LENZ Decoder CVs

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by msh, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. msh

    msh Member

    I thoroughly enjoy the Lenz 1024W for its smooth running in my switcher, but am totally confused, and maybe disappointed with the CV assignment. Here's what I want to do.

    white LED front headlamp on while traveling forward
    yellow LED I've mounted in the cab roof should blink as a double strobe when in reverse.

    Sure, I'd like a reverse headlamp too, but I'm not going to push my luck.

    With my Digitrax decoders none of this is a problem as I can map all lighting effects to where ever I want. I can't do that here. So, gimme a hand!
  2. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    I just got one of these (an LE1024W) and have not installed it yet. A couple of clarifications are in order (as I don't fully understand how this works).
    Do you have the strobe operating in directional mode now? If so, which effect output is it assigned to, "B"?
    I am assuming that the following parameters are in effect for what you are doing:
    CV51 bit 0 = 0 [ headlights A & B directional ]
    CV57 bit 7 = 1 [ Output B is a double strobe ]

    I haven't figured out the "function" control yet. Right now I assume it means the function buttons on the command controller. It seems to me that there should be a setting which allows the ditch lights to come on whenever the loco starts moving forward.
    I'm not sure how you would get both the blinking light in a directional mode as well as the rear headlight without building an add on circuit. I could do it easily by building an add-on circuit, but I can't see how to do it just using the decoder. Hopefully, someone else has a better answer as I am somewhat new to the world of DCC...;)

    Tom F
  3. msh

    msh Member

    Well Tom, after re-reading the specs, and deciding (based on my wants) the Lenz decoders are lacking in function control, I was able to arrive at a compromise. F0 will remain directional lighting, with F1/output C acting as a blinking roof light - but wait... that's not a directional ditch light! That's right - fooled ya Mr. Decoder.

    I just set cv53 to 1 to make output C blink, D not blink and let the decoder know it wasn't a ditch light, and set cv56 to 10 for a quick blink sequence. F1 turns it on and off. It's no strobe, but it's as close to what I'm going to get on this baby. Kind of a pain, but I'm 90% satisfied.

    Good thing it runs like a champ.
  4. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Of course, there is always the third way (don't take the path on the left OR right, but forge right up the middle)... I have blown more stuff up doing this than most people will own in their lifetime...:p
    Wait, that wasn't what I meant (he, he...) :D

    Using a single IC chip, you could use the blink sequence as a "clock" to control a decade counter which would give you the appearance of a strobe. Basically, this gives you the ability to control which of ten separate repeating pulses you want to flash the light on. Here would be a good representation of a strobe (I have built these numerous times over the past couple decades and none of them have ever stopped working):

    Clock Cycle 1____off
    Clock Cycle 2____ON
    Clock Cycle 3____off
    Clock Cycle 4____ON
    Clock Cycle 5____off
    Clock Cycle 6____off
    Clock Cycle 7____off
    Clock Cycle 8____off
    Clock Cycle 9____off
    Clock Cycle 10___off & reset (repeat cycle).

    The chip to use is a CMOS 4017 decade counter. The outputs are current limited so they can drive an LED directly. One chip, two diodes and some wire and you got your strobe... If you want to see the actual circuit, I'll draw it up.

    Tom F
  5. msh

    msh Member

    Tom, I'm more than grateful for the suggestion, but it's beyond both my skill and effort levels. I'll live with the blink. It's really not too bad.

    While I've actually made everything work, my next hurdle is getting it all inside and the shell on. Damn if the decoder doesn't bump up against the rear flywheel when I snap the cab down and keep the little bugger from spinning. Then, after all my work the roof LED must have contacted something and poof.

    I'm done for the night. I'll pick it up tomorrow or during the week. I spent so much time trying to get this all together without blowing up the decoder it took hours and I'm all worn out.

    Zzzzz Zzzzz
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I seem to remember my friend with the Lenz decoders had to change from LEDs to bulbs because the output is closer to 12V than 1.5V. Then melted the top of his boiler.
    And there was that British review that said "nice that they're installing the DCC socket; maybe next time they'll leave room for the decoder"
  7. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Um, Michael, you did use a resistor on the LED didn't you?...;)

    Tom F
  8. msh

    msh Member

    Um, Tom, yes I did. :p

    The LEDs are good up to 15VDC using the resistors I wired in. The 1024 puts out just over 12VDC after taking what it wants from the track, which is at 14.6VDC.

    There's so much in the cab now between the decoder, a 3mm rear LED, mini LED up top, two resistors, the wires and shrink tube, that when I shoved it all together it bumped something and ZAP. My mistake was making the motor leads too short and not allowing enough play in the decoder. No worries - I'll get to it this year! :D
  9. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    What kind of shell are you putting this in? It seems like there should be more room...:mad:

    Tom F
  10. msh

    msh Member

    Tom, it's an Athearn SW-1500 switcher. I found the Lenz 1024w is too thick to mount on the motor so it won't go there. The cab is large enough to hold it, but now I've also added the two LEDs and their resistors into the mix, along with the wires. I'm going to first lengthen the decoder to motor leads that I cut too short when I assumed it would fit on the motor. That will give me a bit more wiggle room to twist it into the cab better. Also, I think I'll redo the placement of the resistors and shorthen the legs on the LEDs as well. Basically, start over. Considering how large the windows are, I may want to darken them as well to prevent the viewing of all the guts. It's a learning experience, something that's always valuable.

    Perhaps I should have purchased an N scale decoder for this one, but I think I can pull it off with a bit more tinkering.
  11. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    I was afraid you were going to say that. That's exactly what I bought my 1024 for. I intended to put the decoder on top of the motor. I guess not, now. I was going to put a flashing light on the cab roof as well, since it is a model based on a real switcher that has a rotating light. I'll have to go the same route as you, which means no interior cab detail. Oh well, I guess technology has its price...;)

    Tom F
  12. billk

    billk Active Member

    Just out of curiousity, what does 'CV' stand for. In my line of work, it stands for cryptovariable and you have to have a security clearance to use one! (So I assume that's not it.)
  13. msh

    msh Member

    billk - you're not too far off as far as some DCC users are concerned. Cryptic is what than sure can be!!

    CV stands for Control Variable, but believe me they could easily be called cryptovariables too! :D ;) :p
  14. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Excuse me for making a suggestion without checking its feasibility, but could you use a digitrax DZ143? Its got the FX functions and is real small but rated at 1 1/4amp, should be plenty.

  15. msh

    msh Member

    Gary, you are right on target. I had planned on buying three of those bad boys: one for Thomas, one for James and one for a little teeny steamer I've got my son also enjoys - he calls it the "chugga guy". BUT, the best price I found for them was at Traintrack.net and he's out of stock. Being broke like many of us, I'm going to have to wait... unless you know of an equally good deal.

    As to this SW1500 loco, I've got what I've got, can't really exchange it, and will have to get it to work since I have no other loco for the 1024W and don't plan on buying any for quite some time. So, while you're absolutely right the DZ143 would be a great fit, I have to say - ah, well... lesson learned.

    Thanks Man!
  16. msh

    msh Member

    For those interested parties, last night I rewired my little engine and was successful at both getting it to work as I wanted and, most important, getting it all inside the shell. What I had to do was lengthen the motor leads and place the resistors in the front portion of the shell with only wires leading into the cab for the LEDs. Also, the decoder had to be rotated on its side, placed with its back against the rear of the cab and shoved up high enough to clear the bottom of the cab. BTW - it barely fits this way, but I can guarantee it will not fit unless it's on its side.

    Of course the re-install was not without incident and I had my soldering skills tested. The deal with the Lenz 1024w is the connections are hard wired to the decoder. What's bad about that is if they are moved around too much during installation, well the wires can break off. In my case two leads did just that and I thought it was all over since it involved soldering ON THE DECODER to fix 'em - something I'd never done and have been warned about.

    This was tricky since too much heat on a decoder will literally cook it. So I tinned the wires first, dipped the solder itself in flux, and then with the aid of my helping hands clamps holding them over the correct pads on the decoder, just touched the iron to the solder as it sat on top of the wire. In a puff of smoke each was attached again and I praised myself for reaching another milestone in my modeling career. That's it. Case closed. On to other disasters on the BonkyRail Lines.
  17. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    Well done! Now I know how to mount mine...
    I think your soldering skills are adequate enough now that you can get a job on the bomb defusing squad. On thing though, er, that puff of smoke thing is something you generally want to avoid on the bomb squad--especially a BIG puff of smoke...:D

    Tom F
  18. msh

    msh Member

    Thanks Tom. I am actually in the middle of defusing a small device someone put under my chair. Looks like if I remove the red wi .......................................................
  19. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    He, he...:D They always fall for the red wire trick. This one hasn't failed me for 10 years... Just once, you'd think they would notice that the blue wire goes to the battery, not the red one. Too many James Bond movies, I figure...:D

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