Lenz Digital plus radio strategy - The first device to be released in the Digital plus line is the XPA, XpressNet tone adaptor. This allows any device that can generate standard DMTF tones to interface to XpressNet. Note that while the initial product is focused on operating the train, the communication channel IS bi-directional. Any device that generates standard DMTF tones can be used. Lenz has defined the function for each tone so macros using tone sequences is also possible. This is a fully functional handheld and supports 4 digit addresses, F0-F9 function control, plus turnout control.
Why has Lenz gone this route?
Lenz had two design goals:
1) World wide acceptance. DCC products are used world wide and Lenz wanted a device that could be used anywhere in the world.
2) Low cost that would allow all users to enjoy the benefits of wireless operations.
The economics of the mass market are staggering! Some stores in the US have more than 50 different cordless phones to choose from and at extremely reasonable prices.
The frequency for transmission and the range of the device are now a user choice based on products approved for their location and the range desired. For example in the North American market one can choose between 900mH, extended 900, and 2.4 Ghz. The gigahertz phones cost more but have much greater range. Again the choice for which is best for you is your model railroad needs.
We now have an approach that allows the user to select a cordless handheld device that is most comfortable and cost effective for their use and a product that is available in all markets world wide.
Such a cost model allows us to offer a wireless solution that will allow virtually all XpressNet users to experience wireless operation.
How does it work?
The XPA is a small box with two RS11 ports. One port is used to connect the XPA to your XpressNet. The other port is used to connect the XPA to any device that uses standard tones such as a cordless phone. The XPA translates the standard tones produces by the phone into a series of XpressNet commands which allows you to have full control of your trains from a cordless phone. One XPA is needed for each wireless device desired. Up to 30 XPAs can be used on an XPressNet based system. Set-01 can support 30, Set-02 can support 5 and the Compact/Commander can support 6. Please note that device (phone) used with the XPA is dedicated for this purpose and while plugged into the XPA, it can not be plugged into the phone system.
The range of XPA is based on the capabilities of the specific cordless phone selected. It does not matter if the phone is an older phone or one of the latest models. There are several hundred choices available. Chose the one that is the easiest for you to use and has the range and battery life desired. The feel in your hand is the most important aspect and since all our hands are different one choice will not be best for all. Lenz has found that a the lowest cost 900MHz phone has more than enough range for most layouts.
1) Ability to select any locomotive address (the address range is determined by the capabilities of your command station)
2) Speed and direction control
3) F0-F8 (momentary if the command station supports the feature) (the number of functions available is determined by the capabilities of your command station)
4) Turnout Control
5) Macros (if supported by the phone selected)
6) Ability to customize several options
The keys work as follows:
3 - speed up one speed step with each press
6 - speed up multiple speed step with each press
9 - speed up quickly with each press
1 - slow down one speed step with each press
4 -slow down multiple speed step with each press
7- slow down quickly with each press
2 - forward
5 - stop
8 - reverse
0 - emergency stop (can be customized)
# and * are used for special functions. For example # 6 1 1 * assigns locomotive 611 to the handheld.
* 7 activates function 7
View the complete manual in PDF Format