Author Topic: JMRI Advanced Model Railroad software for Digital Controls, Layouts, & Displays.  (Read 5988 times)

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Software Santa

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JMRI (JMRI Model Railroad Interface)  is Advanced Model Railroad software for Digital Controls, Layouts, and Displays. These tools work on Windows, MacOS X, Linux, and Other JAVA 1.5 capable systems.

What is JMRI?

The JMRI project is building tools for model railroad computer control. We want it to be usable to as many people as possible, so we're building it in Java to run anywhere, and we're trying to make it independent of specific hardware systems.

JMRI is intended as a jumping-off point for hobbyists who want to control their layouts from a computer without having to create an entire system from scratch.

JMRI provides the DecoderPro and PanelPro applications, tools for model railroaders who want to configure DCC decoders and create control panels.
JMRI® is...
 A better tool for programming decoders. DecoderPro simplifies the job of configuring complicated DCC decoders by providing screens on which you can select the various options and values you want.

 Designing and Operating CRT based CTC control panels that reflect the real-time state of your railroad and let you control it - almost like a Prototype dispatcher!

Cool Uses
People have used JMRI to do some great things. They've built incredible dispatcher panels, controlled impressive layouts, and built other tools for the model railroad community. Our Gallery page highlights some of these.

General Tools
JMRI provides powerful tools for working with your layout.
Layout Automation
JMRI can be used to automate parts of your layout, from simply controlling a crossing gate to running trains in the background.
Supported hardware
Supported computers

How can you use JMRI?

There are several different ways to use JMRI:

   1. Use DecoderPro┬« to configure your locomotive decoders and keep a roster of your DCC equipped locomotive fleet.
   2. You can use PanelPro to run locomotives, throw turnouts, control signals, and even create control panels. But you shouldn't expect it to be as powerful as a commercial layout management program such as WinLok or Railroad&Co; JMRI isn't meant to compete directly with them.
   3. You can use the JMRI interfaces to write programs for your own layouts. Making this easy is an important goal. This can be done via our scripting language, or by adding new Java code to the program.
   4. You can write new general-purpose tools. Although this is a little harder than writing automation for your own layout, writing tools that other people use can be very satisfying.
   5. You can implement the JMRI interfaces for a new system. Having JMRI work with other systems is an important goal. Once an implementation for another system works, the general tools (e.g. symbolic programmer, automations tools, signaling, etc) can be immediately used.

More Info on the JMRI project

JMRI is intended as a jumping-off point for hobbyists who want to control their layouts from a computer without having to create an entire system from scratch.

To do this, we've split the problem into two parts with an interface in-between:

    * "Above" the interface are the cool tools that people want. We provide programmers for DCC decoders, layout controls, automation tools, etc. People are continuously contributing better and better tools that still will work on lots of type of computers, with lots of types of layouts.
    * "Below" the interface lies code that connects to specific layout hardware. We connected to a full range of systems: C/MRI, Digitrax, EasyDCC, Lenz, NCE, etc. We are certainly interested in connecting to other systems.

The long-term strategy is to:

    * Create a set of publically available common interfaces for model railroad control code, suitable for use with any type of layout, from any type of computer.
    * Make these useful by providing quality implementations for as many types of layouts as possible.
    * Encourage interoperability of layout hardware and software through the use of common interfaces.

In the short term, we've created several programs based on the JMRI libraries to move the project along and demonstrate its capabilities.

The most popular is DecoderPro, a better tool for programming decoders. It simplifies the job of configuring complicated DCC decoders by providing screens on which you can select the various options and values you want. These screens show the exact contents of each specific decoder type. Both the programming screens and decoder information are stored in text files, so you can make up new ones as desired.

DecoderPro Symbolic Programmer

Modern DCC decoders are complicated beasts to program. The simple idea of "put the address in CV01" doesn't cope well when you program complicated functions using combinations of bit patterns. A friendlier interface is needed. There are programs that provide better ways of programming specific decoders. Unfortunately, they are limited to specific types of computers, and only their authors can customize them for new types of decoders.

The DecoderPro symbolic programmer is meant to improve this. It is configured using text files, so that it can be adapted to additional decoder types easily. It talks to the decoders using the JMRI programming interface, so that it can run on any computer and layout hardware that JMRI has been ported to. It's freely available for download. And since the code is available via open source, if you want to improve on it you can.

Quick Introduction to Using DecoderPro
The Quick Tour page will given you more information on how DecoderPro looks and the basics of how to use it. From there, you can go to the full DecoderPro manual for more information on how to use it, or look at the User Guide for more information on how it works.

DecoderPro is also covered in Volume 3 of Joe Fugate's series of videos on DCC topics.

What You Need to Use DecoderPro

The DecoderPro software will work on Windows, Linux, Macintosh (OS 8.6 through 9.2 and MacOS X), and OS/2. It will probably also work on most other modern operating systems that have Java available; contact us for help if you'd like to try it on some other system. You need to have a serial port available, either on the computer itself, or via a USB adapter. For more information, please see the download pages.

You also need to have a serial connection to your DCC system. For more information, please see the DCC hardware pages.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 01:38:31 PM by Software Santa »


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