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> New DCC Controller. Via Bluetooth / Android., Bill Gilbert is selling these on ebay.
merlin
post 10 Sep 2020, 16:48
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Anyone using one of these. At £45 3 amp to £55 for the 5amp.
Seems cheap but does it work. Look forward to comments.
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Babz
post 11 Sep 2020, 06:48
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The only problem is most of us will not know who the Gentleman is and what is the name of the controller equipment or is that a secret!!
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Cyril Rossignol
post 11 Sep 2020, 07:47
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This solution, if I am not mistaken is using a standard Arduino, an Arduino Motor shield and an Arduino WIFI shield. The hardware is relatively simple and the software on the Arduino is not doing all the DCC communication.
The DCC commands, protocol and complex things are done on the app you install on your Phone. The App cost £5.99 and seems to only be available on Android.
So it is a cheap solution, but it seems you can only control your train via the proprietary app.

A similar solution using Arduino is called DCC++. It also uses Arduino and a motor shield. You then connect to a computer or Raspberry Pi that runs JMRI and JMRI offer you the option to control your train via a phones/tablets (free app) or via JMRI itself. A more open solution in my opinion, but you need to run JMRI

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merlin
post 12 Sep 2020, 17:21
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I found this on ebay bought one.
Once it was all set up and bluetooth was connected it worked fine via my ipad.
The set up was on a short length of track away from the layout.
However a problem arose when it was plugged into the layout proper continued to short.
Not found out why yet. Will keep you posted.
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merlin
post 14 Sep 2020, 12:26
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Since my last post i have found the short. The existing controller was still connected to the bus. Once isolated the Bluetooth connected.A pre loaded loco was successfully located and driven from my ipad. I then loaded a second loco to the roster this to ran as expected.
I found that once a loco was running you can adjust the steps to suit.Next was to see if i can change a point. Once the point number was selected ONE button press changed it. On my original system this could use more than one or four depending on its number.
There are 28 functions available all one touch. The roster list is easy to use, scroll down to it select a number say last two cabsides enter that, number & name the loco also if you wish, loco ready to be driven.
Not got round to actually programing a loco yet. (Watch this space.) Conclusion so far. Using DCC for over 20 years I am more than impressed with this system. (I can see my old gear going on ebay) Tips. Make sure you have the correct transformer in my case i bought a 14 v to suit the 3 amp unit. Its identified on Bill Gilberts ebay list. Once this is wired up to the electronics and the lid put on the box supplied tuck it away and forget it the app does all the work for you. Regards.
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Nigel2001
post 14 Sep 2020, 16:54
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QUOTE (Cyril Rossignol @ 11 Sep 2020, 07:47) *
This solution, if I am not mistaken is using a standard Arduino, an Arduino Motor shield and an Arduino WIFI shield. The hardware is relatively simple and the software on the Arduino is not doing all the DCC communication.
The DCC commands, protocol and complex things are done on the app you install on your Phone. The App cost £5.99 and seems to only be available on Android.
So it is a cheap solution, but it seems you can only control your train via the proprietary app.

A similar solution using Arduino is called DCC++. It also uses Arduino and a motor shield. You then connect to a computer or Raspberry Pi that runs JMRI and JMRI offer you the option to control your train via a phones/tablets (free app) or via JMRI itself. A more open solution in my opinion, but you need to run JMRI


Various people have taken DCC++ and turned it into a complete system (ie. don't need Raspberry PI, don't have to use smartphone, etc.. ). One is "Dani" on "Club N Caldes" in Spain who's produced several versions, including a complete system with keypad, screen, and speed slider (or knob) for about 20Euros plus power supply.

Or, in a different approach, there is "Hans" with his numerous YouTube videos on the "internet of toy trains".


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Cyril Rossignol
post 15 Sep 2020, 08:04
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QUOTE (Nigel2001 @ 14 Sep 2020, 16:54) *
Various people have taken DCC++ and turned it into a complete system (ie. don't need Raspberry PI, don't have to use smartphone, etc.. ). One is "Dani" on "Club N Caldes" in Spain who's produced several versions, including a complete system with keypad, screen, and speed slider (or knob) for about 20Euros plus power supply.

Or, in a different approach, there is "Hans" with his numerous YouTube videos on the "internet of toy trains".


No doubt you can do a lot of clever things with DCC+, Arduino and all the shields available (Bluetouth, WIFI, LCD display, etc..). But a lot of what is possible will depend of your resources (knowledge, time and tools) you have. If you just want a system that is more or less ready to use with minimum tinkering like just putting in in a box, connect few things together) and run, then you can only get what is made available.
£45 for a Basic DCC station is a good price. One could make it even cheaper if you built it yourself. An Arduino Uno clone is less than £3, the power shield would be £10 if you can wait for shipping from China.

I personally use a Roco Z21 with WIFI, an old computer running JMRI with a large touch screen for my mimic panel. This system required very little tinkering from me. I try to limit my tinkering time so I can focus on modeling and enjoying my layout.
I used few Arduino Uno with ARCOMORA solution for all my signal masts as it ended up way cheaper than any commercial module available. So I am not against using such solution.

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