D&B RPi Overview




This section detail 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.

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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.

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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
Raspberry Pi Control Electronics:   Overview   Program Code   Schematics   Photos
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Copyright © 2018 Don Buczynski
San Diego, California