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Old 04-18-2015, 04:32 PM   #1
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Rep Power: 11 patricka has found the electrified trackpatricka has found the electrified trackpatricka has found the electrified trackpatricka has found the electrified track
Automated operation without computer


While browsing some of the forum topics, I didn't find a lot of subjects on automating a layout in DCC without computer. I don't know if it might be of interest for some of you, but I will share what I have made just in case you want to discuss it...

The idea is to be able to automate a layout and automatically drive some or all of the engines while driving a specific one for example. It can be useful if we want to install a block-system, add some animation (back and forth animation or more complex) or automatically drive engines on a layout during a show... (without bringing computer, software, etc...) If layout is already equiped with detection system, only the small automate is required to create animations.

My first PCB/Arduino is able to store a script and to broadcast messages to a Loconet bus to control any decoder. Also, for the purpose of the demonstration, I'm using a BDL168 to capture detection events and trigger actions. I'm currently trying to use another detection system which is independant from the Loconet protocol...

Anyway, here is two videos I've made to depict the results.

The first one shows a back and forth animation: an engine starts from a side track and runs until it reachs a specific point in the main line and stops. Then it goes in the opposite direction and stops at the starting point. It can be easily modified to adapt the speed depending on the location, give realistic acceleration or deceleration, etc... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hg6-n_xmb4

The second video depicts a simple block-system that is used to protect two trains and keep safe distance. Again, acceleration and deceleration are not realistic but it is done only to demonstrate the functionality. Also, no signals are installed on the layout but can be easily added to the scripts... The main interest here is that I can drive one of the engine and the other one will adapt its speed depending on the position. For example, on my regular layout, I can let an engine running on the main line while I'm driving a second in the yard. If I go on the main line, the other engine will stop depending on signal positions and resume its motion when track is freed.

Descriptions in the videos are in french, but I can translate it if needed...

Some examples can be found on internet describing other home made DCC system, automation system based on DCC, etc... So mine is another example using a different configuration as I'm using a command station and Loconet protocol.

Feel free to comment or discuss it...
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