I have had Lenz DCC equipment for over 4 years and am generally satisfied with it. Now we get picky ...

I much prefer using Lenz back-EMF decoders for superb loco control. The only problem here is if you wish to MU (multiple unit) back-emf decoder equipped locos. As each decoder locks onto it's speed control, it is often slightly different to the locomotive next to it which causes one locos wheels to spin at either a higher or lower speed than it's track speed.

Individual loco's can be programmed using the full range of speed-affecting CV's (starting voltage, top speed, aceleration, deceleration and speed curve) but on the Lenz this is a trial and error situation, to try and get locomotive performance comparable. I have installed a timer on a section of track, time each locomotive at each speed step, then graph the speed curve using Excel or Lotus 1-2-3. This gives an indication of the disparity between each locomotive and is a guide for varying the speed curve program.


I had demonstrated to me a System One program, Easy Ramp (I think that's the name) that enabled the user to grapically program the loco directly off the screen using the mouse and handles for each speed point on the screen. This looks so much easier than hand programming using the Lenz throttles.

Which brings me to my question (sorry about the preamble). Can you use the Wangrow Easy Ramp program to program CV's on the Lenz system if I purchased the LI100 interface? Or does it adress different registers etc and is therefore incompatible? And is there any other third party software that can do the same job? Engine Commander, for instance? Hellllllp!!


-- Steve Magee (, February 20, 1999



I've waited for some of the Lenz folks to address this directly - but for starters here's some help. ALL the decoders use the same CV methods of programming - SORTA. Early deecoders had a very simple register mode - sometimes refered to as type 1 decoders. Next generation decoders use and offset register method called the paged mode. Finally most all the newer decoders have direct CV programming mode. Both the Lenz and the ZIMO Back-EMF decoders have the direct CV programming mode. The PC based programming software with graphic intuitve method of programming the decoders will all support the paged and direct mode. Most will support the older register mode (which is addressed as CV's - but very limited in the features that are changable). I don't know if the software will connect directly to you Lenz based command station - but really that's not necessaary (though it may be more convienient for other features). The software can use little serial port boosters to directly hook to the programming track even with out a command station at all and wrks fine. The simple to build boosters are widely available from the DCC SIG archives and are also found on Rutger Friberg's WEB pages. Some folks use the PR1 device from Digitrax with some shareware programs that are said to suffice. I have a MAC and use a shareware program RealClock+ that does and excellent job and is much easier than cab based or command station programming actions. This is especially true for those speed curve values. Do note that each decoder manufacturer has a variety of ways to fill in custom speed curves pending their step mode. Some have 28 separate values for custom spped curves - others use only 14 values with intermediate interpretations for 28 step mode. Some use the custom speed curve CVs in an interpreted 128 mode as well. But all these options use the same NMRA reserved CVs for user speed curves. The decoder manual will spell it out and is not related to the command station - an intirely separate and NMRA defined capability. Good luck. Contact Lenz with specific interface capabilites for their command station. I know they respond well to users. -ed mccamey-

-- Ed McCamey (, February 24, 1999.

Ante todo darles las gracias por su atención. Tengo el sistema operativo lenz desde hace varios años. Voy a comenzar a construir una gran maqueta y quisiera saber las conexiones entre el LI100 y la LZ100. Puesto que he perdido el prospecto de conexiones. Por este motivo me atrevo a abusar de su amabilidad. Todo este sisteme lo adquirí en Basar Valira. Atentamente y muy agradecido por su atención Carlos Gómez

-- Carlos Gómez López (, October 12, 2004.

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