Thursday, July 21, 2016

New ClubNCaldes modular layout

ClubNCales has started to define its own norms to build a modular layout. You will find always all the related information in the new section of the top horizontal menu, under the "Modules" tag.

We examined the existing ones for N scale (T-Track, IngaNet, EuroN, PlataformaN, ...) but none of them was covering all our requisites:

  • Variable length and shape of modules, only connector should be under norms
  • Prototypical track: Code55 and switches managed by servo
  • Possibility to use it in both analogue and digital exploitation, keeping switches and accessories in digital
  • Based on Loconet bus
  • Open Source - Open Hardware. This is the aim of our club, to develop and provide a low cost and high performance digital system based on Open solutions.
  • Basically we decided to use EuroN standards for connecting headers and Peco code 55 as well. We only decided to change the gauge between parallel tracks to 27mm to be closer to Peco geometry. EuroN has changed also from 25mm to 30mm, and many people is using 27mm despite it isn't the standard.

The main communication bus will be Loconet, and the official software will be Rocrail running under a RapberryPi. Any Command station and accessories or feedback module can be used if they are Loconet compatible, but Arduino will be the preferred solution to use as command station (based on DCC++ software running on an Arduino MEGA), Ethernet LocoBuffer (using the standard protocol Loconet over Ethernet), and modules.

As Arduino cannot manage high loads of current to activate outputs or detect current consumption itself, boards from Peter Giling or own produced boards (ViDa boards) will be used, all them connected to an Arduino equipped with a Loconet Shield (ViDa LocoShield or GCA185).

Here you can find the complete norms, but they are not yet finished and are available only in Spanish:

Click here to download draft manual v. 1.4

Soon there will be more information and examples on how to mount a ClubNCaldes module, program the boards, setup the system, ....

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