Track control

Here is a brief description of the MGP's track control and the thoughts behind it.

Track control?

On the model railroad, train is controlled, sometimes directly with a traditional transformer ( "analogue") or via a digital control system ( "digital").
The control of the trains we call train control.

On the model railroad there are also switches, signals, turntables, etc. These are also controlled, sometimes directly with your fingers, sometimes mechanically with piano wires under the layout, sometimes with electric motors controlled with a buttons or PCs.
The control of these things we call track control.

For everybody

Train control and track control can be handled independently of each other!
Many runs the trains "analogue" and controls turnouts with buttons and electrical switch motors, others drive trains "digital" and turnouts with piano wires, etc.

MGP's track control works perfectly with either "analogue" or "digital" train control , and independent of any products for train control.
So whether you run trains with Roco, Märklin, etc., it's is fine to build track control with components from the MGP.

And if you want to control the trains by computer - no problem, MGP's track control work perfectly controlled by a computer!

No expensive central unit is needed - so the track control is a powerful option in a modular layouts, such as an independent control of a small station module.

Easy

The smallest possible 'system' is to control a few turnouts with a single servo decoder with up to 5 servos. Connect a servo to the servo output, and a button to the input. Connect power, press the button and the servo moves.   If the turnout needs the polarization of the frog to be switched, there is a socket on the decoder for this too.

Do you want to be able to adjust the servo characteristics, e.g. speed, angle of deflection, etc. - no problem! This is easily done with a mobile phone and an app.
In the app, the settings are handled in plain text! No problem with cryptic "CVs" with values ​​to be looked up in the charts!
To access the settings, a small interface connects the phone (wireless) to the decoders.

If you want more components, e.g., build a switch panels, just add these components to the others with a single cable ( telephone cable type). The components then form a network. This means that all parts can work together - the panel can control everything and show exactly what happens.

Do you ever want to hook up a computer, then the computer is connected to the same "network" and can then participate, showing what is happening and controlling turnouts, signals etc.

Powerful

The different decoders forms a network. Whatever a decoder does, it tells everyone on the network.
This means that it is easy to build a powerful control system where all parts always have knowledge and access to everything that happens.
For example, a control panel always shows turnout positions, a signal can adjust to red if the switch behind is wrong, etc.

The decoders themselves are powerful - a minimum of settings are required to make great achievements.
Example - to get a train signal to work:

  • connect the signal it to the signal decoder, state which output it is connected to, state the type of signal (eg "Swedish 4 light main"l). Now the signal can be controlled from e.g. a panel on the signal's address.
  • The signal should show "Drive slow" dependant on following turnout - enter the address of the turnout. Now the signal will show "Drive slow" when needed.
  • Should the signal display the state of a subsequent signal, so called "pre signalling" - just enter the address of the next signal. Now pre signalling will occur.

The servo decoder can of course handle "simple" things like dependencies between turnouts (as in double track crossovers etc.) and train routes (control paths through several turnouts)
but also more complex things like fully automatic turnout loops and automated rail road crossings.

With the panel decoder, control panels are easily built using buttons and LEDs (light emitting diodes).
Define what a button should do, e.g. change the state of a turnout or a signal. Define when an LED will lit, e.g. when a switch is in thrown position, or a track is occupied, a signal showing red, etc.
It handles routes, either with one or the two buttons method.

Thanks to the fact that everything that happens is announced on the network, several panels can be used simultaneously, even if they show common parts of the layout. So a small panel can be used directly by the shunting area, while, simultaneously, a larger panel for the whole station area is used - and even together with large computer based central control in a different room!All will show the correct state of the layout, regardless from where a turnout is changed!!!

The system as a whole could be very big and powerful, but it is constructed with small intelligent components which makes it surprisingly easy to build!
And remember - no central unit or computer is needed!

Technology Dependent?

Is MGP's track control system some odd special system?

No - the foundation of the system is the network that connects the devices.
The network uses a very common standard called LocoNet.

LocoNet is developed by the company Digitrax and licensed to numerous equipment manufacturers, including Roco, Uhlenbrock etc.
Equipment based on LocoNet can be used together and it is, for example, of course possible to control a turnout decoder from any loconet manufacturer, from a panel built on MGP's components.

Unique for the MGP's set of decoders are the high degree of built-in features and the ease of usability.