Model Railway Electronics for Beginners

Are you bewildered by electronics? Do you feel uncomfortable in this digital age? Are you looking for better ways of controlling your layout? Are you returning to the hobby and bemused by the variety of electronic products readily available to the railway modeller?

Then this course is for you. It is aimed at those modellers with little or any knowledge or experience of electronics. This is a weekend of theory and practical work which will provide a foundation for using modern electronics to enhance the realistic working of your model railway.

Img 1707Christopher Langdon will teach you how to solder electronic components and then build an electronic circuit using a PCB (printed circuit board) and kit of parts. When complete we will show you how to test it, and then to make another circuit. We will show you how to connect the boards together for layout control purposes which you can take home and install on your layout. In addition, you will leave with a greater understanding of electronics and what they can do for your layout.

Teaching will be in small groups with a mixture of demonstrations and individual tuition. As this is a practical course, the emphasis is on making and testing electronic circuits, and then learning how to incorporate them onto your layout.

The boards that will be used for the course are all from the first generation MERG CBUS range of kits. CBUS is a layout control bus that allows control of accessories, reading of sensors and DCC throttles to be accomplished by use of a two wire bus system (plus 2 power wires) and a set of interface boards. 

Working in conjunction with MERG (Model Electronics Railway Group) all components you need will be available as MERG Beginner Kits. You will need: – 

  • CBUS Beginner’s Pack A MERG Kit Number 101 comprising of two projects; CANACC8,A MERG CBUS board that allows control of up to 8 accessories. CANACE8C,A MERG CBUS board that provides 8 inputs to be read. LCB-EXPA set of boards to allow the CANACE8C and CANACC8 to be tested. and 12V DC PSU, plus additional components cost £53.42.
  • CBUS Beginner’s Pack B MERG Kit Number: 102A which is an Add on to Beginner’s Pack A comprising CANVServo,A MERG CBUS board for controlling up to 8 servos. CANGizmoA MERG CBUS board that shows you the activity on the CBUS layout control bus. and CANUSB4A MERG CBUS board to interface CBUS to a computer using a USB port. This allows for configuring the boards from a computer and also the use of JMRI with the boards to control your layout, plus additional components cost £40.45.

For those modellers who are familiar with electronics and just want to build electronics in peace and quiet, free from domestic interruptions, then you would be most welcome to enjoy a very productive weekend with like-minded people.