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Why is Loconet so important PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 16 March 2009 08:07

LocoNet is the glue..


System Architecture


System architecture is the way the components of a DCC system communicate among themselves.  Digitrax LocoNet is a Peer to Peer local area network (LAN), also called a “bus”, and designed specifically for model railway operation.  LocoNet wiring is flexible and expandable to accommodate almost anything you want to do with your railway today and in the future; it’s free-form wiring scheme is simple and flexible.  With LocoNet you can “branch” or “tee” anywhere in your network wiring and no termination is needed.

LocoNet is the bus that allows all devices connected to the layout to send messages to other devices and to listen to messages from other devices.

Event Driven or Polled?

LocoNet is an event driven network.  The command station waits for input from connected devices before sending commands to the layout.  For example, if there are 4 throttles on LocoNet and throttle 1 sends a command, the command station sees it and executes it immediately.  New features can be added by simply plugging in new hardware or software.  Since LocoNet is a peer to peer network, devices on LocoNet can act independently of the command station, too.

With a “polled” network, as used by other DCC systems, each device connected is “asked” (polled) in turn by the command station “Do you have input for me?”  The device must wait for the command station to poll all the devices on the bus before it sends the command.

LocoNet is the glue..


LocoNet connects everything together, the Command Station, throttles, accessory decoders, occupancy detection boards etc and, for computer control, the computer.

For example, an occupancy detection board, like the BDL168, detects a locomotive entering a particular section of track and sends an occupancy message out on LocoNet.  The beauty of LocoNet is that EVERY device connected to LocoNet can read the occupancy message.  Signals boards will see this occupancy message and change signals on the layout and on the layout room track diagram boards.  The computer also sees this same message and tells Train Controller.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 19:53

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