Latest version of the Protothrottle Receiver. This is driving a TCSWow 501 Decoder with a USAT Smoke Unit. This one is getting sent to the West Coast but an identical unit will be going into my USAT GP38-2 Chessie.

July in the Garden


My pond and assorted creatures that it attracts.


Bull frog, saw him wrestling with a competitor just before this shot.


Grape tomatoes on the deck. Have way more in the garden.


Rescued sunflower, coming along nicely.


My shop, 16×12. Full electric 30amp, heat, air, currently the new chickens live in here too.


Work progresses on the train shed.

Above is my latest Protothrottle Receiver. There are some features I would like to add but for the most part, it is code complete. I have more info on it here: Protothrottle Receiver

This is an Airwire Receiver (or transmitter if you wish) that interfaces to the popular Airwire System of Model Train Controls. I picked an Ardunio with this one as it is probably more familiar to the many computer hobbyists out there than a naked Atmega328. I wanted to keep this one accessible and as open source as I can. The Github Repository is available here: Github AirMini
More info on it is here: Airwire Mini

New Chickens


New chicks. Buff Brahmas, six hens, one rooster. Or they will be, right now they are all little fluff balls. This one looks pretty serious. I’m not sure chickens really ‘think’ but it looks like she is trying.

Gilbert Fixes

Finally found some time to fix up Gilbert, the winter was pretty hard on it. I added a water tower and cleaned up the buildings a bit. Still needs some ballast work but it’s coming along.

A very generous fellow named Darrell Lamm gave me this locomotive. For free. Just so I could test my receivers in it! It is a very nice model, all metal, with an already installed Lok Sound DCC decoder. Amazing. The only problem is that it is one size smaller than the scale I run, I have no place to run it. Anyhow, despite being O scale instead of G, this locomotive has plenty of room for my stock Protothrottle Receiver. Battery, Receiver, DCC Amp and a 5v power supply. Since I don’t really have any O scale track (one three foot section is all I own), I will probably sell this at some point, not sure.

I got all of the firmware straightened out and this works pretty well now. This particular software build only handles DCC addresses 0-99 but I’ll be fixing that on the next firmware upgrade.

You only need this one board and it will enable the Protothrottle to control all of your Airwire Locomotives. It still needs another pass on the PCB and an enclosure but I’m pretty happy with the innards. I’m going to build up a few and see if anyone wants to do some beta testing for me.

UPDATE 3/11/19- Now in Beta, I have the full 4 digit addressing working.