[Coco] Computers and electric trains...
lamune at doki-doki.net
Wed Nov 28 18:23:22 EST 2007
Aaron Banerjee wrote:
> My (7 year old) son just got a real Lionel O gauge train set from his
> grandfather for his birthday/early Christmas. I've been waiting 35
> years for a real Lionel... Anyhoo, I was wanting to use the computer
> for command and control of the set.
> I tried getting a relay board for my PC, but I was getting prices for
> relay or DAS boards of like $800 - $1600. This is way out of my price
> range. I must be looking in the wrong place (I tried Keithley and
> another place).
> The first thing that came to mind after the sticker shock is that the
> coco natively has 4 A/D converters (JOYSTK) and a natural relay
> (cassette motor). Unfortunately, I need more than one relay. I suppose
> the out pin of the serial I/O could be used (in conjunction with a
> transistor) to drive a relay, but I'd need more than two.
> This sounds like something someone on this list has probably done in the
> past. Any insight/advice would be appreciated.
> - Aaron
No need to re-invent the wheel. These things already exist, and for much
less than buying industrial computer interface stuff.
Now, there is the complication that the Lionel 3-track stuff uses AC
motors whereas the DCC stuff is really built for 2-track DC systems, but
decoders and such do exist for 3-rail systems as well.
Digitrax makes a rather inexpensive system that can be controlled via a
serial port. Even a CoCo serial port!
Poke around their website.
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