Compatible Products with Lenz Equipment

Lenz Digital Plus products are fully compatible with the NMRA Digital Command Control Standards and Recommended Practices. Linking from here will give you a listing of other manufacturers that also base their product lines on the NMRA DCC Standards and Recommended Practices. Where available there are links that will lead to their WWW sites, which might include product information, dealers, and how to contact them. The choices offered by these manufacturers give model railroaders a full choice of features, cost, and variety of DCC hardware and software.

We also go to great lengths to test our products with other manufacturers products and each product is tested before it is shipped. This is done in addition to submitting all applicable products to the NMRA for testing.   We do this to provide products that are truly DCC compatible. It is our strong belief that complete interchange of equipment is essential to the growth of the model railroad market and as a leading DCC manufacturer we will continue to do our part to achieve these goals.

With all the variety of DCC products available to choose from, minor compatibility problems sometimes surface. As we become aware of these problems, Lenz GmbH actively works with the other manufacturers to resolve them. To assist you the user, we will also post existing problems here together with known methods for avoiding the problems. Following is a list of known compatibility problems with our current products. While we do everything we can to test in advance so that problems do not occur, sometimes a problem does not show up in the tests and must be fixed later. Manufacturers impacted by these problems have been contacted and we will update this list with any updates received from these manufacturers.

Should you ever experience a compatibility problem with any Digital plus by Lenz product, please contact us at support@lenz.com. We pledge our support to find and fix the problem as quickly as possible.

Our decoders working with other manufacturer's systems

There have been reports that the product can not have its address changed.  This report is in error.  The Roco/Lenz Digital Crane contains a version 4.1 DCC micro controller that is found in the older NMRA Conforming LE103s and supports a rich number of CVs.

The ROCO/Lenz Digital Crane does not have the ability to have its CV read but they can be written at will as many times as the user desires by any system that follows NMRA RP-9.2.3

There does exist a problem with programming this product with some Digitrax Chief's.   This is due to an error in this product.  If you are having problems programming your digital crane with a Chief please return it to your manufacturer for repair.

There exist some older XF decoders that are experiencing some problems with some locomotives on some layouts. While there have been few reports of problems, we want to ensure that we continue to support full compatibility on all systems and on all layouts by all our products. In all cases the problems can be solved by installing filters on the layouts. In order to solve this problem long term we have also installed filters in all XF decoders shipped since June 1999, and will install these filters in any decoder that is experiencing problems produced prior to June 1999. The reason for this problem is that on a very few layouts the wiring combined with some power stations produces very high frequency energy that confuses the electronics within the decoder. This type of high frequency energy can confuse many brands of decoders.

The problem can be seen in one of three ways.

1. The power station continuously detects a short and shuts down any time the decoder is present (seen on  some NCE Power House Pro layouts with 12 gauge wiring).

The solution is to place a filter on the power station (free of charge from NCE for their systems). All new NCE systems now have this filter built-in

2. A total lack of control of the decoder (seen on a few layouts)
3. The locomotive unrepentantly begins moving  without any user control (seen on a few layouts)

filter.gif (1271 bytes)These problem are caused by noise on the layout which effects the ability of the decoder to understand the DCC signal. This can be solved by installing a simple small filter capacitor on the remote locations of the layout. The filter capacitor consists of a .01uF or .1uF capacitor connected to a 100 ohm resistor. One end of the capacitor is connected to one rail or buss wire. The other end of the capacitor is connected to the resister. The free end of the resistor is connected to the other rail or bus wire.

This filter can be placed in remote locations of the layout away from the power stations. The use of the filter will also significantly reduce any AM radio interference produced by the layout and improve overall DCC performance.

An alternate filter is the use of a Ferrite Bead.  Place one bead on each output line near your power station.

If you have not experienced any of these problems there is nothing wrong with your decoder and it is highly unlikely that you will ever see any problem. Only a very small number of layouts have the problem.

If you have experienced one of these problems, or if you are concerned that you might experience the problem in the future, the solution is to install an additional small capacitor on the decoder. This is provided at no cost as part of our warranty service. All XF decoders shipped since June 1999 have this capacitor installed to avoid the problem.

When user defined speed tables are used in 128 speed step mode on Digitrax systems, the value contained in CV67 is used in  calculating speed step averaging.  If this value is set too high the locomotive may move slightly when the throttle is set to stop.   Setting a value of 0 in CV67 solves this problem. LE230 or LE105XF function control operating on some Digitrax Chief Systems.

The LE230 and LE105XF decoders implement F1-F8 according to the NMRA DCC standards and RPs. Many older Digitrax Chief Systems incorrectly send F9-F12 rather than F5-F8. If you are experiencing this problem please contact Digitrax for a free repair.

Other manufacturer Products working with our systems.

Version 224 of this decoder (determined by reading CV7) does not follow the NMRA S-9.1 timing requirements and cannot be reliably controlled by your DIGITAL plus system. Should you have one of the defective decoders we highly recommend you return the decoder to Digitrax for a free replacement.

Version 239 of this decoder (determined by reading CV7) may experience delays at times in responding to user commands when the decoder is operating the motor. This is normal and due to packet reception problems within the decoder.

The Soundtraxx DSX sound only decoders use the speaker for processing a acknowledgement during programming.  A few speakers do not respond quick enough for programming which can result in a false reading of the CV values (which shows up as a 0 in paged mode). Writing CVs is never a problem.  For best results in reading decoders that exhibit problems during the reading process use paged mode. If you receive an incorrect value of 0 you can often obtain the correct value by quickly perform a second read.

When trying to program some Digitrax decoders using the automated CV mode, our LZ100 command station gets confused by the out of spec acknowledgement  timing and reports an error. To program these decoders you need to manually enter "Paged" mode. To do this, simply press the + key to manually toggle between the various modes until P appears on your display.