Welcome to the home of Lew’s Duino Gear ™, Intelligent Electronics designed for Model Railroads, and the home of LCOS — the Layout Control Operating System. Our products empower you to build a complete, semi-automated control system for model railroad layouts of any size or scale.
duinoNodes: the I/O Boards You Didn’t Know You Need
If you are using Arduino technologies on your layout, no doubt you have run into the big limitations of all Arduino boards: too few digital input/output ports with relatively low current handling limits. Even the MEGA with its 53 pins can only run 10 output pins at full power (@ maximum continuous power of 20 mA per port) at any given time, because of the 200 mA limit on board current handling capacity!
What if you:
- Need more output ports than your boards can provide?
- Need to handle more current than any port or the board can manage?
- Need to run relays, small motors or other inductive devices?
- Need to read more digital inputs than there are available ports?
Plug & Play Layout Control Has Arrived!
LCOS , the first complete Plug & Play layout control system, will change model railroad layouts forever!
Why? You already have sophisticated, plug and play control over sound equipped locomotives, but along the way the layout itself has been an afterthought. In the prototype world, the environment exists independently and is something the train has to contend with. Why aren’t layouts built around the same principle? Because it was a hard thing to do.
Not any more! Now you can have a layout that runs on its own rules and interacts with trains in a prototypical way! LCOS brings layout control into the 21st century, uniting all the elements of a layout — turnout motors, crossings, signals, lighting and discreet animations — into a complex organism driven by a fast clock, allowing layout-wide simulation of a prototypical day.
Standardized Layout Control Nodes running LCOS, communicating wirelessly across a Layout Control Mesh Network, make it all possible.
Installing a Layout Control Node is as simple as mounting it where you need it based on the objects it has to control, then powering it up and running the Configurator App to find and configure the node.
What Can You Do With LCOS?
With LCOS on our Layout Control Nodes you can automate and control any device on your layout, from turnout motors and power relays to signals, crossings, lighting and animated objects.
LCOS is “locomotive control agnostic,” which means that it works with, and can enhance, any locomotive control system you choose. Here are just a few ways LCOS adds value to your existing loco control:
- DC — Allows you to upgrade your control panels and cab control with electronic switching. Shorten your wire runs and add automatic cab switching where needed. Fully adapted to LCOS, a DC layout becomes more manageable and — this is the best part — easier to modify than the hard wire systems you are used to.
- DCC — With the DNDCC interface node [coming soon], any DCC address can be mapped to a turnout or a route allowing you to control individual turnouts, or invoke routes, from your throttle. Its also economical: you don’t need dedicated stationary decoders — the whole systems acts as a dynamic, programmable stationary decoder that can respond to as many different DCC addresses as needed.
- Wireless — We can’t think of anything better than a wireless loco control control system working with a wireless layout control system. If your system is battery powered so you don’t use track power for your locomotive, you may (depending on equipment) be able to use resistor wheels with energized track to have accurate occupancy information. Or you can use other types of sensors to trigger layout actions.
- CTC systems, DCC++EX and others [with appropriate interface nodes] can tap into and participate in the rich operational message stream generated by LCOS components, for enhanced control and automation. The only limit is imagination.
Here are some Key Features and Capabilities of Lew’s Duino Gear ™ LCOS layout control products::
- Create control panels with buttons, switches and status/feedback indicators
- Track trains with block occupancy sensors .
- Run all common turnout motors, including stall motor, single coil, twin coil and servos. Supports frog and reversing relays.
- Automate Signals according to block occupancy and turnout positions.
- Automate Crossing Gates .
- Automate Reversing relays
- Create extensive Layout lighting
- Run active layout animations
- Run a variable ratio fast clock for both layout time display and layout automation, such as lighting control. Driven by the fast clock signal, your layout can dynamically respond to time changes from day to night and back again.
- The Configurator app runs on any Windows PC (an available USB port is required), and works with you to make setup amazingly easy.
- Compatible with all locomotive control systems.
- The best part: no scripting or programming — you don’t have to be an electrical engineer or computer programmer to use our system!
If you are ready to learn more, check out the LCOS Manual.