BW Lite - DCC decoder programmer, s88 and k83/84 tester and crane controller etc.

Program installation and operation

Installation | Setting the interface properties | Log Window | DCC decoder programmer | s88 tester | k83/4 tester | Log SOs | Locos | Trains | Rotary Crane | Mobile crane | IB Decoder config


If downloading from the web, download all 3 files to one directory.
Run setup.exe and follow the onscreen directions.

Switch on the Intellibox
Launch the program with Start - Programs - BW - BW Lite

Start up

initial screen
After starting, BW Lite displays its version and build number.

The allow sounds checkbox can be used to enable sounds used in the k83/4 testing module.

Select the com port. The program will attempt to connect. If an Intellibox can be found on the port, the software version and serial number of your Intellibox will appear after a second or so. This indicates successful communication with the Intellibox.

Selecting the serial port

set port number
If you are having trouble, please do check that you have selected the correct com port and that the cable between your computer and Intellibox conforms to the cable illustrated in your Intellibox manual and is plugged in at both ends.

If Special Option #26 is set to 1 your Intellibox will be found faster.

Some web pages suggest that one should check that the FiFo buffering is switched OFF in the advanced properties of the com port under Windows when having serial port problems.

Log Window

Resizeable Log window
If you wish to display a log of the program activies, click the 'Show Log' button.

Every log line displays a time stamp of when the event occured.
Selecting items to be logged
In the Log Preferences menu you can switch on the logging of certain types of log entries.

Some types of events such as Programming Track and Error conditions such as overheating and short circuit messages are always logged.
Non-PC events
If you elect to log Non-PC events, manual changes to locos and turnouts etc. made on the Intellibox will be reported.

Loco changes report the status of the functions as a series of 0s and 1s indication off or on respectivly. So 010000000 means the direction dependant function is off, f1 is on and f2 through f8 are off.

Decoder programmer

Serial port opened
Once you have established a connection with the Intellibox, you can work with the DCC decoder on the programming track by clicking on the 'Program decoder' button.

Decoder programmer

Decoder screen
Place the locomotive on the programming track and click the 'Identify decoder' button. Wait.
Decoder detected
After a few seconds you should see the manufacturer and decoder display. Not all manufacturers and models have dedicated support, in which case their numbers will display and you can continue to program registers.
Pick a register
You can select any register by either selecting it out of the drop down list or by stepping through them with the up and down arrows. The pull down list suppresses invalid registers if the decoder is known to the program!
Showing a value from decoder
Once you have selected a register you want to work with, you can click the 'Read Single' button. Wait a few seconds.

The current value that was read from the decoder is now displayed as the current value and the bits that are set are indicated on the left.

You can also request that all the registers that are known to be used by the current decoder be read in from the decoder by clicking the 'Read Multiple' button. Note that it takes a while to read in a lot of CV values and you can monitor the progress in the log window.
Decoder screen
You can select a new value by any combination of checking bits on or off or by changing the new value with the up and down arrows. If you select a new value that is known to be out of the allowable range for that register, then the red light will come on. Green means a legal value.

When you want to update the decoder, click the 'Save to decoder' button. If you want to automatically read the CV value back again, check the 'Verify writes' checkbox first.

Note that you do not have to read the current value before saving a new value. You can simply select the register you want, set the value and save it. You also do not have to identify the decoder, doing so simply gives you more information for known decoders.

Known CVs log
Any CV values that have been read or written since clearing can be listed in the log window. Click the button called 'Log Known CVs'

The CV number and values are shown. Any CVs that have have an unknown value will not be listed.

The log at left also shows the result of the 'Get Status' button - showing the status of the Programming Track.
Friendly CVs log
A friendly format that also lists the name of the register can be listed in the log window. Click the button called 'Log Friendly CVs'

The CVs that are known to be used by the current decoder model will be listed, even if their current value is unknown. Note that you can also ensure that all the known registers have been read by clicking the 'Read Multiple' button. Wait for those registers to finish being read in and then the Friendly CV log will be complete.

By saving the log to disk you can keep a record of the CV values for each decoder.
Direct or Paged mode
Two modes of register reading and writing are supported, Direct (default) and Paged

You can select either mode simply by selecting the desired mode. Here Paged mode has been selected. Changes between the modes are logged in the log window.

Log of programming track
The Log window will report the programming track activities.
cancel button
If you want to program a different locomotive, click the 'Clear all' button and then start again by detecting the decoder.
Search for motorola address area
To find a Motorola address, set the starting value and then click find. This operation takes a long time and the Intellibox does not indicate any progress, eventually it may respond with an address if it finds one.

s88 Testing

Click: Test s88
Once you have established a connetion to an Intellibox, you can click the 'Test s88' button.
Indicate which s88 module is to be tested
Indicate which s88 module is to be tested by clicking the up and down arrows. The status of the selected s88 is continuously updated.

In this example, ports 68 and 76 are the only ones that are on. (High)

You can also change the color of the indicator LEDs using the 'LED color' button.
adjust the refresh rate
You can control the refresh rate by adjusting the refresh rate slider. The numbers that display as you move the slider are the milliseconds between refreshes.
Switch between effective and absolute port numbers
By unchecking the 'Effective #' checkbox, you can view the port numbers as an effective port number or as port numbers for that module only.
Audio feedback
If you want an audio feedback for any set of ports, check the 'Sound' checkbox. You will then have a checkbox available for each port. Every time the module is refreshed, a sound will be made for any port that has its checkbox checked. This is very useful if you need to be elsewhere to connect wires or trigger an s88 by hand, you can hear when it triggers...

The 'All' checkbox will switch on all the checkboxes for you.
s88 log
If you elect to log s88 operations, you can see s88 events even if an s88 Test screen is not open.

Switching the s88 logging on when an s88 test screen is open will write so much data to the log you will not be able to read it fast enough. You can switch it off to see what is being logged but it is not very interesting.

k83 testing

Click: Test k83
Once you have established a connetion to an Intellibox, you can click the 'Test k83' button.

If you have a sound card you can also check the 'Allow Sounds' checkbox - this will enable the k83/4 testing screen to give you an audio feedback to indicate if the output has been set to red or green.
k83/k84 tester
You can control the change rate by adjusting the refresh rate slider. The numbers that display as you move the slider are the milliseconds between refreshes.

Select the effective k83/k84 port number with the up/down arrows. There are 4 per module, so 5 is the first one on the second module.
k83/k84 tester running
To start the test, check the 'Cycle' checkbox. The k83 or k84 will be toggled and the current setting of 'Red' or 'Green' will be displayed along with the number of test cycles performed.

You can also switch the output to red or green by clicking on the appropriate buttons.
Turnout log
If you have elected to log turnout commands they will be reported in the log window

Special Options

Special Options log
If you want to see the value of the Special Options of your Intellibox, click the 'Log all SOs' button and the current values will all be placed into the Log window...

You can scroll about and view them all.

Tip: If you close the log window while the Special Options are being read in from the Intellibox then the program will perform faster since it will not be slowed down by the screen drawing routines of Windows. After about 12 seconds, display the Log Window and you will be able to see all the Special Options.

Tip: You can save a copy of your Special Option values by saving the Log Window to disk. See File->Save

Defining Locomotives

Defining a locomotive
Clicking on the 'Define Locos' button display the Locomotive definition screen.
The most important settings are:
Give the Locomotive a useful name
The decoder address for the loco.
Decoder Type
The decoder type determines the number of speed steps and functions that are available
New Button
Adds another locomotive
Press Ctrl-S to save your information

Tip: If you hover the mouse cursor over button and screen control you can see more some hover text to remind you on the functionality.
Calibrating a locomotive
If you check the 'Show speed table' checkbox to will be able to either manually set the km/h speeds for each pseed step or calibrate the locomotive automatically. Ensure that you have selected a decoder with the appropriate number of speed steps first!
Manual setting
Click on any speed step in the speed table and use the up/down arrows below the speed table to set the speeds for forward and reverse. If you check the 'Same' checkbox, forward and reverse speeds will both change together with the up/down arrows.
Automatic calibration
To perform automatic calibration you need to have two working s88 detection points with some space on either side. You need to measure the distance between them in mm in both directions and set the numbers of the two s88s and their distances once in the calibration setup. (Save with Ctrl-S.) Then position the loco so that it is pointing towards the start s88. Now if you select one or a range of speed steps in the speed table and then click on the 'Calibrate' button the program will run the loco up and down past the two s88 contacts and measure its speed in scale km/h. If no speed step is sleected all the speed steps will be attempted. If they are far apart you may want to skip the very slow speeds and set them by hand. Another trick is to calibrate the fastest step and then a slow step. Then select that range of speed steps and interpolate al the intermediate steps by clicking the 'Make linear' button which will set all the intermediate steps evenly between the lower and upper ranges you selected. It is also useful to switch on the logging of calibartion operations in the Preferences menu of the log window.

Tip: If you hover the mouse cursor over button and screen control you can see more some hover text to remind you on the functionality.

Defining Trains

Defining a train
Clicking on the 'Define Trains' button displays the train definition screen.
The most important settings are:
Give the Train a nice name in the editable combo box. The example shows a train I call S3
Available locomotives
The list of locos shows locomotives that are marked as on teh layout but not yet part of a train. Select one and click teh add button to add it to the current train. You can add more than one too.
In the list of locos in teh current train you can check teh checkbox if you want the direction of the loco reversed with respect to teh train.
On layout
Indicates that the train is currently on the layout. This will ensure it is included in the list of trains sent to a Remotre train controller and other menus. It also allows you to remove the train from the layout and maintain its definition.
Press Ctrl-S to save your information
Tip: If you hover the mouse cursor over button and screen control you can see more some hover text to remind you on the functionality.

Rotary Crane

Crane control display
Clicking on the 'Rotary Crane' button displays the crane control screen.
Before using the crane you need to tell the program the addresses of its decoders. To display the crane configuration area, click the '>>' button.
Crane configuration
You can define up to three decoders to control the slew, hook and light. If a particular decoder function is required to be on in order to perform the slew, hook or light, simply check the appriate checkbox for that column.
I installed a second decoder into my Märklin digital crane so that I could rotate and move the hook at the same time. If the same decoder address is used for one than one of the crane operations, simply use the same address as in the example.
The crane control supports decoders with 14 speed steps and the first functions F0 through F4.

To hide the display of the crane configuration area, click the '<<' button.
Crane operation
Once you have setup your crane you can control it as follows:
Up and down arrows raise and lower the hook
Left and right slew left and right
S, Escape or spacebar stop the crane
L toggles the light/magnet on and off
Clicking above the horizontal cross-hair line will raise the hook. Anywhere below the line will lower it.
Clicking to the left of the vertical cross-hair line will slew (rotate) the crane to the left. Anywhere to the right of the line will slew right.
The further away from center the faster the hook and slew movement.
You can also use the two sliders to control one movement at a time if so desired.
Manual input from the Intellibox will also be displayed on the crane screen!

If either movement is reversed, press Cntrl-up or down or Ctrl-left or right to flip the motor direction. This may be needed for older decoders without any absolute direction. Motor direction can also be set in the configuration area and saved.

Märklin crane 46715

Märklin crane 46715

You can control the Märklin crane 46715 very comfortably, using the mouse or keyboard without having to think about toggling functions and worring about the direction of the motor. Clicking on the 'Mobile Crane' button displays the crane control screen.

To operate the 46715 crane the following Intellibox Special Options must be set:
SO 902 = 16
SO 914 = 40
Furthermore the loco address that your crane uses (default is 77) must be set on the Intellibox to use the Motorola New format.
Please consult your Intellibox manual on how to set these settings. You must be able operate the crane manually from your Intellibox before it can work from the software!

The software assumes the default decoder address of 77. If you have changed the address of your crane, select the new address.

Raising the hook

Keyboard and Mouse control

When the mobile crane screen has focus, you can use the following keys on your keyboard to operate the crane:
Left Arrow and Right Arrow - will slew the crane left and right
Up Arrow and Down Arrow - will raise and lower the hook
Page Up and Page Down - will raise and lower the boom

Press and hold the keys to make the crane move in the required direction. When you let the key up the crane will stop.

Of course you can also use your mouse, simply click and hold the mouse down on any of the control pads to make it move. When you release the mouse button, the movement will stop.

Slewing to the right

Intellibox control

Any control input you make directly on the Intellibox is also reflected on the screen. For example if you change F1 the blue highlight will indicate that the crane is now in slewing mode. If swith the motor on or off on the Intellibox the buttons control pads will also indicate that state.

10 second time out

The crane wil not run contioniously for more than 10 seconds. I presume this was done to prevent it overheating. Since the Intellibox and the software will not be informed when this happens, the software maintains its own 10 second timer and after 10s of continious operation it will assume the crane has stopped and actually send a stop command so that the Intellibox will reflect the correct status.

A note on some known erratic behavior

My crane seems to miss about 25% of the commands that my Intellibox supposedly sends to it. For example I may change from raising the hook to slewing, but when I start the slew operation, the crane continues raising the hook! At times this problem also causes the crane to run in the wrong direction, even thoughthe direction arrow on the Intellibox shows that the direction has been correctly set by the computer. I am now starting to suspect that the Intellibox is discarding crane commands that have not yet been sent when it gets new instruction from the computer. The crane has to be stopped in order to change mode and so multiple commands are required. If you experience similar problems please let me know as I search for a possible solution.

Logging decoder settings

IB address configuration
If you wish to display the current Intellibox configuration for decoder addresses, click the 'Log 500 Locos' button and then look at the log window. It will display the first 500 address configurations showing the protocol set, number of speed steps and is the address has been set as a virtual address, the real address.

Each time you click the 'Log 500 Locos' button the next 500 will be logged.

From the Locomotive definition screen you can also click the button marked "A" (for Address) to log the Intellibox configuration for just the address of that loco.

The BW (Betriebswerk) program is shareware - which means you can try it out and if you decide to use it you can contribute some money to me, Dale Schultz, the author of the program. Do not confuse it with other programs that have copied the interface.

BW Home
My layout

Updated 2018-02-06