Automatic Brake Controller (ABC) for DCC systems now available

The shop now has DCC ABC generators in stock. See the shop pages for user guide and demonstration video.

Available in single and 8 pack formats, this circuit will enable automatic braking on suitably equipped DCC locos.

Can be interlocked with signals or track circuit for fully automatic operation.

Shop link – Single pack

Shop link – Multi pack

PC Interface early software preview

This is an update on the PC interface software as it currently stands. I have yet to design the hardware and have a number of decisions regarding processor and USB support IC’s to resolve over the next few weeks. I’m attracted by a range of processors with embedded USB driver IC’s, though may go the more typical route of adding a dedicated IC.

Having written the software (you’ll see it demonstrated in the video) I’m looking for help from people who know how to integrate it with popular railway control packages, in particular JMRI.

When this is complete it will provide full layout access via a PC to read and set all turnouts and query all feedback channels.

The software has two main components, an event driven backend that responds to and reports all layout changes, such as a block becoming occupied, a point position indicator changing, or any point being changed. It also has a front end that accepts commands to both query and set the status.

This product is still under development. 

If you feel you can help and have the JAVA skills for JMRI, please get in touch with me via email (address on the website here).

Here’s the video.

Servo 4R and relay board

Servo Controller 4R – New product announcement

Servo Controller 4R

A 4 channel servo controller with integrated frog switch – available immediately via the web shop.

The Servo Controller controls up to 4 servos on your model railway layout. Its flexible design means that it can be operated by connecting toggle switches directly to the supplied cables or it can be controlled via the built in network interface. This makes remote control via DCC module, MultiPanel, MiniPanel or even another Servo Controller 4R all possible.

The Servo Controller has many different user selectable output models including normal and reversed turnout operation, upper or lower quadrant semaphore signal and includes an integrated relay module for frog or track switching. Each of the four outputs may be set independently.

All configuration is via the built in buttons and LEDs and requires only one finger to configure. No external devices are required to configure or operate this unit.

To view the introduction video see the Servo 4R product page.




MiniPanel Processor – New product announcement

The MiniPanel Processor is a simplified mimic panel controller for up to 12 channels and is available as a bare bones circuit board or starter kit including all LEDs, buttons, plugs and cables.

Designed for smaller layouts, the MiniPanel can control servos for points or semaphore use; traditional solenoid points motors, Tortoise type stall motors and Kato Unitrack turnouts.

See the product page for introduction and quick start videos, to download the user guide and determine which versions are available.

Available now direct from our web shop.

Optical sensors and smaller panel buttons video update

This video illustrates the design constraints we are under when creating more compact and higher detailed mimic panels and how we’ve solved this with smaller button footprints.

The second half of the video introduces inexpensive infra red detectors suitable for both analogue and digital systems and the changes we’ve made to incorporate them easily into our feedback system.

  Video link here.

Setting network address range on solenoid, stall and Kato motor driver boards

This video discusses and demonstrates how to adjust the network address ranges on solenoid, Kato and stall motor turnout motor driver boards. With up to 192 devices controllable on any one network, this video explains the basics for address setting. Once set, a board can be physically placed anywhere on the network and in any order, the device numbers will not alter.

Video link here.

Engineering preview video – Feedback light sensor for model railways

This video shows a prototype optical sensor that will become integrated into our block detection and feedback system. Expected to become available in December 2017, this device features an additional ambient light sensor as well as the rolling stock sensor making the unit self calibrating, even in unstable light environments.

The optical sensor is ideal for analogue (DC) and digital (DCC) installations.

Video link here.