The JMRI Project and software patents
Posted May 30, 2006 11:52 UTC (Tue) by Fossils
Parent article: The JMRI Project and software patents
Look at most existing electric trainset layouts or trackplan books and it is a natural and logical progression for these to be represented and controlled by a computer.
I am looking at the 1984/85 lima Railways catalogue:quote
Lima have developed a new multi-point control panel for fast automatic train routing, ... it goes on ... The control panel has interchangeable sections for you to map the layout of your tracks, and by using a special electronic pointer, trains can be directed automatically along chosen sections. End quote.
1984 - Electronics for model Trains by Ken Stone, Page 68 using computers on model railways - dedicated computer, circuit based on Z80 processor
1990 - Electronics for model Trains Book 2 by Ken Stone, Page 32 computing and model railways - upgrade to computer including addition digital outputs.
For me it was 1980 and my first Microbee,an Australian designed and built computer(Z80& later Z80/8088/68000),and writing a program in basic to control, switch and display a train layout. Microbee's were being used to control everything from hospital equipment to train sets. A detailed magazine was published monthly with hardware and software for the experimenters,including model trains. Specific hardware was also released which including the "microbee smart model controller", and there was also an "experimenters board" with detailed projects included for model trains. Microbee also had software for release which I saw operating on a private layout owned by one of the microbee engineers in Gosford. This layout was controlled by 2 Microbee computers, one managing over 2,000 switching operations with a colourful representation of the layout and switching operations, and the other an 11 track distribution "table" feeding the shunting yards by aligned itself with the main yard line to dispatch 1 of the 11 additional trains as it was called for. Prior to the production runs of Microbee computers there were a number of others sold in kit form and most based around the Z80 CPU.
Cheers - Fossils
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