Zimo MX10 system & MX32FU cab main page

(remember: links to sub-pages at the bottom of this page)

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Organization and pages on this site:

This is the "entry point" and overview for the MX32 / MX32FU throttles.

You should read this if you are a new user.

At the bottom fo the page are the separate links to more details, you should at least read the "getting started the first time"

Overview:

The MX10 is the long awaited upgrade to the venerable MX1 system. Zimo makes very high quality equipment with lots of bells and whistles. In the past, I have stayed away because of the very high cost and also some of the features are unique to Zimo decoders only and I use a variety of decoders, so specialized features only applicable to one particular manufacturer is not a big advantage.. Also, I'm so spoiled with the NCE cabs, with plenty of dedicated buttons, clear menus, and not tons of nested menus. Also a color display or showing pretty pictures of my locos are not my top priorities.

But, based on the promise of a 20 amp system, and the ability to put a full 24 volts on the rails, I bit the bullet. I received my new system from Train-Li in August 2015. I've been updating my site as I learn it.

Currently, in January 2019, the firmware is in an "acceptable" state. Over the last year, the updates have stabilized and the system responds much better and lockups are rare. The help screens are still not complete and not all in English.  The Ethernet interface is somewhat working, but not the interface to JMRI. .

I had waited years for this product. I have a Zimo newslettter from July 2011 saying it's in the final stages of development. The November 2014 newsletter says it's in production. July 2015 was the first shipping as far as I can tell.

Command station and throttles:

One of the most expensive systems on the market, if not the most expensive. The MX10 command station is $2,100 and the wireless cabs are $600 each, but can be found at a slight dicount.

A promised features is that the command station will be able to program Zimo sound files, saves you $200 for the separate programmer.

On the other hand, Zimo has always been great with firmware updates, so I have confidence that the additional missing features will be added withouth hardware updates.

As usual, very nice hardware construction, and so many options, it will take me some time to list them and figure them out.

The throttles are a good size, and the OLED display can be fairly well seen in bright sunlight. The very configurable display helps a lot and you also have a slider that shows throttle speed, and bright LEDs for direction, and status of accessories like turnouts. There are several unique features that makes the cabs exceptional, it's too bad that their literature does not do a better job of pointing this out for prospective customers.

System firmware/status/bugs

Be sure to read the firmware pages carefully, the updates can be tricky, and many times you have to load other files because fonts or symbols "disappear". This is at the top because there are some really important features missing or only partially implemented, even though the system has been available since 2015. Don't get me wrong, I love the system, it's the most capable out there (or will be!), and the addition of new features is beyond the other systems available.

Bug fix / improvement suggestions for Zimo:

Bugs:

  1. minor bug: When deleting loco pictures from the database, on the screen that lists the pictures, the "A Execute" is missing from the top of the scree, there is some junk on the left side, TP and E are properly there, although "Mark" should not be in italics. Pressing "A" does indeed remove marked items.
  2. new bug: When editing switches, with shift W, the shift changes the lower part of the display (scrolls it) so if you change the image, you cannot see it while editing.
  3. In 1.25.0101 switches are all messed up
  4. Keep original language and power settings in MX10 after firmware update. Zimo, you REALLY should test your firmware releases with English too! This should have been fixed years ago!
  5. Consisting bug where one of the locos will disappear from local recall when adjusting the consist (detail the problem exactly), and you CAN'T put it back!
  6. When handing off a consist, the yellow triangles showing the loco direction, any locos in the consist running "reversed" , the triangles are reset to all the same direction, even though the loco(s) are indeed running "reversed"

Missing features:

  1. Finish the "standard" NMRA functions first, the basics that should have been included at first release:
  2. Advanced Consisting support

My verification of new features:

state of charge indicator and low battery

check cloning function from loco screen

Improvements:

  1. What happened to the easy/intermediate/advanced modes? That was a nice feature.
  2. When the system reboots, you cannot do ANYTHING until you enter a loco number. This is silly, the "E" command should ALWAYS work.
  3. Adopt "system philosophy".... DCC systems "center" around the Command Station, it should be the MAIN database for shared functions. Example: currently the cab that creates the consist is the master, and it's data superseds the command station... during a handover to another cab, the consist goes "through" the command station. When a loco is in a consist in a reversed direction, it is stored properly (apparently) in the command station, but when another cab takes it over, the "creator" cab says "hey, this loco is reversed", and so the CORRECT configuration copied from the MX10, gets the loco reversed AGAIN, since the "creator" says so, and now the loco that should be running reversed is running the wrong way.
  4. Adopting the "system philosophy" that the MX10 is THE database, should solve issues of handing off information between cabs.

Critical Information needed/desired:

  • use of JMRI over ethernet
  • check out Rail Manager ck out Rail Manager www.Modellbahnberatung.com
  • Main-Mode Zimo vs NMRA? NMRA shows 28 functions, this is grayed out in "Zimo" mode. What else happens?
  • Touchscreen seems erratic, is there a timeout on how often you can touch, is there a way to calibrate?Need terminating components specified on CAN bus
  • Why is speed bar green or red?
  • There is an “adaptive overcurrent detection” circuit, how to enable? Is this the “quick shutdown” setting mentioned earlier?

 

page 4 states you can make your own "8POLAxM" cables, but no wiring diagram is given

page 6 states that the current consumption is from 70ma to 300 ma while charging battery, the units use more current when charging

page 8 says htting the II key will jump to the object databse if in loco in mode
 screen saver timeout can be set n CAB CONF

page 9 and other locations speak of a "communications dot", in English a dot is a small round circle filled in, this is a box that flashes and is sometimes filled... need a better description

III key toggles loco recall list  LoR

C key deletes from loco recall but not the object database

try loading 2 different styles in the cab conf

try using broadcast ss0 as opposed to emergency stop, also set track power off

last line on page 23 is probably wrong, or only true for object in mx10

in system setup, set the AT and BT momentum

rg button used for switching...

 

 

Is the programming track output only on output 2? What happens when track 1 & 2 are paralleled?

Track voltage can ramp up? 1-60 sec ramp time is implied

The short circuit shutdown time can be programmed, from 0.01 (or .1?) to 5 seconds in increments of 0.1 second. During the shutdown time, the system holds a constant output current and lowers the voltage to achieve this

There is also a settable “tolerated transgression” of overcurrent, time and current, and also a settable “quick shutdown” at sudden current increase… wow.

Can these work together if the track outputs are paralleled?

Zimo indicates that you must use a regulated supply

What are the plans for the ethernet? Will you be able to just hook a wifi router to it?


MX10 Command station and booster

 

MX10 front 800

The top row of "dashes and boxes" is really a status display for the multi pin connector on the back.

The input voltage and current is upper left, 28v, 11.6 amps

There are 2 track outputs, so the track 1 output voltage is below on the left, 22.8v and the current the big 10.4 number

The second output, track 2, is below, 10.9 volts and 4.46 amps here.

the circuit board temp is below, 37 degrees C

upper right is 82 DCC packets per sec, also can be MM for MM, or D/M for showing both.

Below are statistics for Railcom messages received, this shows 0 Rcom

and lastly the CAN 7 in the bottom right corner is the number of can packets per sec, sometimes shown with a % error.

 

 

 


 

MX10 back 800

2 pin socket - "DC in" - DC input for the booster, plus and minus

2 pin socket - DCC MM out Schiene 1 - DCC track out, track 1 (this is the 12 amp output)

3 pin socket - DC out / S1 M S2 - these are DC outputs that are part of the track 1 and track 2 circuits, M is a common ground, S1 is track 1 DC power, S2 is track 2 DC power

2 pin socket - Schiene 2 - this is the track 2 output, which also is the programming track output.

3 pin socket with + M +, with 30v and 12v identified. This is DC The 30v is the voltage supplied through the CAN bus, and is limited to 4 amps. The 12v is used for t eXnet and Loconet connectors and is limited to 2 amps.

2.5 mm audio socket - line out jack is interesting, there seems to be an internal speaker

RJ45 jack - Zimo CAN -

RJ45 jack - Ethernet lan - seems to be 10 megabit, but needs verification

There is a USB client - apparently something in the future will allow the MX10 to be controlled by USB

Under the USB is a loconet socket.

There is a 16 pin dip socket for input ann d output, need to verify the pins, 8 inputs, respond to negative and positive rail power (remember the N and P on the track outputs?) The 6 outputs can source up to 25 ma max, constant current is specified at 15ma each. , (each, can all run at the same time?) What is the output voltage and polarity? The inputs seem to be specified at 3 volts.

Groups, left to right, power, inputs, outputs

   5 volts 2 4 6 8 2 4 6
ground 1 3 5 7 1 3

5

 


MX32F Cabs (throttles)

The screen is what I would expect a color display to do in sunklight. It is an OLED display, about the best you can do for brightness. This is a far cry from the super high contrast monochrome LCD in the NCE cabs. The mitigating design features are that the speedometer is white, so very contrasty, and really the speed can be set with the slide lever. At first I did not like this slid throttle, but it allows you to glance at the throttle and instantly get an idea of speed, so it turns out this is a good thing.

There are wired and wireless cabs. The wireless cabs use Zigbee, and can also be operated wired. These are the MX32FU:

Not really happy with the multifunction keyboard with letters that are German abbreviations, but I will learn, I guess:

WP 20150716 18 09 32 Pro

 

 

 

20160326 190425


Other equipment needed:

First, I will need a power supply. Since I want the full 20 amps output, Axel Tillman recommended this Meanwell:

 meanwell

 This version is nicer than the ones I typically use, no fan cooling, all sealed.

 


Other Notes:

Wireless throttles

The MX32FU throttles work in Zigbee in the 2.4 GHz spectrum, but are on a different channel model than Wi-Fi. More detail and suggestions for setting channels on a subsequent page.

Wi-Fi throttle support

 ROCO makes a box that interfaces and allows their throttles and also apps for Android and iPhone. You can also use these apps directly to an MX10 that is connected to an Ethernet network.

There is also apparently a WiFi solution from Germany. See the partners on the top menu on the Zimo site.

Computer interfacing to the MX10:

JMRI is not supported yet, but apparently Zimo has made the interface spec available. I am investigating how to get this working, there are several options, and it's just a matter of time.

 

 

Sub-Pages

Getting started the first time Zimo firmware versions & notes   Zimo consisting tips    Zimo, Zigbee & Wi-Fi 
  Zimo Cheat Sheet   MX32FU charger       The Zimo Database  Customizing Images for MX32FU cab Images for MX32FU cab    
Interfacing to the MX10, JMRI, etc.      

 

 

 

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