Handcrafting the Digital Command


For me, it’s back to electronics this week. If you’ve seen my past layout projects, you’ll know that I like built-in throttles. I did it with the GVC ten years ago, and again with Lynn’s railroad. That’s simple enough to do with a homebuilt DC circuit, but will the rise of Digital Command Control change all that?

No. Turns out, you can build your own DCC system, too. In fact, it’s surprisingly easy.

So, I’m off on yet another homebuilt throttle project, and as you can see from the oscilloscope grab above, it’s pumping bona fide NMRA-spec digital commands into the rails. It’s based on an Arduino, naturally. The how-to info is scattered about, but it’s out there. A few Google maneuvers revealed much useful information, some schematics, and a working code library. I used this project writeup as my starting point, but my version currently sports a joystick and a 7-segment display to indicate the current locomotive address.

Details will follow, just keep watching this space.