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Old 07-09-2017, 05:20 PM   #11
4VEP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTed View Post
A minor detail, but the SPROG connects to Pi through the GPIO interface rather than USB.
The original Sprog II connects via the USB port which means it works with Mac and Windows as well as the R-Pi, which is the advantage of it compared to elink.

If you already own a Sprog II, I don't think there is much advantage in purchasing a Pi Sprog One (which connects directly to the R-Pi). On Windows you can use the 'Putty' program to SSH to the R-Pi. Using SSH you can start the VNC server and display the Pi Desktop on the Windows machine. This means the GUI does not need to be started on the Pi - it can be started 'headless' that is to say with just a BASH terminal and without a monitor connected.

In this instance the Pi can be attached to the layout without a monitor. An original R-Pi, now available cheap, is good enough to run JMRI headless.

A setup script creates user JMRI with the password 'trains'.

The Raspberry Pi3 is mainly of advantage to those who need the graphical user interface since the higher specification speeds this up considerably.
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:03 PM   #12
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My Pi SPROG one requires its own power supply, but it powers the track directly - no booster required as such.
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:32 PM   #13
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Thank you for all the replies.
I feel, as a toe dipping exercise, I'll go with the cheaper Arduino Uno unit.

I certainly do not want to control the locos via a computer device.

I have a SPROG II that works with JMRI for DCC loco programming and data retention. I also have a Hornby eLink with Railmaster software. I don't like the system but that's my personal opinon, others may like it.

I am a MERG member, but AFAIK they dont produce anything like these universal units?
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Old 07-09-2017, 10:46 PM   #14
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Well, there's all the MERG CBUS stuff for a start, which can be used with JMRI to control and read back from any accessories. That's about as universal as you can get.
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Old 07-09-2017, 11:15 PM   #15
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It is all down to what you want the Pi/Arduino to actually do as to which one you want, the computer is just a tool - different tools suit different tasks.

An analogy is like asking "I want to buy a 30 socket set or a 3 dumpy screwdriver to do some car maintenance - which is best?" Most of the time the socket set will be best, but if you really need the tool to get a screw out of a difficult place the socket set is no good and dumpy screwdriver is king.

There is good reason why a Pi costs about ten times as much as an Arduino processor.

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Old 09-09-2017, 11:38 AM   #16
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FB you might want to consider PICAXE as a much cheaper alternative than Arduino, although not as quick and with considerable less memory the family of PICAXE micro controllers are quite capable. Unlike Arduino programming is done with a form of BASIC which includes some powerful commands that would require several lines of programming on the Arduino.

If all you are looking for to say sequence a set of signals, operate a motor or servo than PICAXE is more than up for it. As I said it is much cheaper to get into and programming software is FREE.

http://www.picaxe.com/

Richard
(No connection with the company just a satisfied user)
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:12 PM   #17
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I already have a PICAXE programmung board, PC software and make up basic control devices.
But its very singular in use, hence Arduino or Raspbery Pi option, but have a Arduino on order now.
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:30 PM   #18
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Have fun with that Arduino.
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Old 30-01-2018, 08:07 PM   #19
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Hi I thought i would bring this post back to life again. I am experimenting with the Arduino to control all the DCC accessories and the Loco's with the SPROG. I will be using JMRI with the arduino using the CMRI connection.
I have done some youtube videos of the setup where you can see the Arduino can easily control turnouts, inputs sensors and signals. i have also connected more than one Arduino using the RS485 modules.
Early days at the moment but this can be cheaper with micro arduinos from china very cheep and even Megas when you consider they can provide 48 outputs and 24 inputs each. Easy to program and can run other parts of the railway at the same time.

I will start up a new post with updates of my progression

youtube link
https://youtu.be/CDdTcNGVFxY

blog link http://www.motorhomesites.org.uk/my-model-railway/
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Old 16-02-2018, 06:16 PM   #20
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I have used the mega to control all the points and mimic panel of my boys' simple railway, you quickly find out you run out of pins!

for each set of points, i need 56 pins, 2 for the switch (on-off-on), 2 for the relay to throw the points and 2 for a bipolar LED to show on the mimic panel.

for isolation of sidings, I need 1 for the switch (on-off), 2 for the LED and 1 for the relay

In hindsight, I could have used (on-off) for the points so only need 1 pin.

I also use Bluetooth to connect the mega to a nano for an additional set of points.

The plan is also to have an LCD display on the LCD panel displaying voltage, current, and trouble shooting (a switch will turn it to daddy mode lol).
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