Hornby DCC and PC Interface

Hi
I am brand new to railroad modelling.
I am looking for a system to control a model railroad from my own PC
and write my own software to do this (say in C#).
The safe route I have found at the moment is the LENZ Set 90 a TR150
transformer and the LENZ usb or serial port interface via xpressnet. I
feel confident that this setup will work however the cost is rather
expensive for what really is a little project that I want to play with.
Another option that I have come across (although not confident it will
work) is to purchase a Hornby DCC select unit and connect its xpressnet
port to the LENZ usb or serial adapter. Do you know of anyone that has
attempted this or know if it will work?
Regards
J Lewis
Reply to
JLEWIS
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No idea. Assume it won't work unless proved otherwise.
But, if your layout power requirements are modest, you might get away with controlling things through a SPROG unit. The JMRI Decoder-Pro PC software for DCC supports the Sprog (and I believe is all public domain source, so you can hack away at whatever bits you'd like to do yourself). Budget around £50 for a Sprog.
Double check all I've said above with various suppliers, I think its correct, but I've not actually tried to connect a Sprog to a computer to control a layout. There are comments on the Sprog site about using it as a command station for an external booster, or to control a larger current unit. This may be needed if building a big layout, or running things which need a lot of current.
- Nigel
Reply to
Nigel Cliffe
I agree with Nigel, it's far too early to see if Hornby will work as you want. Lenz architecture is safe though
Reply to
Keith J Patrick
Yep also agree with Nigel. Using Sprog looks good idea but it depends on how much the power unit costs. Theres also the Hornby Elite which has a USB connection already - due out any day (week ?) now. advertised discounted at £90. Not sure how the software will interface - no mention on hornby site. Have got an elite on order, but not going to use fancy C#, will stick to proper programming with C++. So if youre not in a hurry...
Cheers, Simon
Reply to
simon
it won't work unless proved otherwise.
There's a serial SPROG for sale on Ebay at the moment.
Andy Sollis can vouch that I had a SPROG controlling two locos on a test track at the CVMRD exhibition.
It's always been possible to control a single loco with SPROG using JMRI/DecoderPro but I now have some enhancements in beta form that allow multiple loco control. There's a Java .jar in the files area of the SPROG Yahoo group and a few comments in the message archive from people who have tried it out. I can supply the source (it's not in the JMRI CVSchive yet) to anyone who wants to use it as a basis for their own thing. E-mail me via the contact link on the SPROG II homepage or join the SPROG Yahoo group. For a larger layout you will still need a higher current booster. Connecting a SPROG to a Lenz booster definitely works.
Even when your layout outgrows the SPROG as a controller it's still very useful as a programmer, but then I would say that, wouldn't I ;-)
Andrew Crosland
Reply to
google
You could also try looking at Digitrax
formatting link
route as well, plenty of applications both paid for and free as well as a full loconet spec for writing your own software if you prefer.
Chris
Reply to
Chris
Proper programming is C, much more expressive.
Chris
Reply to
Chris
Considering some of the code i've seen theres not much difference to some people.
Simon
Reply to
simon
Real men use FORTRAN
Robin
Reply to
R.C. Payne
"Jerry" wrote
Nice one Jerry! ;-)
John.
Reply to
John Turner
Real men use machine code none of this high level programming language stuff.
Chris
Reply to
Chris
Nah too much paper punching, so scan it when looking for bugs.
Cheers, Simon
Reply to
simon

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