What is EX-FastClock?
EX‑FastClock is a standalone microprocessor based fast adjustable speed clock, using an additional Arduino Uno in conjuction with a sheild based TFT touchscreen. Features have been added to EX‑CommandStation to allow the clock to integrate to the EX‑CommandStation and control EX‑RAIL based on time events.
Each time the time changes the EX‑CommandStation looks for a time change event and if it find a match it executes the commands recorded for that event as defined inmthe EX‑RAIL myAutomation.h file. Additionally the EX‑CommandStation will issue a time broadcast so that other devices such as clock repeaters can capture the time. Also where WiThrottle devices are connected a WiThrottle broadcast is made witch means that connected devices such as Engine Driver can dislay the time. | EX‑FastClock allows the FastClock device to connect to the EX‑CommandStation via either Serial Communications or I2C. Even though EX‑FastClock provides the code for an Uno based Clock it should be possible for Tinkerer level users to add the relevent code if they already have a working clock that thye wish to integrate to EX‑CommandStation.
To make full use of EX‑FastClock, you will need a basic understanding of EX-RAIL automation, but we’ll share the details and some examples to help with this.
EX‑FastClock is in public Beta testing, and as such, we encourage regular feedback on the success or otherwise of both the software and documentation. Please reach out via any of our Contact Us methods and help us get EX‑FastClock as easy to use and reliable as possible.
The EX‑FastClock integration includes:
A ready made Arduino program for an Arduino Uno based Fast Clock
Support for Serial connection
I2C device driver
EX-RAIL automation support
Time Broadcast for time display on WiThrottle controllers such as Engine Driver
Debug output to Serial Monitor
Out-of-the-box support for several common stepper drivers and motors
Credit where credit is due!
The EX‑FastClock is based on a project originally written by Jim Gifford (Hallet Cove Southern) in June 2017. That project used a 32 x 8 LED matrix to display the time and was controlled by a number of pushbuttons. You can see Jim’s Original Project here <https://www.hallettcovesouthern.com/track-plan-design-info/arduino-projects/fast-clock/>.
MCUFRIEND.kbv credit: This library was written by David Prentice and has become the De-Facto standard for the shIEld based TFT screens used in this project. This library inherits frommthe Adafruit GFX library.
Adafruit for the Adafruit GFX Library.
Now that you have a general overview of EX-FastClock’s features and capabilities, click the “next” button see what is needed to create an EX‑FastClock.