D&B RPi Overview
This section details the redesign of the D&B model railroad control electronics using the Raspberry Pi (RPi). This inexpensive full computer system on a single circuit board is sufficently powerful to handle all of the D&B model railroad functions previously performed by multiple Basic Stamps. Running free and widely available linux based software, the Raspberry Pi is widely supported by companies and web communities like AdaFruit, Sparkfun, The PiHut, and AB electronics UK. These websites showcase what the RPi can do and help to minimize the learning curve. See the Raspberry Pi Wiki Hub.
Raspberry Pi Hardware Documentation
The RPi runs an operating system called raspbian . This linux is a derivative of debian that has been customized for use with the Raspberry Pi hardware. Though requiring a separate install, I found the LXDE GUI to be much better (and prettier) than the default GUI. See section on LXDE GUI.
The code developeed for the D&B model railroad is written in perl which has a large body of downloadable support code on the internet. The redesign uses the existing cable connections to the turnouts; though the solenoid switch machines are replaced with R/C servos. 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.
Copyright © 2018 Don Buczynski