the mechanical bells with some electronic sound seemed to be a good idea...

Refitting the bells was possible after finding a universal MP3 player which can be driven by either some external hardware or ordinary pushbuttons. The MSM 2 by ELV is available for little money:

The kit being pre-assembled to a maximum degree can be...

...finished in just a few minutes.

The MSM 2 by ELV requires just a MicroSD card and a 5V DC power supply for playing up to 999 different sounds upon pressing a pushbutton which are stored on the MicroSD card.
A card with a storage capacity of 2MB should be sufficient for usage with a model railroad - except you have a Woodstock scene on your layout and you intend to replay a whole concert...
Next up was:

Gutting, refitting and renovation

Thoroughly gutted and cleaned

Making of a frame for the bells' replacement

After removing both the mechanism for striking the bells and the bells themselves almost all of the interior's other parts were removed for a rigorous cleaning. Before refitting the level crossing with electronic bells a frame for the weatherproof speaker was made from polystyrene and put behind the hut's door.

Refilled - with a MP3 module in an IP64-housing
Please left-click onto the picture for a detailed view

Both the exterior and interior got tarted up - pimp my hut.

After providing the MicroSD card for the MP3 module with the sound of gate bells a last test was done and the module was built into a small IP64 housing. The following exterior's renovation included a new lettering, a new paint for the roof and an overall coat of satin clear varnish which provided for a new luminousness of the whole model.

Fresh paint works wonders - thanks to the airbrush gun.

Display larger demo video

The gate's tinkling is reliable now and its sound is both more clarion and a more precise reproduction compared to the old mechanical implementation.

October 2012 | Archive "Current Affairs" | December 2012