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hi all, ive got the lenz 100 set with tr150 transformer. im thinking of using peco or seep motors.is this ok or do i need another transformer, thanks for any help billy
 

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Just another modeller
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QUOTE (61215 billy carver @ 11 Mar 2008, 22:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>hi all, ive got the lenz 100 set with tr150 transformer. im thinking of using peco or seep motors.is this ok or do i need another transformer, thanks for any help billy

***Hello Billy

Its always best to use a separate transformer for the accessories, as point motors draw quite a lot of current. It needn't be expensive though - do you know anyone with a dead laptop computer? if so, beg its "spare bits" for your railway use the laptop power supply for the Lenz system and the TR100 for your accessories. (just cut off the plug and connect it)

The lenz system doesn't care whether its supplied by AC or DC, and at anywhere from 4~5 amps at 15~18 volts regulated DC, the laptop power supply will be a really stable power supply for the DCC system.

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hi richard, thanks for prompt reply.i am hoping to operate everything from handset digitaly should i still use seperate power ?its only a mpd and fuel point with 6 motors. cheers billy
 

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QUOTE (61215 billy carver @ 12 Mar 2008, 07:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>hi richard, thanks for prompt reply.i am hoping to operate everything from handset digitaly should i still use seperate power ?its only a mpd and fuel point with 6 motors. cheers billy

Hello Billy

Give it a go - you'll soon see if there is any real effect on general running and its easy enough to change later if there is.

Richard
 

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If you plan to operate your points from the handset then you will need one or more likely two DCC accessory decoders. Some of these use the DCC supply to power the points, others must be connected to a different supply to do this and yet others will work in either way.

If you are operating solenoids from the DCC supply you probably need a decoder with a built in Capacitor Discharge Unit. The solenoid needs a high current for a short period, if you don't use a CDU this puts a 'spike' on the DCC bus wires and may affect operation of other DCC equipment. The CDU smooths this out into a lower current over a longer period. I'm afraid I don't have personal experience of this setup so can't advise on which decoders are suitable.

As an alternative, you may wish to hard-wire the points from push-buttons with a CDU rather than running them via DCC. This could run quite happilly off the TR150 (connect to the input side of the Lenz not the DCC outputs) and would be cheaper than buying accessory decoders costing (around £30 to run four points). The Lenz handset is also very fiddly to change points, so you might find a push-button system easier to use as well.
 

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DT
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Some thoughts on DCC control of points:

I have though long and hard about the merits of controlling points with DCC. I have experimented with most of the available systems.

You need to answer a few questions to determine the best solution to this issue.
Are you planning on using automated routing and /or computer control?
Are you going to have more than one operator switching the same points from different control stations around the layout?
Do you have a large layout where you need to control points that are not in your current control station and you are operating the layout by yourself?
If you answered 'yes' to the above, then DCC controlled points are a good idea. If you answered 'no', then look at control panels, switches and manual point levers.

If you go with DCC controlled points, you have accessory decoders operating the point motors. How you access the accessory decoder is another issue. You can do so from the cab controller, but systems like the Lenz require 7 key-presses to switch a single point - too long and complex. A better option is to use a dedicated keyboard. These can be set up around the layout and can be used by more than one operator around the layout.
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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You can actually have both believe it or not. I am looking at CML and their tower master to combine with a Digitrax setup so you can have push button control (or other electrical momentary switching) of points yet have it still part of the LocoNet for later connection to a computer if desired or still operate the points via a handset if required.
 

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QUOTE (Lancashire Fusilier @ 13 Mar 2008, 10:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You can actually have both believe it or not. I am looking at CML and their tower master to combine with a Digitrax setup so you can have push button control (or other electrical momentary switching) of points yet have it still part of the LocoNet for later connection to a computer if desired or still operate the points via a handset if required.

**This is actually possible with most DCC Point decoders.

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 13 Mar 2008, 02:09) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>**This is actually possible with most DCC Point decoders.

Richard
DCCconcepts

But if, say, you reverse the point with the decoder then normalise it with a push button, unless you had feedback then surely the decoder wouldn't reverse it again because it thinks it is already reversed? You would have to normalise it and then reverse.
 

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QUOTE (Edwin @ 13 Mar 2008, 17:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>But if, say, you reverse the point with the decoder then normalise it with a push button, unless you had feedback then surely the decoder wouldn't reverse it again because it thinks it is already reversed? You would have to normalise it and then reverse.

**basically accessory decoders are very simple totally dumb items - they do exactly what you tell them. Think of an accessory decoder as a button with stuff attached - just an expensive substitute for your finger - that is all they are in real terms...

If you set a turnout to normal, it will change. If you tell it to set the turnout to normal again, the decoder will simply repeat the command, but the point, having already been changed, will simply stay there.

So... its Not really a problem. An accessory decoder and a button are all the same to the solenoid.

The pushbuttons will change it one way or another... if its already "normal" when U press the button it will do nothing.

Same applies to the accessory decoder, it will trigger but if its already been changed it will not make anything move.

.... I see no difference or negative consequence at all there.

Richard
DCCconcepts

PS: in fact if you think it through, they are not as clever as a finger, which needs only one push to change the turnout.... your DCCsystem needs 3 or more buttons pushed to "push the button" to change the turnout
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 13 Mar 2008, 10:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>**basically accessory decoders are very simple totally dumb items - they do exactly what you tell them. Think of an accessory decoder as a button with stuff attached - just an expensive substitute for your finger - that is all they are in real terms...

If you set a turnout to normal, it will change. If you tell it to set the turnout to normal again, the decoder will simply repeat the command, but the point, having already been changed, will simply stay there.

So... its Not really a problem. An accessory decoder and a button are all the same to the solenoid.

The pushbuttons will change it one way or another... if its already "normal" when U press the button it will do nothing.

Same applies to the accessory decoder, it will trigger but if its already been changed it will not make anything move.

.... I see no difference or negative consequence at all there.

Richard
DCCconcepts

PS: in fact if you think it through, they are not as clever as a finger, which needs only one push to change the turnout.... your DCCsystem needs 3 or more buttons pushed to "push the button" to change the turnout


I'm sure this applies to many systems, but it doesn't on my Lenz with MERG decoders. I think it is because the specifications for accessory decoders are open to different interpretations by different suppliers.
 

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QUOTE (Edwin @ 13 Mar 2008, 20:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm sure this applies to many systems, but it doesn't on my Lenz with MERG decoders. I think it is because the specifications for accessory decoders are open to different interpretations by different suppliers.

I'll look at the Merg circuit again, but if its a 3 wire solenoid output then it applies in general, unless the accessory decoder is configured with an alternating polarity DC pulse rather than two discrete trigger circuits. That is exceedingly rare and usually restricted to those that reverse DC such as is needed for Kato point motors or tortoise.

either way, if you trigger the solenoid with a PB, then the decoder will not know its triggered so will still act! - its just that the point will not change when it does because the PB switch already changed it!

Whats needed ideally is an on-on DPDT pushbutton (on one way constantly other way only while pressed), not a simple spst on/off.... So I had these made for me in large qty as it is a useful form of PB that is really hard to find anywhere!

Richard
DCCconcepts

PS - just looked at the MERG acc 5 paperwork schematic and PCB. There is no reason why you cannot use PB switches in parallel at all.
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 13 Mar 2008, 12:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>PS - just looked at the MERG acc 5 paperwork schematic and PCB. There is no reason why you cannot use PB switches in parallel at all.

When I throw a point (say from normal to reverse) by hand the Lenz handset has no way of knowing it has changed (I do not have feedback) so still shows it as normal. To return it to normal from the handset I have to set it to reverse and then back to normal. I presume the Lenz handset just ignores requests to set the point how it thinks is already set. There is also an issue of Lenz treating activate and deactivate messages differently from some other systems, explained in the MERG documentation.

Getting back towards the original topic, I'm not convinced that dual control of this type will work with Lenz systems unless they also have feedback, so I think you are driven to using something like the Roco unit rather than push buttons wired directly to the coils.
 

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QUOTE (Edwin @ 13 Mar 2008, 22:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>When I throw a point (say from normal to reverse) by hand the Lenz handset has no way of knowing it has changed (I do not have feedback) so still shows it as normal. To return it to normal from the handset I have to set it to reverse and then back to normal. I presume the Lenz handset just ignores requests to set the point how it thinks is already set. There is also an issue of Lenz treating activate and deactivate messages differently from some other systems, explained in the MERG documentation.

Getting back towards the original topic, I'm not convinced that dual control of this type will work with Lenz systems unless they also have feedback, so I think you are driven to using something like the Roco unit rather than push buttons wired directly to the coils.

*** If there's any problem doing it with Lenz I haven't noticed it, but then I dislike Lenz controllers so haven't played with one for a while. I'll look at it again when I have time - BUT - If it is an issue then thats an issue with the Lenz DCC controller Edwin - nothing at all to do with the point decoder or buttons.

As to your thought, no, The handset it won't ignore the request, its not a "clever" device - it simply obeys instructions - the handset and the decoder have no communication other than "one way dumb commands", and the handset simply does what you tell it with your button pushes to "select accessory, change normal or reverse" - this command can be done for either direction no matter which way the point is actually set on the layout....

This is sort of going in circles as a discussion - Anyway....if you've manually changed a point won't you remember - and simply make the appropriate "other" command when you want to change it? I've a huge layout but I still look at points visually when I'm shunting.....

The other point is that you can easily arrange visual feedback on the control panel - which makes all this irrelevant anyway

I've very successfully used parallel pushbuttons on most brands of point decoders with no problems at all. (Lenz point decoders work with them fine too) - so if U have an issue its not the point decoder or buttons....

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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Richard

I'm not trying to get into a circular discussion. I'm just raising what I think are legitimate doubts about whether what you propose would actually work in the specific case of a Lenz handset. As the OP specifically mentions using one, and you say you rarely do so, then I think it is highly relevant for me to report my own experience with this setup and I would be grateful if you would at least recognise this rather than raising issues which are already answered in my earlier posts. Then anyone happening on this thread does not waste time and effort on something which I am pretty sure won't actually work.

Fundamentally I think we agree that a Lenz handset is a bad way to control points. This being so, why are we talking about dual control in the first place?

This is my last posting on this thread.

Regards
Edwin
 

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Edwin
I acknowledged your comment and said I would check. I have. This is the quote from the manual. I also rang a friend who is a "power user" of Lenz. He reconfirmed.

Quote (LH100 manual page 40)

"If the turnouts are not feedback capable, or connected to a nonfeedback
capable accessory decoder, then you can't have actual
feedback of the turnout position. In this case you will see the last
entered position (+ or -) when you call up the turnout. And when
you press the + or - keys, the display will update immediately."

end of Quote

There is no lockout, just that the handset shows + or minus - You can still press either + or minus and it will send that command as you request.
Therefore.
You always have the + or minus choice when controlling a point.

So

If you set it to say + with the handset, then use the PB to change to what is the minus position, you can then simply choose to press + with the controller to re-set it to the + position. There is no need to do minus then + or anything...ie no need to "cycle" anything

That is my point, and I therefore see no issue with lenz etc at all.

What am I misunderstanding in your posts?

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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Personally, I dislike using a hand held to change points. I am definitely an old fashion control panel type person!

I have a control panel with push buttons to change my points. However. I dislike having to push to many buttons to get from point A to point B in the station area. To over come this I have used diode matrix to set routes. The downside to this is how big these matrix get (I have three states, Arrive, Depart and Shunt) Depending on the state determines what signals change in relation to the route. To give an idea as to the scope of the station there are 35 points and ultimately about 30 signals split into 4 distinct areas within the station environment, so it is quite extensive.

I am looking at upgrading as I lost enthusiasm with building diode matrix and will one day move to a PC based solution for route control. I will keep the control panel, but the switches will be connected to feedback modules which will then trigger accessory decoders.

As my control panel does not have indicators as to what route has been selected, when you push a button a number of commands will be sent out to different accessories to do something. If the accessory is already in the correct position then nothing will happen. If it is not then it will change accordingly. Therefore if the points and signals are set for arrive on track 1, and you change the state to shunt when you press track 1 button the only thing that will happen is that the shunt signal will be set to shunt. Behind the scenes it will have sent a command to set the depart signals to red on tracks 1,2 & 3 as well as aligning the points to track 1.

Admittedly this is all in a germanic context, but the theory is relevant for any protype, just the terminology changes. At least that is the theory that works with the diode matrix.

John
 

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QUOTE (Edwin @ 13 Mar 2008, 14:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>When I throw a point (say from normal to reverse) by hand the Lenz handset has no way of knowing it has changed (I do not have feedback) so still shows it as normal. To return it to normal from the handset I have to set it to reverse and then back to normal. I presume the Lenz handset just ignores requests to set the point how it thinks is already set. There is also an issue of Lenz treating activate and deactivate messages differently from some other systems, explained in the MERG documentation.

Getting back towards the original topic, I'm not convinced that dual control of this type will work with Lenz systems unless they also have feedback, so I think you are driven to using something like the Roco unit rather than push buttons wired directly to the coils.

I have been been a Lenz user since Aug 95. Set 100 since 03. I am not saying Lenz is better or worse than other systems just great for me.

Dual control of points with Lenz work very well, with or without feed back. Don;t do it now because all that wiring became a pain. Only use DCC to op points now.

To change points with Lenz the +/- buttons are used to activate the point. I set mine so + means point is set for straight thru - sets points for diverge.
If the point is set for straight track( + showing on LH100 control) and the point is operated by hand or push buttons on panel to diverge position + is still showing on control (no feed back).If the - button is pressed nothing happens at the point because the point is already at the - position but - is now showing on control which is correct because that is the way the point is set. If the + button is pushed the point will change to straight thru and + is showing on control which is also correct.
This is the way every Lenz system that I have seen works. Most of my friends and club members use Lenz.
I only use Peco points and motors with Lenz LS150 accessory decoders. CDU's are not used or needed as LS150 pulse at programed time (choice of 1-10 seconds) and shut off.
I can not see why any solenoid point motor with only 3 wires would not work same way with Lenz.
BTW firing two Peco points in tandem, eg crossover, is no problem. Operating Peco points with Lenz works fine for me(99%). I don't think any system ever works 100%. I have seen the most expensive and sophisticated systems fail occasionally.

Ian sa
 

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I've tried mine again to be sure, and it definitely doesn't work as you describe. I also use a set 100, the only difference is my using MERG rather than Lenz decoders and maybe a different software version in the command station. I return to the idea that I discarded in response to earlier post, that maybe these decoders remember the position the point was last set to, and ignore any further command to put them to the same setting.

When I get the time I'll have a play with powering the decoder down and up while the command station is still running, destroying any such memory, and see if this makes any difference.

QUOTE (iansa @ 14 Mar 2008, 23:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have been been a Lenz user since Aug 95. Set 100 since 03. I am not saying Lenz is better or worse than other systems just great for me.

Dual control of points with Lenz work very well, with or without feed back. Don;t do it now because all that wiring became a pain. Only use DCC to op points now.

To change points with Lenz the +/- buttons are used to activate the point. I set mine so + means point is set for straight thru - sets points for diverge.
If the point is set for straight track( + showing on LH100 control) and the point is operated by hand or push buttons on panel to diverge position + is still showing on control (no feed back).If the - button is pressed nothing happens at the point because the point is already at the - position but - is now showing on control which is correct because that is the way the point is set. If the + button is pushed the point will change to straight thru and + is showing on control which is also correct.
This is the way every Lenz system that I have seen works. Most of my friends and club members use Lenz.
I only use Peco points and motors with Lenz LS150 accessory decoders. CDU's are not used or needed as LS150 pulse at programed time (choice of 1-10 seconds) and shut off.
I can not see why any solenoid point motor with only 3 wires would not work same way with Lenz.
BTW firing two Peco points in tandem, eg crossover, is no problem. Operating Peco points with Lenz works fine for me(99%). I don't think any system ever works 100%. I have seen the most expensive and sophisticated systems fail occasionally.

Ian sa
 
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