IntelliBox Basic, II and USB-LocoNet Interface

ContentCommand StationsUhlenbrock

  • IntelliBox | IntelliBox Basic, Intellibox II and USB-LocoNet Interface

Product Overview

The IntelliBox Basic, II and USB-LocoNet Interface support the LocoNet protocol over USB.

Interface 63120
IB-Basic IB-Com
See also USB-LocoNet-Interface


Rocrail supports the Uhlenbrock LocoNet Interface (ULNI) with software handshake.
The device drivers shipped with the device have to be installed prior to connecting the device and the computer. Afterwards the interface the device was assigned to has to be determined.

Add the ULNI

From the menu File → Rocrail properties… is selected and in the following dialogue tab Controller is selected. If the Intellibox should be the only command station other command stations possibly listed have to be deleted first. Afterwards from the drop down field New the command station loconet is selected and subsequently added by pressing Add. The command station NEW - loconet is highlighted and Properties is pressed. The dialogue LocoNet Interface opens:


On tab Interface the ID NEW is overwritten by an appropriate name, e. g. IB in the example. The computer interface determined beforehand is entered into the field Device, e. g. com1 in the example. The baud rate is selected according to the one of the device (standard: 115200). The Type has to be ULNI.


Rocrail determine under Windows the available serial ports currently only to Com10.
If the LocoNet Com port in the dropdown list “device” is missing, the actually assigned com port must be read up in the Windows system control and be entered manually into the field “device”.


Set the CS Type: intellibox or ibcom for functions support > 8.
On tab Options there are no adjustments available for the IB.

For the IBCom, the IB-Basic and the IB II, the value “ibcom” in the options-dialog has to be set. Otherwise, programming of decoders in Rocrail will not work (Programming Track).


Switch Time

The Switch Time should be set to the maximum switch time of the IB (see also the description of Switch acknowledge below).

Slot Purge Time

Locomotives not in use will be purged from the refresh cycle after a time specified in the Intellibox (default two minutes). The value entered into the field Slot Purge time on tab Details should be equal or slightly lower than the purge time of the Intellibox, e.g. 110 seconds.

Slot Ping

The option Slot Ping can be used to inhibit purging by pinging the slot right before it would be purged.

Slot Purge time

If the Slot Purge time is set to zero, the IB is supposed not to purge! This will lead to unpredictable situations: Rocrail will not check with the IB if the known slot is purged.
Very small purge time values will cause unnecessary traffic for checking the slots.
Locos that were controlled by Rocrail and were afterwards parked remain active if the option Slot Ping is active. If such a loco is selected on the Intellibox a warning will be shown telling the loco is already under control.

Wait for slot data

This number should be increased, max. 128, if the following error occurs:

Could not get slot for loco addr=xx

Default Rocrail will read up to 16 packets until it give up waiting for a free slot.

Echo timeout

The default wait time is 100 * 10ms to wait for the echo of a command.
Under some conditions this could be too short, and can be increased to max. 1000 * 10ms.

Check switch acknowledge

The option “Check switch acknowledge” can be enabled to prevent sending a switch command to the IB while it is busy executing a previous switch command.

Note: If Check switch acknowledge is enabled the Switch Time (see above) has to be set to exactly the maximum switch time value of the IB.
Moreover, minimum and maximum switch times of the IB should be set to identical values, e.g. 200 or 250 milliseconds both.
Genearally this option can and should be disabled.


Number of attempts to set the switch and receive an acknowledgement plus pause between retries.
It is recommended to set the sleep time to higher values (250ms maximum).


The Slot Server must be disabled! This will conflict with the IB and could lead to a Rocrail server crash.

Query address

The standard query address for getting the current sensor state is 1017.
For Uhlenbrock sensor modules this must be set to 1016.

Addressing and Timing

See Addressing and Timing on how to address accessory decoders and how to set up switch and route switch times etc.

Device name


This is documented in the manual which came with the device: COMx


Debian 5 recognizes the USB LocoNet Interface and maps it as a /dev/ttyUSBx device:

usb 1-1: New USB device found, idVendor=10c4, idProduct=ea60
usb 1-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
usb 1-1: Product: CP2102 USB to UART Bridge Controller
usb 1-1: Manufacturer: Silicon Labs
usb 1-1: SerialNumber: 0001
usbserial: USB Serial support registered for cp2101
cp2101 1-1:1.0: cp2101 converter detected
usb 1-1: reset full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 2
usb 1-1: cp2101 converter now attached to ttyUSB1
usbcore: registered new interface driver cp2101
cp2101: Silicon Labs CP2101/CP2102 RS232 serial adaptor driver v0.07

Mac OS X

The Mac OS X needs to install an extra driver for this interface which can be downloaded here:

After reboot the Uhlenbrock interface is recognized as:

ls -l /dev/tty*
crw-rw-rw-  1 root  wheel    9,   2  8 Aug 20:57 /dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART

USB-LocoNet-Interface 63 120

If this adapter is used with an older Intellibox or TwinCenter (devices without USB connection) it may be necessary to register the adapter by once calling the menu of the command station
Basic SettingsLocoNet Prog.Art.-Nr.: <63120>Modul adr: <1>LNCV: 0= 1 and confirm these values.
Values in angle brackets <> have to be entered as shown.

Known issues

Throttle speed is ignored

In order to display loco velocity changes by means of the IB throttles correctly in Rocview option Allow zero throttleID has to be activated.

Unknown LocoNet Messages

Unexpected in LocoNet communication as is published in the LocoNet Personal Edition 1.0 are following:

undocumented message: start=0xF8
undocumented message: start=0xFC
undocumented message: start=0xF6
undocumented message: start=0xF2
undocumented message: start=0x93

0xF* OPCodes are undefined.
0×9* OPCodes are undefined; Related to the S88-LocoNet interface.

Refreshing packets DCC/MM

The IB-Com does NOT refresh the loco commands on the track in case of mixed DCC and Motorola type of decoders.
This will result in a loco stop after a bad contact, depending of decoder manufacturer, and not starting for a long time until a slot ping is issued by Rocrail.
This problem cannot be solved without some advice from the manufacturer Uhlenbrock. Some undocumented LocoNet commands seems to solve this behaviour.

Reset the device

This step is only needed if the device has been reprogrammed.

With the LocoNet type ULNI the factory settings of the interface must be used:

LNCV 2 = 4 115200 Baudrate
LNCV 4 = 0 LocoNet Direct Mode OFF


:!: LocoNet direct mode has to be switched off!
Since the software handshake itself requires part of the bandwidth available the highest possible baud rate (115200) should be used in order not to slow down communication speed.

Special Options

IB Basic SO14

Maximum Switch time; default setting is 5 secs. Using the OpenDCC signaldecoder and loconet, set the value to 0 to get a sufficient fast response of the signalpatterns.

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