The idea of the ARC project came up after I was searching for an easy-to-copy DIY DCC command station for my first digital controlled locomotive (an Arnold BR 111 from Deutsche Bahn, found at my local used-toys dealer). Without having any clue about the age and type of the installed decoder, I decided for a convenient looking DCC command station that I found on the internet. Schematics were simple and easy to reproduce without big effort and the 2×16 text-display looked fine for me. But after I finished building and trying to operate my new loco, I soon realized that the decoder (a Lenz LDE20) was too old (from times before NMRA released the first binding DCC standard) and only had 14 speed steps. And I realized also that a rotary speed knob would be way cooler than just having +/- buttons.

Unwilling of implementing one of the other, more complex DIY schematics that can be found on the web, I decided for project ARC with the goal to create a command station that is very simple to implement, cheap but still powerful. With a modern graphical front-end and only based on off-the-shelf components, ARC took its first steps. Due to my daily work on embedded systems and ARM-Cortex microcontrollers, I found lots of fun in this project. Even being part of the huge family of open DCC command stations – in times of Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Co., ARC is one of the first DCC stations that rely on off-the-shelf development boards.

ā€¦ Nevertheless the old LDE20 decoder got replaced by a brand new Doehler & Haass DH10C šŸ™‚

I hope that ARC will also be useful to you and your model railroad and Iā€™m happy if you share your impressions and feedback! If you want to get in contact with me (for questions, ideas, feedback, source code etc.), please send a mail to or use the comments.

Enjoy the ARC project!