This S88 decoder model railroad block occupancy detector can be used to automate your model railroad with software running on your computer.
This tiny DCC decoder has been made to drive 8 leds. Instead of using a more expensive turnout decoder this may be a nice alternative.
I have build a RDS (Radio Data System) decoder with a microcontroller from Atmel.
This decoder is fed by a RDS demodulator IC (or tuner) which has RDDA (data signal) and RDCL (clock signal) outputs.