Electronics and Software

EngineDriver Android Throttle

For quite a few years I have supported Steve Todd, the developer of the EngineDriver Android app, by working on bug fixes, performance improvement and adding new features. To help spread the word on the growing capabilities of Smartphones and Tablets, I have presented a clinic entitled “Using Smartphones and Tablets for Throttles and Panels with JMRI” at various clubs and NMRA meetings. In response to requests from clinic attendees, the clinic is now available for download in pdf format.

Low Cost Distributed I/O – the QuadLN story

I have been interested in low cost, distributed i/o for model RR applications for many years. Imagine how much simpler it would be if turnouts, control panels, signals, etc could just be wired to low cost, local i/o boards that tied into a communications network. By using LocoNet® as the network, the i/o points can be easily accessed via handheld throttles and any of the popular layout control software programs. The cost of the technology to accomplish this has fallen steadily and concept has become reality: N3IX Engineering has collaborated with Tam Valley Depot to develop the QuadLN LocoNet® stationary decoder family. This product family now includes the QuadLN_S servo controller, a Signal Driver add-on board and a Detector add-on board.

The QuadLN_S with Signal and Detector boards.

DCC Ammeter

Wanted to have DCC current readouts on the command station and each power district so I designed my own DCC Ammeter. The design uses an ACS724 as the current sensor. This device is practically invisible to the DCC system since it has a tiny insertion resistance of under 2 milliohm! The ACS724 output runs to an ideal fullwave rectifier which then feeds a 0-10 volt DC meter. The DCC Ammeter uses about 20 mA and can run off DCC power or an external DC supply. The meter can be mounted on the front so the board can be surface mounted as shown below, the meter can be mount on the rear so the board can be mounted on the back of a panel, or the meter can be remoted using a standard 3-wire servo extension cable. The entire parts cost including the circuit board is about $15 in low quantity.

Front-mount version of the DCC Ammeter .

A limited number of bare circuit boards are available. Contact me if interested.

Disclaimer. The DCC Ammeter is DIY and not a product. I am not sourcing parts or providing support. The information provided is for general informational purposes only and there is no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the site. Your reliance on any information on the site is solely at your own risk.

Stringline Diagrams

Here is a spreadsheet that will draw Stringline train diagrams from your train schedule. Stringline diagrams clearly show conflicts between opposing trains and are a very helpful tool when adjusting the schedule.

PICDASM 16F87X Disassembler

Here is a disassembler for the 16F87X family. These parts have been popular among DCC DIY’ers. The disassembler code is based on the java DJDASM 16F84 disassembler by Pincer Aydin. I added support for all registers in the 16F87X family and improved the formatting a bit.

1. The disassembler monitors BCF STATUS,RPx and BSF STATUS,RPx instructions to determine the register page select bits. MOVWF STATUS instructions can also affect the register page select bits, in which case the register file names shown in the disassembled code may be incorrect.
2. Give PICDASM a try and let me know what you think.

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