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Wired encoders and decoders

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AndrewMabin

New Member
As a model railway enthusiast that does NOT wish to travel the DCC route, I have been searching for a low cost decoder that can be positioned at each point/switch motor to enable either a left or a right movement. I am assuming that the best encoder would be a combination of Arduino products. I am trying to find a circuit loosely based on the concept of a gate/garage door remote which uses 6 or 8 dip switches to set a receiving address so that I can connect all my points onto a single bus rather than have a multitude of wires running around the layout. Is this feasible for a novice to build? I have not been able to find anything on the net other than RF type systems (which I don't want to use) and would appreciate it if an expert out there can point me in the right direction or at very least, tell me I am barking up the wrong tree. Thanking you in advance. Andrew
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
The MERG CBUS system is built for that exact job.

It uses a CAN bus (two wires) plus power and has modules / kits for many types of encoder and decoder units.
Or you can just download the files and program your own devices.

It is also possible for it to interconnect with a PC or DCC gear, but that is not a requirement.

More info:

You need to join MERG to download the firmware & schematics etc.

Edit - For some cost examples, the full kit for the "CANACC4" unit which can drive four sets of solenoid point motors (8 outputs) is £17.48, or a simple 8 output on/off module is £14.03
An 8 channel input module for switches etc. is £11.70
 
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AndrewMabin

New Member
Thank you for your prompt response. I was hoping for some insight into a DIY system rather than an "off-the-shelf" option as these are prohibitively expensive due to our poor rate of exchange. I realize it is like re-inventing the wheel but my objective is to keep costs down as low as possible thereby enabling more people to afford the hobby.
 

Ian Rogers

User Extraordinaire
Forum Supporter
Most Helpful Member
granddad is a member here and we talked about this... I use DCC but he has his own, using Bluetooth...

Quite an interesting project.. Here's the link
 

MaxHeadRoom78

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
You could use small Picmicro that have a serial module set up something akin to 2 wire Modbus, the Industrial network style.
Max.
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I was hoping for some insight into a DIY system
How you build them is completely up to you!

You can download the source code and schematics and just use the components / channels you need on stripboard, with parts from any source.

You need an MCU of some sort in it, plus a multi-drop cable interface and a power switching section to drive the point motors no matter how it is implemented.

Having source code and schematics available just means you don't need to reinvent the wheel.
 

dr pepper

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
velleman kits do a 2 wire 10 input and 10 relay remote system fairly cheap.
 
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