Summary: Lenz was a pioneer in command control systems, developing digital systems for Marklin and Arnold.
|Summary||Manufacturer of DCC equipment including command stations, throttles, stationary and mobile decoders|
|Phone||+49 (0) 6403 900 133|
|Fax||+49 (0) 6403 900 155|
|Address||Lenz Elektronik GmbH · Hüttenbergstrasse 29 · D 35398 Gießen|
|Device Types||Mobile Decoder, Stationary Decoder, Command Station, Booster, Power Supply, Throttle|
- 1 Lenz Germany
- 2 Lenz Digital Plus Product Line
- 2.1 Starter Sets
- 2.2 Command Stations
- 2.3 Power Station (Booster)
- 2.4 Power Supply
- 2.5 Multi-function Decoders
- 2.6 Throttles
- 2.7 Accessory Decoders
- 2.8 Computer Operation
- 2.9 XPA
- 2.10 Touch Cab
- 3 Further Reading
- Lenz Electronic GmBH has been sold. Modelleisenbahngesellschaft mbH
Lenz in North America
- Lenz is no longer active in the North American market.
- Should you need service, the only authorized Lenz service centre for North America was TLA Custom Models. Accessory Pathways has assumed the role. They have the necessary software to upgrade Lenz equipment to V3.6.
- Lenz was represented in the US by Tried and True Trains (Debbie Ames) from 1995 to 2012. As of 2012, TTT closed when the owners retired.
- American Hobby Distributors then became the only authorized Lenz wholesaler in North America.
- In 1997, TLA Custom Models became the warranty/service centre for Lenz products, as well as providing support for Canada. As of 2013, TLA Custom Models became the support centre for all of North America.
- North American support is now through Accessory Pathways
Lenz and the Development of the NMRA's Digital Command Control
When the NMRA set up its Command Control Working Group, an early decision was to forego the analog technology available and focus exclusively on digital technology. The WG requested samples of command control systems using digital techniques from a number of manufacturers for the purpose of evaluating the technology. A few manufacturers did participate, notably Marklin, with its Digital= System. After evaluating the submissions, the WG determined that the signaling technique used by Digital= was suited to the application. The WG then built their DCC protocol around the concept of using a combined power + data signal.
After settling on a data transmission method and basic protocol, the NMRA contacted Lenz, the contractor who developed Marklin's command control system. The NMRA cannot, and will not, incorporate any patented technologies or commercial products into an NMRA standard. Lenz reviewed the draft standard and indicated that the proposed DCC protocol did not infringe on any patents held by Lenz.
In fact, the proposed DCC protocol was significantly different than that of the Lenz system, and added numerous features and provisions for future enhancements.
Lenz Digital Plus Product Line
The main product is Lenz's Digital Plus. This is their Digital Command Control system. Lenz also produces a variety of DCC components and accessories. Please note that not all Lenz command control products are NMRA Digital Command Control compliant products.
Lenz is an electronics company, whose involvement in command control began in the 1980s as a contractor to Marklin.
In the early 2000s, Lenz decided to rename their products from Set 01 and Set 02 to Set 90 and Set 100 respectively. The throttles are almost identical to the older ones in Set 01 and Set 02. The electronics and software are much improved in the Set 90 and Set 100. The product names are derived from the throttle included in the set, an LH90 or LH100. The separate command station and booster combination have been replaced by an integrated command station/booster. The new unit also included RailCom and improved response times on large layouts with multiple locomotives in operation.
Lenz warranties their Digital Command Control products for 6 years.
The current starter set is as follows:
- Set101 (2019)
The Set100 is no longer in production.
LZV200 command station, 5A
- Integrated USB port
- Updates can be made using a USB memory stick
- Computer connection
- Global RailCom detector
- CVs can be read during operation with LRC120 display unit and RailCom enabled decoders.
- RailCom feature is activated at the factory
- Internal memory retention cell is now a replaceable CR2450
- Accessory address space expanded to 1 to 2048 addresses
- 9998 addresses
- Normal or switching/shunting modes
- Routes stored by throttle
- Club Mode available
- 28/128 speed steps
- 2 and 4 digit addressing
- Automatic control optional
- Club Mode 1: Only the acquired locomotive can be controlled, functions assigned to the function keys A, B and C can be switched, switches and signals can be switched. All other operating options of the LH01 are locked.
- Club Mode 2: Only the acquired locomotive can be controlled, functions assigned to function keys A, B and C can be switched. All other operating options of the LH01 are locked.
- Main article: Manufacturer:Lenz/Command Stations
The LC100 Command Station Converter by Lenz is a digital protocol converter which connects other manufacturer's Digital Command Control systems to a Lenz DCC system with the Lenz XpressNet system.
- Main article: Manufacturer:Lenz/LC100
Power Station (Booster)
- Main article: Manufacturer:Lenz/Power Stations
Lenz offers a number of boosters, which they refer to as Power Stations.
One of the few items Lenz does not supply is a Power Supply. It has several recommendations for these.
- Main article: Manufacturer:Lenz/Multifunction Decoders
Lenz offers only silent (i.e., no sound) multi-function decoders. The Gold line are their most expensive and full-featured decoders; the Silver line represents their "value" line. The recent upgrade to system 3.6 has permitted more commands to be processed through the throttle to the decoder.
- Main article: Lenz/Throttles
Lenz offers a number of throttles, in Dispatcher or Engineer class.
LS100 / LS101
Up to four devices, each with a twin output, can be connected to each LS100/LS110. Power for these function devices can by supplied by the track power or through an external power supply. Each function device output can have its characteristics individually set (by programming). In this way you can program each output with a variable pulse duration, a variable flashing operation or to a constant operation. This allows the direct connection of lightbulbs or LEDs without additional relays. Single output of 1.7A, 3A max for 20 seconds. The sum of all four outputs: 1.7A/3A (20 sec) in total. The LS100 also has a connection for the XpressNet bus of the DIGITAL Plus system. If connected, the position of turnouts can be sent back to the system when using suitable switch machines. It is possible to display a turnout being thrown by DCC or by hand.
- Main article: Manufacturer:Lenz/LS100
LW100 Tower Cab
The LW100 Tower Cab enables direct access to accessory decoders without entering the decoder's address, by pressing a key. A group of 16 addresses at a time is directly reachable with the 32 keys on LW100. The LW100 allows control of independent of the throttle.
- Main article: Manufacturer:Lenz/LW100
Lenz has enabled computer operation of the system through LI-USB and RS-232. These may be most helpful on the programming track, although much more can be done, particularly with auxiliary devices, so that a Yardmaster's duties could be replicated, as well as a Division or District Roadmaster.
LI101F Computer interface
- This device replaced the LI100 and LI100F. It has significant differences both in appearance and configuration.
Serial RS232 to XpressNet Interface
- All XpressNet functions supported by the command station can be controlled via the PC (software available separately).
- Connection Speeds: 19,200/38,400/57,600 and 115,200 bps.
- LI101F Tool: Software required for setting the bit rate and XpressNet address. Windows 9x, 2000, ME, and XP.
- Operating system: Windows© 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7
- USB interface.
- Baud rate 57,600 Bps.
- Supplied software:
- Tool for setting the XpressNet address
- Throttle control panel
- CV editor for easy configuration of decoder settings.
- Main article: Lenz 23151
- This is a revised version of the LI-USB.
LI-USB-Ethernet Interface offers a USB and an Ethernet interface for connection computer and/or router.
- When using it with USB, Flow Control must be turned off.
The XpressNet Phone Adaptor allowed use of cordless telephones via DTMF tones as a throttle. It can control both multifunction and accessory decoders. It is not possible to program decoders using the XPA.
- Control of 9999 multifunction decoder addresses
- 1024 accessory addresses
- 0 allowed analog locomotive operation
- Consists could be operated, but must be assembled using a conventional throttle
- Macros supported
- LZ100; SET02; SET03; Compact (Atlas Commander in North America)
- Version 3 software required (minimum)
- Default XpressNet Address: 01.
A cordless phone's base station was plugged into the XPA. The device address must be set to avoid conflict with other XpressNet devices.
To acquire a locomotive, press the key needed to take the phone "off hook", then press the pound key (#). The desired address is entered using the numeric keypad, followed by the Star (*) to complete the process. The numeric keypad was then used to control speed and direction using various keys. To access the functions, press star again.
To control Accessory addresses the pound key was used. The address would be entered and pound pressed again. Then the turnout or signal could be controlled from the keypad. Pressing the star key returned control to the last locomotive in use, or pound to operate another accessory decoder.
Other device settings were possible. The XPA also generated audio tones as cues, such as a busy signal to indicate no communication was possible.
Touch Cab was an application for Apple iOS devices that enabled the user to use the device as a throttle. As of November 2015, the developer has ceased support. In March 2016 another developer has taken over the software and plans to update it.
It works using WiFi connecting to a Lenz 23151 interface and a wireless router.
It also worked with ESU systems:
- ECoS (50000) from ESU
- ECoS 2 (50200) from ESU
- Central Station 1 (60212) from Märklin
- Central Station Reloaded (60212 v3)