The IoTT Stick hardware is an M5 Stick C device developed by M5 Stack (

Buy this item on Tindie:

It the core it features an ESP32 microcontroller from espressif. What makes it interesting for using it as IoTT Stick core device is the packaging with peripheral components that adds to user friendliness. 

Integrated into that tiny enclosure of only 48.2 x 25.5 x 13.7mm and a weight of 14grams we find all these components:

ESP32 240MHz dual core, 600 DMIPS, 520KB SRAM, Wi-Fi, dual mode Bluetooth
Flash Memory 4MB
Power Input 5V @ 500mA
Port TypeC x 1, GROVE(I2C+I/0+UART) x 1
LCD screen 0.96 inch, 80*160 Colorful TFT LCD, ST7735S
Button Custom button x 2
IR Infrared transmission
RTC BM8563
Battery 95 mAh @ 3.7V
Antenna 2.4G 3D Antenna

Based on that core, IoTT has added a customizable software that allows to use the IoTT Stick for various applications around model railroad layout control.

To make it work, you typically have to add two modules to the stick:

- a communication module on the left side, that receives commands from the DCC track or the layout command system

- a function module on the right side, which takes the commands and turns them into action, like switching a turnout, setting a signal, reading a block detector, etc.

- optionally, commands can also be received and sent via Wifi and MQTT. In this case, no communication module is needed.

The M5 Stick C is using an open hardware concept, which means that schematics are publicly available. Take a look: (or download as PDF)


Welcome to the Internet of Toy Trains.

Digital Command Control Systems have been around for about 40 years and little has changed to their fundamental structure. Yes, some devices were modernized, but new technologies like the Internet of Things have not yet found their way into a typical model railroad.

Over the last 10 years, there was a remarkable development going on in the field of IoT in both, hardware and software. Microcontrollers became cheaper and more powerful, with onboard integration of WiFi and Blue Tooth, and many software tools and even hardware designs were put in the public domain. These developments allow for placing good parts of the traditional layout control system in the cloud, which opens model railroads for the application of all these new technologies.

Overall, this is an exciting new world that opens up before us. The promise is higher performance at reduced cost as we make use of devices and procedures that are used in much larger scale in all kind of applications.

This site is dedicated to support these efforts by creating videos showing innovative approaches to common problems around model railroad layouts and train control. 

The focus thereby is using cheap sensors and microcontrollers as much as possible. And where there is a gap, to make some simple hardware devices to bridge it.

As always, get on board, have fun and stay creative!

Hans R. Tanner


Under construction: Landing page for the IoTT Stick. Come here frequently for updates on the Stick, interface noes and hat devices.


Please publish modules in offcanvas position.

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