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Question about the Digitrax LNWI Wifi Interface

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  • Member since
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Question about the Digitrax LNWI Wifi Interface
Posted by trainmasterg on Sunday, February 04, 2018 7:00 PM

Hi folks,

I sent a question to digitrax helpdesk, and haven't heard back, so I'll post it here:

Hello,

Our Model Railroad club has been using your Superchief for many years, a DCS200.
 
We are considering the LNWI Loconet WiFi interface.
 
I’ve looked through a lot of the documentation, and also went out of your site to youtube and other places, but cannot find the answer to this question:
 
With just adding your LNWI to our system, will we be able to control turnouts on our layout with supported apps like the WiThrottle on iPhone?
We are currently using NCE Switch-it devices to control turnouts on the layout using our DT402 throttles successfully.
I have seen videos of turnouts being controlled with the WiThrottle app on competitive systems like the Prodigy Advance, but haven’t been able to find such for your system.
 
One additional question;
When we take our modular layout on the road to an event this coming April, we won’t have internet access and the benefits of a home WiFi network like we do where our layout is currently set up; will we still be able to use all of the features of the system at the show?
 
Thank you,
 
Greg Tobin
Secretary
Western New York Train Masters HO Scale Model Railroad Club
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Posted by ba&prr on Sunday, February 04, 2018 9:09 PM

If the show has WiFi available, you can use that connection. You can controll turnouts if you have the version you have to buy. See below links.   Joe

http://www.withrottle.com/html/manual.html

http://www.digitrax.com/tsd/KB1056/lnwi-security-considerations-enabling-and-customiz/

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 05, 2018 7:10 AM

 The LNWI does not connect via your home WiFi network in any case. It is it's own access point and as such will have its own SSID to connect to. You connect your phones to it rather than your home internet wifi. 

                                  --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Gaucho on Monday, February 05, 2018 8:04 AM

LNWI is avery straight forward and simple device that has its ownn access point and does not use any existing wifi network, as mentioned by Randy. The smart phone/tablet applications work as a wireless throttle with the exception that it can not be used for programming. Digitrax will not respond to questions associated with Engine Driver or WiThrottle is becouse they has nothing to do with those products. There is a lot inforformation on the web site for the applications that will answer all questions. One more note, any smart phone or tablet will work and it does not have to have an active phone connection. This means that if you have an old android or iphone , they can be used as a wireless throttle. By using a spare or old phone you do not have to give up your wifi connection on your active phone to run trains.

 

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 05, 2018 12:53 PM

 Plus if you use your old one that no longer has a phone plan on it, you won't get interrupted by a phone call when running trains.

 This of course ahs always been the case, even the 'old way' of using WiThrottle with JMRI - the phone/tablet does not need a phone or data plan from the phone company to do this, old phones can function fully on wifi only even though they may only be able to make 911 calls. Browsers, email, etc. all work without paying the phone company as long as there is a wifi connection available. Pulled out my ancient iPhone 3G not too long ago - charged it up, and it still worked!

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by trainmasterg on Wednesday, February 07, 2018 8:05 AM
Thank you everyone for the quick responses. We're going to get one of these and try it out. I've got one active I-phone 7, another one that's currently not in use, 5s, (saving as a backup) and an i-pad as well. There are club members who use smart phones also, so this will really help us have more wireless throttle choices while we're operating. Really looking forward to it. Has anyone on here had any extensive use with the system yet? Any good experiences to share? Troubles with system to look out for (interference, dropouts, run away trains, etc.?) Thanks again, Greg
da1
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  • From: Alberta, Canada
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Posted by da1 on Thursday, February 08, 2018 3:12 PM
From recent experience I offer one last note to consider. Throttle screen customization for specific locomotives within Engine Driver is not possible using the LNWI. Those customizations are only possible when Engine Driver is connected to a JMRI roster via Wi-Fi. If you want the Engine Driver screens to look like those in the advertising you will need to use a JMRI access point, not an LNWI.
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Posted by mfm37 on Thursday, February 08, 2018 7:50 PM

Greg,

 My NTRAK club has been using two LNWI's for about 4 months now. So far there have been no glitches other than the 4 throttle limit of the LNWI. With two we can connect up to 8 devices.

The glitch is that once a device is connected, it will connect to the LNWI any time it is within range. I have gotten into the habit of turning WIFI off on my Iphone and Android tablet when they are not being used to run trains. This allows other members to connect. They have to do the same when done running trains.

Other then this the LNWI is simply plug and play. Performance has been flawless. We also have a wireless router connected to JMRI. LNWI is much easier to set up.

Martin Myers

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Posted by PennCentral99 on Friday, August 17, 2018 9:07 AM

Greetings!

Well, this has to be a first...I did a "search the community" and it actually found this related thread! Also, I surfed the internet and believe I have found my answers, but want to confirm my research.

My wife got a new iPad. I am now in possession of an iPad2. I am using a Digitrax DCS51 as my command station with a DT402 to run my trains. I do not have any computer interphase for the command station.

If I download the WiThrottle app and JMRI to the iPad, install a Digitrax LNWI, I should be able to program and run trains through the iPad?

Please confirm or deny my suspicions.

Thanks, Terry

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Posted by JoeinPA on Friday, August 17, 2018 10:32 AM

It is my understanding that you can run trains but not do programming. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Joe

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, August 17, 2018 11:36 AM

 You cannot install JMRI on the iPad anyway. JMRI runs on Windows, Mac, or Linux. IPad, even an IPad Pro, is not Mac OSX.

 Even with a computer interface, JMRI on a computer, and WiThrottle on a tablet or phone, you cannot program from the tablet. At least, no via the WiThrottle app.

 So no, you would not be able to program trains through the LNWI. Run trains, yes.

                                    --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by PennCentral99 on Friday, August 17, 2018 4:06 PM

Thanks for the clarification. Although the WiThrottle would be a "nice to have" on the iPad, it's not worth the expense. If they could figure out how to make the iPad (Apple) and JMRI compatible, then I would probably get the LNWI. Oh well, I'll just figure out something else.

Terry

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, August 17, 2018 6:44 PM

 JMRI or no JMRI, the LNWI will not do programming. You need an actual computer interface for that. What's holding you back? JMRI on the computer plus an interface gives you the same loco control features of the LNWI PLUS the programming and layout control capability of JMRI.

 If you already have a wifi router in your house, you only need a computer capable of running JMRI, and an interface, either the PR4 or a Locobuffer-USB. Even a Raspberry Pi is sufficient, and you cna download 'ready to roll' configurations for the Pi so you don;t have to fiddle with linux on top of everything, but I still think setting it up on a basic (read - you can easily use a 10 year old machine) Windows computer is the easiest. You can buy refurb small form factor office machines with Windows 7 or Windows 10 for under $200 that are actually fairly beefy and only a few years old - 3-4 years old tops. Plenty of horsepower to run JMRI, or do whatever else you want, and they are more or less the footprint of an IPad Pro, just thicker. The type of machines you might find in an office, bolted right to the back of the monitor. Name brand, too, Dell or HP in most cases.

                                        --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • 624 posts
Posted by PennCentral99 on Friday, August 17, 2018 9:03 PM

rrinker

 What's holding you back? 

                                        --Randy

 

 
Procrastination starts right now. Big Smile Taking that first step. I have a hand-me-down laptop (Windows XP, 2007 operating system), that has a bad battery and bad fan. If the laptop is on to long, it will shut down due to high temperature. But I guess I would not need to run it for the programming with JMRI. But it would be nice to leave the laptop on while running trains.
 
I just thought a newer iPad would be a little more reliable. I guess I should just bite the bullet and get the PR4. It's the same price as the LNWI
 
Terry

Inspired by Addiction

See more on my YouTube Channel

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