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  1. Hi everyone. I’m working on a new open wireless platform to control trains, layout accessories (signals, level crossing), and any movable vehicles on a layout. I call it WCC (wireless command control). Every decoder communicates with other decoders over the air that’s why you need just plug DC power into your layout. No command stations and boosters are required - just install a decoder inside a train or connect a decoder to a signal, open a browser on your laptop or mobile device and you can already control your layout. DCC is still can be used in case you already have a layout with DCC. I would like to get your feedback, and ideas to know what features should be included at the beginning and what later. The protocol will be fully open with code examples so users who like to code can develop their own decoders and controllers. WCC decoders will be available from December 2023 - January 2024, documentation about the protocol with code examples on Arduino and how to develop your own decoder will be available in December as well. Below you can find more details about how it works, a schematic, and a photo of a decoder prototype - production candidate (currently the size is 11 x 39mm, after we release the main version, we'll add special versions for Kato). Also, you can get more info at https://loco.engineering Main features - Two-way wireless communication between all decoders - trains, cars, and layout elements "talk" with each other - Decoder functions, CV, settings, and logic can be changed directly from a web browser - No boosters, additional wiring, command stations, and CV programming required - Can run on DC, AC tracks, and a battery - Detect train location and add complex interactions with NFC tags (for scale N NFC tags (5 mm x 5 mm) should be placed on a train, and readers (small circuits) should be placed under rails) - No vendor lock-in anymore - WCC is an open protocol with clean documentation, code, and hardware examples for Arduino - Loco.Engineering decoders can be used with classic DCC systems, so you can buy one decoder and try it on your current layout - OEM and the white-label app even for small model train manufacturers - The easiest and probably cheapest way to convert your DC layout to the interactive layout - Over-the-air sound and firmware updates - you shouldn’t remove the train case to update sounds and firmware - Everyone is able to create custom controls and throttles - Low-cost - sound decoders cost €50 or $55. You don't need any additional tools to control decoders or to program them. - Designed, developed, and produced in our workshop. Zero outsourcing and full control of development help us to deliver updates and new features very often. - Updates and new features every week, fast friendly support Feel free to leave feedback here or contact at hey@loco.engineering Project's website: https://loco.engineering
  2. For a long time i've been thinking about collecting all the information i've found about layout automation using the arduino microcontroller. There have been some serious projects using this platform and imho it would be good if someone who is interested in the topic could find everything in one place. Many years ago, i've seen the tram controller article by Ken Shores, but don't know if the project was finished: http://sumidacrossing.org/MyOtherLayouts/SC/ElectricalSystems/TramController/ Since then, i've been doing some experimentation with both the Tomix TCS sensors and the Arduino. As a motor driver i've been using the L293D driver ic, but as i see the L298 is also popular for the same task. For automation, you'll need 3 basic things: -a way to control power to the motors (either analog or DCC) -a way to detect trains at various points or in various blocks -a way to change turnouts A nice optional feature is to have user controls, like analog throttles and input buttons. I plan to collect all the information and simple circuits i know about and maybe even get all the parts together for a complete system.
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