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75 Model Railway Projects

This e-book presents some interesting projects for Model Railways

Talking Electronics has produced two books for Model Railway enthusiasts (book-2 is now out of print).
The two books are:
Electronics for Model Railways 1:
Electronics for Model Railways 2:
The projects in these books can be found on Talking Electronics website in the left-hand column.
Since releasing these two books, we have designed some extra projects and more are being released all the time.
The projects will be presented in this eBook and you will need to come back on a regular basis to see the updates.

Colin Mitchell

If you have DCC Digital Command Control on your model railway, or are thinking about using it or starting a layout with this feature, here is a website dedicated to helping you:

Digital Command Control is a standard for a system to operate model railways so that two or more locomotives can be controlled independently on the same section of track.
We will not be covering any projects for DCC so it’s best to visit the DCC website.



Arc Welder Simulator
Capacitor Discharge Unit MkII
Capacitor Discharge Unit MkIImodification
Flashing Railroad Lights
Flashing Lights
Make your own point Motor using a servo
Model Railway Time
Point Motor Driver
Reversing A Motor
Servo as Point Motor
Traffic Lights
Train Throttle
4-Way Traffic Lights



List of Electronics Mini Project Circuits – Part 4

Air Flow Detector Circuit: This Air flow detector circuit can be used to detect the flow of air in areas like car engine. It can also be used as temperature detector.
150W Power Amplifier Circuit: Here we designed a power amplifier circuit using push pull class AB configuration to derive a power of 150W to drive a load of 8 Ohms (speaker).
7 Segment LED Display Decoder: This is the circuit diagram of display decoder which is used to convert a BCD or binary code into a 7 segment code used to operate a 7 segment LED display.
Digital Tachometer using 8051 Microcontroller: Here we designed a simple non contact tachometer using microcontroller which can measure speed with an accuracy of 1 rev/sec.
5 Channel IR Remote Control System using Microcontroller: This article is aimed to design and demonstrate a simple 5 channel remote control system to drive five loads. This circuit works on the principle of IR communication.
Bipolar LED Driver Circuit: This bipolar LED driver circuit is very useful at the places where flashing of light is required, as in beacon flashing. This circuit can be mainly used for indication purposes.
Digital Temperature Sensor: The main principle of this circuit is to display the digital temperature value. These are mainly used in environmental applications.
Digital Stopwatch Circuit: This is a simple circuit that displays count from 0 to 59, representing a 60 second time interval. It consists of a 555 timer to produce the clock pulses and two counter ICs to carry out the counting operation.
Toy Organ using 555 Timer IC: This is the circuit diagram of simple Toy Piano using 555 Timer IC. It produces different tones or sounds depending on the frequency range.
RFID based Attendance System: This simple RFID based attendance system is designed using ATmega8 Microcontroller and is mainly used in educational institutions, industries, etc. where authentication is needed.
Low Power Audio Amplifier using 555 Timer: This is a simple low power audio amplification circuit designed using 555 timer. It can be used to develop low power music systems used in vehicles.
Interfacing 16X2 LCD to AVR Microcontroller: This is a circuit which helps in interfacing 16X2 LCD with AVR Microcontroller. The Atmega16 belongs to the AVR microcontroller family.
SR Flip Flop with NAND and NOR Gates: SR Flip Flop, also known as SR latch is the most vital as well as broadly used Flip Flop. Get an idea about design of SR Flip Flop with NAND and NOR Gates.
JK Flip Flop using CD4027: CD4027 is a JK flip flop that is generally used for data storing. Get an idea about how to build JK Flip Flop with CD4027.
Polarity cum Continuity Tester: With the help of this circuit, we can also identify whether the components we are using in our circuit are good or bad before mounting them on the PCB.
Reaction Timer Game Circuit: This is a simple and funny game circuit which contains 10 LEDs that are moving in an arbitrary fashion and we have to target a particular LED given by your challenger.
Multiplexer and Demultiplexer: A multiplexer is a circuit that accepts many inputs but gives only one output where as a demultiplexer accepts only one input and gives many outputs. Get an idea about their circuit diagram and pin diagrams in this post.
Understanding 7805 IC Voltage Regulator: This is a circuit diagram of 7805 IC which is a 5v DC regulated IC. It is very flexible and is employed in many circuits like a voltage regulator.
Basic Logic Gates Using NAND Gate: We are all well known that NOT, AND, OR are the basic logic gates. Here we have shown how to design these basic logic gates using one of the universal gates – NAND Gate.
Construction of Basic Logic Gates using NOR Gate: Here, we have shown how to construct the basic logic gates – NOT, AND, OR gates using NOR Gate which is one of the universal gates.
Police Siren Circuit using NE555 Timer: This circuit produces a sound similar to the police siren. You may also get detailed information about pin diagram and internal block diagram of NE555 timer.
100W MOSFET Power Amplifier Circuit: A power amplifier circuit using MOSFET has been designed to produce 100W output to drive a load of about 8 Ohms.
Digital Voltmeter Circuit using ICL7107: Here we designed a analog to digital converter working as a digital voltmeter using a low power three and half digit A/D converter ICL7107 having internal 7 segment decoders, display drivers, a reference and a clock.
8 Channel Quiz Buzzer Circuit using Microcontroller: We built the circuit using a microcontroller which scans the input from push buttons and displays the corresponding number on a display device.
Celsius Scale Thermometer using AT89C51: This Celsius Scale Thermometer circuit is designed using at89c51 and lm35. This circuit works on analog to digital conversion principle. It can be used at homes, mobile places like cars to keep a track of the temperature.


List of Electronics Mini Project Circuits – Part 3

100w Subwoofer Amplifier Circuit: Here is the circuit diagram and working of 100w subwoofer amplifier circuit. A Subwoofer is a loudspeaker which produces audio signals of low frequencies.
DTMF Based Home Automation System Circuit: This is a simple and very useful circuit in our real life named DTMF controlled home appliances system. It helps to control the home appliances using DTMF technology.
Street Lights that Glow on Detecting Vehicle Movement: This article describes about the circuit that switches the street lights on detecting vehicle movement and remains off after fixed time. This system controls the street lights using light dependent resistor and PIR sensor.
555 Timer IC Testing Circuit: This is a simple 555 IC testing-circuit which tests your entire 555 timer IC. So before using your IC, you may check whether your IC is good or bad by using this circuit.
Curtain Opener/Closer Circuit: This circuit will open and close the curtain of your home and office just by pushing a switch. So with the help of this unique circuit, we do not need to move from one place to open and close the curtain.
Variable Power Supply and Charger: This is a circuit which helps to check or test your electronic projects and also to charge the Mobile phone batteries. This circuit can also work as an emergency light.
LED Running Lights Circuit: This is a simple circuit consists of 9 LED lights in knight rider scanner mode. It will present an eye catching look as the LED initially travel in the one way and then travel reverse in the similar direction.
Luggage Security Alarm: This is a simple alarm circuit which helps in ringing a warning alarm when someone tries to steal the luggage.
9 Way Clap Switch Circuit: This circuit helps you to manage your appliances in your home by just clap without moving from your bed.
12V to 24V DC Converter Circuit: This is another kind of circuit which helps to convert 12V DC current to 24V DC current.
Bidirectional Visitor Counter using 8051: This Bidrectional Visitor Counter Circuit is helpful to count the number of persons entering or leaving a room and to display it on a screen.
230V LED Driver: Here we design a simple circuit driving a series of LED from 230V AC. This is accomplished using a capacitor based power supply. This is a low cost and efficient circuit and can be used at homes.
3X3X3 LED Cube: This is a simple a simple LED cube circuit designed without using microcontroller. It is based on the principle of driving LEDs using the clock pulses.
Auto Intensity Control of Street Lights: This is a simple circuit that automatically controls the intensity of street lights which is designed using microcontroller and LEDs.
Line Following Robotic Circuit using ATMega8 Microcontroller: This line follower robot is a basic robot that follows a specific path indicated by a line having some particular width.
Monostable Multivibrator Circuit Operation: Here is the monostable multivibrator circuit diagram and working. Multivibrator is an electronic circuit which will work as two stage amplifier operating in both stable and astable mode.
Interfacing16X2 LCD with PIC Microcontroller: This is a circuit which helps in interfacing 16×2 LCD to PIC18F4550 microcontroller which is of family PIC18F.
Morse Code Generator Circuit: This is a circuit used to generate morse code. Morse code is very old and versatile technique to send text messages using wireless media.
555 Timer in Monostable Multivibrator Mode: The circuit is triggered by a falling edge, that is, by a sudden transition from HIGH to LOW. The trigger pulse, produced by pressing the button, must be of shorter duration than the intended output pulse.
555 Timer as an Astable Multivibrator: In this circuit, There are three resistors named R inside it and all have equal values. These form a voltage divider having reference voltages of 1/3 and 2/3 of Vcc (the power supply). The logic state of the flip flop is controlled by the reference voltage which is given to one of the inputs of both two comparators.
Mains Operated LED Light Circuit: This is a simple circuit which is more useful to save our resources, energy and money by installing in your homes.
LED Lamp Dimmer Circuit: In this circuit, at the starting LED glows slowly, then grown brighter and once again slowly it became dim. The basis of the whole circuit is an operational amplifier IC named LM358.
Variable Voltage Power Supply from Fixed Voltage Regulator: This Voltage regulator circuit is used to get fixed voltage at the output without depending on the input voltage.
LED Christmas Lights Circuit: This is a simple circuit used to decorate your house by building christmas lights using LEDs. The lights will get ON at night and OFF in morning time.
Audio Equalizer Circuit: The circuit is used to change the tune/melody into a different pitch level by devoid of loss in the tune. It is mainly useful to music lovers.


List of Electronics Mini Project Circuits – Part 2

Battery Powered Portable Light: This circuit is more helpful in handling unexpected and undesired darkness in our homes or offices. It provides considerable amount of brightness required to do our daily tasks.
IR Remote Control Switch: By using this circuit, we can control any house hold appliance with the help of remote. In this project, there are two parts – one is in transmitting section and the other is in receiving section. Receiving section will be in a stable position which is connected to any load and transmitter will act as a normal remote.
Password Based Door Lock System using 8051 Microcontroller: This system demonstrates a password based door lock system wherein once the correct code or password is entered, the door is opened and the concerned person is allowed access to the secured area. After some time, the door would be closed. Read this post completely to get more information.
Continuity Tester with Melody: This circuit works as a continuity tester device which tests the continuity of the wire at hand. It is an indispensable tool to check broken wires and undesired shorting of wires.
Rain Alarm Circuit: Rain water detector will detect the rain and make an alert; rain water detector is used in the irrigation field, home automation, communication, automobiles etc. Here is the simple and reliable circuit of rain water detector which can be constructed at low cost.
Automatic Plant Irrigation System: This project circuit is more useful in watering plants automatically without any human interference. It is more useful when the owner is not present in the home for few days.
Hot Water Geyser Controller Circuit: This circuit is made to turn OFF geysers as soon as our water gets hot and are ready for bathing.
Lead Acid Battery Charger Circuit: Lead Battery is a rechargeable battery and is more useful in our real life as it will dissipate very little energy, it has very low energy to weight ratio, it can deliver high current, can work for long time with high efficiency and is very low cost.
Motion Detector Circuit: The motion detector is not only used as intruder alarm but also used in many applications like home automation system, energy efficiency system, etc. The motion detector will detect the motion of the people or objects and give the appropriate output according to the circuit.
Touch ON and OFF Switch Circuit: This Touch ON/OFF Switch circuit is more useful in such a way that we can automatically ON or OFF any switch by touching a device without moving from our place.
USB Mobile Charger Circuit: This circuit is useful in charging the mobiles through USB outlet present in our laptops and PCs. For the charging of your mobile phone, this circuit provides you a regulated voltage of 4.7 volts.
Security Alarm Circuit: This circuit helps you to guard your precious documents as well as jewellery from intruders or theft. All you need is to just place this circuit in front of the locker or below the mat so when any unknown person come and walk over the switch, the circuit will trigger and sound of alarm comes.
Mosquito Repellent Circuit: Here is the simple electronic mosquito repellent circuit which can produce ultrasound in the frequency range of 20-38 kHz, which can scare away mosquitoes.
Sun Tracking Solar Panel: This article describes about circuit that rotates solar panel. This Sun tracking solar panel consists of two LDRs, solar panel, stepper motor and ATMEGA8 Microcontroller.
Simple FM Radio Jammer Circuit: This is a Jammer circuit which is used to block the signals. Jammer circuit produces the high frequency signal which will confuse the receiver of particular system from receiving the signal, even though circuit is working properly, user of the system feels that circuit is not working properly.
Automatic Street Light Controller Circuit Using Relays and LDR: This circuit helps in automatically turn ON/OFF the street lights using relays and LDR. The whole circuit is based on IC CA3140.
Battery Charger Circuit: This battery charger circuit works on the principle of controlling switching of an SCR based on charging and discharging of battery.
Interfacing 16×2 LCD with 8051: This is a simple circuit diagram which helps to describe interfacing of 16X2 LCD module to AT89C51which is a 8051 family microcontroller.
PWM LED Dimmer Using NE555: The Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) plays an important role in controlling the circuits. We use this PWM to dim the intensity of light of the LED.
Simple Fire Alarm Circuits: Here are two simple fire alarm circuits which are used to detect the fire automatically and inform to the people immediately with an alarm.
Wireless Switch Circuit using CD4027: This is a simple circuit which needs no physical contact with the appliance. In this circuit, all you need is to pass your hand above LDR to ON or OFF the switch.
Electronic Letter Box: This is a simple circuit which helps in finding out any letter dropped in our box by stopping the LED lights attached in this circuit.
Clap Switch Circuit for Devices: This is another simple but very useful circuit which helps to ON or OFF a device without moving from you place and also helps to control the speed of the electric devices like fan, etc.
12v DC to 220v AC Converter Circuit: Here is a simple voltage driven inverter circuit which converts 12v DC signal to single phase 220v AC using power transistors as switching device.
FM Transmitter Circuit: Here we built a wireless FM transmitter which uses RF communication to transmit the medium or low power FM signal. The maximum range of transmission is around 2 km.


List of Electronics Mini Project Circuits – Part1

Automatic Washroom Light Switch: This is a simple but very useful circuit in our real life which helps to automatically turn On the lights when a person enters the washroom and it automatically turns Off the lights when he leaves it.
Water Level Indicator: This Water Level Indicator project employs a simple mechanism which helps to detect and indicate the water level in an overhead tank or any other water container. It can be used in Hotels, Factories, Homes Apartments, Commercial Complexes, Drainage, etc.
Automatic Door Bell With Object Detection: This automatic doorbell with object detection circuit helps to sense the presence of a person or an object automatically and rings the doorbell.
Boolean Algebra Calculator: This Boolean algebra calculator is an interesting project which is more useful in our real life by working as a portable calculator to simplify the Boolean expression on the fly. In our circuit, we use Boolean algebra simplification methods like the Quine-McCluskey algorithm to simplify the Boolean expression and display the output on the display.
Auto Night Lamp using High Power LED: This Auto Night Lamp is an interesting circuit which helps to turn ON the LED lights interfaced to it at night time and it turns OFF the lights automatically when it is day.
Mobile Jammer Circuit: This circuit is used to block the signals of cell phones with in the range of 100 meters. This circuit can be used in TV transmission and also for remote controlled toys or play things.
Unbiased Digital Dice with LEDs: This is a circuit diagram of digital dice which is nearly unbiased. By using this circuit, there is no chance to cheat as the circuit operates at such a high speed that the circuit is almost imperceptible to the human eye.
Water Level Alarm Using 555 Timer: This is a simple and low cost hardware project using a 555 timer circuit. The aim of this project is to design a water level detecting alarm with simple and low cost hardware without compromising on the performance of the device.
Metal Detector Circuit: This is a simple metal detector circuit which is very useful for checking the person in shopping malls, hotels, cinema halls to ensure that person is not carrying any explosive metals or illegal things like guns, bombs etc.
Panic Alarm: This panic alarm circuit helps us to intimate others regarding our bad situation without any delay. It is more useful when an intruder entering our house or bad health status at which we are unable to intimate to the people around us.
Simple 100W Inverter Circuit: This is a small Inverter circuit which converts the direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
Car Parking Guard Circuit Using Infrared Sensor: This circuit helps the person in the driving seat in such a way that it gives an alarm if there is any obstacle or a wall while parking or while driving in reverse. It is very useful in our real life.
Fire Alarm with Siren Sound: This circuit alerts us when there is a fire accident at home by ringing a siren sound instead of a buzzer.
Intelligent Unambiguous Night Lamp Switcher: This is the circuit diagram of unambiguous night lamp switch, which turns ON our domestic lights automatically when it is dark, without human interference. It also avoids repeated frequent switching of the devices which is usually ignored in most similar circuits but may have a detrimental effect on our operating devices.
Automatic Railway Gate Controller with High Speed Alerting System: The main aim of this project is to operate and control the unmanned railway gate in the proper manner in order to avoid the accidents in the unmanned railway crossing.
LED Flasher Circuit: LED Flasher is a simple circuit which will blink the LEDs in regular time period. This circuit can be used for decoration purpose or can be used for a signaling purpose and many more.
Dancing Bi-Color LED Lights Circuit: Generally we use small voltage bulbs in the dancing bulbs. This circuit is mainly used in the occasions, decoration articles or in visual indication sign boards etc. In this project, we use bi-color LEDs for sequential running light.
Thermistor Temperature Sensing Alarm: This circuit is a temperature sensing as well as alarm circuit. The circuit raises an alarm whenever the temperature crosses a certain limit.
Pull Pin Security Alarm System: This circuit helps us to get alerted when anybody picks our pockets or bags. The circuit is very helpful to prevent our goods getting pick pocketed.
Auto Turnoff Soldering Iron Circuit: This circuit helps the soldering iron to turn off automatically when it detects overheating and thereby avoids it from getting damaged.
Remote Operated Alarm Circuit: This circuit rings an alarm when you point a TV remote at it and press on any button. This can be used as a calling bell to call your assistant.
Speed Control of DC Motor Using Pulse Width Modulation: This pulse width modulation technique is the more efficient way to proceed to manage the speed of our DC motor manually.
Battery Charger Circuit Using SCR: Here is the circuit diagram of battery charger circuit using Silicon Controlled Rectifier. SCR can be used in half wave rectifier, full wave rectifier, inverter circuits, power control circuits, etc.
FM Bugger Circuit: Here is small circuit with which you can listen to another people conversation from long distance using the normal FM radio set. This FM bugger circuit is kept in room where you want listen the conversation. You can listen to this conversation using the normal FM radio set.
Cell Phone Detector: This is a simple circuit which helps to detect the presence of an activated cell phone by detecting the signals in the frequency range of 0.9 to 3GHz. It helps in mobile phones tracking which are used for spying.


Best of Free PCB Design Software

Do you need a free PCB design software or tool to put in practice the new electronic project you’ve just designed? So, we present you 10 of the best PCB software tools available on the internet that will help you to develop your printed circuit board faster and with ease.

Is an excellent pcb layout design software tool to create professional printed circuit board ( PCB ). It is a flexible easy to use CAD program, which allow you to realize your projects in a short time. With ZenitPCB Layout is possible to create the project starting both from the schematic capture or by the layout itself. 


Is a free, open-source PCB design editor for Microsoft Windows. It was designed to be easy to learn and easy to use, yet capable of professional-quality work. Some of its features are: 1 to 16 copper layers, board size up to 60 inches by 60 inches, imports and exports PADS-PCB netlists and more 


Is a program to help you draw circuit diagrams. It comes complete with symbol libraries to get you started straight away. As well as being able to simply print your designs, you can use TinyCAD to publish your drawings by copying and pasting into a Word document or saving as a PNG bitmap for the web. 


4Osmond PCB
Is a flexible tool for designing printed circuit boards. It runs on Macintosh. Its many features include: virtually unlimited board sizes, number of board layers, number of parts, support for both through-hole and surface mount parts and more. 

osmond pcb design software

Is a schematic capture program for Windows. The name “BSch” is an abbreviation of “Basic Schematic”. It has only basic functions, in order to simplify operation. 


Is a snap to learn and use. Laying out PCBs is easy, even for the first time user. 

expresspcb design software

Is an open source (GPL) software for the creation of electronic schematic diagrams and printed circuit board artwork. It is useful for everybody working in electronic design (schematic diagrams and Printed Board up to 16 layers). 

kicad layout design

Runs on Linux and has produced tools which are used for electrical circuit design, schematic capture, simulation, prototyping, and production. Currently, the gEDA project offers a mature suite of free software applications for electronics design, including schematic capture, attribute management, bill of materials (BOM) generation, netlisting into over 20 netlist formats, analog and digital simulation, and printed circuit board (PCB) design layout. 

geda pcb software

Fritzing software is an interesting open-source initiative to support designers, artists, researchers and hobbyists to work creatively with interactive electronics and develop electronic projects. Fritzing helps you learn more about electronic circuits, to document your projects and even let’s you prepare them for production. 

fritzing software pcb view

10DesignSpark PCB
DesignSpark PCB is the world’s most accessible electronics design software. Easy to easy to learn and easy to use, it is designed to significantly reduce your concept-to-production time. At the core of this unique approach is a powerful software engine that enables you to capture Schematics, design PCB boards and layouts. 

designspark pcb

Building Inexpensive CNC Machines for Computer-Controlled Drilling and Milling

When I started thinking about CNC machines, I just wanted a computer-controlled machine that would be able to automatically drill all of the holes in the printed circuit boards that I made, for my Curve Tracer kits (see the link, above). But, the “good” commercially-available machines were priced higher than the amount that I could justify spending. So, I started thinking about what it would take to build one, myself. And, I didn’t want to build one that would cost almost as much as a commercial machine: Otherwise it might have been smarter to just BUY one, to begin with! So, I decided to add “low cost” as one of the design goals. I also expected to end up with one or more additional products to sell, as a result of this project, to (help) justify the time that I spent on it.

This page was started on 6/6/02. It should be updated, occasionally, as I make progress on the machines I’m building.


DIY Pcb Hand Drilling Machine

Picture of DIY Pcb Hand Drilling Machine
DSC00447 (Medium).JPG

DIY Home Made Circuit Board (PCB) Drill

Switch mode power supplies (SMPS) Projects

Simplest switching power supply ever with TNY263 – TNY268 
3.4V 2.5A supply with optocoupler
14.5V (8 – 18V) 0.4A supply with optocoupler 
12V 5A switched power supply 
12V and 90V switched power supply with UC3842 
Simple non-regulated supply 2x 35V 350W for audio amplifier 
Switched power supply 2x 35V 350W 
Welding inverter up to 100A 
Electronic halogen transformer 
Switched current power supply for 1W – 5W LED diode 
High power adjustable switching power supply (SMPS) 3-60V 40A 
Single transistor switching supply without optocoupler 
Very high current power supply (spot welder or car engine starting supply) 

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