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Model Electronic Railway Group

Leading Model Railway Electronics since 1967

Celebrating 50 years of Innovation: 1967-2017

Last updated: 06-12-2016

Useful links to 3rd party sites

Members Pages

On-line pages by MERG members

3D-Smartrax
John Broadley (M2273)
John's SmarTrax control and simulation software pages.
Brian Lambert Model Railway Site
Brian Lambert (M-2067)
Website covering many aspects of model railway construction, including electrics and DCC
Coastal DCC
Kevin Dickerson M2536
Supplier of DCC systems and sound projects, based in Ipswich.
Colchester MRC
Paul Evans (M612)
The word on the Colchester club by our former secretary.
Grovenor Sidings
Keith Norgrove (M764)
Keith offers a variety of pages including a turntable drive and some locomotive conversions.
Model Railways On Line
Graham Plowman (M1162)
Here Graham presents his layout and articles on DCC and other modelling topics.
Pendon Museum
Paul King (M120)
A UK registered charity and home to a permanent and automated railway modelling exhibit, Pendon Museum has a long association with MERG.
Personal Site
David Harris (M-1222)
Southlands Junction
Mark Patrick (M1701)
Mark shows off his layout complete with computer control. He also has a train speed check programme available for download.
Sprog
Andrew Crosland (M1522)
This link goes to Andrew's support pages for the kit version of the SPROG as sold by the MERG stores.
Tapiola Parish Model Railway Club
Pekka Siiskonen (M756)
An overview of how train operation and control is achieved on their club layout, including circuit details for the transistor throttle controllers and turnout controls
Using CBUS on the 2mm Freshwater Layout
Ian Morgan (M2775)
Ian Morgan describes the use of CBUS and his work in getting it ready for the Basingstoke 2mm Area Group

Electronic/Industrial suppliers

Commercial sites offering equipment hardware and/or components

A1micromotive Suppliers of the Red Arrow infrared locomotive control system originally introduced by Exactoscale.
All Components A bit of an exaggeration but a useful range of controllers and other parts for model railway electronics and they do have on-line ordering.
Anglia Components The best prices if you are buying enough, watch for the minimum order value.
Antenna Models Suppliers of Radio Control for Model Railways, good site for information.
Bang Goods China based company. Supply a very wide range of items incluging electronics and mechatronics bits such as sub miniature stepper motors and linear servos (although these look a bit crude).
Bitsbox A hobby oriented supplier for those odd components.
Bowood Electronics A supplier of electronic components to hobbyists with an easy to search site.
Branor Products Electronic design and development, including fibre-optic lighting and video camera trucks.
Brian Jones Engineering Specialist supplier of radio control for garden railways and other miscellaneous goodies.
CPC Combined Precision Components, another on-line and mail order supplier apparently associated with Farnell.
CTI electronics Provide modules, accessories and software for remote control of layouts from your PC, can be used with conventional or dcc systems.
Didel A Swiss supplier for small motors and gears and extra small actuators.
ESR Electronic Supplies An interesting range of electronic kit for the hobby. .pdf catalogue for download.
Express Models Express provide a wide range of coach and locomotive lighting as well as other gadgets.
Farnell One of the major mail order component suppliers, on line ordering too.
First Class Trains Another supplier of coach and loco lighting and also smoke units.
Full Stop Signals Offers kits comprising driver boards and servos to operate signals, including bounce.
GML Enterprises Model Railroad Electronics
Greenweld Greenweld has a miscellaneous collection of electronic and hobby items, if you are lucky you may find a bargain.
Grizzly Mountain Engineering Sound systems including synchronising cams.
Heathcote Electronics. Supplier of the well known IRDOT modules. the site has a detailed description. For US readers try the importer
Helmo A german site offering transponders and readers to allow train identification independent of any control system.
Helmsman Electronics Offers a range of electronics products, from power supplies up to 5 Amp capacity (some have a computer interface) to flashing tail lights for model railways.
Howes Models A range of model railway supplies as well as servo motors.
Innovative Train Technologies Lots of sound modules.
JLC Enterprises Sells all the parts for the well known Bruce Chubb C/MRI including a current transformer based TOTI
Locolinc Offer a radio control system for scales from N to G
Magenta Electronics Offers various kits including the PIC driven stepper motor - useful for the 16C84 EE PIC programming.
Maplin MPS The UK's well known electronics retailers.
Micromark
Milford Instruments UK supplier of "Flexinol" SMA Memory Wire and Stamp Basic-programmed microprocessors.
Miniatronics Specialist in lighting for the hobbyist, supplies Yelloglo 'white' LEDs.
Modelex A wide variety of DC controllers and electronic modules
Morley Controllers A range of traditional styled controllers using 'centre off' style controls and with the added benefit of built in CDUs.
Motion Company UK based company. Good selection of mechatronics bits including sub-miniature conventional motors, gears, racks, toothed belts, bearings.
New York Railway Supply Provide turntable indexing systems using stepper motors.
Nigel Lawton 00-9 kits and supplies, good source for small motors and gearing.
Oak Tree Systems Provide modules, accessories and software for remote control of layouts from your PC, can be used with conventional or dcc systems.
Online @ Microchip Producer of PICmicro devices. Pages include product Application Notes and Datasheets.
Phoenix Sound Systems Maker of sophisticated sound systems for the larger scales.
Rapid Electronics One of the best on-line suppliers in the UK, reasonable prices and rapid delivery.
Riedon A resistor manufacturer this site has a resistor handbook and technical data.
RS Components Once the famous 'Radio Spares' now an industrial supplier but can come in handy. On line ordering and lots of downloadable data sheets.
RSH Electronics Supply a range of electronic components including transistors, diodes, switches etc with no minimum order, and low postage.
Scalespeed Rewinds, remagnetising and DCC for Hornby Dublo and Triang.
Signal Research Offer a digital block control system, the site has now been expanded and has an interesting system description.
Technobots UK based company. Very good service. Do a variety of electronics (inc Arduino, Raspberry Pi) bits and some mechatronics bits. A lot of stepper motors (NMEA std), plastic chain transmission.
The Servo Shop For a huge range of servo motors, useful to check specs.
Viessmann Models German manufacturer of signals, lighting and other accessories.
W S Ataras Engineering Signaling solutions for model railroads

Model Railway Electronics

Non-commercial (or semi-commercial) pages providing model railway and/or electronic project information.

Absolute Aspects Supplier of bespoke signals formerly supplied by Roger Murray.
Adventure in Miniature A dutch modelling site with some interesting electronic and DCC projects including memory wire point actuation.
Armadillo and Western Another layout site with electronic projects attached
Control of Stepping Motors, a Tutorial Doug Jones at the University of Iowa provides a description of how to control stepper motors for turntables and similar applications.
CR Signals Supply Colour light signals and other illuminated accessories, mainly N gauge.
DCC N gauge David Harris - David shares some of his ideas
DCC4PC A site desribing development of a model railway automation system using 'railcom' readers
Electronic Circuits A collection of circuits culled from magazines etc and presented in a rather unusual way
Electronics tutorials This looks like it could be a useful on-line encyclopedia, for beginners and the more experienced, of electronics (and just about everything else too!)
Gateway NMRA This NMRA region has an interesting section on electronics.
Green Gate A german site offerring programming software for DCC
Hobby Projects A collection of model railway related electronic resources.
Model Railroad Electronics Circuits Rob Paisley describes many of the circuits used on the large 'O' scale layout of the London Model Railroad Group in Ontario, Canada.
Model Railroad System A collection of applications for controlling and operating model railways, by Robert Heller of Deepwoods Software.
Model Railroading Constant brightness lighting using the LM334Z
My Loco Sound Offers sound boards for DC and DCC trains and also RTR units fitted in vans.
NWSL The well known american wheel and gear maker, North west Short Line has diversified into production of a radio control for DCC with the S-cab
Power supplies A site with some advice on using old computer power supplies.
Protrak An electronic hobby site including a Railroad Signaling system
Roger Amos Well known author of MRE books, no longer active in the hobby but still interested, website gets you in touch with him if you want to discuss his circuits.
Rolling Rails A supplier of locomotive testers, better priced than some.
Sierra Western & Santa Fe A large US layout controlled by DCC. Pages include an overview of the Locomotive Control System.
Talking Electronics This site provides a lot of beginners information and tutorials with particular emphasis on the use of PICs. Kits are on offer to support the tutorials and include a PIC programmer.
The Teton Short Line is an established US model railroad by Wayne Roderick. His pages give a lot of information on the electronic systems used on the Teton Short Line.
Tillorps Mekaniska (The Tillorp Locomotive Works) Download a complete NMRA compatible DCC system with 8 throttles and easy decoder programming capability, run trains with an inexpensive TV-remote, or build a simple actuator using Memory Wire.
Turntable Controls - An article Fine Positioning using an Optical Interrupter
Turntable Controls - An article Turntable at Malfunction Junction by Wayne Roderick
Turntable Controls - Image

Computer Software

Software appertaining to model railways.

GPPSoftware Graham Plowman offers 'SSI', also designed to drive the RPC system.
JMRI Java Model Railroad Interface: This site supports a collaborative effort to develop Model Railway software in the open-source tradition. The first fruit of this endeavour is a DCC Programmer.
Model Train Catalogue Cataloguing software as described in MERG Journal 2016 No 4
QTU, TCC etc. Howard Amos's site supports his software and hardware designs for layout automation and his plans for life in New Zealand.
Railroad & Co. A computer program to operate a layout from a PC running MS Windows.
Rocrail
Rob Versluis M3498
Rocrail is an open source software project for layout automation and provides an alternative to JMRI
Sandia Software Offers various model railway related software including 'Cadrail', a CAD program for model railway design.
Wagonflow
Judi Rastall M3086
Software for generating traffic based on prototype practice and producing schedules and timetables, worth a look.
WinRail Layout design package. The demonstration version on-line for download contains libraries of 'Peco' and 'Hornby' track templates.
XTrkCad A well featured program for designing a layout, "XTrkCad" includes templates for most commercial track and even for P4 track. Formerly offered as shareware XTrkCad is now available as a free download.

Prototype Data

Information of possible interest to MERG members

DCC - non-commercial

Non-commercial DCC equipment

DCC Basics Description of their use of DCC
DCC Conversions for LGB A useful set of pages for the Garden Railway lovers.
DCC decoder plugs and sockets. Information on the 21pin plugs and sockets.
DCC DIY function only decoder Interesting function decoders, economical if you want fancy lighting in coaches etc. By Paul Harman
DCC Helpful Hints Dick Bronson covers DCC including block occupancy detection and remote control uncouplers.
Embedded loconet
MiniDCC A DIY DCC System
National Model Railroad Association The organisation administering the DCC Standard. Search the site for the official Standards and Recommended Practices for the NMRA DCC specification. Also for the list of commercial products that have been awarded NMRA Conformance Warrants and a links page with over 3000 railroad sites. See also John Balogh's NMRA site>/a>
NEM/MOROP The European standards for model railways are available here, generally they adopt the NMRA standards for DCC but there are often presented a bit differently!
TMWDCC Hardware Circuit designs for DCC boosters, decoders, etc. Etched pcb's for the project are available from a company in Sweden.
VSDM A Swiss DCC Group connected with Tanner of Winlok, proposing standard interface protocols for model railway use. (German language)
Wiring for DCC These excellent pages by Allan Gartner give advice on wiring layouts for DCC. See also Alan's Q&A forum.

DCC - UK

UK DCC manufacturers and suppliers

CML Electronics A small supplier of DCC accessories
Coastal DCC Supplier of DCC systems and sound projects, based in Ipswich.
DCC Supplies A UK specialist DCC supplier, selling a wide range of the major equipment plus accessories. They are also UK distributors for Pricom (DCC testers and Dream Players). They specialise mainly in DCC, supplying Lenz, ESU, Gaugemaster, Digitrax, NCE, Digirails, Zimo etc. and also a full range of maintenance and other essentials, including track.
DCC Train Automation A DCC supplier concentrating on automation products
Digitrains Ltd Offer DCC kit and associated accessories, dealers for NCE, TCS, ESU/Loksound and others.
Dynamis by Bachmann A site to extoll the virtues of the new Bachmann DCC system, very high spec for the price.
Gaugemaster After years of selling standard DC controllers Gaugemaster have expanded into DCC with a range based on the American MRC Prodigy advance.
Heathcote Electronics. Supplier of DCC controlled coach lighting units
Scalerail Scalerail of Horley, Surrey sell Lenz and provide on-line sales.
South West Digital Supplier of ESU Loksound dcc, they have the manuals on line in English.
Sunningwell Command Control Ted Smale imports Digitrax and Soundtrax equipment.
Wickness Models Wickness Models offers a bespoke conversion service for OO and N gauge models covering UK, European and US manufacturers. They also offer a line of Lenz, CT Elektronik and Hornby DCC equipment and decoders. All enquires welcome. (Run by MERG Member No: 3363)

DCC - Europe

European DCC manufacturers and suppliers

CT elektronic Austrian supplier of decoders and some other electronic goodies.
Dietz Modelbahntechnik Offer a variety of DCC items
ESU Loksound German alternative to Soundtraxx with some innovative features.
Fleischmann Manufacturer of FMZ, now upgraded to a dual NMRA and FMZ system. <em>(German language)</em>.
HDL Multilingual Hobby site by Hans Deloof with an economical range of accessory boards for use with Loconet, includes Servo drivers, block detectors and I/O boards.
Helmo Offer a transponder system for feedback from dcc systems (German language).
LDT Littfinski have a variety of DCC modules including accessory decoders.
Lenz German manufacturer producing products to the NMRA DCC specification.
Marklin German manufacturer well known for their model railway products not NMRA compatible but their own Marklin format dcc. <em>(German language)</em>.
Uhlenbrock German manufacturer of analogue and digital items including the "Intellibox" multiprotocol command station, site is in German but English manuals are available for downloading.
Umelec Swiss manufacturer of very sophisticated decoders incorporating sound and an auto signalling feature.
Viessmann Models German manufacturer of accessory decoders, DCC command station and booster, all kinds of model items like lights and signals, Kibri and Volmer models, catenary system items, figures, etc.
Zimo Austrian manufacturer producing high specification DCC products.

DCC - USA

USA DCC manufacturers and suppliers

Blackstone Models A division of Soundtraxx established to market DCC and Sound equipped H0n3 trains.
CVP Products Supplier of the EasyDCC system ready made or as the kits featured in Model Railroader Magazine.
DCC-Bitswitch A DCC supplier with a range of automatic control modules
Digitrax Manufacturer of DCC products that are popular with North American users.
Loys Toys Former US (West Coast) retailer now a site for DCC information.
Model Railroad Solutions Canadian supplier of Zimo and Loksound amongst others.
Model Rectifier Corp. Makers of the Prodigy and Prodigy advance DCC system.
North Coast Engineering Manufacturer of the North Coast Master Series DCC System and North Coast Decoders. North Coast now have their own site.
Soundtraxx. DCC Sound Systems, site includes samples.
Team Digital A variety of advanced DCC accessories
Train Control Systems. A supplier of decoders.

DCC - Rest of world

Worldwide DCC manufacturers and suppliers

DCC Concepts An Australian supplier of DCC systems and related accessories. Good on advice and assistance, especially for DCC sound and LED lighting. Check out his service and prices, can be competitive when buying from the UK.

Courses

Learn more about model railways and electronics

Missenden Abbey An annual weekend course on model railway electronics as well as others on other modelling topics. Tutors for the electronics course come from MERG and it is masterminded by member Chris Langdon.

SMA (Memory Wire)

Pages providing information for this developing technology suitable for point and signal operation, and other applications.

Flexinol Wires Information on "Flexinol" Memory Wire by the UK supplier, Milford Instruments will be found under 'Animatronics'.
Muscle Wires and Nitinol Product information and specification prepared by US supplier, Robotstore.
Pro-Rail Supplied memory wire specially developed for modelling applications (refer to TB G22/1 by Mike Walshaw) but manufacturing now ceased. The Website includes a comprehensive section on memory wire explaining how and why.

Helpful sites

On-line courses and manuals etc.

Basic Soldering Guide On-line course from EPE Magazine
PIC Microcontrollers On-line book on PIC programming from 'mikroElektronika', 9 chapters, very comprehensive introduction.
What is Linux A good general description about Linux

3D printing

3D printing related

3D Designs (Thingiverse) Masses of designs for 3D printers.
Filament Supplier (3DFilaprint) Several MERG members buy their filament (ABS and PLA) from this UK based supplier. The prices are considerably cheaper than other suppliers. A large range of "novelty" filaments are also available such as "cement" and "wood". Sample packs ("wraps") of 10m of filament are available at a very reasonable price.
Makerbot upgrades (bc technologies) US company that supplies heated glass bed plates and replacement aluminium arms for the makerbot 3D printers.
Makerbot upgrades (p3-d) US based company that supplies glass bed plates (unheated) and aluminium arm stiffeners for the Makerbot printers.