Digital Railway System
By Vijay Velu and Victor Spear
“The Velu-Bahn Digital Railroad System (VB-DRS) is a sophisticated self-healing digital mesh that encompasses and communicates with all objects (or assets) of a model railway – locomotives, box cars, passenger cars, couplers, switches, yard lights, level crossings, stations, sidings, sheds and people. To this extent the selected choice was the Xbee radios from Digi International that enabled us to create a ‘knowledge propagating mesh network’ for a large G-scale model railroad. Since objects are constantly in motion and entering or leaving different areas of the layout, signals must be traversing the mesh in a reliable and timely fashion without complex wiring or single points of failure.
The entire layout can be controlled by any ipod, iphone or Android phone and is also web-enabled so friends and family can join in from anywhere in the world and operate trains or simply watch.
Much of this work was based on the pioneering book by Rob Faludi – Building Wireless Sensor Networks: with ZigBee, XBee, Arduino, and Processing along with some deep thinkers from NYU-ITP and support from Digi Support teams.”