Unable to read CVs from an ESU LokPilot v4 with DecoderPro

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


kleiner

Well-Known Member
I am baffled: have a very standard and simple LokPilot v4 decoder installed in a locomotive (this has no sound). And yet for some reason, DecoderPro is unable to read the CVs from the decoder. I have a Digitrax DCS 200 (which I bought in 2012) and am connected via a LocoBuffer USB. I was able to read all of my other locomotives with no problem at all - just this one decoder has been giving me trouble :mad:. Is there some special trick for reading these decoders?

IMG_5288.jpeg
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Unfortunately the ESU decoder can only be programmed using the ESU LokProgrammer.
DecoderPro will bring up a page about the ESU decoder but not much else.
 

kleiner

Well-Known Member
Ah well - I was hoping that at least the non-sound ESU decoders could be programmed with DecoderPro. I can't remember why I even installed this decoder - must have gotten a good deal I guess. In any case, I have ordered a cheap Digitrax decoder (DH126PS) and will replace this decoder.
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
Ah well - I was hoping that at least the non-sound ESU decoders could be programmed with DecoderPro. I can't remember why I even installed this decoder - must have gotten a good deal I guess. In any case, I have ordered a cheap Digitrax decoder (DH126PS) and will replace this decoder.
ESU decoders should be able to be read by Decoder Pro. Some of them will flash the lights as feedback, rather than a motor pulse. If you happen to not have lights connected, it "could" be the cause. I've also seen bad contact cause this, try connecting the track leads to the track inputs on the locomotive board.
 

J.Albert

Member
D&J wrote:
"Unfortunately the ESU decoder can only be programmed using the ESU LokProgrammer. DecoderPro will bring up a page about the ESU decoder but not much else."

Hmmm....

I've used Decoder Pro to change settings on the ESU LokPilot decoders I have in at least 3 of my engines (2 Bowser c430's and a Rivarossi U25c). These were all 21 pin decoders installed by me.

I believe I can change settings using my Roco z21 controller as well (running from a Samsung tablet).

I also have a Bowser c628 with factory-equipped dcc/sound, and I'm able to change the sound settings on that one, too.

No LokProgrammer here.
 

kleiner

Well-Known Member
Thanks @bnsf971 and @J.Albert. I was able to program a LokPilot that I had installed in a different locomotive so its not the LokPilot that's the problem as such. I think this is likely due to the specific motor that is in the troublesome locomotive. I think that motor must be a very high current motor and my command station (DCS200) is probably not able to provide enough power on the programming track.
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
You may need a programing booster such as a PTB100. There are a few other boosters out there but I can only comment on this one.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
I have used DecoderPro for speed matching and other non-sound settings on LokSound SELECT decoders that came factory-installed from Atlas.

What version of JMRI are you using? If it's earlier than v4.10, it may not recognize many ESU decoders...
 

kleiner

Well-Known Member
I have used DecoderPro for speed matching and other non-sound settings on LokSound SELECT decoders that came factory-installed from Atlas.

What version of JMRI are you using? If it's earlier than v4.10, it may not recognize many ESU decoders...
I installed the latest release (4.24) so that's not the problem. I am now fairly sure that the problem I encountered was due to the high current draw of the motor in that one locomotive. I have ordered the programming track booster suggested by @D&J RailRoad so I am hopeful that I can deal with that problem in the future.
 

kleiner

Well-Known Member
An update - I bought a Digitrax DH126PS decoder and installed it in my difficult loco and it works absolutely perfectly! DecoderPro had no problem reading the CVs. It was only $22 so this is money well spent - I'm happy :)
 

kleiner

Well-Known Member
Now that I had some time to think about it, my guess as to why I was able to program the Digitrax decoder is that it was specifically designed for high-current motors, unlike the old LokPilot.
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top