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Controlling the Booster from Linux

After losing the source code to my DCC Throttle application I decided it was time to get the whole system controlled from Linux (or, in my case, Debian.) I'd known that the DDW Server I'd been using was based off srcpd and that they were more-or-less compatible.

After a lot of tinkering (making sure libraries/compilers/etc... were installed) I finally got srcpd compiled and running.
There is a nice web-app to create the required configuration file which is then thrown in /usr/local/etc/ or can also sit in the same directory as long as you specify it.

It seems that you need to make sure that the 'NRMA/DCC Translation Table' is set to '1'. I have a copy of my configuration file here.
Right, now that the server was running I grabbed Telnet and connected to localhost:4303. I attempted to use the same set of commands as I had with DCCThrottle but to no avail... it turns out the version of srcpd I had installed was based on the 0.8.3 srcp specification... much had changed.
Instead of reading up on what I should be doing differently I connected up dtcltiny 0.8.2.


After a lot of tinkering with compilation/libraries/etc... I finally got it installed. On debian make sure you have qt3-apps-dev and libqt3-compat-headers installed... do this with apt-get. Anyway... I'd done all this on a spare Thinkpad 600E I had lying around (PII 266mhz 256mb RAM) and I'd had a few issues with lag once it was up. I'd turn the headlights off on the control panel and my Twilight Express locomotive would then go dark around 1.5 seconds later. After turning off nearly all debug output I had a relatively stable system... but it does need a lot more investigation.

The next trick will be to investigate building a client on the console... I don't need fancy Xorg to get a gui and an ncurses console app should do. I saw rcsh and rcman and the rest, but python isn't my friend... although it'd be a nice opportunity to learn.

Anyway... all of this was a great learning experience... and I was quite impressed that my old notebook handled Debian and got the locos moving.

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