DCC++ Hardware - Throttles

KE4NYV Jan 25, 2016

  1. w8one

    w8one TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a list of the commands and how to use them in your menu you develop.
    https://github.com/DccPlusPlus/BaseStation/wiki/Commands-for-DCCpp-BaseStation
    There may be more commands added since i sat down and made this but this is all taken from the comments in the code and from posts made in the original fourms.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2016
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  2. David Bodnar

    David Bodnar TrainBoard Member

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    Good day, all - for those of you who are looking for a more traditional throttle that connects directly to the DCC++ controller please look over the following:

    http://trainelectronics.com/DCC_Arduino/DCC++/Throttle/

    I hope to put together a video showing its operation in the next few days.

    Please feel free to suggest changes / improvements.

    thanks!

    dave
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. David Bodnar

    David Bodnar TrainBoard Member

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  4. UK Steve

    UK Steve TrainBoard Member

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    Good job Dave,

    I can see this one being very popular.

    For sure someone will now ask for the wifi version.

    With 2 ESP8266 I'm guessing it would be quite easily and without the need to develop complex client/server code.

    Steve.
     
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  5. David Bodnar

    David Bodnar TrainBoard Member

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  6. sboyer2

    sboyer2 TrainBoard Member

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    what's the value of the Potentiometer you are using, i don't see the value listed anywhere.

    also found this is someone prefers a slider instead.

    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/121381873820

    Steph!
     
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  7. Desiro

    Desiro New Member

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    Here is a proof of concept of my Handset to be used with Gregg's DCC++. I did it with an arduino MiniPro($2.00), a KeyPad($1.20) and ST7735 1.8 TFT Color LCD ($4.69). It can store up to fifteen Loks including loc's names and functions. No computer to operate the train ;)-
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
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  8. sboyer2

    sboyer2 TrainBoard Member

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    that unit may have regulatory problems depending on where you are.
    you might have better success with these (you'll need a pair) and these are bidirectional. they are in the 2.4GHz freq. range. and capable of 2Mbit/s

    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/161236789557

    this one has an external antenna ( standard router style SMA connector ) you could use this one the base-station an choose one with an internal antenna for the handheld throttle.

    internal antenna: here's a pair for less than $3 usd
    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/New-NRF24L01...ceiver-Module-Microcontroller-KP/322111504200

    these are rated 3.3v or less, so like the ESP modules, you'll need to take care to convert the 5v to something it can use, and they do make adapter boards for that.
    again under $3usd for 2 pieces.
    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/2PCS-Socket-...24L01-Wireless-Transceive-module/141976861535


    Steph!
     
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  9. David Bodnar

    David Bodnar TrainBoard Member

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    Steph - the value of the potentiometer doesn't really matter - it can be anything from 1K to 100K (or more) - it acts as a voltage divider delivering a voltage between 0 and 5 volts to the Arduino pin. As long as it has a linear taper (as opposed to an audio taper) just about anything will work - the nice thing about the pot that I selected is that it has a detent at the center position so you can feel when it is in the middle (off) position.

    The slider should work - the software would need to be modified to use the full range for forward or backward - a toggle or push-button switch could be used to select direction.

    dave
     
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  10. David Bodnar

    David Bodnar TrainBoard Member

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    Nicely done! I would like to see a schematic and the code that you used.
    thanks!
    dave
     
  11. David Bodnar

    David Bodnar TrainBoard Member

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    Lots of good options there, Steph - After I experiment with the one I ordered I may give some or all a try.
    thanks
    dave
    PS I am aware of the frequency issues with the unit I ordered (I am a ham - N3ENM) - at the power I plan on using it shouldn't be an issue
     
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  12. lnxlnx

    lnxlnx TrainBoard Member

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    David,

    18km range, you must have a really big layout to need that :)
     
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  13. David Bodnar

    David Bodnar TrainBoard Member

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    I haven't seen 18km listed - more like 600 meters, but that is at a slower baud rate - if I want to go 115200 baud (as the DCC++ system does) the range is likely to drop dramatically - there is also a power setting on that unit that allows one to drop the output power extending the battery life.
    dave

    PS - this is from the ad
    Default address range (open field test): About 600m (maximum communication distance adjustable reach 1000m, the baud rate is 5000bps)
    More info here: http://www.seeedstudio.com/wiki/images/b/b0/HC-12_User_Manual.pdf
     
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  14. lnxlnx

    lnxlnx TrainBoard Member

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    Ah, I just saw the link to instructables which said 18km as part of the URL but now that I have actually followed the link to the article it is shown as 1.8km on that site.

    Note to self, follow link before commenting :(
     
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  15. David Bodnar

    David Bodnar TrainBoard Member

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    Even 1.8 km is really a crazy claim - perhaps with an ideal antenna, clear mountaintop to mountaintop line of sight and the right phase of the moon.......
     
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  16. Desiro

    Desiro New Member

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    Thanks. Let me finish some additional functions first, then I will post it.
    Andi
     
  17. HVT

    HVT TrainBoard Member

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    Dave B,

    Can more than one of these throttles be connected to the same DCC++ Base Station at the same time? Any requirements?

    Looking forward to your WiFi version. Might the WiFi version be done with a pair of Moteinos in lieu of the Pro Mini?

    Dave Merrill
     
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  18. David Bodnar

    David Bodnar TrainBoard Member

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    Dave - I have not connected more than one throttle and have not designed the throttle to allow this - that said, it might work - there would be some contention for the serial line and it might not be too responsive but it "could" work..... I may give it a try at some point.

    I have received the wireless units (not WiFi, but wireless serial gizmos) and am encouraged by the results of some initial testing - stay tuned!

    I have no personal experience with the Moteino but it certainly looks like it could work.

    dave
     
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  19. HVT

    HVT TrainBoard Member

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    Dave B,

    The Arduino Mega has 4 sets of serial ports:
    Serial: 0 (RX) and 1 (TX); Serial 1: 19 (RX) and 18 (TX); Serial 2: 17 (RX) and 16 (TX); Serial 3: 15 (RX) and 14 (TX)
    So it seems logical that one of your throttles could be connected to each RX pin. Hopefully someone will chime in on this with more info.

    Dave
     
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  20. David Bodnar

    David Bodnar TrainBoard Member

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    Dave - I don't think the number of serial ports is the issue - if the DCC++ software were revised I am sure that multiple throttles like the one I am using could be connected. My goal with any add-on software is to have it work with an unmodified version of DCC++

    dave
     

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