Arduino as a train driver

Published by: MRT

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Arduino as a train driver

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The digitization of the model railroad over 35 years ago opened up undreamt-of possibilities: the independent multi-train operation, permanent train lighting, remote-controlled special functions, track diagram signal boxes on the PC with automatic train operation and, last but not least, enormously simplified wiring speak in favor of digitization, even if the retrofitting of a large layout devours huge sums of money .

The fact that even the simple Arduinos are suitable as a control center was shown in “Arduino controls Märklin model railroad” (PDF) by addressing a so-called track box from the Arduino via a CAN bus shield. When the author got a small Märklin collection from his grandfather’s inheritance, the question arose for him too: What to do with it?

The collection contained a few locomotives, all of which turned out to be digitally capable, but only a very simple associated remote control unit. The old solution would have required the additional purchase of a track box, which had to be avoided. Wouldn’t it be possible to generate the necessary signals for the locomotives elegantly with an Arduino and a common motor shield?

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