What is it?
The PiRyte 8 Channel Mini Stall Motor Controller, when attached to your Raspberry Pi, can control up to eight Circuitron Tortoise type switch machines for your model railroad.
- Can control up to eight switch machines or bi-color LEDs.
- RJ45 jacks allows you to use standard off the shelf CAT5 or greater Ethernet cables for cleaner and more secure routing of wiring.
- Conforms to the Raspberry Pi HAT footprint and is stack-able with other PiRyte mini boards or third party boards.
- On board address selects allows for up to eight stall motor controller boards to be attached to one Raspberry Pi.
- The on board MCP23s08 can be programmed using the Breezy4Pi application, or with the Python, Java, or C languages.
- Currently available as a kit only with options for either a 40 pin or 26 pin GPIO stacking header.
- Requires external 12 Volt DC power provided by either a 2.5mm center positive power pack or the on board screw terminals.
Why did you make it?
The Raspberry Pi is so versatile and powerful that I wanted to use it to control my model railroad. Ultimately, should I choose to, I could run my entire railroad from a web server. Also, I didn't want to have to depend on using DCC if I didn't want to. The Raspberry Pi in conjunction with the Breezy4Pi application makes it relatively easy to set up a switch yard control panel.
What makes it special?
I decided to break out the stall motor function from the PiRyte Multi-S and offer this as a kit to keep costs down for the hobbyist.
Additionally, this board is stack-able so you can mix and match with other HAT conforming boards. For instance, I run this board with no problems with Adafruit's 16 channel PWM board.
Finally, I like to have neat, secure wiring runs so I'm a big fan of using cables. CAT5 Ethernet cables are very inexpensive and being able to plug and unplugged cabling without tearing apart a Raspberry Pi stack is a major plus for me. Imagine the added work needed to unstack a bunch of boards on a Raspberry Pi so that you can reach the screw terminals for individual wires and then keep track of all the wires?