An Electronic Billboard for N Scale Model Railroading #models #FromTheForums #Adafruit @Adafruit

From the Adafruit Forums, user modeller has posted some great photos and information on their model railroading efforts.

Hey all – been gone for a few years but recently ordered a box o’ parts from Adafruit. What I’m making now is an electronic billboard for the side of the road like you can see nowadays along the highways. I’m using a Nano, an RGB OLED, a real time clock, and a TMP36 temp sensor – because one of the displays sequences will show the real time and temperature! It will be cycling through about ten “ads” for different things like public safety and product ads.

It so happens that the tiny OLED is about the right size for an N scale (1:160) billboard. So far I’m making good progress. After the electronics is nailed down, I’ll make it more permanent and I’ll have to make a scale billboard stand for the OLED and run the wires down from the top of the layout to the Nano under the table.

So, after some considerations I decided to simply add a button switch, an additional LED, and some code that will indicate that DST has been activated. The RTC time is set up to “normal” time (non-DST). All the button does is sense a press, sets a boolean variable, and adds an hour to the displayed time until you want to end DST. The DST true or false variable is stored in eeProm so when powered on it will read the value back and continue to add the hour. When DST is ended in your area you simply go under the table again and press the button until the LED goes off, and the time goes back to “normal” time until the next time DST comes around. Simple and it works.

By the way, here’s my tribute to Adafruit which will be one of the ads cycling on the electronic billboard. I would make an Adafruit show room too but if you actually go 10 scale miles you’d fall off the edge of the world LOL.


See more in the forum post.

Do you use electronics in your hobbies? Let us know in the comments below.

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.