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Simple WiDCC
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 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2015 11:52 am
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Simon Dunkley
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Evening all,

Today a Tesco Connect tablet was delivered, followed half an hour later by a Sprog Nano (I have some Tam Valley radio components in the post.)

This is being used to create a very simple installation for a Wireless DCC setup. What I have, which an alternative such as the PI lacks (but which could be purchased), is a screen and keyboard built into the tablet (obviously) so things are neat and tidy.

Stage 1, update Windows, has been completed.
Stage 2, download and install JRE and JMRI decoder pro, has also been completed.
Stage 3 will be to enable the tablet as a WAP for local services and get it to boot straight into decoder pro, and stage 4 will involve connecting the Tam Valley equipment - that is a little more involved as the engines are still DC powered. And they are metal, so I need to sort out how best to arrange the Rx. (One is a tank engine, the other a tender engine.Both UK Victorian-era designs in S scale.)

The tablet cost me £57.99, (free p&p) and SPROG Nano £27.95, (including P&P). Total cost so far has been less than £90 (£85.94) but against that I do not have a booster or a wireless Tx connected yet. A SPROG 3, plus a power supply, could have been used in place of the Nano, but this would have increased the price by £47.05, and the wireless TV Tx is another £50. Given what you get for all that, with the addition of Decoder Pro, then I reckon this is a good deal.

Chances are that you have, or will soon have, a suitable PC/Tablet available within your household, which would reduce the cost further. You can also buy refurbished tablets for less than I paid.

My only bugbear is that the tablet has only the single micro-usb port, to which the SPROG is connected, but which is also required to charge the tablet, so I can't just leave it alone and forget about it - when running has finished, I will need to disconnect the sprog and re-connect the power.

A system using a Raspberry PI, which included a small case with small TFT screen, might still be preferable as everything could be contained in a single case, including the TX, but that will be something for later - at least I have an idea what to ask Santa for Christmas!

Having read up on configuring a PI as a WAP, it does not strike me as much more involved than configuring the Tablet for JMRI, so it should be feasible, and I can borrow my son's RPi to test things out.

I already have an iPod Touch, with WiThrottle installed. This will form my controller, and the locos will be battery powered. Again, sorting out charging via the rails is something for the future. In fact, battery power will be for the future as I will first apply 12v to the rails, and use that to power the engines.

I will update this thread erratically...!



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 Posted: Sat Aug 1st, 2015 04:21 am
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Tramcar Trev
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I have the ASUS T100 with only 1 usb port. I overcame that buy getting a small USB hub because I still like to use a mouse as I have big fingers have a 1tb external drive and camera card reader plugged in. The Tablet is obviously Windows so a Hub should work;
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Hot-Hi-Speed-USB-2-0-4-Port-USB-Hub-For-Tablet-PC-Laptop-Computer-White-/171268813784?hash=item27e06ab3d8



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 Posted: Sat Aug 1st, 2015 10:24 am
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Herb Kephart
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HUH?

Herb



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 Posted: Sat Aug 1st, 2015 07:00 pm
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Tramcar Trev
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Herb Kephart wrote:
HUH?

Herb

Dont stress Herb, the only thing I know about this is that there is only 1 USB port on the tablet....



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 Posted: Sat Aug 1st, 2015 07:12 pm
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Simon Dunkley
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So why comment?



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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2015 04:10 pm
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Kelly R
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Can this same setup be used with a NCE USB instead of the SPROG?

I have a complete DCC setup that I used to hook into with a desk top, NCE USB adapter and JMRI. I would need to purchase the Tam Valley radio.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2015 04:27 pm
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Simon Dunkley
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The Tam Valley transmitter just hooks onto the output of the command station.



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 Posted: Thu Oct 1st, 2015 05:17 pm
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NevadaBlue
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I'll comment to add I understand none of this. If I understood it, it might be interesting. I like to learn, so what''s up?



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 Posted: Fri Oct 2nd, 2015 07:15 am
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davecttr
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An idiots guide to all this please!

Does this system use track power or battery power?

Does it take the output from the base unit and transmit it rather than use the rails?

So you need a receiver in the loco in addition to the DCC decoder?

What is used as the control transmitter? Is it hand held?

ETC

ETC



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 Posted: Fri Oct 2nd, 2015 03:20 pm
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Kelly R
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JMRI is a free open source layout controller, decoder programmer, control panel, software used with DCC systems.  To hook into a PC running JMRI one needed a SPROG adapter or if you had a NCE DCC setup NCE sold a usb adapter.

Tam Valley Depot developed a transmitter that plugged into any DCC system and transmitted the DCC info over the air, not the rails. You would need to add a Tam Valley Depot Rx into the loco that piggybacked onto the DCC decoder. If you wanted battery power then you also add a battery. 

Back to JMRI...  JMRI also has a feature that will allow smart phones etc. to be used as wireless throttle over your Wifi.  WiThrottle on the iPhone is free download.

Combine the parts together and you have wireless free rail over WiFi if you already have DCC controller.

JMRI

Tamvalleydepot DRS1

Withrottle 




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