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ESU SwitchPilot

10656 Views 19 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Sol
I am seriously unimpressed with these.
I tried out my first one this week and it's cost me $150 so far in related damage. It took me ages to get the thing to take an address and then, for reasons that are beyond me, it managed to unprogram all my other point decoders. The address it took was not the one it was given either.

While reprogramming my other point decoders I managed to blow my Lenz LS150 which controls my slow motorised points on the main line (by my own stupidity to be fair, I was rewiring it while the wires were still live). Now to cap it all the Switch decoder will not work at all.
I had really hoped that these decoders would be an improvement on the fickle articles currently on the market but I'm afraid this actually seems to be worse in many respects. It will only control snap action motors for one thing. If you want it to control slow motion motors you have to buy the extension which you need the Main Switch pilot to operate it with so you end up paying for two point decoders to get slow motion point control of four points. There are also limitations on what kind of slow motion point motors you can use with it. e.g. it doesn't seem possible to use Tillig although you can use Tortoise.

I really fail to see the need for the servo motor outputs too, How many people will actually need these?

Much of the manual touts how easier it is to programme these with the ECoS. Oh really? It refers you to section 13ff of the ECoS manual, which doesn't offer any advice on the matterl.

It also gives you CV's you need to program for Peco points, this is not straight forward as you have to change the power in if you are using an external source and use an 180ohm resistor across output one. If you don't do this it can be fatal.

It has railcom and is supposed to give you feedback on the point position, good luck to you if you get that far.

So to sum up last week I had slow motion motorised point control and this week I have none and a dud point decoder which is going back to Germany. I have canceled my order for the extensions too.

Now that I've got that out my system I'm going back to the garage to do something else on my layout which will hopefully not be so costly or frustrating.
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Now see Neil, high faluting technology is not always the answer

The old fashioned way of controlling points still works as good & not as expensive.
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Yes, I suppose I can stir the pot for a little while yet until my NCE unit turns up then I will have to shut up.

Perhaps if one lot of instructions refer to another lot that don't yet exist, that would be a good reason to return the units & get your money back.

For the other members of MRF who are wondering what is going on, until late Dec 07, I was a committed analogue user from when I started in the hobby in 1957.
I had started an e-mail link with Neil mid-07 & we met at a National Modelling Convention in Oct & up to Dec, I enjoyed giving him a bit of stick regarding DCC & how it could not do some of things I could do in analogue for the same ease & cost. Now I have to eat humble pie.
Neil, that is normal practice - like just after one has kit or scratch built a loco, a RTR is available.
So your translation is the same - spend hours trasnslating & the next day, the English version is available.

So you can read it with a Scottish accent?
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Thanks but no thanks, Neil, I am just starting to read up on NCE which should be here next week. I can't get too confused at my tender age !!

Anyway, I use LEDs or signal/point levers to tell me how things are set.
Can't get too lazy & have everything in the palm of your hand/on thePC screen
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