Release Notes for JMRI 1.7.6 test release

Date: January 23, 2007

From: Bob Jacobsen

Subject: Test version 1.7.6 of JMRI/DecoderPro is available for download.


This is a test release. Please post a note if you encounter any new or old bugs! And please back up your JMRI files before installing this, in case you want to go back to an earlier version.

This is the next in a series of test versions that contains long-awaited new features, particularly numerous decoder updates, improvements to signaling logic, and greatly improved support for the Digitrax PR2 programmer and it's sound files.

Some of the changes involved are quite extensive, and may require a certain amount of experience before they are working well. Therefore, this test version should be considered experimental.

New warnings for this test version:

Older warnings from this series of test versions:

The "LocoNet Hexfile" protocol name in the preferences has always been a poor name. This is changed to "LocoNet Simulator" in release 1.7.3 to better reflect it's purpose. Some documentation may still contain the old name.

On Mac OS X, JMRI 1.7.3 and later uses Java 1.4 if it's available. This may result in some small cosmetic changes, but should resolve several bugs in the user interface. Also, Mac OS X is now being distributed as a disk image (DMG) file. To install it, double click on the file to mount it, and then drag the resulting JMRI folder to the Applications folder.

For Lenz users: There are now separate choices for each of the serial-based Lenz Computer Interfaces (i.e. the LI100,LI100F,LI101F). Since release 1.7.3, to aid in backwards compatibility, all the interfaces currently have the same options as far as port speed is concerned. Eventually, the port speeds which are not supported by each interface WILL be removed. If you're using one of the interfaces listed above with this release, please check your configuration and select the correct device-specific option. There is no impact for LIUSB users with this change.

We have added additional information to the roster files in this version to help properly handle short/long addressing in systems that allow low addresses (e.g. 65) to be either short or long addresses. The only current system we support that has this capability is NCE. If you have an NCE system, and you have locomotives with addresses of 127 or less, you should open their roster entries in DecoderPro, check that the proper short or long address is selected, and save them again.

Indexed CVs will not be included in any printouts for this release.

QSI CV 56.129 Engine ID Access is not supported in this release.

While programming QSI decoders in Ops mode, it is necessary to disable CV 62 QSI Control (Verbal Acknowledgement), otherwise the writes will fail.

QSI CV 64 CV Numeric Verbal Readout currently does not work for indexed CVs.

Download links:

Please use these links for downloading, including the "?download" at the end. That adds to SourceForge's advertising statistics, which makes them happy to host our stuff.

Mac OS X:



MacOS 8/9 "Classic" is not yet available.

Changes since test version 1.7.5:

Sip Bosch fixed problems with Zimo command stations using their latest firmware versions

Paul Bender provided a definition file for the MRC 1636 Sound Decoder, a drop in replacement board for Atlas N-scale road switchers requiring the "short" light board replacement decoder

The LocoNet menu now contains a tool for examining and changing the individual sounds in a Digitax Sound Project (.spj) file

The Digitrax PR2 connection can now run Digitrax SFX decoders in test mode. The PR2 can't provide enough power to run most motors, but the SFX decoders have a special mode that allows operation of sound and lights without operating the motor. If the PR2 current limit is exceeded, the "Power Control" will show the layout power going off, and can be used to turn it back on.

Simon Ginsburg added decoder definitions for lots of Uhlenbrock decoders

MemoryIcons can now have their text color, size and emphasis set from their pop-up menus

Update Tsunami decoder definitions so they properly validate (needed for some use outside DecoderPro; no effect on JMRI users)

Make the "pane within decoder definition" a little more flexible for some advanced decoders

Digitrax SoundFX decoder definition updated

Simon Ginsburg added a decoder definition for the Digitrax DN163K1C

Simon Ginsburg added a decoder definition for the TCS VO-1000N

Added a sample script ( to allow you to easily show/hide your panels. This required fixing a bug in the ConfigurationManager, so the sample script doesn't work in earlier versions.

Bob Blackwell contributed a decoder definition for the Kuehn/ZTC 217 decoder

Bob added a "" sample script that shows how to hide and show panels when the user clicks on a button

The text displayed by a MemoryIcon can now be styled via it's pop-up menu.

Bob fixed a bug that was causing memory and reporter values on panels to sometimes have truncated displays.

Bill Robinson of Team Digital contributed "", a script for sending LocoNet messages from a nice GUI

Ian Birchenough added long addressing to the ZTC decoder definitions

Updated the terminology for selecting roster entries and decoder types on the DecoderPro selection window, as discussed back in July.

Nick Kulp contributed screen icons for semaphores, which can be found in icons/smallschematics/semaphores

Dick Bronson contributed screen icons for double slips

Michael Mosher updated the NCE DS13SR decoder family to have the right number of functions on the various decoders. Also, he added definitions for the ATL-O, BACH-DSL, NMP, N12A2, and NAVO decoders.

Michael Mosher added a new family for NCE V4.0 decoders, currently the D408SR-E with BEMF.

Michael Mosher updated the decoder definition for the Digitrax SoundFX decoders, with models for the AC4400, SD38-2, and F40PH decoders, plus adding CV152 (Sound Project Author ID), CV153 (Sound Project ID), CV155 Notching mode

Michael Mosher added factory reset to the NCE 3.5 and NCE 4 decoder definitions.

Michael Mosher updated the TCS X decoder definition(s) to add factory reset feature and add the M1, M1P-15, M1P-UK, T1 models as they now have all X features.

Michael Mosher updated the SoundTraxx DSX decoder definition to add "None" to the function map.

Jeff Schmaltz contributed a completely new decoder definition for the Massoth LGB decoder.

Dick Bronson updated the decoder definition for the Tower Controller.

Walter Thompson made major updates to the MRC 1630 decoder definition.

Michael Mosher provided new decoder definitions for the QSI Version 7 decoders.

Michael Mosher provided a new decoder definition for the TCS "FL" function decoders.

Allen Byrne cleaned up the "import" statements in the code.

Walter Thompson improved the JButtonComplexExample example script to have better comments and a clearer structure.

Simon Ginsburg has done a large update to the German translation

David Falkenburg updated the NCE serial support so it works at 19.2K and 38.4K in addition to the previous 9600 bps.

You can now provide either a relative or absolute pathname for a configuration file as an argument when starting the program.

Fixed a problem where the "lit" column in the Signal Table wouldn't always update properly when changed by some other code or table

Added a new "held" parameter to SignalHeads to allow better connections for e.g. CTC logic. By setting this, vital logic (e.g. Simple Signal Logic) knows not to clear the signal, even if safety rules allow it. You can experiment with this by setting it from the panel or from the Signal Table.

Better control of signal icons on panels. Two new entries in popup allow you to (1) control whether clicking on the icon changes the appearance, or sets/resets the held parameter for controlling e.g. CTC (2) whether the icon should show the color of the signal or dark if the signal is set to be not lit, e.g. for approach lighting.

The panel editor now lets you set the icons for all appearances of a signal head, including dark and all three flashing colors. If you don't plan on using one, e.g. flashing green, just set it to something similar, e.g. whatever you're setting green to.

Added a ReporterFormatter sample script for handling information from Digitrax transponding equipment.

You can now add memory and reporter icons from the panel editor window. You don't have to add them by editing the panel XML file any more.

David Falkenburg updated the NCE support to use binary programming commands. This will be needed with new NCE EPROMs when they become generally available. As part of that, a new option has been added to the preferences for the NCE protocol.

Michael Mosher updated the QSI Version 7 Diesel decoder with a horn description for Atlas SD35 versions.

Michael Mosher provided a new file for version 15 of the Zimo MX64(H) decoder.

Michael Mosher updated the TCS decoder version numbers for automatic ID.

Michael Mosher updated the ESU LokSound V3.5 decoder definition and created a new XL V3.5 definition file.

Paul Bender updated the turnout state display for Lenz systems so that the "+"/"-" notation corresponds to the buttons used on an LH100.

Dick Bronson added approach lighting to Simple Signal Logic

Turnouts using two sensors for position feedback should show "inconsistent" as their known state if there isn't exactly one sensor showing active status; fixed a bug where the state would go directly from closed to thrown without the intermediate state. Also, Simple Signal Logic has been updated to show "red" appearance while turnouts with feedback are in motion.

Peter Brandenburg created decoder definitions for the Haber & Koenig NFA and HFA decoders used in Roco locomotives.

Peter Brandenburg created new decoder definition families for the CT Elektronik "DCX Series (v.26 up)" and "Sound Decoder SL (v.26 up)" decoder groups

Bob fixed an internal problem with the LocoFiles class that would occasionally cause trouble for people building their own versions

New decoder definition for the Team Digital SMD82 board.

Make adding a SE8C signal a little easier by allowing several ways of specifying the turnout number

Bob Blackwell improved the help pages so they print with a white background and better formatting

A small amount of improvement in startup speed

The PR2 turns off track power when it senses too much current being drawn. JMRI's handling of this condition has been improved greatly.

Initial decoding and display of LISSY messages (Uhlenbrock) has been added. Lissy messages are decoded in the LocoNet monitor, and will show their status in Reporters. (It's still an open question whether they should be Sensors too)