Rail Control System

Model Railroading, Electronics and Computer Link Page

Updated January 2003

News January 2003

Stability has improved. Only problem is that IP registration after downtime is still manual - looking for a good dynamic IP Client. RCServer version 2 are beeing programmed - main new feature is dynamic loading of drivers H0 layout branch line are operational - but CTC panel has not been updated

News December 2002

The RCS Demo site have been unavailable due to technical problems and low utside temperatures - resulting in shutdown of railroad room. This has now been fixed and system has been running for last 10 days.

There is an error in the new version of amonitor - it only runs on Java 1.2 and newer. I will try to backport (problem is Java Swing)

cmonitor are not updated - and continue to run in all browsers that support Java

the RCS demo site are not running the downloadable version of RCServer. A new version combined version are beeing developed

Development of IO Commander are currently stopped. IO Commander development was started in 1995 as a DOS application writen in assembly to make it posible to control a conventional model railroad at a time when DCC equipment was expensive and decoders was imposible/expensive to install in small n-scale engines. The latest versions supports hybrid DCC and analog layouts - but I still only use it in DC mode on my n-scale layout. (Software limitations is 8 blocks and 16 switches). My HO layout are now using TMW for testing and ROCO/Lenz DCC in production)

News November 2002

The RCS Demo site are updated - more info on RCS Homepage

News October 2002

An improved CTC panel are ready - but requires a new server that are planed to be running in December.

The availability of the RCS Demo system has been low. Server are running more stable, with only a few outages. Most unavailability has been cased by DNS update troubles - I hope to solve it by moving to a new Dynamic DNS provider in November.

News September 2002

The RCS Demo system has been unstable. Main reason are unexpected many hits. Work has been done to reduce RAM requirements by moving other services to other Servers. Reliability are expected to improve in the near future.

News August 2002

My dynamic DNS provider (www.deerfield.com) have decided to stop offering service for free. I am therefore setting up new URL's to demo system. The new URL's are :
Demo System Homepage
(the older links using www.rcs.d2g.com will probably stop working on 15. October 2002)
www.getmyip.com - will probably be my new dynamic DNS provider - they run their service on software that I prefere (Apache/1.3.12 on Linux)

News July 2002

The CTC panel version 1.2 has been installed. This version requests switch positions from server - on startup.
Layout of CTC panel are now stored on server (hardcoded in pre-release versions)
It also shows block occupancy (both DETECT and ASSIGN/RELEASE)
Green block number fields are shown for empty in unassigned blocks
Yellow block numbers and train numbers (blockno:trainno) are shown for blocks that are assigned to a train
Red block numbers and train numbers (blockno:trainno) are shown for blocks that are assigned when train are detected
Red block numbers without train numbers are shown for blocks that detect train, when block are not assigned to a train

There are some logical errors in script for train 001 - that was discovered after installing the new CTC panel. They will be fixed soon.
There are also some block status fields that are going to be bether alligned with tracks.


Plans for next versions of CTC Panel:
1. URL's and configuration will be parameterized
2. CTC Panel will be runnable both as Java Applet in browser and as a Java Application.
3. Signals will be implemented - this also requires changes on server.
4. It will be released with source code - after code renovation.

News June 2002

The graphical control panel are available as a preview. Current version connects to server and updates SWITCH positions - preview at

News May 2002

An improved character monitor is available
My new graphical control panel will be available soon - preview at
(This preview version does not connect to server - therefore no updates)
(This applet are based on Java Swing - probably only runs on jdk 1.2 and above)

News April 2002

Train on my demo railroad are now running according to TimeTable.

News March 2002

A simple text based applet are available - that shows statusmessages from my H0 RailRoad :


Good DIY DCC Links are available at:


News February 2002

Updated installation instructions : rcdccl.html

News January 2002

I am installing a demo system on www.rcs.d2g.com This will make it possible to test RCS without installing it

News December 2001

I have started building an interface between a com port and the mbdcc logic board /tmw processor board. First version of driver has been implemented. This is the first component of my planned future RCS Controller

News November 2001

I have tested tmw-dcc on multiple computers - always with bad signal.

News October 2001

dprobe monitoring of my tmw dcc controller shows a sometimes bad / sometimes cripled dcc signal. mb-dcc driver seems to work a lot bether - I suspect that my old 286 is not suited for tmw.

News September 2001

Reverse Loop Control for DCC

Improved building instructions are available at rcdccl.html

News August 2001

Reverse Loop Control for DCC

I have designed an automatic Reverse Loop Control for DCC systems (Not for hybride systems). This is based on train detection instead of the usual short circuit detection that are common in comercial systems. I am using it inside a tunnel and it has been running now for a few months. I have cleaned up the design, and documented it in rcdccl.html

News July 2001

Digital probe

A simple DCC signal recorder are ready. This program reads printerport 1 approx. once every 3 uS, buffers it in ram for approx 1/5 of a second - and then writes it to file logfile.dpr. The current version should work on most PC's running DOS (and Windows 95 98?). It uses direct addressing of the port - (and the address is not changeable in the current version). It requires a Pentium 500mhz - 1Ghz - I am using an 800mhz laptop.
there is also a servlet (dProbeAnalyzer) that can be plugged into a standard Web Server with Servlet support (Apache or others). File must be stored in c:\mr\rcs\dpr\logfile.dpr. RCSHttp Server are not supported yet. This servlet makes it possible to analyze the DCC signal. See sample reports. (dProbeAnalyzer)
Hardware design for interface will be documented soon....
Source code and more info will also follow ...

News June 2001

Digital probe

A Scoope is useful when developing DCC systems. I do not have one. I have therefore started developing a software that are able to detect and interpreet DCC track signals. I have used June to optimize code. The newest version are able to interpret a DCC signal with good resolution on a Pentium 800 mhz. I have not finished userinterface and documentation. I am also integrationg code into RCHTTP Server. It will then be posible to analyse from a standard web browser. I will release executables and source code soon ...

News May 2001

There are progress on three different project:


A new version are nearing completion. Main new functionality is Persistent Storage of configuration, equipment and reporting from system (System will know state of layout after restart). The new version will be made available soon...

Reverse Loop Control for DCC

I have designed an automatic Reverse Loop Control for DCC systems (Not for hybride systems). This is based on train detection instead of the usual short circuit detection that are common in comercial systems. I am using it inside a tunnel and it has been running now for a few months. I will document the design soon...

Digital probe

A Scoope is useful when developing DCC systems. I do not have one. I have therefore started developing a software that are able to detect and interpreet DCC track signals. Current status is that it is working for 50 HZ signals on a 286. I am currently not able to record DCC track signals. The software works OK, but there is some HW errors. (I currently suspect a combination of opto-coupler and a transistor) I will report progress soon ...

HO Equipement

I have installed a MRC Decoder in a NSB EL13 Engine. Does not run very smooth, but have not tried to reprogram CV's - That might help.
I am also in the progress of installing a Zimo decoder in a NSB type 25

RCS - Rail Control System

Rail Control System (RCS) is my future control system for modelrailroads. It is written as multiple Java programs. This makes it portable across multiple hardware/operatingsystems, and makes it deployable distributed across Internett technologi. RCS are used for software controllers, as a communication infrastructure and interfaces to multiple harware/software systems and protocols. The priorities for building this system is :

Block/Switch Control

This has been running since 1997 in the IO Commander system. A simple command line interface has been available. There is also a development version built in java.

RCS / IO Commander links

  • IO Commander Homepage:My Model railroad computer interfaces and Software homepage (updated: January 2001)
  • RCS Software download, status and information (updated: April 2001 - patch 1.2.0)
  • Other links

    Automated Train Movement

    Automated (or scripted train movement has been available since 1998 based on the Time Table (TT) system in IO Commander. There is also a basic program io5.bas available. A graphical interface are under development.

    RCS / IO Commander links

    Other links

    A realistic throttle feeling

    This are under investigation. Information of prototype pulling power for diferent European engines (mostly German, but also Swiss, Swedish and Norwegian) has been colected and will be released soon. Goal is to develop a program algorithm to simulate different loads for diferent engines on even and uppward track. Different braking systems will also be documented. There is currently a IO Commander Visual Basic windows Throttle available, but acceleration values are not computed, but are configurable. A simple pushbotton throtle without momentum are also available :

    RCS / IO Commander links

    Other links

  • ControlConcepts Resource Page

  • Information on German Railways

  • Concurrent control of DC and DCC engines

    DC har been running since 1998
    DCC using MB or TMW sw/hw are built but not currently available and not in use. A interface to Lenz are beeing investigated / prototyped. I am also experimenting with Winlok - where RCS simulates a Lenz system. I have bought two ROCO digital (based on Lenz) startsets that will be used for testing.

    RCS / IO Commander links

  • RRindex:IO DCC information
  • Other links

  • DCC-MB
  • Software for DCC
  • How to build your own N-Scale DCC Decoder
  • Tapiola Parish Model Railway Club
  • Concurrent control of analog and DCC switches

    I currently use computer control og analog switches.

    RCS / IO Commander links

    Other links

    RCS Web Server

    The infrastructure of RCS makes it simple to add a Web interface. The first one is a information page with engine information - that is generated from RCS repository. Working experimental software was released in December 2000. (RCSHttp). A servlet has been written - and are available now. Future versions of RCSHttp will have limited support for servlets. Use Apache with Jrun today (www.apache.org)

    RCS / IO Commander links

  • RRindex:Sample railroad information site
  • Other links

    RCS Railroad and Electronics Homepages

    Homepages that I currently try to update regulary:

    Experience with the new java interface of IOCommander are very good. I have looked at other hw based control systems like EasyDCC and Lenz. the RS232 protocol could also be interfaced from my Java programs directly to these systems. I have therefore decided to develop a new general Java system that can be used with multiple systems. Final design has not been decided, but I hope to develop a interface module that makes it possible for anyone with some programming experience to implement new protocol interfaces. More info in comming months

    Railroad homepage

    A selected list of Railroad homepages and Link pages:

    Model Railroad Magazines

    A selected list of Model Railroad Magazines:

    Model Railroad, electronics and Computer Homepages

    A selected list of how to build model Railroad electronics:

    8255 and Parallel Port Homepages

    Building PC interfaces based on the Intel 8255 Chip:

    Intel 8255 is probably the most used parallel interface in the microcomputer industry It was introduced for interfacing the original 8 Bit microprocessors (8080 and Z80) and was used on the original PC's. Even today the parallel Ports are either based on 8255 or a more modern chip that is software compatible with 8255.


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