… controlled model railroads are getting more complex and are still pretty expensive (if you control locos, turnouts, signals and have some kind of loco detection). The reason is the use of highly specialized hardware and software (and overall the model railroad industry is pretty small, production figures are low). The prices are as high as 140 Euro for a single LAN interface! You get half a netbook or 4 RaspberryPI’s for this money. So why don’t we use more standard components to control our model railroads?
Most control systems and protocols were developed in the the 80-s, to run on the 1980s microcontrollers. But the performance of the components has made a lot of progress in the meantime, however, the protocols have only become more complex.
The idea is to develop a new type of MRR control, which uses standard components and has more intelligence moved from a “central station” (which is now longer needed) to the accessory decoders and smart phone controllers.
The “Lanbahn” Concept:
- Intelligent end devices
- all with a network or wlan interface
- No central station, no PC needed
- no complex binary protocols
- decoders advertise their capabilities via zeroconf/avahi/bonjour protocol.
- everyone can build a decoder based on a raspberryPI or on a spark.io core
- with SPROG and a RaspberryPI you can build a very cheap wireless mrr control system
Anyone is invited to contribute – just send me an email that we can get into contact…