Towards Automation with JMRI Panel Pro

Towards Automation - Working with JMRI Panel Pro

AUTUMN WEEKEND 2016 - Tutor: Peter Brownlow

JMRI (Java Model Railway/Railroad Interface) is a free computer program for controlling points, signals and DCC trains which can be used for computerised control panels.

Online information about JMRI can be found here:

This is a 2 day weekend course for those already familiar and competent with the basics of JMRI.

As a pre-requisite you should be familiar with all the material covered in our introduction to JMRI Panel Pro course, and be comfortable and fluent with the basics of JMRI including drawing a layout diagram in the Layout Editor, setting up turnouts and sensors, turnout feedback, linking from your Layout Editor Panel to your physical layout and the basics of block detection.

Bucks Hill control panel
Example of JMRI control panel for the O gauge Bucks Hill layout

We will use CBUS as an example layout connection (using the Missenden St Mary’s layout) for practical sessions and demonstrations, but the principles learnt can be applied to using JMRI with any system.

Topics covered will include:

Don't worry if you don't know what some of the above means – you will by the end of the course!

** It is not a requirement for this course for you to be familiar with computer programming. Nor can we teach you computer programming in one weekend! So we will just look briefly at the scripting facilities in JMRI and what can be achieved with them. We will provide information for you to find out more depending on your level of understanding of computer programming.

If you have your own hardware, using CBUS or any other system, that you wish to use with JMRI, then please feel free to bring it along if you wish. However facilities will be provided for you to link in to our CBUS demo layout at the course, which may be preferable as the course material refers to the demo layout with example panel files for you to try.

You will need to bring your own computer with JMRI already installed. A laptop is ideal but if you prefer to bring a desktop computer we can cater for that also, in which case you will need to bring your own keyboard and screen.

You should also bring a mouse, as some parts of JMRI are tricky with a touchpad.

This will be a practical course so that you can have a go on your own computer as we go along.

Next stage - mind control.

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You will need your own computer capable of running JMRI.

Please read the whole of the centre panel on this page.