A lot of what you see in these pages are just ideas which haven't yet been implemented - some of them are just a gleam in my eye. As I complete something significant, I will record my progress on this page. It also serves as a reminder that there is so much yet to be done.

The DCC Project

I have started looking at the DCC project again. Both technology and my skills have moved on and I have redesigned large parts of it. In effect, I am back where I started.(15 Apr 07)

I am looking at implementing service mode on my command station. I have just bought a few Lenz 077XF decoders.(23 Nov 00)

The PCB for the DCC Turnout Decoder has been designed and fabricated. A small test program to see if the hardware is capable of driving the point motors worked successfully.(18 Feb 97)

The DCC Turnout Decoder has been designed and the software has been written. This time I am taking a further step of making a PCB for it. Right now, I am wrestling with the problems of making one's own PCBs. I can see some light at the end of the tunnel and may soon have a web page on how to do it.(22 Jan 97)

The command station is now complete and working. As soon as I found that it worked with a decoder connected to it on a test rig, I took it apart and built a proper command station in a plastic case and all. I tried making a few drawings of the case and its contents but instead decided to show it in full 3D! So check out the VRML representation of the case. One of the top panels of the case has been left out so you can peer into it.

I have installed a DCC decoder into a Fleischman 4019. I have described the steps involved.(23 Nov 96)

Being lazy, I had designed the command station to transmit a series of zeros on idle instead of the DCC idle packet. When I tested it with my Lenz 101US decoder, I got some strange results. The power would appear on the motor the instant the packet was sent to the command station. Then it would slowly fall to zero. The other Lenz decoder just did not work. The two decoders were identical.

The next thing I tried was to implement idle packets. This worked! This poses a problem because I have two tracks on the command station. The PIC may find it difficult to send idle packets on one track and actual packets on the other. I haven't yet sorted this out.

The next stop... Short circuit protection and support for reverse loops.(22 Jul 96)

HO Layout

The track has been laid and is usable. I intend to put a monorail elevated above the roadbed running along the entire length of the layout. The turnout motors have not yet been installed. As it looks like my N scale layout will not be ready for a while, the HO layout will be the test bed for the controller.

N Layout

I have resurrected this layout and this is one part of my previous efforts that has been really useful.(15 Apr 07)

As I had a bit of time on my hands, I started building a new N scale layout to sit on top of a wall unit. The old, unfinished N layout has been laid to rest.(8 Nov 00)

I have just finished cookie-cutting the plywood. I am now adding the vertical risers to give it the right elevation.(10 Jan 97)

The table has been built. A mock-up of the track made with strips of card paper held vertically with the top edge representing the roadbed has been placed. This was done to give me an idea of the clearances and grades.

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Updated on 18 Feb 97. Feedback to