nControl Software


Product Details
DESCRIPTION
With our nControl™ software you can design, optimize, automate and monitor every aspect of your LEGO® train or monorail layout.

TRACK PLANNER
The track planner allows you to design LEGO® train and monorail layouts. We gave the planner an intuitive interface that enables you to create track layouts with a minimal effort. It's easy to build and modify layouts so you can test various configurations and see which one works best.
nControl™ does not aim at creating a photo-realistic image of your layout, it aims at creating a 'model' that can be used to design, optimize, automate and control your layout. It can provide a list of the track segments you need to build the layout. It also has an inventory manager than can immediately tell if you have the required tracks to build the layout, and if not, which parts you're missing. The planner supports both LEGO® and our own 4DBrix™ track segments.
The planner also has a layer to display the tables you're building your layout on. This allows you to quickly check whether it fits into the available space. nControl™ can also visualize base plates and LEGO® buildings like train stations.


CONFIGURATION
An automated layout is controlled with a set of on-screen tiles and/or program scripts. nControl™ allows you to create the control tiles and configure the motors, lights and sensors. You can also add custom Python™ programs to link the behavior of certain components or to run the layout fully autonomously.
You can choose the type of controller you want to use for each train. We support LEGO® Powered Up hubs, SBrick and, of course, our own 4DBrix™ WiFi controllers. You can mix these controllers as you please and control all these trains simultaneously. The trains can also be remote controlled with a mobile device by exporting your nControl™ project to a web application that can be opened in a browser.
For each train you can choose a custom skin for the control interface so you can easily see which train you're controlling.

SIMULATION
The simulation module allows you to test the automation without having any devices connected to your system. As such you can fully validate the automation scripts before building the layout or explore the possibilities of our automation system before purchasing it.
The movie below shows the automation simulation of a train detection sensor. We start by verifying that all the tiles are connected to the correct switches in the layout. Next, we can simulate a train passing in front of the sensor by clicking on the sensor tile. Each time the sensor detects a train it will flip the switches and change the train traffic lights.


AUTOMATION
nControl™ can communicate with the automation hardware and serve as an interface to control every aspect of your layout. You can remote control your layout by clicking on the control tiles. For example, you can flip a track switch by clicking on the corresponding track switch tile. nControl™ also allows you to run your layout fully autonomously based on the feedback of sensors or on the triggers of timer tiles.
nControl™ is fully scriptable with Python™. Custom scripts can be used to link tiles so that clicking one tile results in multiple operations, for example, level crossing lights start automatically blinking when boom barriers are closed. When it comes to automation, the Python™ scripts provide total flexibility in how you can control or operate your layout.
You can link mobile devices to nControl™ and remote control or monitor your trains and layout from a phone or tablet. You can connect multiple mobile devices simultaneously so it possible for multiple users to control the layout together.


PLATFORMS
The nControl™ software needs to run on a computer. The following operating systems are supported:
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Raspbian (Jessie and Stretch)
  • Linux
The web interfaces can run on any mobile device that has a web browser supporting HTML5. There are no specific requirements for the operating system so you can use:
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Fire
  • Windows 10

QUESTIONS
Don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions concerning the nControl software package.




 


Pricing
Most modules in nControl™ are free:
  • The track planning, configuration and simulation module in nControl™ are free
  • The automation module is free with all 4DBrix™ USB and WiFi controllers
  • Controlling a LEGO® Powered Up hub requires a PU license: one time cost of $5/train.
  • Controlling an SBrick requires a SBrick license: one time cost of $5/train.
  • A subscription allows you to control an unlimited number of LEGO® Powered Up hubs, SBrick or Arduino boards: yearly cost of $12.
Click here to go to the download page.



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