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@MartyE posted:

Thanks, but that's not the issue.  I did that, but it didn't solve my problem.  The problem is I want the DZ-2500 red/green LED's to swap, which is easy to do.  And I want the LCS to match them, which seems easy to do as well.  However, I can't get all of them synchronized no matter how I try.  I've tinkered with both those options and also driving the CSM2 from the green and the yellow sense leads.  There's no combination that makes everything work properly.

I believe the jury has rendered it's verdict.  There is a bug or omission in the LCS code, take your choice what you want to call it.

If you have a switch that you want to indicate the "thru" route is the curved exit and the "out" route is the straight exit, you can change the switch sense on DZ-2500 by a simple configuration option with the switch button.  Switch to green on the indicator, hold the button down for four seconds, and the switch will change to the "out" route and swap the sense of the LED's and the switch commands.  To change it back, do the same operation again.  Job done, right?  When you use the remote or the manual switch button, everything works exactly as you'd expect, select the "thru" route on the remote, and it switched correctly to the reassigned "out" path as you intended, and the green indicator on the switch (and keypad if connected) are illuminated.  Ditto for the "out" path that is not the straight exit from the switch, you use the "out" button on the remote or keypad and the switch red LED lights as you'd expect.

Sadly, when you do that, there is no way to make it work properly with the current version of the LCS application.  The LCS program simply does not recognize the ability to change the sense of the switch, even though the DZ-2500 and CSM2 hardware would have no problem with it.  There would have to be an option to swap the paths in the LCS application to make this work properly, and there is none.

When the switches are configured this way, you can get everything to iPad display properly if you switch them manually with the switch button, or with the TMCC remote.  Makes you think it must be possible, right?  However, if you use the iPad to switch them, it will change the switch position and color on the screen, but not move the switch.  Touch it again, and it will then move the switch and match up the screen with the switch.  So, basically, you have to touch the switch twice, ignore the incorrect operation the first time, and do it again to get the correct switch position.  I'm sure this is because the LCS program on the iPad sends what it thinks is a "thru" or "out" command to the switch since there's no way to tell it to reverse them.

Right now the only way I see to "fix" this is to physically rip apart the DZ-2500 switches, swap the LED's, and then turn off the option to swap the routes.  This is less than desirable as then to get the "thru" route on those switches, you have to select the "out" route.  I am bummed that I spent a ton of money on the DZ-2500 compatible products from Lionel, only to find out they don't solve the problems!  I have 30 CSM2 Breakout Boards and four CSM2 boxes, and there's no way to configure them properly for operation with a standard DZ-2500 configuration!  I'm not sure what the sense is to have all these Z-Stuff specific products build specifically for the Z-2500 but you can't really use them with anything but a very basic layout scheme.

@Dave Olson, any chance there'll be an update to the LCS program sometime in the near future?

Just wondering if Lionel is going to continue to support or add to it. I have not seen much mention of it. I used it on my last layout and am at the point on the new one where I need to decide weather I will continue it or us JMRI with the DCC system left from my 2 rail layout. I am not into automation of trains but would like to control switches and routes from a screen. I like the touch screen feature of the I Pad but JMRI on the computer uses a mouse. JMRI does have support for TMCC. I am using Tortise with machines that will work with both Lionel switch controllers or DCC switch its. The DCC system uses a two wire bus around the railroad that powers the track ( won't be needed)  just use the bus to power the switch controllers and deliver the data making them more local and no need for longer runs back to SC2 units or long data cables ( seem long runs are a problem with serial) if spread out. any thoughts from those of you using LCS now.  Rick

I have no insight into Lionel's future product plans but I doubt Lionel will abandon the LCS concept. The specific devices may evolve. I use LCS to control my layout and really like it. It has many good features and is simple to install, connect and program.

Some specific items. My layout has the ASC2's and BPC2's located at the items they control, so, for example wiring from a turnout back to an ASC2 is short. The only bus wiring for the LCS is the PDI cable and the power. Multiple iPads can be used at the same time. I have three in use for visitor support, one is a 13" with an Apple pencil, the other two are 10" easy to carry iPads. It is convenient that engines can also be controlled from the LCS iPads although I mostly use Cab2's to operate trains. The LCS operates all turnouts, uncouplers, action cars, lighting and block power. It also has many preset routes that can be actuated with a single icon. It is also easy to spread the layout mimic over multiple screens with the same turnout controllable from more than one screen. I have seven LCS screens to operate the layout.

I would absolutely use LCS again were there a need. The issue at the moment is some components seem to be on backorder.

Lionel says the following about the Base3 and LCS:

"The Base3 includes 3X PDI connectors for the Layout Control System. No longer will you be limited to connecting all LCS modules on a single daisy-chain. The Y-cable will also no longer be needed! See page 240 for LCS product!"

Clearly, Lionel is going to continue to support LCS. Add to it? We'll see.

I do wonder why Lionel is dropping the IRV2. They're working well on my layout.

Integral PDI connectors is a major plus.  If the Base3 includes a wired Ethernet connection, it would  simplify integration with external computer control.

Per the Lionel catalog:

"USB Connection    Included USB cable allows for communications connection to a PC. Use 3rd party control software such as the eTrain Command Console. Also use the Legacy System Utility when needed."

I think Lionel is still selling the Sensor track. The way I got my S gauge Sensor tracks is to buy three of the O gauge FasTrack pieces, remove the components and mount them under my S gauge track. I think if three sensors are needed it costs more to buy the three Sensor tracks to cut them up, but it works. It is convenient to just run the engine over the Sensor track for programming.

I’m building a new layout and want to install LCS, but components like the ASC2 to run my many switches seem to be impossible to get now.  Is that just a supply chain issue or a signal that ASC2s are going to go the way of the Cab2?  They are still there as part of the LCS system in the latest catalog, so I assume it’s the former, but has anyone heard anything?

@Alec_6460 posted:

I’m building a new layout and want to install LCS, but components like the ASC2 to run my many switches seem to be impossible to get now.  Is that just a supply chain issue or a signal that ASC2s are going to go the way of the Cab2?  They are still there as part of the LCS system in the latest catalog, so I assume it’s the former, but has anyone heard anything?

Anything in the new catalog is continuing to be produced. The ASC2 was originally going to be here a few months ago but electronics sourcing has us waiting on a few components. Hopefully we'll get them in a few months.

GRJ-

Strongly endorse your request to get the CSM2 "right".

A minor issue related to the CSM2 (although not your specific problem) came to light recently in conversations with Dennis Zander regarding combining the CSM2 and DZ-2001 data wire driver.  Why would you have this situation?  Well before the CSM2 I was driving the DZ-2500s with the DZ-2001.  I had not taken it out of the loop completely after having incorporated the CSM2, and it appeared that they could be used in combination with both driving the switch machines.

My DZ-2001 blew out about 2 years ago and I had just moved the serial wire over to the CSM2.  All was well.  I just recently came back to looking at this problem and discussed it with Dennis.  Regarding the CSM2/DZ-2001 combination, Dennis stated:

"After much discussion with Jon Zahornacky (who designed the Lionel LCS system), it seems that plugging in a CSM2 into the Legacy base causes the date rate to change which screws up the 2001 data line and reception of info by DZ-2500's."

So the advice from Dennis appears to be use either the CSM2 OR the DZ-2001, but not both.  Just a note for those of us using the DZ-2500.

Not sure any "change" is required by the CSM2 to correct this specific problem but points to a different handling of serial data signals from the 2 products.  CSM2 has been solid for me.

There is another problem with the CSM2 and the DZ-2500.  When using the CSM2 to supply serial data, there is a data-race condition.  If you power them up at the same time, the DZ-2500 apparently gets scrambled because of something it see s as the CSM2 is initializing the serial data.  This happens about one out of every three or four power-up cycles from a cold start.  It drove me nuts for about a week before I finally figured out where the problem was.  The "fix" apparently is to power up the CSM2 and wait a couple of seconds before powering up the DZ-2500 switch machines.  That way the CSM2 serial data is stable and the issues don't come up.  It's important to note that powering up the command base, the DZ-2001, and the DZ-2500's at the same time isn't a problem, only the CSM2 serial data at initialization appears to be a problem.

However, the really big problem for me is the lack of correct operation of the DZ-2500 operation from the LCS application.  I'm bummed this doesn't work correctly.

I believe the jury has rendered it's verdict.  There is a bug or omission in the LCS code, take your choice what you want to call it.

If you have a switch that you want to indicate the "thru" route is the curved exit and the "out" route is the straight exit, you can change the switch sense on DZ-2500 by a simple configuration option with the switch button.  Switch to green on the indicator, hold the button down for four seconds, and the switch will change to the "out" route and swap the sense of the LED's and the switch commands.  To change it back, do the same operation again.  Job done, right?  When you use the remote or the manual switch button, everything works exactly as you'd expect, select the "thru" route on the remote, and it switched correctly to the reassigned "out" path as you intended, and the green indicator on the switch (and keypad if connected) are illuminated.  Ditto for the "out" path that is not the straight exit from the switch, you use the "out" button on the remote or keypad and the switch red LED lights as you'd expect.

Sadly, when you do that, there is no way to make it work properly with the current version of the LCS application.  The LCS program simply does not recognize the ability to change the sense of the switch, even though the DZ-2500 and CSM2 hardware would have no problem with it.  There would have to be an option to swap the paths in the LCS application to make this work properly, and there is none.

When the switches are configured this way, you can get everything to iPad display properly if you switch them manually with the switch button, or with the TMCC remote.  Makes you think it must be possible, right?  However, if you use the iPad to switch them, it will change the switch position and color on the screen, but not move the switch.  Touch it again, and it will then move the switch and match up the screen with the switch.  So, basically, you have to touch the switch twice, ignore the incorrect operation the first time, and do it again to get the correct switch position.  I'm sure this is because the LCS program on the iPad sends what it thinks is a "thru" or "out" command to the switch since there's no way to tell it to reverse them.

Right now the only way I see to "fix" this is to physically rip apart the DZ-2500 switches, swap the LED's, and then turn off the option to swap the routes.  This is less than desirable as then to get the "thru" route on those switches, you have to select the "out" route.  I am bummed that I spent a ton of money on the DZ-2500 compatible products from Lionel, only to find out they don't solve the problems!  I have 30 CSM2 Breakout Boards and four CSM2 boxes, and there's no way to configure them properly for operation with a standard DZ-2500 configuration!  I'm not sure what the sense is to have all these Z-Stuff specific products build specifically for the Z-2500 but you can't really use them with anything but a very basic layout scheme.

@Dave Olson, any chance there'll be an update to the LCS program sometime in the near future?

So GRJ, I assume the summary above is tied to the "problem with the CSM2 and the DZ-2500" you referred to in your 16-Feb post above?  If not, are these 2 different problems in your mind?  I want to clarify this before I comment.

@LionelAG posted:

So GRJ, I assume the summary above is tied to the "problem with the CSM2 and the DZ-2500" you referred to in your 16-Feb post above?  If not, are these 2 different problems in your mind?  I want to clarify this before I comment.

I refer specifically to this issue that is a software issue with the LCS application.  The DZ-2500 has no problem handling this situation, but the LCS application is stumped when you change the sense of the routing through the switch.  Obviously, not everyone  has such an "ordered" track plan that the straight path through the switch is the "thru" route and the curved path through the switch is the "out" route.  When you try to switch these to match the traffic flow, the LCS application chokes on the switch.

A quote from my previous post.  This is the still unresolved issue in using the LCS on my layout.

Now the problem. On some of the switches, the "out" path of the switch is really the thru route, and the "thru" path is the "out" route.  This is not an issue with the DZ-2500, you can swap the sense of the switch in the configuration, all is well, right?  Well, it seems there's no way to convince the LCS to properly handle the situation where you reverse the sense of the red and green LED's on the switch machine to accommodate this situation.  The result is the LCS display gets all confused about where the switch is, and when you try to change the position on the iPad, you press once and the display changes but the switch doesn't move.  Another press and the switch moves, but the indication is incorrect anyway!  I tried swapping the sense of the feedback to the CSM2, but that doesn't address the issue.  I confess, I'm stumped.

The only way I see to fix this is to actually move the LED's on the switch and not swap the "thru" and "out" sense of the switch.  I'm wondering how others using the DZ-2500/CSM2 have solved this LCS issue?

Interesting and, as you say, it may be due to the complexity of your layout.  I've had a simple 2 switch system driven completely with the CSM2 for going on 2 years.  I have not experienced the power up problem you referred to (having to start up CSM2 before powering DZ-2500s).  Not sure why there is so much variability in these installations but I understand your frustration.

Again, the simplicity I have currently has not revealed any LCS App problems but yours does sound unique.  Good test case to beat the kink's out!

Would love to bend Dave Olson's ear on CSM2 and IRV2 stuff.  These are both critical to my plans.  Luckily I have all the IRV2's that I need so its not really an issue for me; more of a disappointment.

Cheers!

Last edited by LionelAG
@LionelAG posted:

Interesting and, as you say, it may be due to the complexity of your layout.  I've had a simple 2 switch system driven completely with the CSM2 for going on 2 years.  I have not experienced the power up problem you referred to (having to start up CSM2 before powering DZ-2500s).  Not sure why there is so much variability in these installations but I understand your frustration.

Again, the simplicity I have currently has not revealed any LCS App problems but yours does sound unique.  Good test case to beat the kink's out!

Would love to bend Dave Olson's ear on CSM2 and IRV2 stuff.  These are both critical to my plans.  Luckily I have all the IRV2's that I need so its not really an issue for me; more of a disappointment.

Cheers!

When I found out they discontinued the IRV2, I rounded up an extra and the extra sensor sled kits that I might need and a spare or two.

I suspect two switches is different than thirty switches when it comes to any issues with connecting stuff.

When I found out they discontinued the IRV2, I rounded up an extra and the extra sensor sled kits that I might need and a spare or two.

I suspect two switches is different than thirty switches when it comes to any issues with connecting stuff.

Yeah my 2 are pretty simplistic.  However, my plan involves a total of 21 which should be coming together shortly.  I am very interested in the success of your layout as you blaze the trail with CSM2 and the LCS App.  I have the same vision of using the App to be my dashboard.  Hope @DaveOlson can lend a hand in our quest!

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