Phoenix Programmer


Tips on using the programmer:

 If you are not using DCC, most people have more success with the DCC features turned off. I will fill in some more of this later.

Building your own programmer:

While the programmer interface at the decoder is similar to RS-232, you cannot just use an off the shelf USB to RS-232 adapter, or an actual serial port on your computer.

Phoenix mentions on their site that they will supply a schematic to allow you to build your own. From their site:

""We will happily provide you with a schematic and parts list if you desire, but many components are surface mount and available only from electronics supply houses. This is not a project for the casual hobbyist.""

The 3 wire interface is ground, +5 volts, and signal. Note the Phoenix signal is on a single wire, whereas RS-232 has a TX and an RX line. (besides ground and any 5v or 3.3v)

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I am not posting the schematic here, but you can obtain it from Phoenix.

It appears that the trick to combining the TX and RX to a single line is using 5v and 3.3v on the signal line.

So by adding a buffer and transistor to the "normal" FTDI USB<>serial module you can make a programmer.

"KeithRB" (Andrew Hastings) let me post his pictures of the project:

The FTDI board is $16 from SparkFun (FT232RL)




And here is Keith's setup:

img 8297


I intend to build one. Apparently you need to lower the latency, described in the phoenix manual.

•Latency Timer may need to be adjusted (Phoenix USB interface). To do this right-click on My Computer, select Properties, then select Device Manager then Ports. Highlight your USB Serial COM port in the list and click Properties. Click the Port Settings tab then the Advanced button. Adjust the Latency Timer downwards, 4 is a value.


I'll post the parts list here, but again, I don't have permission to post the Phoenix schematic



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