During the summver of 2003 I started developing RailNetDCC which is an inexpensive PC based Do - It - Yourself DCC system. I found that many of the DCC systems on the market can be difficult and confusing to use, especially for the first time DCC user. I wanted to leverage the flexibility and power of the PC (new and old) to make the process of using DCC more intuitive and enjoyable. RailnetDCC is a result of that vision, a PC based set of applications that manages the complexity of DCC and presents it in a visually intuitive set of applications. Furthermore, RailnetDCC uses standard TCP/IP protocol to enable the use of multiple devices (PC's and PocketPC's) to distribute load and increase flexibility.

Currently there are five application modules that comprise the RailnetDCC system; a Throttle, Accessory Controller, Locomotive Programmer, Server, and DCC Protocol Server. The first three applications are the end user interfaces providing the experience that is RailnetDCC. The latter two are the brains behind the madness. The last component to this system is the Booster, in this case, a 5 Amp booster I use with my HO system complete with PCB schematics that can be uploaded to ExpressPCB for production.

Although the entire system can be run on a single machine, the use of multiple devices allows for distribution of "processing", multiple remote throttles and dispatchers, and strategic placement of equipment. Currently I primarily use RailnetDCC on a desktop PC connected to my layout through the power booster.  I then use an old laptop that sits on my layout as the throttle and accessory controller which communicates with the desktop PC through my wireless network.  Occasionally I use my PocketPC with a wireless network card as a throttle as well using the ported Throttle application for PocketPC (be sure to check out the Ethan button).