L.E. v 0.92: WCC decoder production candidate

Wireless DCC decoder for model railway signals and other layout accessories

No updates for a long time but it's because we haven't enough time for blog posts. When we don't work on WCC and decoders we have fun testing what we've finished already. and those tests become more and more interesting because interactions that you can add to your layout with WCC are limited by your imagination only and the size of the gauge you build.

We have great news - we're already waiting for PCBs that will be used in production. This means that we are very very close to releasing the first version of DCC train and accessory decoders that you can buy and use on your layout. We plan to start selling decoders in January 2024 after around 2 years of development and huge amount of experiments and trying different hardware options.

Here is how Loco.Engineering WCC/DCC decoders will look like. Each decoder has outputs for speakers, a tiny RF antenna for sending messages over the air (no more any signals over wires but of course classic DCC is supported) and communicate with computers/mobile devices, and I2C to connect additional modules like NFC reader, sensor modules, or even your submodule developed with Arduino or ESP Idf. Dimensions are 11 mm x 39 mm. Versions with different connectors like NMRA 8-pin connectors will be available as well.

We decided to use the same core board (on the image above) for train decoders and accessory decoders because there is no difference between trains, vehicles, and other layout elements in WCC - all decoders use the same firmware. This means that you can install different non-standard elements like displays, movable current collectors, and others even in trains and you can add sound to any level crossing. Of course, it's not easy to solder wires to a small decoder each time to want to connect or reconnect signals, servomotors, or speakers that's why we designed a special expander board with wire connectors (green on the picture below) for accessories, this expander board has 12 outputs for LEDs and other loads, outputs for speakers, DCC decoder and I2C in case if you want to develop something very custom with Arduino or ESP IDF.

Wireless Digital Command Control decoder for model railway accessories

What's next? Now we're waiting when PCBs for core decoders and accessory decoders will be delivered. As usual shipping before Christmas takes forever. After we get them and solder everything in our workshop in Poland, we plan to spend a few weeks hard testing all components and finish our web app.

In a few weeks, we plan to introduce our early adopters program. Approved users of that program will be able to get a 20% discount on all decoders and get updates before they go live for all other users, send feedback and ideas on what they like or don't like, and what they want to add to decoders and WCC. Of course, early adopters will have premium support. Subscribe here to be notified about this early adopters program and when decoders are available on our website.