My name is Gordon Hope. I am not a professional software engineer but do have software background by training in college and from projects I have taken on myself from home. I have been around programming since 1969 when an IBM 1401 with 48KB of core was a huge system and cost over $1M.
I am currently working on a project in VB.NET which is in the support of one of my hobbies in model trains. I am using an RS485 network of I/O cards that each support a lot of inputs and outputs designed to keep track of train location, control of switches and lights and feedback from switches as to their position. A lot of the hobbyist level application code for the network cards is legacy VB6 and legacy Quickbasic code. Whereas this works fine for most, since I had not yet invested in that software for low level routines, I am undertaking a rewrite in VB.NET. I do get some help from real engineers at work as to professional software approaches for communications but decided to reach out to this community as an additional wealth of possible information and guidance if and when I need it.
I enjoy learning the right way to do things and will tackle the problem with a zealousness to learn along the way. The ultimate goal of this undertaking is to get total automatic program control of various trains running on a railroad to schedules and also to be able to interact with the trains by adding a train of my choosing for manual control.