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Hi I'm starting to build my layout this year hopefully in the summer. Planning ahead my thoughts are looking at possible computer control and the hidden storage . How do I know which train is on what track if I can't see them ? There are various systems/ways but RFID seems like a good way to know where your trains/engines are . I was thinking of just the bar coding only the loco's to start with maybe with the readers just in the hidden storage area . But from what i've seen it is be better to site it below the track so before the track is laid in which case in other areas as well as the storage. I'm sure somebody out there have had experience of this system I would be interested on you thoughts . Jim
 

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Have you had a look at the MERG website? Model Electronics Railway Group
They probably have a few projects related to RFID.
For integration with computer control, JMRI might have some interfaces/modules for it?

It is possible that some computer control systems use 'dead reckoning' for basic train location information. Once the software knows how far the speed steps sent to a loco will send it, they can start from a known position and keep track by knowing the route it took.

If you have a RailCom capable DCC controller and decoders, installing a RailCom detector will report the number of the loco passing by. This can be picked up by the train controller software. Whilst RailCom support comes 'for free' in the controller and decoders, the detectors are quite expensive.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi David I am aware of MERG and RailCom but not really had a look but will do. I was looking at Mc Kinley model railway and they were using RFID it is impressive although not without it's snags. They have a massive model railway with a lots of operators and running to timetables. My plan was to have trains made up and run them round via the hidden storage where they will stay then reappear later so knowing which track they are on so the points can be set would be useful . One of the advantages of the system is it using wi-fi meaning less wiring . Lot's to think about and more to study. Thanks for your reply. Jim
 

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It is possible that some computer control systems use 'dead reckoning' for basic train location information. Once the software knows how far the speed steps sent to a loco will send it, they can start from a known position and keep track by knowing the route it took.
Most train control software uses information about a loco's speed as well as triggered feedbacks to determine a train's position. That's why it may be necessary to calibrate a loco and give the software information about how fast a loco goes at which speed steps, as well as how long your blocks are and where the feedbacks are located. There are ways to automate the loco
calibration process, which should be a once-off but can take a while (iTrain certainly does).

JMRI appears to have support for some RFID readers, but it is classed as 'evolving'. RocRail has support for RFID as well, including the MERG system, but it again comes with a number of caveats. iTrain does not support RFID recognition at this time.
 
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