Lenz LS100 Digital Plus Accessory DCC Decoder
General: The Lenz LS100 Digital Plus decoder
certainly had the neatest packaging.† As you can see from the photo,
the entire circuit card is encased in an attractive and protective
plastic case.† The LS100 is similar to the Digitrax DS54 except
that it does not have the trigger input capability.† There are four
outputs, each one individually addressable and programmable.† Each
output can be programmed to output a pulse of programmable duration,
a constant output, or an alternating flashing of programmable flash
length (e.g. a crossing signal).† Each output is configured with
a common and a positive and negative terminal.† This configuration
is optimized for dual coil switch machines where the common connects
to the common of the switch machine, the positive connects to the
other end of one coil, and the negative connects to the remaining
coil lead.† In fact, a separate accessory, the LA010 adapter is
require in order to operate a stall motor switch machine or an accessory
In addition to track connections, there is an input
for auxiliary power.† In order for the LS100 to operate, the auxiliary
power input must be connected to something.† You can either wire
it in parallel with the track wires to run the LS100 off of track
power, or connect it to an auxiliary AC power source.
Connections: All connections to the LS100
are made by screw clamp terminal strips.† Connections may be made
with standard hookup wire.
Feedback:† The LS100 is capable of providing
position feedback.† In order for this function to work, you must
have the Lenz LZ100 command station.† Each output has two extra
connections.† When these connections are wired to the non-common
side of the outputs, they provide feedback to the command station
that identifies the position of the output.
Programming:† The LS100 has some nice programming
features.† There is a red LED on the circuit card that lets you
know when the LS100 is receiving DCC data.† Next to the LED is a
push button.† If you hopelessly mis-program the LS100, you can push
and hold the push button until the LED goes through several flashing
cycles. Once the LED stops flashing, you can release the push button,
and the LS100 is programmed to factory defaults, allowing a graceful
recovery from any conceivable programming error.
Address programming is easy.† Simply depress the
push button until the LED illuminates steadily and then release
the button.† The LED stays on.† Send an accessory switch command
to one of the four addresses in the group of four that you want
to use (remember addresses are only in groups of 4), and the LS100
will program itself to the new address group.† This can be done
while installed in the layout.
In order to program the outputs (pulse, constant,
flashing), you must use register programming on the programming
track.† The instruction manual gives the register numbers and the
values to be entered into the register for each function.† These
numbers are given as decimal values.† Using my NCE Powerhouse system
in the register programming mode, I was able to read and write register
contents without any trouble.† Note that the AC input terminals
must be tied to the DCC track terminals for this to work.† I tried
the PR1 using the register programmer.† The PR1 was not able to
read the register contents. When I entered values into the register
program field and pushed send, the data was correctly programmed.
I confirmed this by reading the data that the PR1 had programmed
with the NCE Powerhouse system on the program track.† I also issued
control commands from the command station and verified that the
LS100 worked the way I had programmed it.
Manual:† The manual is clear and well written.
It contains all the data necessary to set up and operate your LS100.
It is simple and easy to follow.† Some of the wording is a little
strange due to translation from German (you actually get the complete
manual in German), but the intent is clear.† Note that in German,
Ausgang means exit or output.† The four outputs are labeled Ausgang
1 through Ausgang 4.
Performance: The LS100 was the only decoder
of the group that was able to operate the Nick & Jack International
switch machine.† It would not operate from DCC power, but when I
connected the auxiliary power inputs to my 15.1 volts AC, the NJI
unit worked like a champ.† Obviously, since the NJI unit was not
a challenge, the LS100 had no problem with the Peco dual coil switch
machine.† The Peco unit worked both from DCC power and from auxiliary
power.† The grain-of-wheat bulbs worked fine both in the flashing
mode for crossing flashers or in the constant mode for signal lights.
You can also use LEDís for the lights with the appropriate dropping
resistor (about 470 ohms for a 25 ma LED).† The operating voltage
with DCC power was 12.9 volts, while the measured voltage was 11.6
volts when operating from AC auxiliary power.† This performance
was better than the DS54 since the lamp voltage was much more constant
with varying input voltage values.† I was not able to operate the
Tortoise or the accessory motor since I did not have an LA010 available.
The LA010 converts the three wire dual coil switch machine outputs
to the two wire reversing outputs needed to run the stall motor
Recommendation:† The LS100 is a BEST CHOICE
for high current switch machines such as the Nick & Jack International
switch machine.† If you are running G gauge with large switches
and heavier duty switch motors, then the LS100 is probably your
best choice.† It will also perform well with dual coil switch machines
such as the Peco.† It is probably the poorest choice if your intention
is to operate stall motor switch machines, since you not only need
the LS100, but also four LA010 adapters for each LS100.† For crossing
lights and signals, it is equivalent to the DS54.