Version 5 is here!

New in version 5 Yep, that’s right, the much anticipated EX‑CommandStation version 5 release is here at last! This is a huge release, adding significant new features like TrackManager, enhancing existing capabilities, introducing new and enhanced I/O support, along with other associated products such as EX‑FastClock, EX‑Turntable, and EX‑IOExpander.

We highly recommend upgrading to version 5 to take advantage of the improvements we’ve made, and especially for those users who are using our new EX‑MotorShield8874, as we’ve improved how it deals with overloads and inrush current amongst other enhancements.

To get your hands on this latest release, select Latest Production when running EX‑Installer (see Download and Run EX-Installer), or you can download it manually by following the directions in Latest EX-CommandStation Official Release.

We’ve outlined the key updates below but this is not an exhaustive list.


EX-CommandStation features, fixes, and enhancements

  • TrackManager - Run both DC and DCC trains from the same controller and switch your tracks between DC and DCC modes live, see TrackManager (DCC & DC)

  • Beta support for new, 32 bit microcontrollers including ESP32 WROOM and some STMicroelectronics Nucleo, see Beta microcontrollers - STM32 Nucleo, ESP32, and SAMD

  • Extensive optimisation of HIGHMEM useage to free up PROGMEM below the 64kb and increase the useful life of the AVR Mega2560 platform

  • Add option to disable programming to allow limited platforms such as the Arduino Uno to run limited EX‑RAIL scripts

  • Add support for our new fast clock EX‑FastClock, see EX-FastClock

  • Add support for our new I/O expander EX‑IOExpander, see EX-IOExpander

  • Add support for our new turntable controller EX‑Turntable, see EX-Turntable

  • Add support for duinoNodes, see Lew’s Duino Gear duinoNodes

  • Add support for a rotary encoder, see Controlling EX-Turntable with a rotary encoder

  • Add support for PCF8575 and PCA/TCA9555 GPIO devices

  • Enhanced overcurrent detection, including enhancing the behaviour to deal with inrush current issues

  • Moved startup of the HAL earlier in the boot sequence

  • Improved performance for ADC (analogue to digital) reads

  • Enhancements to I2C bus retries and timeouts

  • Support for I2C multiplexers to help with devices with static or limited address ranges

  • Support for multiple I2C displays

  • Improved handling of conflicting I2C addresses and Vpin allocations

  • Enhanced DFPlayer error handling

  • Add <JG> and <JI> for multi-track gauges to support TrackManager

  • Improved stability for the VL53L0X ToF sensor

  • Bugfix for signals being inverted (active high was actually active low and vice versa)

  • Bugfix for Ethernet allowing a static IP address to be set

Known Issues

  • We have one known issue in version 5 where DFPlayer doesn’t work correctly in some circumstances, which we are investigating and will fix soon

EXRAIL enhancements

For details on these changes and new commands, refer to our new, consolidated EX-RAIL Command Reference.

  • BREAKING CHANGE Removed implicit AUTOSTART from myAutomation.h, simply add AUTOSTART to the beginning of the file to restore this, see Scripts/Sequences - Types and Control

  • Enhance SPEED command to respond to external direction changes

  • Add DCC_SIGNAL command to control DCC Accessory based signals

  • Add VIRTUAL_SIGNAL command to enable user-defined signal sequences

  • Add ONGREEN, ONAMBER, and ONRED signal event handlers to respond to signal changes

  • Add TURNOUTL command to enable using a linear DCC address for DCC Accessory turnouts

  • Add MOVETT command to enable controlling an EX‑Turntable

  • Add IFRE command to test the position of a rotary encoder

  • Add ONCHANGE event handler to respond to a position change of a rotary encoder

  • Add ONCLOCKTIME and ONCLOCKMINS event handlers to respond to EX‑FastClock times

  • Add IFLOCO command to test if the provided loco ID is used in the sequence

  • Add FORGET command to drop the provided loco ID from reminder tables

  • Add SET_TRACK command to configure TrackManager in sequences

  • Add SERIAL4, SERIAL5, and SERIAL6 to support newer microcontrollers with more/different interfaces

  • Add SCREEN command to display messages on multiple displays

  • Add POWERON and POWEROFF commands to control track power

Website enhancements

As always, we are continuing to ensure our website is updated, and endeavour to make it easier to use and find information.

Dark mode icon

The big change is that you can now choose “dark mode” by clicking the icon in bottom right corner.