The goal is to built a model railway controller using MS Excel – Visual Basic, which controls the trains, switches and signs (automatically). Although the controller has not been finalized yet (minor bugs and some features to add) it gives a good impression of the possibilities.
You just make a drawing in Excel and the program creates the complete simulation, operator controls and interface to Arduino. You can select to use 1 up to 8 trains at the same time.
I have the basic interface to an Arduino Mega running (not in this video) ; from each MCU I can control/drive 6 physical track blocks using PWM.
So … understand ; till now I don’t use DCC, but focus on old fashioned block control without decoders inside the locomotives. I want to re_use them.
Lateron it might be an idea to connect with DCC and with loc decoders to TREXMAR, but not now!
Or …. do I change my mind soon ?
The video first shows the result and after that, the simulation is build up in software (VBA) and configured automatically ; you can drive the trains immediately again.
If many people are interested in this controller I probably built a website with more information and explanations. Perhaps we can share ARDUINO KNOWLEDGE ; I know there is a lot of information available at GITHUB etc ?!
One on the problems will be to synchronise the real train speed with the simulation ; the speed of the simulation will be adjustable for each train (of course) to match actual and simulated block lengths.
New challenges will pop up, I’m sure !
The sharpness of the video is not optimal yet and sometimes you see some image flickering, when you built the layout plan ; sorry. In normal use both are not an issue !
If you like the video, please give me feedback.