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 Computer Operation
- 3 Further Reading
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- Lenz is no longer active in the North American market.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 this 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.
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 Set 100 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.
The LZV100 is the basis of the Lenz DIGITAL plus Set-90 and Set-100. Interface between the Command Station and input devices via a 4-wire cable, XpressNET.
The LZV200 Command Station has a number of new features:
- Store locomotive names
- Function names
- Operations Mode programming
- Accessory Decoder support for addresses 1-2048, turnouts 1-256
- XpressNet: Expanded to 128 devices
There are a number of upgrades and enhancements over the LZV100 which include:
- CV readout in POM
- XpressNet bus and feedback speed enhancements
- Accessory Addresses increased from 245 to 2048
- Backup Battery is easily changed, no soldering iron required
- Software upgrade by USB rather than replacement of an IC or reflashing the ROM
- Additional connections for a Lenz power supply
- Added a USB port
Power Station (Booster)
See Lenz LV Series Booster for more
The LV103 (released June 2019) is a 5A multi-scale DCC Booster. It includes RailCom with an integrated RailCom detector. Depending on the power supply, it can deliver up to 22V at 5A to the track. Voltage can be adjusted from 11V to 22V in half volt increments.
The LV102 provides five (5) amps of track power. Its primary use is to assist operators in providing sufficient power to large layouts or for larger equipment (Gauges O and higher (U.S.)). For large layouts, the layout is divided into power districts, each powered by a booster. The Command Station provides the DCC signal for operation; the booster provides power and transmits the Command Station signal. The throttle connects the user to the command station which sends the desired signal to the locomotive or auxiliary equipment the user desires to operate.
it is possible to drive a Digitrax booster using an LV100 by making a LocoNet cable, and connecting the RAIL SYNC wires (Blue and white) to the C and D terminals. Connect the white wire to C and the blue to D. Cut the other wires short and insulate them. For details see the Big Book of DCC published by Digitrax, and available by print on demand from Amazon.
One of the few items Lenz does not supply is a Power Supply. It has several recommendations for these.
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.
|Features||Standard +V2||Silvermini +V2||Silvermini +V2||Silver PluX12||Silver PluX12||Silver Next18||Silver+21||Silver+ Direct||GOLDmini+||GOLDmini+||GOLDmini||GOLDmin+V2|
|Function Key Reassignment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Connection||NEM652||CABLE||NEM651||PLuX12 NEM658||PLuX22 NEM658||Next18 NEM662||NEM660||NEM652||CABLE||NEM651||NEM652||-|
|Motor Current (Continuous)||1.0||0.5||0.5||0.75||0.75||0.75||1.0||1.0||0.5||0.5||1.0||4.0|
|Maximum Decoder Current||1.0A||-||-||750mA||750mA||750mA||1.0A||1.0A||500mA||500mA||1.0A||4.0A|
|Dimensions||25 x 15 x3.8||-||-||11 X 20 x 4||22 x 15 x 5||15 x 9.5 x 2.9||20.6 x 15.7 x 4||19.2 x 13 x 3.6||11 x 9 x 2.8||11 x 9 x 3.3||22.9 x 17 x 4.9||-|
- Main article: Lenz/Throttles
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
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.
LI-USB-Ethernet Interface offers a USB and an Ethernet interface for connection computer and/or router.
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)