What are you all using?

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So what software and hardware are people using to automate DCC layouts?
 
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casey jones snr

casey jones snr

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dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Automation, spawn if the devil. Just use Massoth kit to drive trains with my hand and using my brain to interpret the Timetable Simplifier.
JonD
 
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Arthur Aardvark

Arthur Aardvark

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4 Nov 2012
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So what software and hardware are people using to automate DCC layouts?

How long you got!

From the early 80's, running a form of digital automation, using Sinclair ZX 80, 81, Spectrum 128, 128 plus, Acorn Electron from the serial port or joystick port.

Introduction of IBM PC, printer port was bi-directional, sort went on from there.

Oh! nearly forgot, IBM System 36 main frame, and "borrowed" the use of a Cray Supercomputer!
Like what they use to tell the weather, whilst it was being moved from Bracknell to Exeter!;)

Under no circumstances was tinkering with Commodore 64's permitted, formed part of the defence of the realm against impending missile attacks!

Present day more into, Raspberry Pi, Arduino based DCC++ Central Stn , SPROG 3, PC Windows 10, Android Phone, PC converted to use X86 version of Android, Massoth, PIKO, LGB.
Massoth and / or LGB Feedback Modules, Massoth Train Detection, homebrew detection sensors, reed switches, infrared, light sensors. WiFi, 433MhZ etc...etc...

JMRI, Processing 3, LGB MTS PC, Stellwerk Easy, Arduino, Massoth in built Automatic Control.

And, that's just for starters! :):):):)
 
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PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Mk.1 brain, and shouting at anyone else holding a Navigator!
:giggle::giggle::giggle:

Got a Deltang Receiver working as a shuttle.. does that count? - Not DCC though.
 
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korm kormsen

korm kormsen

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just magnets and reed contacts.... but my DCC is shy one "C".
 
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beavercreek

beavercreek

Travel, Art, Theatre, Music, Photography, Trains
24 Oct 2009
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Most of my layout is Massoth DCC controlled with one line having a double reverse loop.
Or it can be DC, battery or live steam.

`But I do have one separate DCC section which is an automated shuttle using a Tam Valley DCC shuttle unit with a Tam Valley booster (for added voltage and amps for G scale).
This unit enables end to end operation with automatic variable waits at each end (the wait time is controlled).
It also facilitates a stop and wait 'station stop' in the middle of the line if so wished.
It automatically controls a loco with any address (up to 99 and can go up to 4 digits with a very small added board)
It also has the usual standing sound facilities of 'normal' DCC.
It can also give accessory commands at each end to change points.
'Soft' starts and stops are set with the usual CVs on the Loco DCC decoder before hand (making sure that there is sufficient running room to 'soft' stop at each end.)
Here is a link:
http://www.tamvalleydepot.com/products/trainshuttle.html
 
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Rowan Bravington

Rowan Bravington

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9 May 2017
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How long you got!

From the early 80's, running a form of digital automation, using Sinclair ZX 80, 81, Spectrum 128, 128 plus, Acorn Electron from the serial port.

Introduction of IBM PC, printer port was bi-directional, sort went on from there.

Oh! nearly forgot, IBM System 36 main frame, and "borrowed" the use of a Cray Supercomputer!
Like what they use to tell the weather, whilst it was being moved from Bracknell to Exeter!;)

Under no circumstances was tinkering with Commodore 64's permitted, formed part of the defence of the realm against impending missile attacks!

Present day more into, Raspberry Pi, Arduino based DCC++ Central Stn , SPROG 3, PC Windows 10, Android Phone, PC converted to use X86 version of Android, Massoth, PIKO, LGB.
Massoth and / or LGB Feedback Modules, Massoth Train Detection, homebrew detection sensors, reed switches, infrared, light sensors. WiFi, 433MhZ etc...etc...

JMRI, Processing 3, LGB MTS PC, Stellwerk Easy, Arduino, Massoth in built Automatic Control.

And, that's just for starters! :):):):)
Hi Arthur,
A silly question. I'm investigating Raspberry Pi and its use as a power/controller for my trains. Do the loco's require a sound card, or whatever, for this 'system' to work. Probably a dumb question:confused:....
 
Hutch

Hutch

G Gauge, Raising Peaches, Apricots
1 Feb 2012
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Southwest Oklahoma, USA
Wires and an assortment of infra-red, magnetic, and micro-switch sensors feeding surplus industrial timers. I still control the engines with either an Aristo Revolution or LGB CS2 as appropriate for that particular engine. Yes, it is a nest of snakes wiring wise.
 
Arthur Aardvark

Arthur Aardvark

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Middlemoor, East Devon
Hi Arthur,
A silly question. I'm investigating Raspberry Pi and its use as a power/controller for my trains. Do the loco's require a sound card, or whatever, for this 'system' to work. Probably a dumb question:confused:....
No such thing as a dumb question! Sound cards are an optional extra.........

Dual answer as this does come under DCC automation, undoubtedly the DIY route is both economical and limitless in user configurability.


Scenario one, Raspberry Pi configured as either a stand alone WAP (Wireless Access Point) or just a normal device on a home WiFi network, JMRI* as the controlling software, Arduino Uno with either a genuine controller board, clone as in a Deek Robot Board, or the ultimate in power the "DIY" Turbo charged H Bridge controller, forms the "brains" as the DCC Central Station.

There are far more routines for use with Arduino with DCC, a stand alone Raspberry Pi on the other hand has very few options under DCC.

Smartphone, latest version of Android not required, as long as the Engine Driver App can be installed.

Then it's just a case of imagination and technical ability, loco control, signal control, switch control, bolt on a CAN interface for genuine two way communication, the possibilities are limitless and endless..........

Scenario two, Massoth Automatic Control for locos and switches, using a variety of Massoth, PIKO, LGB equipment, whilst it is indeed the most expensive way, it is undoubtedly simpler to implement.

Can be used as part of a main system, or just to control another section of a Garden Railway, even some way from the main system, no third party or separate controlling system required.

Whilst it is constrained to use Functions directly, it was primarily designed to use Accessory Decoder Addresses, this can be worked round by using the addition of an Arduino to pretend to be a Function Decoder.

Two way communication, advent of LLC, has provided this option, interesting to note that on the rear of the new 1202B Booster is a CAN BUS Interface output, remains to be seen if this is either a Industry Standard CAN Interface, or a licenced Marklin proprietary mfx interface.

As work on the Area Group Layout proceeds, it was always the intention to incorporate a DCC automation project as part of the layouts operating potential.

Der Schuppenbahn, has been the guinea pig project as in scenario one above, it is in the process of an electrical tear down, to be converted to scenario two, thus enabling the members of the Area Group with a slant towards the Dark Arts to practise their craft!

Equipment from scenario one, will either be recycled or put up for sale.

Plenty of options and choices, as we say down here in the South West, there are no problems, just challenges, and we go more for innovation and less on procrastination! ;)

* If you thought Win 10 was bloatware, JMRI has taken this to a new level, thankfully progress on using Processing 3 is proceeding at an astonishing rate, the day draws nearer when JMRI can be dumped in the dustbin of history!
 
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muns

muns

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Well, I have used Massoth and LGB hardware (feedback units, detection modules etc). Started with the LGB software. Used the Massoth inbuilt automation functionality to run my cable cars.

Planned to write my own software for automation but like a lot of things it has never quite materialised.
 
Frank Gallagher

Frank Gallagher

Well matured physically if not mentally
1 Jun 2016
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A U T O M A T I O N!!

Takes me all me time to use me navigator
 
Gavin Sowry

Gavin Sowry

Garden Railroader and Raconteur
27 Oct 2009
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My DCC is shy one "C".
So is mine.

I use grey matter, and 10 fingers (and if that's not enough, take off my socks, and use my toes).
I don't need a clock, 'cause 'I've got the time ritted down on a piece of paper'. :confused:
 
Gavin Sowry

Gavin Sowry

Garden Railroader and Raconteur
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Hutt Valley, NZ
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idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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13 Jul 2015
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Ascot
DCC command station: Lenz LZV100
Software: Rocrail (free)
Sensors: LDT RS-8 current detector
 
pugwash

pugwash

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17 Nov 2009
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Fingaz 10.
 
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Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
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This is not terribly authentic operationally but it is 100% reliable, it's not failed me yet.

View attachment 223391


David
Oh dear :giggle::giggle::giggle::giggle::giggle: our esteemed leader asked a very sensible question for those who dabble in the darker arts - but I resisted from messing about - well almost, but I found everyone else had beaten me to it :lipssealed::lipssealed::lipssealed::lipssealed:

I think Paul should have asked a luddite question at the same time - then the DCC boys could have had some fun as well :devil::devil::devil::devil::devil:

What do I use?

Lynx usually :mask::mask::mask:
 
Rowan Bravington

Rowan Bravington

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Thanks Arthur, A comprehensive reply. A lot to take in....... Implementation will be a challenge.............
Cheers
Rowan
Steep learning curve rings a bell