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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).

The current list of ESU "Full Throttle" sound files includes:

73426 - 74426 for EMD 16 cylinder 645E: GP38, SD38
73431 - 74431 for EMD 16 cylinder 710G3A: GP60, SD60  NEW!
73436 - 74436 for EMD 16 cylinder 567C: F9, GP9, SD9
73447 - 74477 for EMD 16 cylinder 567D3: GP30, SD24  NEW!
75408 - 76408 for EMD 16 cylinder 645C: GP16, GP9RM, SD9M, GP20M  NEW!
73441 - 74441 for ALCO 12 cylinder 251B: RS11, RSD12, RS18, RS36
75409 - 76409 for ALCO 16 cylinder 251C: C425, C628  NEW!

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


ESU LokSound Full Throttle Demonstrations



Here is a demonstration of the newest feature that has been incorporated into the ESU decoder line, Full Throttle.  

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.


"Full Throttle" Decoder Operation for Diesels


It is often challenging to make a scale model preform like it has the mass of a 260,000lb locomotive pulling 5,000 tons or more! Some of this can be done with BEMF - when the loco "feels" a load, it will automatically rev up to work harder to pull this actual load. But this is often a flawed method in modeling. Today, model train car wheels are so free rolling that they often do not simulate sufficient drag to replicate a typical prototype situation. Also, often we do not sufficiently weigh our cars to represent a scaled-down version of the prototype. One of the biggest problems with BEMF controlled load is due to the fact that in our modeling and operations we often "simulate" loads inside a closed car. The payload inside a prototype car can weigh as much as 100-tons more than the car itself. This is especially important at operating sessions. Empties in and Loads out or vice versa. There is no way for a decoder to know the proposed weight of the cars it is pulling. Our "car cards", showing whether a car is loaded or empty, are seen only by the operator, not by our decoders!

To compensate for what the decoder cannot know, we have created Full Throttle decoder features! This series of new features includes "Drive Hold", "Run 8", "Coast", improved "Dynamic Brakes" and a new "Independent Brake" feature.

Drive Hold:

This feature allows the modeler to easily simulate a loaded or empty train by adding a single "Drive Hold" function button. When the button is pressed, the motor will remain at a constant speed, while the sound can be controlled independently from the motion with the throttle knob! This exciting, new feature gives the operator the ability to
have his or her train crawl in notch 8 or coast at 50mph. Then, by releasing the Drive Hold function button you simply go back to throttle-controlled speed and motion. No more switching between manual notching and programming on the main to go back and forth. All of this can be done on the fly with hardly even thinking about it.

Run 8:

There are times when hauling a heavy train over rolling hills that you may wish to remain in notch 8 at any speed desired. You could have the train slow, as it climbs a steep grade and then speed up upon levelling out. The Run 8 feature will allow for exactly that. Simply press the button and the prime mover will increase RPMs from wherever you are, all the way up to Notch 8 and hold. Once the function button is pressed, the sound is disengaged from the speed. Using the throttle knob you can now speed up or slow down with the sound remaining constant, at full throttle. 


The opposite of "Run 8". Often when coming to a stop, the throttle of a real locomotive is put into Idle and the engineer coasts to a stop. Another situation that occurs is that once a train is up to speed when operating over rolling terrain, the engineer can coast to maintain a certain speed. By pressing the coast function button, the sound drops from wherever you are to idle and remains there. Once this function button is pressed, the sound is disengaged from the speed. Using the throttle knob, you can now speed up or slow down the train with the sound remaining constant, at idle.


Along with Dynamic Brakes, a locomotive has an Independent Brake as well. This allows for the locomotive to stop more quickly than its regular momentum would normally carry it. LokSound Decoders now also have a working Independent Brake. This one is pretty self-explanatory - just press the brake and come to a stop! While this will
work with whatever deceleration settings are in the loco, it tends to work more realistically if the loco has a large amount of deceleration. With these settings the loco will drift or coast much further when the brake is not applied. Then, by applying the brake, the loco will stop in a much shorter distance. As a note, you can now do standing
brake tests by keeping the brake on and advancing the throttle knob so the sound of Notch 4 can be heard. In EMDs this is the point at which the Shaft-Driven compressor reaches its second stage, and pumps air faster through the train.

Dynamic Brake:

The ESU Dynamic Brake works like the prototype. Once applied, the sound will drop to idle. Then (once the electricity dissipates from the traction motors) the prime mover will rise depending on the prototype. Most EMDs rise to about notch 4. Other brands will vary. Once the prime mover comes up, the dynamic brake fans will be heard. During this time, a deceleration will be quicker since you "have your dynamic brakes on." Once you release the button the fan will shut off as the prime mover drops again to idle. After a short delay the prime mover will once again come up to match the speed of your throttle - (other Full Throttle features may affect where your prime mover sound returns after the dynamic brake is turned off.) Please note, if you come to a stop when your
dynamic brake is applied, the fan sound will cease and the prime mover will go down to Idle. You will need to turn it off before you begin to move or the cycle will start again. Prototype locomotive dynamics will not work while stopped.

The ESU Dynamic Brake has not really changed much with the new added features. But the new files will now work better when consisted together and using the Dynamic Brake. Also since not all locos have dynamics, you will now be able to set up your non-dynamic locos to work correctly with consisted locos using dynamic brakes. The
ESU Dynamic Brake Logic Feature does increase the deceleration rate so please take this into account. If your loco does not have dynamic brakes you should still apply the "Dynamic Brake" LOGIC when consisting so that the engine slows with other dynamic brake-equipped locos in consist. If your loco is not equipped with dynamic brakes
please choose Sound Slot 21 (Coast) for the sound on the dynamic brake function button. This will have your loco drop the prime mover sound to idle while the dynamic brake-equipped locos in the consist go through the dynamic brake cycles. You should not use the "Shift" logic with non-Dynamic brake locos. Doing so will result in the prime mover rising up to Notch 4. This is not correct for Non Dynamic Brake Locos in a consist. It needs to stay at idle.

Operating With Full Throttle


Operating your model trains has never been more fun.
With the locomotive sitting idle on the track, engage the Notch Up function.  The enginge sound will begin to speed up.  When you reach the desired Notch, disengage the function.
Now drive your your as you normally would using the speed control knob or buttons on your throttle.
You can notch the engine up or down as needed to supply more power to the traction motors or to conserve fuel based on track conditions and grade, tonnage, and speed.  Now you are truely the locomotive engineer.

You can also engage the Dynamic Brake function when you are working on steep grades.  The DB will activate when you reduce speed and stay activated until you disengage the function or speed up.


Having Fun With Full Throttle



Did you ever wish you could spool up the 16-710G3C-T2 prime mover in your SD70M to Notch 8 and then ease into the throttle to pull the slack out of that 6000 ton cut of Coalporters the yard crew just hung on your back? 


Did you ever wish you could spool down to Notch 1 and ride the Dynamic Brake down a grueling Rocky Mountain grade at 10 mph with that 6000 ton cut of Coalporters leaning into you the whole way down?


Now you can... And it's REALLY cool!


Full Throttle And ESU Mobile Control II Throttles

Full Throttle And NCE Throttles

Dave Heap, and expert on all things ESU and NCE, has offered the following advice for using the new FT features with the NCE Pro-Cab throttle.

"The single-button Drive Hold feature is a far easier system than the previous notch-up/notch-down system used by a number of DCC decoder manufacturers.

"But, as mentioned earlier, I soon realised I needed the Drive Hold key status to be easily visible on my NCE throttles and so moved it to F4, with Dynamic at F5, Startup/Shutdown at F6 (the last visible key status for a radio throttle), Independent Brake at F7 and Volume/Mute at F8."

Full Throttle and Digitrax Throttles

A fellow Yahoo-ESU Group poster, KnuT, has suggested the following mapping for his Digitrax throttles.

"I am also a Digitrax user.  I do not have the DT40x, but a Zephyr Xtra and UT4Ds. I have a PC near by with the LocoNet Slot window open so I can check the functions used when I am unsure of my settings."  

"I have set up the function mapping on my FT decoders so I can acsess most functions with one button push."

"Here is my settings, maybe others can share those:

F0 - Headlight
F1 - Bell
F2 - Horn
F3 - Drive/Hold (upper right button - easy accesible)
F4 - Dynamic Brake
F5 - Coast
F6 - Brake (lower right button - also easy accesible - and same for my Tsunami with brakes)
F7-F12 needs the shift-button to be pressed together with the F-button:
F7 - Dimming
F8 - PrimeMover on/off (but not totally muting of random sounds??)
F9 - Mars Light
F10 - Number Boards
F11 - Run 8 (same button as Coast, but with shift)
F12 - for now Switch Mode, might be some other.


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.

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