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DCC Booster Complete

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am proud to finally announce that the Booster has been completed and tested.

Booster completed

Booster rear

The final design incorporates the following features:

  • Short Circuit Protection with a ~6sec timeout when short detected.
  • Two segments per booster rated at 2-3Amp each.
    • These can be combined for a total output of ~5Amp.
  • Status LEDs to indicate power output on each segment and also overload/short detection on each segment.
  • Second Serial Port (DB9) on the rear panel to allow data connection to another booster.

A typical setup of the Booster would be as follows:


The Booster shown above was built in a readily-available Project Box and the next one built will probably not use the same model. I'll be going to the store on the weekend to see exactly what is available as the box used is a little larger than what is really required. Either way, if you still wanted one of these, now is the time to contact me.

Comments (7) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Hi, iam doing some fancy dcc stuff at the moment too.
    First i started with creating dcc signal on the arduino: using
    At the moment i am using rocrail (wonderfull open source stuff) to create a dcc signal with the comport of a pc.
    I am boosting the signal with this h-bridge-arduino-board:
    Ive had it here and it works flawless.

    The signal from pc to “booster” is seperated with optocopplers. But at the moment ive got no short-circuit-protion. Need to find a simple and neat solution to that.

    Goal is: arduino reading photosensors (your idea), arduino serial->python application and -> srcp -> rocrail for sensors, control and actually everything-communication.

    Longtimeplan: to get that pimpy thing, because it got lan onboard, touchdisplay and use it as a srcp client somehow.

    • fly3rman,
      Your Arduino Motor Shield will provide the same current sensing that I have used for short-circuit protection. You get to do it via the microcontroller though whereas I had to do it via 555 timers.

      If you look at the manual for the L298(P) you’ll see that Pins 1 and 15 are the sense pins for current overload. Usually these are just pinned to ground with low-resitance but high wattage resistors.
      The datasheet is here:

      I can’t currently find a schematic for your motor controller shield, but you’d just need to find a way to feed the sense pins into two analog-in pins on the arduino. You could then monitor the current draw and even draw graphs to see what’s going on up on the track. Of course, if the current spikes for too long (and we’re talking milliseconds) then you can cut the enable pins and save your equipment from imminent death.

      I hope this helps… if you can take a high resolution macro shot of the board then I should be able to help you get this going.

      Otherwise I love your short and long term goals and am happy to help where I can.

    • Hi flyerman

      -the link to your stuff doesn’t work anymore. ( ) Can you share it with us again ?

  2. That was exactly my idea, i also identified the 0.5 ohm resistors. Can also measure the voltage there -> ohms law. But thanks for the informations =)
    I actually want create a circuit without using the IC, it must be easy actually, but i suck at electronics =)
    Will do some research. You should play around with rocrail btw. Using ddx->comport->booster. There is also an Ipone and Android client =)
    I think i will contact you soon, some brainstorming or something. Also got some questions about your stuff.

  3. This looks great, I suck in electronics, so do you have the circuit diagram for your project, and will you share it? Kind regards

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