I had been intending to post a little more about where I have got to in DCC developments....but other commitments have got in the way...and so on! But seeing as someone else has an interest, I'll take a few minutes to briefly document my work....
When I saw the initial mention of a DCC decoder that would fit T gauge, I took the opportunity to visit a few specialist DCC suppliers at shows...and was really disappointed in the responses I got...from totally ignoring me and immediately talking to another visitor, to showing very little interest and pointing to one of the most expensive controllers and suggesting I start by buying one of them off them! So....I thought "Sod 'em" and looked for an alternative approach.....which was where I had a long chat with someone on a MERG stand at a show. MERG...Model Electronics Railway Group..a mainly UK-based, but worldwide group of model railway enthusiasts who are also electronics hobbyists, who have designed and developed a range of electronic applications for railway layouts..and have made kits available for MERG members.
After my discussions, I had a choice:
a) If I just wanted to have a dabble with DCC control of locos..and very little else...the way was to buy a bottom-end DCC controller (three examples being the NCE Powercab at Â£150, the Bachmann EZ-Controller at Â£110, or the Hornby Select at Â£120), plug in and away you go! I have no experience of any such controllers, the names being the first three I found in a Google search.
b) If I wanted to dabble in DCC control and then look at control and/or automation of a layout, then the most economical route was to join MERG (at Â£21) and buy & build a couple of kits...a DCC control board at Â£29.40, a USB port connection board at Â£10.96, and a suitable power supply (ie a laptop power supply) at around Â£10, and with a PC or laptop and a piece of open source software - JRMI, you have a system where you can control locos from your PC/laptop.....and have the controlling parts of what could be either a simple or very complex automation control system
As I'm a sucker for a challenge, I chose b) . Within a day or so of receiving my kits, I had a T Gauge loco running round my test track....and I've never looked back!
Here's a link to a thread I created on my adventure: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=525&hilit=dcc
There's also bits in my layout threads on The Bridge and Saltash.
I strongly feel that this aspect of T is one area where we can take a really big leap into the model railway hobby world....by showing how the basic use of DCC can turn a "high speed caterpillar" or "supersonic worm" into somewhat of a serious scale model railway. I've seen the reaction at many of the shows I've exhibited at. I've seen the disbelief that T can be DCC'd. And I am convinced I am trail-blazing the application of DCC to T...not only in the UK, but worldwide! And I'm really keen to share my experience and knowledge to anyone else who wants to follow me,,,,,
If there;s sufficient interest, I'm prepared to create a new DCC and Automation section on the forum and move all existing threads on the subject to it