Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

ESU Lokpilot question

387 views
5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Loveland, CO
  • 73 posts
ESU Lokpilot question
Posted by cgrubb80 on Friday, April 2, 2021 8:53 AM

I have a couple of blue Box Athearns that I want to add non sound ESU Lokpilot but not sure which one to use.  There seems to be a few to choose from.  The main function I want is alternating ditch lights.  

Also which is the best way to attach it to the engine?  A wire harness or interface board.  I have previously installed decoders before so I know what I am doing but they were digitrax.

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 15,804 posts
Posted by tstage on Friday, April 2, 2021 9:29 AM

If you are going to install any decoder in an Athearn BB locomotive, you probably already know to verify that the motor brushes are isolated from the frame using a multimeter.  If they are not then you will need to complete that first before installing any decoder.

If you are going to use a Lokpilot decoder, I would just hardwire it to your BB locomotive.  If the decoder wires are not long enough then go ahead and purchase a suitable harness with enough wire length to reach the truck and motor wires; otherwise, use the wires that come with the decoder.  The headlight & ditch lights I would hardwire, as well.

Are you going to use incandescent bulbs for your headlights and ditch lights?  Or, are you going to switch them out for LEDs?  You may want to verify if your particular Lokpilot decoder comes with built-in resistors and pads for LEDs.  Otherwise, you'll need to install resistors for those.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Phoenix, AZ
  • 594 posts
Posted by woodone on Friday, April 2, 2021 9:31 AM

You might try reading the LokPilot manual. It explaines all the LokPilots.

With a Blue Box Athearn unit it's going to be a hard wire install.

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 15,804 posts
Posted by tstage on Friday, April 2, 2021 9:35 AM

And here's a link to the ESU decoder manual page:

http://www.esu.eu/en/downloads/instruction-manuals/digital-decoders/

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    November 2006
  • From: NW Pa Snow-belt.
  • 1,796 posts
Posted by ricktrains4824 on Friday, April 2, 2021 6:50 PM

Looking at the current ESU Line-up, It get's a bit more complicated.

Easiest way with the V5 will be to use a NixTrainz Decoder Buddy, which is a board that you hardwire into the locomotive, with a 21pin connector on it that the corresponding ESU LokPilot 21 pin decoder (ESU-59629) can plug into.

You might find an older ESU LokPilot with a wire harness, but all the current V5 decoders are plug-and-play style.

But, in ESU's defense, most locomotives within the last 10-15 years are all "DCC-Ready" for plug-and-play style conversion.

You "could" use the ESU-59620 8 pin and just cut the plug, but then you will be soldering the ditch lights directly to the decoder pins. A DecoderBuddy would have all imputs and ouputs soldered to it, then the 21 pin decoder becomes a plug-and-play decoder.

YankeeDabbler, Tony's, and many others all stock DecoderBuddy's, maybe even wherever you get your ESU decoders from could get them as well.

 

EDIT: I use ESU for all my new conversions and replacements, and try to order new locomotives ESU Equipped if possible.

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

  • Member since
    February 2001
  • From: Loveland, CO
  • 73 posts
Posted by cgrubb80 on Saturday, April 3, 2021 5:45 AM

That is great advise.  Thank you.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!