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chris

DCC Automation

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When it comes to the construction of my railway, I have shamelessly copied IanR's K&WR, so when he visited Amblethorpe yesterday I didn't have much I could "show off". But Ian is a DC man so I knew he'd be interested in my DCC set up, and he was. Ian is no technophobe, (he left me a DVD of the K&WR, and I think he was a little disappointed that he couldn't give me a BlueRay version because I dont have a player :( ) he told me that it was simply the cost of converting all his locos that has held him back, so he was keen to see what I could do, and was keener to show him.

You can imagine my frustration yesterday morning when I picked up my iPod to find it showing the "white screen of death". I tried all I could: reboot, hard reboot, even a full restore. But to no avail, the white screen of death persisted.

Classic case of sods law.

I was limited to one iThrottle controller, which cramped my style. We did manage to run two trains at once, but not with the ease I'm used to with an iPod and an iPad.

We probably would have got on with a bit of proper oppertation if the rain had spoilt our fun.

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Just noticed that there is an update for the WiThrottle app for the iPhone. They have made it a native iPad app which means it now makes use of all the extra screen space.

Some good new features, it looks like I'll be able to have a signal box track panel on the screen and just tap the point to throw the point.

Roll on Summer (which happened in March last year).

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The shed isn't a good environment for old PCs. The two I've used in there so far have become unreliable. I got hold of a new (old) PC this week, downloaded and installed the lastest version of JMRI and today I've got it fixed up to the railway.

I've spent more time with the software this year than before and found a lot more features in PanelPro including how to add text labels (which means I can dispense with the background image I'd mentioned previously). I've also got the "Web Server" feature working, this allows you to control trains using a web browser on another computer or tablet, without the need for special software. Any laptop can now be a throttle over the wireless network.

With this setup in place I've finally be able to give the new iPad versions of the iThrottle app a run out.

It's good.

You can now have two throttles on the screen (it is posible to have 4!) along with a signalling panel. Controlling two locos at the same time tends to go wrong, but it does make switching between two trains quick and simple. The Pannel is one you have created on your PC and I found I needed to rearrange a few of the elements to better fit the iPad screen space available. But it works a treat. Tap on the icon of a point and the point throws. It's just what I wanted.

You can also run the panel using the full screen of the iPad, making it a mobile signal box. This is the way I plan to use it. I'll wander around controlling the track while I let others drive the trains.

I don't know how these features will work on an iPhone because I've not got round to replacing my iPod touch since it broke the day IanR came for a visit. I do need to get one.

DCC with JMRI and iThrottle on the iPad is wonderful way to control a garden railway.

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I'm not at all confused by this thread. I understand absolutely nothing, so confusion doesn't enter into it. I suppose that it would be possible to build a railway with multiple stations, and operate a complete timetable without pressing more than a start button. Nice for me to see that, but I admit to never understanding how it works. I shall have my work cut out just wiring my simple layout for normal DC running.

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roddy said:

I shall have my work cut out just wiring my simple layout for normal DC running.

Wiring for DCC is a lot lot simpler than DC. Bond all your track joints and points and then connect two wires between the controller and the track, preferably somewhere near the middle.

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