[posted] Model Railroad Electrical Control System


S3 Board.jpg

This project, originally developed for signaling and control systems for model railroads, can actually be used for almost any kind of control or lighting project. It features 8 inputs and 16 powered outputs, as well as two network connections to add up to 50 expansion boards. A simple communications protocol, using RS485 multipoint and simple modular cables, connects the expansion boards. A key feature of this system is the related PC software, which allows configuration of the system and creation of the control logic via a point and click methodology, and then converts the configuration into a complete, functional Arduino program, ready to run on the Teensy 4.0 that is embedded on the main board. Other than knowing how to compile and download, no programming knowledge or particular skill is required. A larger version, with 16 inputs and 32 outputs, utilizing a Teensy 4.1 processor is also available.


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I don't have a video of my own railroad, because it is still under construction. Most of the usage to date has been on contract jobs with custom layout builders. I will work on getting a video of one of those layouts, but I am hoping to develop an instructional video in the near future that shows how the whole system works from start to finish, including the configuration steps required.