Introduction

Some of the schematics and PCB layouts featured here were done using the free tools provided by ExpressPCB, which provides high quality turnkey board fabrication and internet based ordering directly from their tools. Most of my more recent projects have been done with another, more powerful package called EAGLE, which also has a free version for hobbiests. The only drawbacks I’ve found with ExpressPCB is the cost (somewhat higher than others) and the closed nature of their file formats - there is no way to move the schematic or PCB data into other tools such as Eagle.

Since many of the designs presented here are based - at least in part - on the designs posted by others on the ‘net, these designs, schematics and PCB layouts are also being made available to the model railroad community as Open Source Hardware. Feel free to duplicate, derive or improve on anything you find here; if you end up doing amazing things, I'd love to hear about what you've done!

I am not selling these boards, though several may be available from the Model Railroad Control Systems (MRCS) storefront. The schematics and board layouts are available to you for your own use, so you can easily take the files referenced on these pages and have your own boards manufactured. It takes between 2 and 4 weeks (faster if you pay more) and in the end you get professional quality boards.

The collection of hardware and software projects on this site represents projects that show up on my layout or are "learning experiences" and projects I've done for others. Enjoy!


Click the links in the sidebar to browse SPCoast projects

My goal is to build an 'duino-based Dispatcher cTc panel with field units to prevent switch/points and signals from being operated in ways that would allow conflicting train movements. To that end, I've designed a few WiFi enabled Arduino compatible processor boards ( ESP8266 and ESP32) and a set of I2C-based IO devices ( dual 8-bit, 16-bit, 64 addresses, 16-bit, 8 addresses, A/D and D/A) that can interface to various layout devices, such as IR detectors, Occupancy detectors, Signals: Dual, Single and Dwarf, relay drivers, and turnout controllers. These all can be combined to produce a control point:

PCB Design flowchart
Selected SPCoast projects used to illustrate a complex ControlPoint

This project’s technical documentation is licensed under the CERN Open Hardware Licence v1.2