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1. CompuTrein Software
2  CompuTrein ISA outputcard
3. CompuTrein Bufferprint
CompuTrein System
I began this project because my father asked me if it was possible to control his Märklin H0 railway with an old computer. He also funded the hardware of the project. This project has two major parts:
  • The software, a program in which a miniature railway can be drawn and controlled by mouse (description on this page).
  • The hardware, an ISA output card (48 outputs) and a buffer print (40 short circuit protected outputs capable of 15V/1,5A and 8 relays outputs.

CompuTrein Program
So I wanted to realize a system that can control a simple railway (note: maximum available outputs = 48). Because a miniature railway is never finished I search a way to be able to roughly draw a railway plan on the screen and add buttons to the parts that have to be controlled. Because I was (and still am) unfamiliar with programming graphic screens I created a new (VGA) font with all necessary parts. This is also the reason that the program runs well on an 8086 computer (text screens are faster than graphic screens). On the other hand the space on a standard 80x25 characters text screen is limited.
The program is written in Borland Turbo Pascal 7.0 © with some additional procedures from the Technojock's Turbo Toolkit v5.0 ©. The special VGA font I designed for the program is made with the VGA Font Editor v3.0 © from S. Griffiths.

The program has two main screens:

  • A control screen, in which all electrical components of the railway can be controlled by mouse.
  • A setup screen , in which a rough drawing of the railway plan can be made, all buttons and texts visible on the control screen can be added and all outputs can be assigned.

CompuTrein screendumps (16kb)

The railway plan can be drawn by placing standard rail blocks in a way that a global view on the railway plan is formed (see SETUP screen in the screen dumps above). A button can be placed e.g. next to a diverter. A button is formed by one or more specially designed signs or by text. If more than one character or sign is used these can be grouped into one button. All buttons must be placed twice on the same place in the screen (an active and an inactive button). All buttons can be assigned to a output port. If you click on a button in the control screen the output becomes active (or inactive).
The best way to understand the program is to try setting it up yourself. It has help screens that explain all subjects to setup correctly. All texts in the program are Dutch, but if there is enough demand I can rewrite it with English texts. Just let me know by e-mail and I will see ...

Until now the system makes only use of output ports, but I am still convinced that I will find the time to add a input print to it and to rewrite the program (this could be a version 2.0). But as for now I am still working on version 1.0, which will take probably until the end of 2002.

This program is freeware, but if you find it useful and are going to use it please send me an e-mail. I would like to keep track on this program. The program is still in its experimental stadium. The current version is 0.3 (CTREINV03.ZIP 53,7kb).

Märklin steamengine (21kb)

Click on the image to download the program.

(Experimental version 0.3 available now: CTREINV03.ZIP 53,7kb)

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