What's up Doc!

Tips and Tricks, projects, ...

This section is dedicated to all those things that I have at hand but still have not been tested enough to be in place corresponding to the web. Also find beta versions of the firmware of some circuits, if you test it, send me your results and improvements.

Tips and Tricks Improvements to the circuits
Beta Versions Firmware. Test versions
Projects We are working on it ...

Tips and Tricks

Protection for RailComDisplay

Depending on which central or booster is used RailComDisplay, if a short circuit occurs in the isolated track controlled by the RailComDisplay can get to burn the resistance of 1.5 ohm.

To avoid that, one need only add a pair of diodes 1N5400 or BY255 in antiparalel with the resistance:

If you suffer display resets frequently, you can remove R13 (47K) because that PIC pin is not used in the final firmware.

Improvement in the DCC signal of NanoX

The original NanoX use cheap bipolar transistors in its output stage leading to a small step in the signal as it passed through zero, to improve the signal, replace the BC337 for a 2N2222 or, as indicated by Osvaldo Hojvat add a 390 ohm (or 470 ohm as Csaba) resistor at the base of each of the BC337 to GND

NanoX BC337 originalNanoX BC337 + 470R

Problems with MAX485

NanoX, Simplemaus, GenLI, etc, ... use the MAX485, some users have replaced it with the LTC485, SN75176 or ST485, in some cases they have encountered communication problems on the bus XpressNet or they can't communicate without errors with Lenz LI-USB. To resolve, you can try to install a 4K7 pull-up and pull-down resistors in the output:

Adding input E to NanoX-S88

When connecting the NanoX-S88, to a booster with CDE input (BoosteR-CDE, Lenz LV102,..), when we have a shortcircuit in the booster, it failed to inform the NanoX to disconnect the DCC signal because it wasn't available the input for signal E. With a few additional components the input E can be added to NanoX-S88 (and similarly to the original NanoX):

Beta Versions


Users of NanoX-S88 reported me bugs or suggestions, you get here beta versions if at anyone of you occurs the same and want to try and tell me the results

S88 slow: It is a bug, because when increase the number of controled locomotives, slower is the response of the S88
Slow response of the bus due to having to scan all devices
01/06/2009: New beta version with the old S88 scanning routine, the last beta gives erroneus indicators
01/12/2011: Accelerated the access to the throttles really connected

NanoX-S88 with S88 bug corrected, 12Jan2011

'Stretching zeroes': Some Decos do not work with the NanoX (Lokpilot Basic, FD-R basic) that do not accept the DCC standard signal with 'Stretching zeroes'.
Slow response of the bus due to having to scan all devices
01/12/2011: This version eliminates this type of signal and those decos are already operating. Also corrected the S88 slow bug. Accelerated the access to the throttles really connected. Added compatibility with MERG decoders

NanoX-S88 without'streching zeroes', 12Jan2011

Xpressnet v3.6: Update for NanoX-S88 to Xpressnet v3.6 that permits besides other, use more functions and programming CV greater than 256, for that it uses a PIC16F648A.
Support for functions F13 to F28 without refresh (even F13..F20 for Multimaus)
Support for programming / reading CV1 to CV1024
Added turnout 1 to 256 feedback (Multimaus shows correct position. Use Lenz mode: PoM CV7=7, CV7=77)
Accelerated the access to the throttles really connected
Added a new CV7 switch, in PoM CV7=50, CV7=60/61 to enable/disable S88 reading (to use with NanoX)
Added support for loco stack operations (forward search, delete, error full)
01/16/2012: Firmware for NanoX-S88 with PIC16F648A with support for Xpressnet v3.6
03/22/2012: Corrected bug in F13-F28 status due to an error in Lenz documentation
04/06/2012: Added a new CV7 switch, in PoM CV7=50, CV7=44/45 to enable/disable 'Stretching zeroes'
04/12/2012: Corrected bug in CV results
01/20/2013: Turnout 1 to 256 feedback and loco stack operations
06/24/2013: Added Double Header support
04/09/2014: Lokmaus / Multimaus v1.03 / Lenz v3.6 emulation
10/11/2014: Added support for multiaspect signals (DCC Signal Mast) in JMRI using NMRA 'DCC extended accessory packets

NanoX-S88 v3.6, 11Oct2014


Users of DCC_Gen v2D reported me suggestions and bugs for this command station, you get here beta versions if at anyone want to try and tell me the results:

LCD: During these years, users have chosen different types of LCD 16x2, with a HD44780 controller or compatible, some of them have found differences in the initialization time, in excess of the original 10ms and up to 30ms.
PoM: Programming a CV in PoM, the value is sent to the broadcast address so all locomotives programmed the CV and not just the currently selected. Command not issued for CV reading.
Preamble: The NMRA RP-9.3.1 recommends increasing the number of bits of preamble to accommodate the cutout of Railcom if using the Booster-CDE
PC control: Users of DCC_Gen v2D and the program iTrain have been located a problem using simultaneously DCC_Gen manual control and PC control when select a new locomotive that makes iTrain not update correctly the status of the previously selected locomotive.
Functions: With new decoders we need to access more functions than F0..F8.
27/08/2009: Version with 40ms LCD initialization, extended the preamble, fixed the PoM programming bug and compatibility with iTrain.
03/11/2009: PoM: Loco number in menu and CV reading (need RailComDisplay)
22/09/2010: Added functions F9 to F12 from PC. F9 and F10 from keyboard (keys 9 and 0).



Users of Simplemaus reported me suggestions, you get here beta versions if at anyone want to try and tell me the results:

Guest mode: As in the XWL throttles, the guest cannot change the loco and Stop only does emergency stop of selected locomotive not the general emergency stop
01/06/2009: New beta version with guest mode. Added 'EL' menu in setup to select normal mode 'L1' or guest mode 'L0'

Simplemaus with Guest mode

12/23/2012: Jindra Fucik send me one version with more options in guest mode:
L0: full access, STOP button stopping all layout
L1: selected loco can not be changed, STOP button stopping all layout
L2: full access, STOP button stopping only selected loco
L3: selected loco can not be changed, STOP button stopping only selected loco

Simplemaus with extended Guest mode


Users of XWL radio wireless throttles reported me suggestions, you get here beta versions if at anyone want to try and tell me the results:

Functions F1 to F12: Pressing SEL key, you can activate functions F1-F4, F5-F8 and F9-F12.
05/11/2011: New beta version with functions F0 to F12

XWL throttle with functions F0 to F12


Users of Minimaus eported me suggestions, you get here beta versions if at anyone want to try and tell me the results:

CV Programming: The v3.0 only allow up to CV256 in the programming track
Potentiometer: Due to the PIC16F628 memory limitations couldn't be included the potentiometer use
Functions: Only can be activated F0 to F12
Feedback: Couldn't be showed the feedback inputs state
Names: Couldn't assign names to the most used locomotives
26/10/2012: Changing the PIC with 16F648A that has more memory, v3.6 can be implemented, so it can be used in V3.0 and V3.6 command stations. With v3.6 command stations can be programmed up to CV1024 in programming track. Now can activated up to 28 functions and the use of the potentiomenter which has forced changes in the use of the keys. Now there's a new menu to see the feedback and other to name the 10 most used locomotives
07/08/2013: Added Double Header support
09/09/2013: Added support for programming CV>255 with Multimaus v1.03 and Roco Z21

Minimaus 3A manual


If you want to try any of these projects and tell me your results, send me a mail


The decoder controls an uncoupler coil as one DCC accessory with programmable pulse activation.

It also has an automatic mode in which an infrared barrier is used to activate the uncoupler when it detects a gap between wagons, the duration of this automatic activation pulse is programmable. The automatic mode can be used in analog (without DCC signal).


Many large models have ambient lighting with DMX modules that allows them to have the focus of attention at the right time in a particular scene or by combining several colours in lighting, the effect of sunrise and sunset to a light day or night ambient.

The DCC2DMX is a DCC decoder that has an output to control DMX lighting equipment. You control it as a DCC locomotive and the speed control regulates the intensity of the channel, you can directly control up to 28 channels with function keys, has 4 additional channels to provide automatic day/night lighting transition with the light function.

We can assign a different locomotive for each of the 32 channels, channels not assigned can continue to be controlled with the master locomotive and the corresponding function key. You can store and retrieve the current status of the lighting channels controlled by the master locomotive address, so you can have different preset lighting scenes.

If we use a long address for the locomotive master, you can enable a mode that besides the locomotive decoder has an accessory decoder with which to retrieve scenes or activate day / night transitions.


Installed between S88 and command station shows with LED the occupancy detected by S88 modules to make your own TCO

To program the group of 8 inputs to show, just close jumper, make a change in one input of selected S88 module and open jumper.

Only for S88 buses working at 5V


Decoder for a Tillig slow motor with voltage regulation for motor speed, output for polarization of turnout frog and optoisolated outputs for feedbak by RS o S88

Button to move the motor manually and easily program the address of the decoder. Adaptable to other slow motors like Fulgurex: