PROJECT ARTICLES by Fred Miller, MMR
Many of the below listed articles are provided in Adobe® .pdf format. Click on the Article title, or the here link to download the article. Some articles have sample sounds which can be played directly from this page, IF Quick Time or Windows Media Player is available and designated to run when selecting WAV files.
Arduino MicroController Projects for Model Railroad Animations
Multi-functon Animation Decoder. (MFAD) This is a DCC decoder used to animate functions in model railroad layout buildings. Each decoder is powered from the NMRA DCC track and receives DCC Function commands from the track connection. A brief descripion in .pdf format can be accessed here. Two videos of demonstration buildings can be accessed here and here.
Sound Animation Decoder. (SAD) This is a DCC decoder used to play up to 8 sound tracks. The decoder is powered from the NMRA DCC track and receives DCC Function commands from the track connection. A brief description in .pdf format can be accessed here.
An Arduino SAD sketch, with default CVs and address set for playing 8 sound tracks can be downloaded from here.
IR Remote Pad Operation of the MFAD. The above described Multi-function Animation Decoder (MFAD) is operated by NMRA DCC commands. Those commands can be issued from DCC throttles or JMRI scripts or panels. However, additional Arduino projects can also be used to issue the commands. A .pdf file, accessed here, describes an IR project which receives commands from an IR Remote Pad (e.g. TV Remote) to control a MFAD.
The above article described an Arduino project to control the Multi-Function Animation Decoders (MFAD) through use of a handheld remote device.
This article describes a project which schedules a whole day's worth of animation activities. The Digitrax LocoNet is used to transmit the NMRA DCC commands associated with a displayed "time of day" skit. A .pdf file, accessed here, describes the construction and use of the Scheduler, including a PC program which aids in the development of the day's activities.
Other Arduino based Model Railroad projects to be described soon...
All About Digitrax Sound Decoders
Sounds for Traction Modelers
This program was developed as an aid in the construction of "Sound Projects" for the Digitrax SFX sound decoders. The latest version (6.0) supports the new Digitrax Series-6 Premium decoders. The program operates in two modes: one for simple non-technical design of Sound Projects, and the other for the experienced programmer wishing to use easy access to the necessary tools. A FREE Version of the latest SPJHELPER software can be accessed from here.
This software is a subset of the full SPJHELPER. It provides a quick and easy way to display the components of an existing SPJ (Sound Project) file. It shows what Digitrax SFX decoder is necessary and displays the characteristics of the sound clips included in the SPJ. The sounds can be played and no changes are made to the SPJ. No other software is necessary. A FREE Version of the latest SPJVIEWER software can be accessed from here
This article describes a Sound Decoder Project which provides a flexible tool to play layout background sounds on Digitrax SFX sound decoders. Three different voices can be initiated by DCC Throttle Function Keys, CAM switch inputs and automatic timed delays. The SPJ file to load into a decoder can be downloaded here.
This article describes a circuit to enable playing Digitrax SFX Sound Decoders through an external amplifier, for example, powered speakers for PCs. or the line-input on a PC.
The CAM input to a Digitrax SFX Sound Decoders can be more useful than just the steam engine "chuff." This article describes a circuit to "debounce" the input for useful triggering of other decoder functions.
This article describes an easy and inexpensive way to make your own miniature plug and socket sets. These are particularly useful for connections to onboard decoders.
This article describes a technique of designing custom track work using a PC for developing plans and templates for construction.
This article describes an approach to build trolley overhead which enables "back-polling" into sidings with trolley freight equipment.
This article describes modifications to the Digitrax DCC UT-1 throttle to enable automatic DCC locomotive reversing on a test track or other configuration requiring automatic changes in direction.
This article describes a simple and inexpensive circuit for automatic locomotive reversing on a test track or other configuration requiring automatic changes in direction. Although designed for DC controlled locomotives, it can be used with DCC and a modified UT-1 throttle (See above article)
This article describes the construction of a circuit which provides a timed pulse to the Kadee under-track electric uncoupling ramp.
This article describes modifications to the Digitrax BD-1 DCC detector module to speed up the ON and OFF reaction time to less than a second.
This article describes the construction of an inexpensive circuit to cause an LED to flicker to simulate a fire or welding torch.
This article describes a modification to the Fire Flicker Circuit which can be used to randomly light 1 to 8 lamps as in house lighting, etc.