Miniatur Wunderland Weekly Report

25.07.05 at 12:35 hrs

Weekly Report No 247, CW 29

From Monday, 18.07.2005 to Sunday, 24.07.2005
This time we peek into the technical corner and have a look at the work of Gerrit's team. Since I'm not sure of revealing too much, I will rush off right after this report (mean persons would say that I'm getting deported as a punishment ;-) or that I would be afraid of Gerrit's "rage").
However, I'm going to check if we modelled the danish beach the right way. To all those who might panik right now: I might be off for the next 14 days but the next report is ready and will be activated in time (if Josie finds the right button :-) )..
The soldering oven

From our electronics-lab: This is our new SMD - solder oven! To explain how this thing works, we just watch the work being done...

The making of a PC board

Our associate Axel O. ...

Bringing on the soldering fluid

...applies the SMD - soldering fluid to the pc-board.

Etching the board

This is an industrial pc-board;

Finishing the board

for our internal developments, we etch all boards ourselves.

The making of a PC board

In the next step, a micro-controller, the external ram, and a logic are placed on the board.

The making of a PC board

The board is now ready to be soldered in the oven.

The making of a PC board

The soldering action in the oven: the board is heated with short- and longwave infrared light.

The making of a PC board

nd voilà, not even a minute has passed and the board is ready to use.

Control of the floating dock

The controller for the floating dock is also a self-developed device. The controller uses data from a CENSORED, and with the help of CENSORED, controls the CENSORED.

Control of the floating dock

Here's a ride through the lock, from the basin to the canal.
The lock connects the basin to the canal and, depending on the tide, levels a height difference of 12 - 16 cms (4.7 - 6.3 inches). This equals to 10 to 14 meters (33 - 46 feet) in the real world out there.
The lock is controlled using an electronic which senses the actual state via 6 Reed-contacts. These are: Gate to channel open or closed, gate to basin open or closed, lock empty or occupied.
These contacts each actuate small motors to open or close the gates, a magnetic valve, and a pump to fill or drain the lock.
This means, we only have 7 acceptable states the lock can be in; all other states lead to an immediate shutdown of all components.
To clarify this, we start a tour through the lock from the basin to the canal.
The basin gate is open and the lock is empty (1), we entered the lock, and Gerrit now gives the signal up to the canal.
The gate to the basin closes (2) which takes a little time. Once this gate is closed (3), valve and pump of the canal-side are activated. The lock slowly fills up and now is not empty (4). Only if the ship is heaved up and the message "Lock full" has been sent (5), the canal gate opens (6). Once the canal gate is open (7), the next adventure lures around the corner: There's no way, we will fit underneath the railway bridge!! The captain calms us down and explains that the bridge is a bascule bridge.
Back to the lock: No chance (yet) to explain the more difficult things like momentum of the valves compared to the pumps or the motors of the lock gates, as well as the PWM-controlling to simulate a realistic speed of the gate-motors...
To fill the lock, the canal-side valve and pump are activated (to speed up the process) while at the same time the basin-side valve and pump are shut off. These could still be running because Gerrit suddenly changed his mind (which he does frequently) and wants to go downstream instead of upstream.
Since this is a very simple control-unit (compared to the ship's navigation which will have more than 350 micro-processors in it's final version), Gerrit sometimes in the heat of the work designates these side - developments as "beloved junk".

Control modules for the car ferry

Here's a view of the control-units for the car-ferry in order to have the CarSystem work on the boat, too. These special modules use infra-red controls.

Screenshot of the ship control program

To conclude this report, here's something really special: a screenshot of the newly developed ship-navigation system in the lock area.
We can see the calculated routes (red dotted line), on the pre-configured routes (yellow arrows). Within the lock basin, the mooring positions are marked (yellow = occupied, green = free). Virtual boyes (red) serve as anchors for the route sections. Blue boyes mark possible "sidings" for head-on traffic.

Navigation: Article 29 in WR 2005