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Summary: CAN Bus technology is employed as Zimo's throttle network.


Not a lot is known about the CAN Bus protocol. The network uses RJ45 cables, 6 conductor, to transmit data to Zimo controllers, turnout and track section modules. A socket is also found on some Zimo command stations for connection to other networks such as X-Bus, S88 and possibly Digitrax's LocoNet, but implementation details are unknown at this time.


CAN (Controller Area Network) Bus was developed by Robert Bosch GmbH in the 1980s for automotive applications, and since has been implemented in other fields. It is designed for low traffic applications where response times and safety are critical. Unlike Ethernet, it isn't designed to move large amounts of data between computers.

It has been adopted as the basis of the LCC protocol by the NMRA


CAN Bus runs at 125kbps, using twisted pair wiring. Faster speeds are possible with the trade-off in cable run length.

Since it is very prevalent in automotive applications, there are a large number of components available at low cost due to their large scale of application in various industries.


CBUS is an implementation of a Layout Control Bus by MERG in the UK. They felt it was a good choice as Zimo had demonstrated it would work on the layout, and a lot of devices are available on the market for CAN Bus applications.