Computer control for points, routes signals etc

 
  Groover Train Controller

Location: A long way from home
Hi

Is the a product/computer program that can set routes, points/switches and signals without having to go the full DCC route?

Thanks in advance

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  Oscar Train Controller

Hi Groover, this is something I’ve been researching on and off for a couple of months though I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do yet. I’m sure there’s a few options but two come to mind from my searching. Not necessarily computer controlled but..
Firstly check out mega points controller in the uk. https://megapointscontrollers.co.uk/ and search YouTube for Dave Fenton’s videos about the same. This system can be as simple or as complex as you want with or without dcc and should work on solenoids, slow mo stall motors or servos IIRC.

Secondly, do some research on making a diode matrix for point/turnout control. There’s quite a few links online for the subject and is perhaps a cheaper option.
  roy66 Junior Train Controller

Have a look here

https://www.cti-electronics.com/hardware.htm

If you were to go DCC there's JMRI and if you want to spend some money have a look at RR&Co Traincontroller...
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Secondly, do some research on making a diode matrix for point/turnout control. There’s quite a few links online for the subject and is perhaps a cheaper option.
Oscar
Been happily using diode matrices for decades, and they weren't new when I started. I even wrote and sent an article to AMRM about making them (which disappeared without trace). Used cheap power diodes, a rotary switch and veroboard and cost peanuts.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
JMRI is  free, poweerful and adaptable. hard codong things these daya is ok until you want tot change.And  JMRI is  freee to try.  If it does what you want you have a huge resource base.

And  while there are software to  buy and use, and many do, jmri is not locked into one person't visiion.  

I would chase this on so many levels.


Regards,
David Head
  Groover Train Controller

Location: A long way from home
JMRI is  free, poweerful and adaptable. hard codong things these daya is ok until you want tot change.And  JMRI is  freee to try.  If it does what you want you have a huge resource base.

And  while there are software to  buy and use, and many do, jmri is not locked into one person't visiion.  

I would chase this on so many levels.


Regards,
David Head
dthead
David, thanks for that link.  I'm going to explore JMRI and the Citi-Electronics options.  Appreciate everyone's response.
I would go DCC but I have a lot of older Australian and European locos.  The DCC locos I have seem happy on DC.  It's the "signal box" that I would like to try to convert to electronics and then I'll see....!
Cheers
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Can I ask how many points and signal, and what sorts of signals?

Also whether you are planning to use block detection on the track (or some other mechanism) and how many?

Will all the signals be automatic or somewill be controlled by a lever like in an interlocking tower?

The reason I ask is that the best answer to your question is very much related to these parameters.

For example, if you just want very simple Absolute Block Signal (if block ahead is occupied signal is red; otherwise if block is free but next signal is red this signal is yellow, otherwise green) for smallish number of signals some sort of direct wired system is perfectly fine.

Any more complex and you’re probably wanting a bus (like DCC) to at least simplify the wiring and then some sort of software (JMRI is common).

Signals can be a lot of work, but I absolutely love them and would be more than happy to share my experience to save you some of the pain I went through Smile.
  Parkeston Station Staff

Groover,

You know that you don’t have to have DCC on your track to use DCC.  If you run a DCC bus around under your layout you can plug all of your utility decoders into that.  Certainly would make the wiring simpler.

Ian
  Groover Train Controller

Location: A long way from home
Groover,

You know that you don’t have to have DCC on your track to use DCC.  If you run a DCC bus around under your layout you can plug all of your utility decoders into that.  Certainly would make the wiring simpler.

Ian
Parkeston
Ian

Yes, I was planning to do that.  I had considered DCC locos in an earlier planning stage and purchased the necessary wiring and clips.  


Cheers
  Groover Train Controller

Location: A long way from home
Can I ask how many points and signal, and what sorts of signals?

Also whether you are planning to use block detection on the track (or some other mechanism) and how many?

Will all the signals be automatic or somewill be controlled by a lever like in an interlocking tower?

The reason I ask is that the best answer to your question is very much related to these parameters.

For example, if you just want very simple Absolute Block Signal (if block ahead is occupied signal is red; otherwise if block is free but next signal is red this signal is yellow, otherwise green) for smallish number of signals some sort of direct wired system is perfectly fine.

Any more complex and you’re probably wanting a bus (like DCC) to at least simplify the wiring and then some sort of software (JMRI is common).

Signals can be a lot of work, but I absolutely love them and would be more than happy to share my experience to save you some of the pain I went through Smile.
SAR523
21 points including 2 double slips and a Shinohara double crossing.  Hadn't even got signalling!
Had your first snow for the season?
  sol Assistant Commissioner

Location: Evanston Gardens SA
Have a look here  
 https://www.dccconcepts.com/product-category/the-cobalt-collection/cobalt-alpha/

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