Well, after much debugging and trouble shooting I still cannot get either of my Android Interface prototypes to work. I have tickets open with the support guys but so far they have not been much help. This is rather disappointing but perhaps it’s a good thing. Time to move on. I have all of my control and sound s/w and h/w working, now I need to concentrate putting it into widget form with some custom PCB designs. I have the client widget designed, next are the hand held PCBs which will entail a display board and a keyboard circuit. The computer interface is covered, a parallax Xbee to USB board will be used for that, I just have to get the python drivers together and interface it into my websockets design.
I plan on releasing all of this as a series of several components, or widgets as I like to call them. The first will be the client widget. This will be for installation in a locomotive, turnout or animatronic device. It will interface to servos, motor controllers, my sound board, discrete outputs (ex lights). I will also provide inputs for various things like current sensors and feature an RFID reader port (for position sensing).
The second will be a couple of small PCBs, this will be the hand-held widget. I’ll also offer a resin cast/3D printed housing for this. And like the client widget, the s/w will be open source.
The third widget is the mp3 sound player. This will require the client widget to function.
The last widget will require only s/w as it’s based on the parallax Xbee interface board. You will need one of these anyway to program the Xbees for each of the clients and the hand-held. It will then double as a computer control point for the raspberry pi.
I’ll link all this together with some of the software I’ve done for the Wixels, at least on the HTML5/websockets and server side.
The basic idea is two fold. You can drive your trains with the hand-held and control all client nodes with that (locomotive or whatever) AND/OR control them with the computer or some combination of the two. I’ll open source everything so you have something working right away, yet also have the ability to alter the code to whatever you need. I’ll keep the cost of the PCBs to the absolute minimum and offer them bare, as a kit, or populated and programmed. Stay tuned.