Controllers are required to power up and control components like locomotives, sensors, signals and switches. They are also handling the communication between those components and the central automation software.
Introducing the “MattzoController”
We have developed our own family of “MattzoControllers” for the LEGO train system.
The controllers are not for sale, but you can build them yourself with some very inexpensive components that are commonly available. I am publishing information about it here, so that anybody who is interested and feels capable can build it himself.
We also publish information how you can print a nice case with a 3d printer including the required 3d files.
MattzoControllers are based on a micro controller that unifies digital processing, input/output from/to the railway component, and WIFI connectivity.
MattzoControllers communicate via WIFI with a communication hub called “MQTT Broker” via the “MQTT” protocol.
The controller firmware is open source, free of charge and a gift to the LEGO train community.
The present firmware for the MattzoControllers is built for interaction with “Rocrail”. Rocrail is a free and powerful software to control model railways. MattzoControllers natively understand the Rocrail protocol. That means, that no other translation layer is needed to enable the communication between Rocrail and MattzoControllers.
Types of MattzoControllers
As of now, the following MattzoControllers exist:
- MTC4PF: MattzoTrainController for Power Functions
- Used to operate trains with Power Functions Technology. Based on the ESP8266 platform.
- MTC4BT: MattzoTrainController for Bluetooth
- Used to operate trains with LEGO Powered Up hubs or SBricks. Based on the ESP32 platform.
- MLC: MattzoLayoutController
- For motorized switches, light and form signals, sensors, level crossings, bascule bridges and everything else that is not riding on a train. Based on the ESP8266 platform.
The electrical wiring and the firmware of the controller types are different, but all controllers also have strong similarities.
Where to start?
To familiarise with MattzoControllers, we recommend to read the general section first.
We wish you all the fun that we had when we developed them!