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Discussion Starter #1
Snow is starting to come, time for toys and projects ..
I was thinking about making some kind of DCC booster, I personally don't need one right now, but I may later on ...

Design Criteria;
Universal hookup to most brands of DCC systems
Low Construction parts costs
Adjustable power output levels
Over current protection
Visible power usage / output indicators
Standard components
Usable as multiple booster arrays
Minimum 3A output capability

At this point looking for and needs and /or wants in final product ..
thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Does it work with TMCC? :p:p

Just kidding, looking forward to what you come up with. :)

No idea how TMCC works...:)
but if it's a variable square wave like standard DCC, all I'm looking at is taking the signal, and just cranking the power up , as far as I know O scale takes a lot more ..
 

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There are Arduino projects that make DCC command stations. I think they even have a shield PC board for it. This link is for a Speedometer http://arduinotronics.blogspot.com/
but I think it also points to where more DCC projects are. They have Arduino DCC libraries and I think the DCC system just uses a H driver module.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There are Arduino projects that make DCC command stations. I think they even have a shield PC board for it. This link is for a Speedometer http://arduinotronics.blogspot.com/
but I think it also points to where more DCC projects are. They have Arduino DCC libraries and I think the DCC system just uses a H driver module.
I already have an Arduino running DCC++, and it works well ..
I also found last night a project from a fellow by the name of Dave Bodnar that looks like it will work for my purpose, and will probably build on his previous work ..the H-bridge in that one is rated for 43A max, should be enough? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
apparantly the H-bridge has that capability ..the idea is to have a range of 3 to maybe 10A for output, the BTS7960B is only ten bucks, same as much smaller ones, and same basic hookup wiring ...
it's good to have 'just a little' extra :)
 

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sorry .. I don't understand what you mean?
remote control for the booster?
Yes, control the booster, booster-output-on-off and three-optional-on-off-outputs (lights or ?). Maybe shutdown-trip-current with the motor-control. Power DCC-decoder from booster-DCC-input-signal.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Spent a couple hours tonight, got the schematic and preliminary board done .. uploaded to OSHpark as shared, cost of PCB is $34 / for three

booster.top.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
didn't try to squeeze it much, the image is from the OSHpark rendering of the Eagle BRD file ..no smd's at all ..traces are pretty wide so that it could be routed just for single if needed ..
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I noticed it was all thru-hole, that will make it easy to slap together. :)
It wasn't intended as a production / resale project, more as a to be shared project that can easily be assembled by end user ..pretty low cost, Arduino mini pro, and a ten dollar H-bridge ..two dollar 1602 LCD display .. I made a place on the pcb for the output amperage adjust, but could easily be panel mounted instead ..will need a input DC supply maybe 15V at 3 to twenty five amp board ,logic power is off input DCC signal
 

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Spent a couple hours tonight, got the schematic and preliminary board done .. uploaded to OSHpark as shared, cost of PCB is $34 / for three

View attachment 253569
I noticed that the layout is for the Arduino PRO (Mini or Micro....I get confused with their names) has the extra analog pin placement for the 'old' design. Most of the newer stuff has those pins in different places, so getting the correct part can be problematic.

For those reasons, all my designs now is the Arduino NANO, which has well defined pinouts that do not change depending on who's version of the board you buy.

Having said that, if you don't ever need to use the extra analog pins, simply not using the connections (no pin connection) resolves the problem. I tend to use the extra analog pins for GPIO, so I expect all of them to be available.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I may have to re-do with something other than the pro mini ...merely because I didn't take into consideration that a seperate usb port would be needed on that processor board to upload the code .. I have it, but for others it would be 'once used' cost addon ..sigh..
 

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I just got a couple of NANO's along with a servo shields today. I have a servo and a pot connected up and the servo turns as I turn the pot. These things are fun to play with. I have Mega2560's, ProMini's and now Nano's. The Mega and Nano have built in USB, lot easier to deal with. If you can wait for China Post, the Nano's are less than $3 in single quantities or $4 with the headers soldered.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The Mega and Nano have built in USB, lot easier to deal with. If you can wait for China Post, the Nano's are less than $3 in single quantities or $4 with the headers soldered.
Well, bit the bullet and ordered a couple of nano's, under six bucks ..gives me time to re-do the schematic / pcb ..it will be easier to load the code with an integral usb port ..
project on hold for a while ..oops :)

Still have other projects on the go, so won't be drinking coffee all day anyways, plus have to shut the farm down for the winter..
 
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