Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Computer games

Now I have finally crossed over to the DCC side, not happy with smooth running and multiple light functions, I pushed the boundaries even further, I hooked the laptop to the DCC using the NCE DCC usb interface, then to go that one step further again, I can now run the trams via wifi from my 'smartphone' all with the JMRI software and apps. I have achieved satisfaction.

The smartphone with JMRI controller.

 The NCE DCC usb interface.
(note the professional application of electrical tape)

The NCE DCC usb interface will be housed in a clear lidded zippy box so I can watch the LEDs light up as the computer and the Powercab chat to each other.

The ancient laptop which runs Windows XP with the JMRI software that allows 
myself to spend countless hours phaffing around with CVs.

Getting all this technology to work together required watching youtube vision, google searches, bad language and a few beers, best to be done when women and young children are not present.

*** SAFETY TIP*** 
When using your smartphone to run multiple trams be aware that incoming phone calls WILL result in losing control of your fleet as they will continue on with their last instruction, and you cannot stop the trams until you complete the call. 

From under the wires


  1. > and you cannot stop the trams until you complete the call.

    That's what BIG RED POWER SWITCHES are for!



  2. Good stuff. I'm about to begin the same process (it looks as if we share old Compaq Presaros as donor computers) so I wonder if you could assist me to avoid some of what you suffered?

    Do you connect your phone directly to the computer via an ad hoc network every time or do you require a seperate wireless router?

    I believe that the NCE USB interface uses one of the two cab addresses but then JMRI gives you one back. Is this correct?

    I assume that all the same PowerCab limitations still apply, such as 1.3 amps and a 2 loco recall?

    Any golden tips?

    Thanks in advance if you can help.

    BTW - superb modelling!



  3. Bill, thanks for the heads up, you tend not to look at the obvious when the wife is barking orders through the phone.

    Drew,The Compac is networked cabled to the household router which serves as the wifi that the smartphone connects to. As for the NCE DCC usb interface, it has configuration jumpers that need to set for the Powercab, this allows the computer to have the cab address 3.

    The same Powercab limitations do apply of 2 loco recall on the smartphone and as for the current limit the Powercab is still plugged in and still provides the 'brains' for it to work up to the 1.3 amps.

    Remember to download the correct driver for your computer as well as the JMRI software, for all this magic to work, and have the correct usb lead around as one is not supplied with the unit (the ones for old HP printers seemed to work good). I'm still learning.

    Regards Glenn

  4. Many thanks, Glenn. I'll investigate further and give it a go.




  5. Pretty good post. I found your website perfect for my needs. Thanks for sharing the great ideas.
    Pogo Help