February 27, 2015

Add web control to model railways with Raspberry Pi

With a combination of a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino-compatible board you can create all sorts of network-controlled hardware thanks to the Pi's ease of connectivity and the Arduino's ability to work with various electronics. An interestinge example of this has been demosntrated by Dexter Industries who explain how to control model railway points (switches for our American friends) with a Raspberry Pi and Arduino-compatible add-on board.

The software involved is a combination of python and an apache server on the Raspberry Pi, which control the Arduino-compatible that controls the points via a relay control board. This is a great framework for adding more control options, and could be the foundation of a complete control board via HTML for your layout or other device. A quick demonstration is shown in the following video:

For complete details, visit the project's Instructable page. And for more, we're on facebookGoogle+, and twitter - so follow us for news and product updates as well.

For projects that require interaction between an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi you can save time and space by using our new PiLeven board:

The PiLeven is an Arduino-compatible board based on the Arduino Uno, but with a few changes. Obviously it's a bit of a strange shape! The PiLeven fits right on top of a Raspberry Pi (either model B or B+) using the Raspberry Pi expansion headers.

The PiLeven also has a high-current switchmode power supply, so you can plug in anything from 7V to 18Vdc using the standard 2.1mm jack. The PiLeven can power the Raspberry Pi, so you don't need a regulated 5V USB connection anymore.

Serial communications on the PiLeven is linked through to the Raspberry Pi, so your Pi can upload new sketches straight to the PiLeven or send/receive data and commands. We've included level shifters so the 3.3V Pi can talk safely to the 5V PiLeven. And you can plug standard Arduino shields right into the PiLeven, giving your Raspberry Pi access to the huge range of shields already available. For more information about the PiLeven, including our tutorials - and to order yours today, visit the PiLeven webpage.

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