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Tutorials, Tips & Tricks -->>

Tutorials, Tips & Tricks -->>


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ESU Manual Programming 

Of Extended Range CV's


The ESU LokPilot and LokSound V4.0 and Select series decoders are some of the most powerful DCC decoder products on the market today.

They offer an exceptional set of features and flexible programming that allow users to fully customize or "Super Detail" the sound and performance of their scale locomotives.  This flexibility offers some of the best control and performance available.

Most decoders on the market today use a limited range of CV's from 0 to 255.  This was more than enough CV's in the early days of DCC.  Many early and even some current production command stations (e.g. Digitrax Zephyr, are also limited to programming CV's from 0 to 255.

In order for ESU to achieve suck a high level of sophistication, they have had to use hundreds of additional CV's from 256 and above.

It is easy to be intimidated by this level of sophistication.  It's hard enough to get the address and consist programmed, right?

My system can't access the extended range of CV's so now what?  Buy a new command station?  No way, right?  

No worries, the problem is solvable.

Most ESU decoders do not require any adjustment to get excellent performance and basic features straight out of the box.

That said, there will be an instance where adjustment is required.  A motor may not run smoothly, a function may need remapped, a volume turned up or down.

ESU offers the LokProgrammerand PC software which greatly simplifies the task of customizing their decoders.  All of the features are grouped and organized and easily edited and the decoder easily updated.  

But...  The LokProgrammer is an added expense that you don't want to make.  Besides, it is not entirely necessary.  It's just a tool that makes the job easier.

So now what?

The ESU engineers have taken these exceptions into account and provided a fairly easy process for adjusting the Extended Range CV's manually.

Manual Programming Procedure

In order to make full programming possible on any DCC system, ESU has implemented an on-board assistance tool.

This tool allows you to write the number of the desired CV temporarily into two assisting CV's (so-called address registers), since the usual CV's cannot be reached. 

Next the value of the desired CV will be programmed into another assisting CV (so-called value register). When the value register is written, the content will be copied to the actual desired position and the assisting CV's will be reset back to 0. 

Consequently, 3 CVs have to be programmed to write one CV. 

These 3 CVs are described as follows: 

CV96 - Address Offset (0 - 9) - Saves the CV number that should be actually programmed in hundreds. 

CV97 - Address Offset (0 - 99) - Saves the CV number that should be actually programmed in units and tens. 

CV99 - Value (0 - 255) - Saves the CV value that should be actually programmed. 


You wish to program CV 317 with value 120. 

Proceed as follows: 

Program the value of the CV number in hundreds in CV 96. 

In this example: CV 96 = 3. 

Program the value of the CV number in units and tens in CV 97. 

In this example: CV 97 = 17. 

Program the desired value in CV 99. 

In this example: CV 99 = 120. 

As soon as you have programmed CV 99, the value of CV 99 will be transferred into CV 317. 

Once the programming is finished, CV's 96, 97 and 99 will be set back to 0 automatically. 


Be sure to program the CV's in order starting with 96 as the data will be automatically written to the CV's once the value in 99 is entered.

This procedure is ONLY needed when programming CV’s above 255 on a system that cannot access extended range CV's.


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