The “MattzoTrainController for Powered Up” consists of a simple ESP-32 micro controller and – nothing else! It just needs a simple power source like an USB power bank.
This controller receives messages from RocRail via MQTT and WiFi. It acts as a bridge between the MQTT broker and one or more Powered Up Hubs, which it connects to via Bluetooth. A direct galvanic connection between the controller and Powered Up Hubs is not required, which makes deployment of the controller very flexible. One controller can control one or more powered up hubs. A single controller can even control multiple independent trains.
The controller can be placed somewhere in a central location of the train layout, or in a waggon of the train that it controls. Carrying the controller in the train has the advantage that the Bluetooth range problems, which regularly spoil the fun on larger layouts, should be a problem of the past.
No wiring or welding will be required to use this controller. You just need to upload the firmware and configure it, and you’re good to control all of your powered up based train.
Special thanks to Markus, who contributed the idea for this controller and also developed the initial version of the firmware.
Development is almost done, so be prepared to find some nice videos about it on MattzoBricks in the near future!