One of the commercial simplier digital systems to start in DCC is the Lokmaus from Roco. In size and shape is like a mouse, it has a rotatory control and two digits screen, with it you can control up to 99 locomotives in 14, 28 and 128 steps, control the light and functions F1 to F4 and program CV1 to CV99 with values between 0 and 99 also you can connect up to 31 controls with the bus XpressNet bus from Lenz.
The system is made up of an amplifier (10761) and a Lokmaus2 control (10760), depending the connector of the amplifier in which you plug the Lokmaus acts like command station or as additional control. Also a keyboard (10772) can be connected, it allows to control up to 256 turnouts or semaphores and to program up to 32 routes. In the XpressNet bus you can plug the LI100 interface from Lenz to connect it to the PC. The additional keyboard and controls plugs in the Slave connector and the control that actually acts like command station plugs in the Master connector.
Lenz has published the specification of the XpressNet in its Web but in internet there are few schematics for this system, one very peculiar is one that allows to connect a Playstation game pad to the bus XpressNet to have an additional control. Another schematic in the DCCworld web allows to connect the Lokmaus2 to a homemade booster. Also it is possible to use a PC as the digital command station connecting it to the Roco booster and using program DDW program in Windows or DDL in Linux
Here you will find these circuits for the LokMaus:
|NanoX||Command Station with XpressNet|
|SimpleMaus||Simple Locomotive throttle|
|MiniMaus||Locomotive throttle with LCD|
|GenLI||Interface PC - XpressNet|
|GenLI-S88||Interface PC - XpressNet with S88 bus|
|GenLI-RS||Interface PC - XpressNet with RS bus|
|Lokmaus2CDE||Lokmaus adaptater for CDE boosters|
If we have only a single Lokmaus to control the locomotives and we also wished to control the digital accessories in a better way than the basic of the Lokmaus, (selecting a number of locomotive and using keys F1 to F4 with Roco turnout decoders) we can plug keyboard 10772 or the TurnoutMaus also we can make an independent accesory encoder (for the rest of decoders) as the one described in MERG or the one in Le monde du DCC with which we will be able to control the accessories from a control panel (TCO).
I have adapted the MERG encoder so instead of booster output it has Xbus/XpressNet communication to control everything from the same one to booster of the Lokmaus (Roco decoders and others). If we have more than one TCO we can do a assembly for each one controlling everything from a single booster
It allows to control 105 turnouts or signals from a TCO made with switches, by this way the position of the switch indicates the position of the turnout, if we use double switches we can use the other contacts to show with LEDs the position in the TCO. We can select the address in the bus XpressNet by means of a DIP-SWITCH, by defect the single Lokmaus recognizes the addresses 1 of 5 and the 29 although we can configure it so that it recognizes until the 31 that are max number of controls that the bus XpressNet allows.
Here you can see a connection example of Lokmaus and accesory decoders.
A new version using puhbuttons can be downloaded here
I've designed a simple and cheap locomotive throttle with Xbus/XpressNet communication to connect to Lokmaus. This is a photo of the prototype:
Like the Lokmaus permits to control locomotives from 01 to 99, their speed, the light and the functions F1, F2. We can change the XpressNet address, by default Lokmaus only works with addresses 1 to 5 and 29 but we can configure it to work up to 31, that is the maximun permited by XpressNet.
MG adapted SimpleMaus like a turnout control, the TurnoutMaus
To take advantage of added features of NanoX compared to Lokmaus, I've designed a new throttle with keyboard and LCD to connect to Lokmaus or NanoX. with this throttle you can drive locomotives addresses with two or four digits, move turnouts and program and reading CV in a comfortable way. This is the photo of the prototype:
It permits to control locomotives from 1 to 9999, their speed, the light and the functions F1 to F12. Control of turnouts and signals from 1 to 999. Programming and reading CV1 to CV256 in Direct, Register and Paged modes and programming CV1 to CV999 in PoM mode.
We can change the XpressNet address, by default Lokmaus only works with addresses 1 to 5 and 29 but we can configure it to work up to 31, that is the maximun permited by XpressNet.
The schematics is very simple, in this version (2A) potentiometer isn't used:
In order to program the PIC you can download the HEX file in one of the avaiable languages. Source code for the PIC is also avaiable
GenLI permits connect a command station with XpressNet bus like Lokmaus, Lenz, NanoX ... to the computer and control trains, turnouts and signals and even program decoders from PC programs.
GenLI serial port is configured at 9600b and works with PC programs that support the LI100 interface from Lenz
The schematics is very simple, , a PIC 16F628 working at 20MHz and two converters, includes three LED to show the work of GenLI. Thanks to Salus for the PCB design (with SMD components!)
In order to program the PIC you use this HEX file.
F. Seller sends me a version of the PCB without SMD components, you can find it also in the manual
Nelu has replaced the MAX232 with the FT232 chip to use the USB port instead the serial port.
You need a driver for the USB chip, that creates a COM virtual port, you can download from the FTDI website.
GenLI-S88 serial port is configured at 9600b and works with PC programs that support the LI100 interface from Lenz. The feedback inputs are defined as in Lenz protocol and you can configure the starting address.
In order to program the PIC you can download the HEX file.
It's a combined GenLI and RS2PC interfaces with USB connection, so with a single interface you have a Xpressnet interface for your command station and a RS bus to read up to 128 RS feedback modules (1024 inputs)
GenLI-RS is configured at 19200b and works with PC programs that support the LI100F interface from Lenz.
It's useful to add feedback bus and PC interface to command stations without feedback bus as Lokmaus, Multimaus, Lenz Compact or NanoX or to extend feedback inputs to the more reliable bus RS for a command station like NanoX-S88
Download the manuals here
Adapter for use the command station Roco Lokmaus2 (10760) or Roco Multimaus (10810) with a DCC booster with CDE input, like Booster-CDE.
Ideal if you burned your Roco 10761 booster or for a second model railway without changing the wiring of boosters
Netbox allows multiple cabs to be conected to the Xbus/XpressNet using RJ12 or DIN5 plugs. Useful when you have multiple throttles to connect to the command station. It has two RJ12 plugs for Lokmaus type throttles and a DIN5 plug for Lenz throttles with 4 wires, two more RJ12 plugs with 6 wires permits to expand the bus between NetBoxes and have two additional signals (usually C and D for additional boosters).
The schematics is very simple, only plugs and two LED. A green LED indicates power on the bus, and the red LED indicates a problem: the wire is inverted.
It was successfully used in the Plataforma-N modular meeting in Salon del Hobby 2006 (Barcelona)
Another more simple and economical way to connect multiple throttles is to use comercial telephone Plugs with several plugs (check wire order):