Best Buy Stationary Decoder

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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Hi all. I just wanted to give mention to what I feel is a great product and a fine value. I was turned onto it by one of our own, Rexhea, so I knew going in that the quality would be good. Thanks Rex!

The product is the Lenz LS150 stationary decoder. It has 6 output channels and is capable of controlling both slow motion and twin coil switch machines. I'm getting great results with the twin coil machines, and while I'll let Rex comment on his observations, the slow motion machines he has hooked to LS150s seemed to be working well when we had the pleasure to visit him a few months ago.

Now for the good news, Tony's sells the LS150 for $39.95, a great value.

One word of caution for you twin coil users. Follow the programming instructions very carefully. It's possible to inadvertently bump the output duration up to a max of 10 sec. You can really toast a twin coil machine doing crap like that. Don't ask me how I know...:D

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ncng

Member
If you use these for Tortoise switch machines, they will not hold the Tortoise in position. They use a pulse of power of up to 10 seconds to allow the Tortoise to change postions and then cut the power off.

This is not a problem if there isn't any back pressure on the Tortoise throw; however, if you hand lay your switches and don't have pivots in the points, the Tortoise will tend to back off. The result is points that are not against the stock rail.

David
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
ncng said:
If you use these for Tortoise switch machines, they will not hold the Tortoise in position. They use a pulse of power of up to 10 seconds to allow the Tortoise to change postions and then cut the power off.

This is not a problem if there isn't any back pressure on the Tortoise throw; however, if you hand lay your switches and don't have pivots in the points, the Tortoise will tend to back off. The result is points that are not against the stock rail.

David
Do any of the other make decoders maintain constant power for the Tortoise? Just wondering. You make a good point though.
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
I have been using NCE's Swith-its and they hold the proper tension. They will slack off when there is no power to the track, but will come right back as soon as the power comes on.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Ya know, this talk of constant on decoders has me thinking how easy it would be to use them to power signals when programmed with turnout routing. I'm thinking maybe this would be the way to go for something like dwarf signals in a yard.
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
I already have a signal working off of the system now because you can't see the switch until you are on top of it, and then it's too late if it is not set properly.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
ncng said:
If you use these for Tortoise switch machines, they will not hold the Tortoise in position. They use a pulse of power of up to 10 seconds to allow the Tortoise to change postions and then cut the power off.

This is not a problem if there isn't any back pressure on the Tortoise throw; however, if you hand lay your switches and don't have pivots in the points, the Tortoise will tend to back off. The result is points that are not against the stock rail.

David
David, you make an important point for one to remember in selecting a stationary decoder. You should always check by hand to make sure the points are free to stay closed before connecting up to anything. If so and the Tortoise is adjusted right, they will stay closed without constant power. The spring action of the actuator wire is plenty strong to keep the points closed. You can always increase the spring tension by using larger size piano wire if needed. Mine will actually snap back to closed using my finger to open and release them.

Also, if there is concern for the bounce of a Tortoise motor, by setting the timer to be long enough for the motor to settle in the home position, the bounce is eliminated keeping the points closed. I use about 3-5 seconds. I haven't had a need for constant power applied to my Walthers Shinohara's or the few Atlas that I have.


GMan: Since all my powered turnouts use Tortoise, I will/do control my signals from the built in switches. You can do the same with your Snap turnouts by buying a snap relay for them. I know...mo money:D.
 




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