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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know if it would be possible to control a DCC layout from another room using a couple of networked PC's?

The main problem I can see is getting the signal to the USB connected DCC controller, but I guess there must be a way.

I know that there are issues with derailments etc if you are not in the same room as the layout, but ignoring that would it be possible?
 

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QUOTE (Raider @ 25 May 2007, 21:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does anyone know if it would be possible to control a DCC layout from another room using a couple of networked PC's?
Hello Raider,

Excuse me for asking but what is the point in operating remotely from another room? Why not just run a computer simulation instead? Or are you aiming to have an air-traffic control style remote system?

Is is not a question of cable length, in that one can just use whatever is needed to connect a PC to a layout but a longer variety?

Apologies if I have missed the point completely (likely!),

Goedel
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess I was just wondering if it was possible really.

I know you could just use a long enough cable, but I wondered if it would be possible to control a USB connected DCC controller from a networked PC.

I did a bit of searching and found a software USB server which I think may do the job. One possible implementation of this is to try controlling a friends layout via an internet connection while viewing over his webcam. Obviously he would be in the room when I was controlling his trains 'just in case'
 

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I do do something like this.

I use Railroad & Co software to control my layout and then use VNC (Google for this) software to operate the layout from another machine.

However the response of VNC may not be the fastest so I would not guarantee that disasters would not happen i.e VNC is not for instant real time control.

The way I use it is to take my Palm handheld to the layout and use it to check the operation of turnouts or other accessories controlled by RR software on my main pc. This way I can see that when I operate RR on my pc that the accessory/turnout really does move in the right direct/at all , close up. Useful if your pc is some 20 feet from the kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The VNC option sounds good, but does this effectively give full control of the host computer to the person at the other end (as with Netmeeting or Remote Desktop Connection)?

Ideally we don't want the person connecting to be able to power down the host PC.

I shall have a look at it and see where it takes us.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (markw @ 26 May 2007, 12:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>RR&Co do a network addon for their traincontroller software, that does exactly what you want. Take a look at their website..

Cheers for the heads up on RR&Co, but we are trying to do this on the cheap if we can - the cost of RR&Co is a bit out of the price range unfortunately.

Might be worth a look at the free trial tho I guess
 

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"Ideally we don't want the person connecting to be able to power down the host PC."

VNC will allow the person connecting to power done the host pc
 

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Try DameWare, which allows you to apply restrictions to the overviewing terminal. We abandoned VNC at work (2,000 terminals, WAN, LAN) because it was not too accurate and allowed mistakes to happen, despite the best efforts of the user.

The DameWare works ok over 512kb, 1mb,2mb links, so if you have Broadband it should be ok. It might be added though that if the network is busy, connections still have to be refreshed.

There is of course Windows XP remote access, although I have never used it in anger. That might be useful?

Regards,

Hugh
 

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QUOTE (Hugh Williams @ 26 May 2007, 17:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>There is of course Windows XP remote access, although I have never used it in anger. That might be useful?

Regards,

Hugh

With the server version of windows remote desktop you can make a customised connection or rdp link that will immediastely run a certain application upon connection and will not allow tghe remote user to do anything except use that application. As soon as they try to end the app or access any other facilities on the host PC the remote session closes.

We use this at work to give remote access to our accounts team to the accounts software running on one of the main servers which we obviously don't want them to be able to tinker with other stuff on there.

Not sure whether the XP or Vista version can be setup this way, if i get time later today i'll try it out and report back.

Regards

Mark
 

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Probably only of interest to me and other Palm users but Dameware does not seem to support Palms. So will stick with VNC.
 

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QUOTE (Raider @ 25 May 2007, 22:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does anyone know if it would be possible to control a DCC layout from another room using a couple of networked PC's?

The main problem I can see is getting the signal to the USB connected DCC controller, but I guess there must be a way.

I know that there are issues with derailments etc if you are not in the same room as the layout, but ignoring that would it be possible?

You can setup DDW serwer and connect a programs to it from more than one computer.
DDW you can find here: http://mitglied.lycos.de/mgrafe/
My program works with it: http://www.gbbkolejka.pl/www/en/index.html
or you can used other programs: http://home.snafu.de/mgrafe/download.htm

One remark: this is not easy program...
 

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You are going to need the same number of PC-USB-XpressNet or PC-routers no matter whether the PC is connected to LAN or XpressNet, the costs will be about the same!

The cheaper alternative is to create a wireless LAN, with the main router USB connected, quite simple really
This would work in the same way as printer does on a LAN with multiple PC
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The PC's are not in the same building, we are trying to do this over the internet.

Tried joining the computers with a VPN and then sharing the USB port with USB over Network but that couldn't find the USB server.

Ended up having a play using Netmeeting, but that was extremely laggy.

I have a feeling that this could be a non-starter at the moment.
 

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QUOTE (M8 INTERNET @ 27 May 2007, 23:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The cheaper alternative is to create a wireless LAN, with the main router USB connected, quite simple really
This would work in the same way as printer does on a LAN with multiple PC

Wireless or wired LAN, You still need some way to actually share / remotely control the application
.

Cheers

mark
 

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hi Raider :^)

there is a product called www.tightvnc.com which is said to have a very low bandwidth overhead (hence the name). It's open source and it's available for both windows and linux (my railway pc is a linux box).
I don't know how you'd disable the shutdown bit, though. On the bright side if a remote user does shut it down, what's the worst that can happen? They'd disconnect themselves. Other rights can be restricted locally on the PC using access control. EG set up a user on the PC that doesn't have priveleges to access outside of their home directory or change any other settings and log in as that user when the PC is available online.
 

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I believe the Horton layout of the late Stephen Parascandolo and others could be operated over the internet from anywhere, using public domain software. I don't know any details but no doubt there's a website somewhere.
 

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just somethink there are devices that can do want you want but for serial connection but i dont think there are devices that can do the same for usb just so you know i think there called ethernet terminal servers dont know about price.
there are also usb device kown as print servers that do it for printers but because of how they work i dont thing they would work for other things
 
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