How does it work?

Kay Hernan is a fairly simple model railway as things go but it may look a bit daunting to someone fresh to the whole idea of computer control. It’s really quite simple and is built from a collection of circuits and networks working together.

The layout

The physical layout is a fairly straightforward model railway. There are no complicated rail arrangements.

Kay Hernen basic layout

There are only four points and all the main line is single track.

Locomotive control

The locomotives are powered and controlled by a Lenz DCC system…

  • TR150 mains transformer
  • LZV100 command station
  • LH100 throttle
  • LI-USB computer interface

DCC is a way of powering model railway locomotives that send control signals as well as traction power to the rails. Each locomotive has a decoder that recognizes control signals addressed to itself and carried them out.

Layout control

The operation of the layout, other than driving the locomotives, is performed by a MERG CBUS system. This is made up of…

  • CANUSB comptuer interface
  • CANACE8C eight channel feedback input module
  • CANACC8 eight channel accessory output module
  • CANLED mimic panel LED driver
  • CANACE3 mimic panel switch input module
  • CANTOTI eight channel interface for DCCTOTI8 (this is a CANACE8C with different firmware)
  • CANSERVO8 eight channel servo driver
  • DCCTOTI8 eight channel train on track indicator (TOTI) occupation sensor
  • 12V 5A DC power supply unit

Computer system

The DCC and CBUS systems are controlled by a copy of JMRI running on a Windows  laptop PC.