LocoBuffer-USB

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A product of RR-CirKits.

LocoBuffer-USB provides a simple and easy way to create a bridge/connect between a computer's Universal Serial Bus (USB) and Digitrax's Loconet® bus. 1

The main difference between the Locobuffer-USB and the previous Locobuffer II is that this device uses a USB port to interface with the computer, instead of the familiar serial port.

LocoBuffer-USB Features

  • USB 2.0 to Loconet® interface
  • Optical isolation between USB and LocoNet® prevents potential grounding problems
  • Buffered inputs and outputs allows use with all USB supported operating systems
    • CD with drivers for Linux 2.4, Mac OS-9, OS X, MS Windows 98SE, ME, 2K, XP
  • Packaged unit size just 1-1/2" x 3" x 3/4"
  • Ready to run unit
  • Internal LocoNet® terminator.
    • Allows a LocoBuffer-USB to add LocoNet® device compatibility to other systems
  • 57,600 BPS interface speed
    • No jumpers or switches to set
  • Compatible with existing software
  • Installs as a serial port
  • Hardware handshaking using RTS/CTS
    • Includes DTR/DSR turn back required for MS Windows XP
  • Boot Loader for firmware upgrades
    • Does not require special hardware to install upgrades
  • Powered directly from USB and LocoNet® Rail Sync lines
    • No external power adapter needed
  • Internal option connector allows for future features
    • Planned optional programming track output
  • Includes 3' USB A-B and 14' LocoNet® cables

Applications

This device allows you to connect the layout's LocoNet to a computer, and using software, automate or configure various things. One application is using DecoderPro from the JMRI webpage to program your decoders.

Instead of the labourious task of programming a decoder manually, you can do it with a graphical interface on your computer. Or even save the config before tampering with the settings. Especially useful if you have a sound decoder that has a million options.

Troubleshooting

Serial to USB note

The device needs the RTS/CTS signals to work. If you need a serial-USB converter, some may not work as they ignore the RTS and CTS lines on the serial port. See the JMRI web site for info.

JMRI Version 4.16 Issues

JMRI version 4.16 has an issue which, in some cases, disables operation of the LocoBuffer-USB.

The only known solution to this bug is to upgrade JMRI to the 4.17 (test version) or higher/

See also

Footnotes

  1. RR-CirKits, Inc. LocoBuffer-USB User's Guide, pg. 1