Propeller Overview




The pages in this section detail the redesign of the D&B model railroad control electronics using a Parallax Propeller chip. This component contains 8 microprocessors in one IC package. The microprocessors (cogs) run in parallel which permits all of the D&B model railroad functions previously performed by multiple Basic Stamps to be run by a single propeller chip. In addition, the cogs use common hardware pins and memory which simplifies inter process communication and the sharing of program code. A library of user community developed software is available for free download and includes functions such as serial/USB drivers, keyboard/screen drivers, and PC interfacing routines.

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The redesign uses the existing cable connections to the turnouts and sensors on the model railroad; "plug compatibility" is the goal. Refer to the Basic Stamp pages for an understanding of the construction and control electronics previously developed. After operating the model railroad for a few years now, there are areas where improvements can be made to both hardware and software. The improvements will seek to minimize/consolidate hardware and simplify the software. The software will draw upon examples available from the Parallax discussion forum.

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Planning and Construction:   Design Goals   Track Plan   Photos   Scenery Base
Basic Stamp Control Electronics:   Main line   Yard   Grade Crossing   Block Signal   Turntable
Circuit Description:   Main line   Yard   Grade Crossing   Block Signal   Block Detector   Turntable   Power Supply   Schematics
Photos and Video clips:   Photo 1   Photo 2   Photo 3   Photo 4   Photo 5   Photo 6   Video Clips   Ride The D&B
Propeller Control Electronics:   Overview   Flow Charts   Program Code   Schematics   Photos
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Copyright © 2006 Don Buczynski
San Diego, California