Cambridge Kits - Electronics for Serious Modellers

Thanks for visiting our website, Firstly let me apologise for the lack of content. But I will explain:

Cambridge Kits is a British start-up company designing and building electronic parts for model train enthusiasts.

From early on in the history of the hobby many of the parts and accessories have been made by small companies and one-man bands. It is this cottage industry spirit which has fuelled much of the hobby. Even today many of the products are made by this band of dedicated people. You could even argue the main players such as Hornby and Bachmann are just over-grown cottage industries. Whilst they have substantial turnovers nowadays they are essentially run by model train enthusiasts. This is bourn out by the recent near collapse of Hornby when it was run by business people with little understanding of the quirky needs of their customers. Fortunately the error in their way was spotted and the new management team is now a hard-core of model train enthusiasts: Only time will tell if this is enough.

Coming back to Cambridge Kits who falls firmly into the category of a cottage industry. Martyn Rayner the principal engineer said “We do not have any aspirations to become another Bachmann or Hornby”. Cambridge Kits has been set-up by Martyn who until recently was employed as a design validation engineer for the world renowned engine and motor-sport company Cosworth, and previously as a senior electronics design engineer for Philips Telecom in Cambridge. Martyn was offered redundancy/early retirement from Cosworth in March 2019 and jumped at this opportunity to leave and turn his hobby into a business.

Martyn said “I did not get a train set when I was a kid, instead one Christmas I got a Scalextric set. I guess that’s where my interest in motor-sport started. Fortunately my older brother, had been given a proper train set 9 years earlier; the Princess Elizabeth set in BR black. So I did get my fix of model trains. Moving on to the present day during a conversation with a couple of “old blokes down the pub” we got on to talking about modelling (building replica things, not posing in front of a camera) I started to think about building a model train layout. And the idea just grew from there the rest is kind of history now”.

Seeing a small opportunity in the market, Martyn thought he could turn his electronics skills towards designing some microprocessor powered accessories. Which is about where we are today.

Currently Martyn is busy at his CAD station, designing circuit boards and writing code, along with everything else needed to produce a product. He has a number of prototype units finished and some pre-production boards on their way back from the PCB house. If you have managed to get to the end of this little essay. Please keep an eye on our website where we will be doing regular blog spots until we have finished some products to offer for sale. Sometime around September 2019 we hope.

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