Hardware Support: CAN Network

There's an emerging trend to develop model-railroad control systems that are based on standard CAN network technology. JMRI provides support for the development and use of these. Two initial efforts are described below.

CAN Implementations

OpenLCB logo


OpenLCB is a group of hobbyists and manufacturers who have come together to produce a future-oriented layout control bus, also called OpenLCB.
JMRI includes basic support for OpenLCB, and more is being developed along with OpenLCB itself.

NMRA logo

The NMRA has decided to adopt OpenLCB and standardize it as Layout Command Control (LCC, formerly NMRAnet).

MERG logo


A group of hobbyists, under the umbrella of the Model Electronic Railway Group (MERG), are developing a layout control bus called CBUS. They are creating extensive documentation.
JMRI includes basic support for CBUS, and more is being developed along with CBUS itself.

Supported Hardware

Computer Interfaces

Various CAN-USB adapters are available:

TCH Technology
TCH Technology CAN/USB which provides a high-speed connection for model railroad use
grid connect
GridConnect CAN_RS, which is also the protocol used by the MERG CAN_RS board
LAWICEL AB CANUSB and CAN232 adapters.


JMRI can provide the usual Sensor and Turnout features, once configured for OpenLCB or CBUS "Events".

JMRI can connect to CAN networks in several ways:


To use any of the above Adapters, select the appropriate device/connection type in the JMRI Preferences. If using a GridConnect or Lawicel device, be sure to set the appropriate baud rate under Advanced Preferences.
The TCH Technology adapter does this automatically, so no setting is required.

TCP/IP Network

It's also possible to attach via a TCP/IP connection (EtherNet or WiFi). This can either go to another JMRI instance running e.g. an OpenLCB hub, or directly to an IP-CAN adapter. To configure one of these, open the Connections tab in the JMRI Preferences and:




OpenLCB Help


Third Party info