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Tutorials, Tips & Tricks -->>

Tutorials, Tips & Tricks -->>


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Streamlined Backshop Services is an authorized dealer for all major DCC manufacturers including:


CT Elektronik

DCC Specialties


ESU-Electronic Solutions

Lenz USA

MRC Corporation

NCE Corporation

QSI Solutions



TCS-Train Control Systems

Zimo USA


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Be sure to visit our store,Streamlined Backshop Services, where you can purchase many great items like DCC Decoders and Command Stations, DCC Installation Parts, Locomotives and Rolling Stock, Ready-To-Run Sound Cars, and our exclusive custom-engineered truck pick-ups.


Be sure to visit our friends at www.hoseeker.netwhere you can find parts lists and diagrams of all your vintage and contemporary locomotives.



ESU LokSound Decoder Primer


ESU basically offers two series of LokSound decoders in their current product line, the V4.0 and the Select, which includes the Micro, Standard, and L models.  They also have the Standard line of LokPilot motor decoders, the XL line of Large Scale decoders and M4 line of products targeted for use by Marklin modelers.  This conversation is specific to the DCC compatible V4.0 and Select LokPilot and LokSound models.


Most hardware is identical.  The only difference is in the firmware which is hardcoded into the decoder at the factory.  You cannot change a Select to a V4.0 and vice-versa.


All LokSound CV’s, sound recordings, etc. are identical between the V4.0 and the Select.  It is important to note that all V4.0 LokPilot CVs are also identical.


The only difference literally is that the V4.0 sound file is “unlocked”.  This means you get access to the sound file flow chart and individual .wav files.  Having access to the sound file flow chart allows you to edit and customize the sound file including adding custom sounds like your own horn and cab chatter recordings or even Danny Kay and Bing Crosby singing White Christmas as well as editing flow chart variables like notching rate transition points.


This means that the Select sound file is “locked”.  You can edit any CV for motor control, function mapping, sound volume, etc.  You can even change the horn and bell to one of the alternate options, depending on the options available in the specific file.  You CANNOT ACCESS OR EDIT THE SOUND FILE FLOW CHART in a LokSound Select sound decoder.  Otherwise it is exactly the same sound file as the V4.0.

About ESU Sound Files

All ESU decoders are shipped to the dealers blank.


ESU has compiled a library of sound files.  Each file is more or less limited to the model of locomotive that is defined by its title.  In contrast, most other brands load up each decoder with multiple options to choose from.


You can write any sound file to the memory of the decoder as many times as you want.  There is no limit except that you can only have one file in memory at any time and you can only load Select files in Select decoders and V4.0 files in V4.0 decoders.


When you order the decoder, you can request any sound file from the library to be pre-loaded by me before shipping.  In this case, I will reference file 73411.  I mark the box accordingly to verify the sound file was loaded.  Otherwise it is shipped blank and you will have to load this on your own.

The manual can be downloaded from the ESU website.  It is pretty thick and translated from German so some of it can be hard to read at times.  Also, they don’t get updated as much as anyone would like so they are not necessarily current or accurate.  They are a good reference in any case.


The basic document that ESU produces  is called a bulletin.  Go to ESU site and navigate to the sound file downloads page then search for the sound file.


Then near the end of the description is a “more…” option.  When you click that it expands to reveal a printer icon on the lower right side of the page labeled Bulletin.


This is the document that defines the sound project, basic function map, and most relevant CVs.

About ESU LokProgrammer 

The primary tool for working with all ESU products is called the LokProgrammer.  You do not have to own one of these although it does make working with ESU products so much easier.  IMHO, you don’t need a manual if you have a LokProgrammer.  

LokProgrammer is ALWAYS THE MOST CURRENT SOURCE OF CV INFORMATION since it gets updated regularly as the product is updated.


The LokProgrammer is not mandatory.  It is ONLY REQUIRED TO UPDATE FIRMWARE AND LOAD SOUNDFILES.  All other programming can be done with your command station or via JMRI/Decoder Pro.  Of course there are a few caveats.  They should not be programmed with certain systems that have known issues with programming CV’s 256 and higher. 


Systems known to have issues include Digitrax Zephyr, Digitrax DT400 Throttle and prior, as well as the NCE Power House systems using POM.


You should also be sure to have the most current version of JMRI/Decoder Pro as early versions (pre-2015-ish) did not work properly.


The LokProgrammer hardware is the only way to establish a communication link between the decoder and a computer.  This is the easiest way to edit CVs.


You can still use the LokProgrammer software as a CV calculator even if you do not own the LokProgrammer hardware. 


Download and install the software from the ESU website downloads page here…


Then download the requested sound file from the ESU website and open in LokProgrammer.  All of the CVs in your file will match the file loaded on the decoder.


Now you can edit the file to customize the settings to your preferences then select the Show Changed CV’s option from the Tools menu.


This will open a dialog box that shows each of the CVs to change to implement your selections.  Use your own DCC system to manually program the CVs values as indicated then rename and save the file for reference later.


About ESU LokSound Full Throttle



ESU has released the new version 4.4.22 of LokProgrammer software.  

ESU released the new firmware on May 18, 2016.

The most significant update in this release is a fantastic new feature called ESU "Full-Throttle".

This great new feature can be incorporated in any ESU LokSound V4.0 or ESU LokSound Select Sound Decoder including unique OEM boards like those used in the Atlas N Scale Alco S-2 or Rivarossi HO Scale Alco U28C.

It is absolutely necessary to update the firmware and upload a new version of the sound file using the ESU 53452 LokProgrammer Set because the new features require the "Full Throttle" sound template.

ESU "Full Throttle" sound files can be easily identified as they will have names ending in "FT" (Full Throttle).

All files will be updated in due time and made available for download from the ESU website.

This is a really cool effect that allows you, the engineer, to control the RPM of the engine (sound effect) independent of the speed of the locomotive. 

Another super cool feature is the new independent brake which allows you to stop a loco using a function button, like a brake lever, instead of the throttle.


All ESU v4.0 and Select decoders can be updated with the latest firmware to take advantage of this feature using the LokProgrammer.


ESU Full Throttle Quick Start Guide

Here is a copy of the of Quick Start Guide that is available for download from the ESU website.

Be sure to visit the store to see our full line of ESU LokSound and LokPilot DCC decoder today!