Above is the Protothrottle to Airwire converter. This device intercepts communications from the Protothrottle and converts them into an Airwire radio broadcast stream.
In order to use it, all you have to do attach the antennas and power it up with the supplied cable. Note the polarity and the jumper it is plugged into. (This will change to a standard microUSB connector in a subsequent hardware upgrade but for now you need to use my special cable)
Since it is a beta unit, there is no power LED or anything. The Protothrottle LED will also not register it, it will just blink red. There is also no configuration capability for this device so it defaults to ‘out of the box’ configurations. The Protothrottle and base addresses are expected to be ‘A’ and ‘0’ respectively and the Airwire channel is set to 0 (zero).
The converter will handle 4 digit DCC addresses. I have not tested consisting and have only really tested the base functions- throttle, lights, bell and horn. Note that the Protothrottle does not have any programming capability. You must setup your receivers with the T5000, the Protothrottle is just a (very cool) controller.
Please remember this is a BETA unit. I works for me on my bench. I have not taken it out on to my layout, nor have I tested it extensively. Please don’t try to take it apart or alter it as it is a bit fragile. I have a more advanced unit on my drawing board which will be configurable via a smart phone or computer but it will take some time to get that all debugged and working.
I’m pretty dedicated to the Protothrottle now. I’ve been doing various things with Xbee Networks for some time so I have real desire to expand on this. I have a standalone receiver and smartphone interface I am working on that completely replaces the airwire RX and drives 5 Amp DCC Decoders (TSCWow, SoundTraxx)