The new Pi-SPROG DCC devices

Introduction

Pi-SPROG One is a low cost DCC programmer-controller that connects directly to a Raspberry Pi computer.

Pi-SPROG Full package is a complete DCC system built on a Raspberry Pi computer.

Using a Raspberry Pi 3 model B+ with built-in WiFi you can instantly run trains with wireless throttles, or program features of your roster of locos.
Control multiple trains using Apple iPhones/iPods with the WiThrottle app or Android phones with the Engine Driver app. Free versions of both apps are available from the respective app stores. Paid for version of the apps are also available with greater functionality.

Pi-SPROG One

pi-sprog one

Pi-SPROG One is a DCC interface with an integrated 2.5 Amp booster that will drive a wide range of layouts, depending on the total current requirements of the loco fleet and accessories.
You can also connect further boosters such as our own SBOOST II. In this respect it is similar in operation to the SPROG II and SPROG 3.

See the Pi-SPROG One User Guide for more details.

We supply Pi-SPROG One with a 14V 3A regulated power supply and all needed software and instructions for you to set up your Raspberry Pi.
This is intended for those users who already own a suitable Raspberry Pi and are happy to configure their own system.
Full instructions to create a suitable Linux image for your Pi model are provided.


Click here to order your Raspberry Pi DCC solution.

Pi-SPROG Full package

pi-sprog full

Pi-SPROG Full package is a complete DCC system built on a Raspberry Pi computer. This package includes the Pi-SPROG One DCC interface with an integrated 2.5 Amp booster, Raspberry Pi 3B+, 5v and 14v Power supplies and a pre-configured microSD card with the current Raspbian Stretch system, JMRI DecoderPro and PanelPro and preset WiFi network.
This is a complete and fully configured and tested system that will work "out of the box" for those user who do not already have a Raspberry Pi or do not feel so confident in the setup process.

We supply our Pi-SPROG Full package with all that you need to get going!
Click here to order your Raspberry Pi DCC solution.

Setting Up the Pi-SPROG and Raspberry Pi

Pi-SPROG-Full

As supplied, there is nothing more to do than plug in the power, connect your phone or tablet to the WiFi and select your loco(s) to run.

The default configuration starts up the Pi as a Wifi base station broadcasting its own Wifi network, launches PanelPro, starts the WiThrottle and advertises the service on the Wifi.
Connect to the WiFi, launch the throttle app for your type of device (phone, tablet, etc.) and select a loco, locos or trains to run.

If you want to use DecoderPro and set up or program DCC settings, then connect to the WiFi and launch a VNC virtual desktop to connect to the Pi. Close the default PanelPro session, and launch DecoderPpro from the desktop icon provided.

See our Using the Image Guide with full details about using this image, or download a printable version too.

See the Pi-SPROG One User Guide for more details of the Pi-SPROG hardware.



Power Supplies

The Pi-SPROG One requires a regulated DC power supply of 12 - 19V. A current capacity of at least 2.5 Amp is recommended.
Both our Pi-SPROG One and Pi-SPROG Full Packages include an appropriate 14V 3A regulated supply. Alternative supplies are also available - please Contact us to request bundling of other options, for example for a higher voltage unit.
Use of a lower capacity supply (e.g. for a low power dedicated programming setup) will require manual configuration of the Pi-SPROG One's current limit.
A small amount of power is taken from the Raspberry Pi's 3.3V supply, through the GPIO connector. Using separate power supplies in this way guarantees that a problem with the DCC track power supply will not affect the normal operation of the Raspberry Pi.

In any case the standard Raspberry Pi power supply should be sufficient, depending on what other peripherals you have connected to your Raspberry Pi.

Software

The Pi-SPROG One and Pi-SPROG Full package are supported by the popular DecoderPro software for decoder programming and layout control.

We have created instructions for configuring the Raspberry Pi Operating system

Instructions to create Raspbian Jessie Linux image for Raspberry Pi 2 model B using a wired network connection.
Instructions to create Raspbian Jessie Linux image for Raspberry Pi 3 model B configured as wireless access point.
Instructions to create Raspbian Stretch Linux image for Raspberry Pi 3 model B+ configured as wireless access point.

Prepared Images

To help users in setting up their system we also supply pre-configured Raspbian Stretch or Jessie images, including all of the software required, on SD Card. Thanks to Steve Todd for the base image that we are using, with some additional adjustments.
Select the appropriate configuration of the microSD when ordering - pi-sprog sd
Command / Program Combination (Stretch), preset to support WiThrottle or EngineDriver users via wifi, but easy to switch to Program mode via VNC or a local display.
Command Station (Jessie), preset to support WiThrottle or EngineDriver users via wifi
Program Mode VNC (Jessie), preset to use a VNC connection to a computer, and also supports one WiThrottle or EngineDriver user for Program verification via wifi
Program Mode (Jessie), preset to use a local connection of HDMI display and USB keyboard, and also supports one WiThrottle or EngineDriver user for Program verification via wifi

See more details of these choices below, and Click here to order your Raspberry Pi DCC software solution.

Example System Configurations

Stretch package

Wireless DCC Command Station / Program Combination

Use the WiThrottle or EngineDriver App on your mobile 'phone or tablet to drive your trains.
Default operation model with panelPro and WiFi, or switch to programming by launching a VNC virtual desktop to connect to the Pi. Close the default PanelPro session, and launch DecoderPro from the desktop icon provided.
This is the image now shipped with our Pi-SPROG Full package, and is built upon the popular pre-configured image from Steve Todd. Thanks!

Jessie options

Wireless DCC Command Station

Use the WiThrottle or EngineDriver App on your mobile 'phone or tablet to drive your trains.
The Raspberry Pi 3 model B or B+ includes builtin WiFi, but a separate USB WiFi adapter is required with a Raspberry Pi 2 model B.
Add a touchscreen, HDMI monitor, mouse and keyboard to use on-screen panels to control the layout (with suitable hardware) or add extra on-screen throttles.
Alternatively, connect through the Raspberry Pi's wired network connection to a PC or laptop running a VNC Client.

Standalone DCC Programmer via VNC

Use a Raspberry Pi with a remote wired or wireless network connection to an external PC or Mac running a VNC Client to operate a standalone programming track, based on DecoderPro, capable of programming virtually any DCC decoder.

Standalone DCC Programmer

Use a Raspberry Pi with a connected touchscreen or HDMI monitor, mouse and keyboard to create a standalone programming track, based on DecoderPro, capable of programming virtually any DCC decoder.

For more information about using these prepared software images, see our Guide.

Interested?

We have Pi-SPROG One units in stock now, supplied complete with power supply, software and instructions to set up and configure your existing Raspberry Pi.
Click here to order your Pi-SPROG 2.5A DCC programming and operations solution.
We also have our Full Package including a pre-configured Raspberry Pi 3B+ now available.

Contact us to register your interest in other options. Our product range continues to grow, and so please let us know what application you have in mind.

About Us

We are the BBM Group LLC, a family business specializing in solutions for model railroaders.
Model railroads come in many sizes, and we specialize in N Scale, with a track gauge of Nine millimetres.

Contact us for more information, and to share your ideas and needs.