My New Project - G Scale, Battery Power, DCC++,Full Size AAR Controller?

Shagbark Valley Aug 16, 2018

  1. Shagbark Valley

    Shagbark Valley New Member

    Hello gang,

    I have been working on a project on and off for several years, but the technology didn't seem to exist to do what i wanted to do. So this week while fighting with serial protocol between an arduino and Python, trying to decipher mathematics for momentum and velocity which looked like Egyptian hieroglyphics, i got frustrated and i decided to search around again and found DCC ++!

    So, here is what i have and what i want to do, and I welcome all advice!

    • G Scale Locomotives that run on battery. Had them working on battery with RC speed controllers, as well as an Airwire controller.
    • 1/2 of a Full Size Locomotive Cab (Engineers Side)
    • Full size AAR control stand. I have mapped out all the inputs and outputs and started wiring so i can pull them into an Arduino mega.
    • Full size breaker control panel. This has the large knife switch, all the breakers, and switches for lights as well as some indicator lights. These too, are being wired to be read and controlled by the Arduino
    • Full Size Front of Train unit. Not sure quite how i will use it, but it powers up and displays info. It is part of the control stand. The RF unit has been removed from it
    • Full Size Speedometer and Alerter.
    • I am at just over 45 inputs, consisting of opto interrupters, variable resistors, switches, and breakers
    • Over 20 outputs, including servos for all the gauges, indicator lights,

    And now some questions / thoughts for you all:
    • I am assuming i can use DCC++ with motor controller directly inside my locomotive. So each locomotive would actually be a self contained DCC++ Base unit. I have one locomotive that has a DCC decoder in it, so i was going to hook directly from the arduino motor controller to the decoder.

    • I do not use track power, as it is too hard to keep clean, and i don't have to worry about blocking. I wanted to give DCC Decoder a try, as it would allow me to use momentum and braking and me not have to calculate the physics; That' a big part of what i am doing. I want it to be somewhat realistic, with control varying depending on amount of cars entered before beginning the run.

    • I plan on sending the serial commands to the Arduino via Xbee. I have done this before when i first started tinkering and before i knew about DCC++

    • What do you guys think about being able to use my big controller as an actual DCC controller? I was hoping someone has done something similar with JMRI, but i haven't found it yet. Granted I don't really need it, but it would be interesting. If i didn't, i would just code the Arduinos to do the processing, and send the commands over the air via xbee.
    Thanks for listening to my ramblings!
    Simon Mitchell likes this.
  2. Shagbark Valley

    Shagbark Valley New Member

    Well, maybe I scared folks off. Let me try one question :)

    Does anyone know if it is possible to do Wireless DCC++ and Battery Power. Google and Bing haven't turned up anything promising yet. Im getting the l298 to try tomorrow and see if I can make it work.

  3. UK Steve

    UK Steve TrainBoard Member

    Yes anything is possible ! Threads on this board have been there already.

    For the other, are you talking this kind of thing?

    That is one cool project !
  4. Jim Barad

    Jim Barad New Member

    Greetings, and Happy New Year!

    I read this two year old post with great interest as I am heading down the same track.....sort of.

    I'm interested mostly in if you were able to get DCC ++ to work with the base station and engine decoder directly connected to one another, within the train, under battery power.

    If you're still out there, and reply, I'll continue the conversation.


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