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Discussion Starter #1
while i'm still working on the bench and surface i kinda already think ahead.

my layout is going to sit right next to computer "rack" where i keep my servers ,CAD and CnC (driving my home made cnc rooter/engraver) computers. so naturally i'm already thinking how those can be utilized. i can have a pc completely dedicated to that. i've seen this done before. i might build something custom eventually but was wondering if anything available of the shelf? i know about phidgets but was wondering if there is anything more geared specifically for model RR.

i must admit i haven't researched the topic yet so i wouldn't get offended with "go google it" answers.

thanks
 

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I know of one N scale layout that has a computer attached to a digitrax system. The layout was on the monitor. He had a whole floor of trains to control. He has an open house around Thanksgiving. I can find out more then. I would guess it would be cost prohibitive for a small layout.
My opinion is why watch a screen when you see the whole table in front of you. I prefer a handle and a transformer humm.
This is a growing part of the hobby so keep us posted.
 

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Train control software exists and is useful when you have more than 5 trains and over 50 signals, switches, blocks or other devices.

At that point you can use the automation software to have trains run in a certain way. ie stopping at the station then starting again etc.

You need digital equipment for this mostly in the form of locomotive decoders and device decoders to control other items.

Here is one such example but there are many out there for all scales and systems:

http://www.freiwald.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
thanks guys,
well, my glorious oval (pending) will obviously have 0 need to be computer controlled. this question is just plain curiosity at this point but i'm this type of people who tries to plan far far in advance and to learn to much for their own good.
technically speaking i'm not even a modeler yet :) (will be putting up my bench this weekend) so my perception of what is needed/not needed is of process automation specialist. somehow i immediately envisioned automated switches and stuff.

computer generated sound based on train position detection. mmmmm :)
 
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