Wii Nunchuk Train Controls

While we’ve been told all of our lives Wiis and trains just don’t mix, they never said anything about Wii Nunchuks. One terribly abused joke later, [Ken] tipped us off about his Wii Nunchuk controlled train set.

By utilizing Digital Command Control (think pulse-width modulation) with an Arduino, he is able to have full control over the trains direction and speed. The other part of the equation is a Wii Nunchuk and adapter. The setup should be pretty self explanatory, but there is an Instructable for those that need more help.

11 thoughts on “Wii Nunchuk Train Controls

  1. This is great, I need a nunchuck, there are chinese knock-offs for $5 shipped. ($20 for the wii-mote and nunchuck together.)

    Although I am contemplating a control scheme with dual nunchucks instead for playing emulators and PC games etc.

  2. It is definitely not DCC, which is a signaling protocol that goes out over the track to talk to a decoder/motor controller. This is just PWM dc being generated by a L293 quad half-h (on a shield) and controlled by the Arduino.

  3. DCC isn’t PWM.

    DCC is a packet level portocol run over the rails, with alternating current as a signalling medium. It uses messages to control individual trains, allowing for multiple engines going at different speeds and in different directions. More:

  4. I was about to post that his model looks like it’s made from clay, then I noticed that the track is N scale.

    I’ll put that aside from now to make my major gripe: This has absolutely nothing at all to do with DCC, not even a custom protocol. He is simply putting PWM power to the tracks. If he wanted to do this properly, he would should give constant DV power to the rails, and use a micro (ATtiny would work perfectly) on the train itself to provide variable voltage to the motor. The rails wont act like an antenna this way, and you can make the trains do some cool stuff, like individual profiles about speeds, lighting, etc.

  5. lol i thought this was real at first, i would think for a REAL impelementation, off the shelf pda with wifi would be readily usable with very little hardware side and even less software side

    as for the toy, its KINDA slow to respond and as for analog speed control…. anyone know WHY it doesnt have it?

  6. Read the original post.
    “[DCC] seems a bit much for a four-foot layout, and there is not much by way of hardware decoders for N-scale (yet). Another alternative is to just pulse the DC signal to the track in a scheme called pulse-width modulation. Instead of variable voltage, maximum voltage is applied for variable widths of time. It seems a little crazy, but it works so well that it is used on large industrial motors. The big advantage for model trains is smooth operation at slow speeds – a big plus at Dawson Station.”

  7. If he is using standard DC trains there is a slight risk of damage, or at least that is what the E-Z command manual says, though I realize this is not real DCC. What I want to know is has anyone tried to hack an E-Z command controller to work on a PC or boost the power. They use the Lenz X-Bus interface and have a serial I/O port on the back which you can use a separate walk around controller with. I was wonder if this was some straight forward serial communication or are they encoding it. I am new to all this train stuff but would love to hack the system I have with some heavy modifications.

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