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ESU SwitchPilot

10645 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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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 14 Jan 2008, 17:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>For those who do have a go with the SwitchPilot, I received this advice on how to program them. This may be of use to others so I will replicate it below.
Dear Neil,
I try to give you a short instruction how to get the CVs read and write:
1. if you are not able to adress the SWP via the decribed procedure in the instruction (program switch on the board, yellow LED etc.), the SWP is failed. This failure has been reported several times in the forum and is based on quality problems during the fabrication of the first batches.
2. in order to read and write the CVs first you have to connect the SWP with the programming track. Parallel you have to use the same connection for the power supply.
3. please don´t connect any output channel with a point machine or something else. Only connect the output channel 1 (OUT A and C) with a resistor of 180 Ohm. You also can use a lamp. This is important!
4. Open the menue for decoder programming in the ECoS. Fill in the correct DCC adress! This means, with regards to the created point on the point panel, you have to use the DCC adress 1 for the point no. 1 to 4, the DCC adress 2 for the point no. 5 to 8 etc. Select the programming track and DCC.
5. Now you can start reading the CVs and writing the CVs.
6. For reading and writing the CVs from the main track you have to write the value 6 to CV 28 and the value 136 to CV 29. Afterwards you can check reading the CVs via main track while selecting the main track, DCC mode and point load.
7. When everything is ok, you can install the Switch Pilot and connect the points.
It is very important to note the part about the power supply and resistor across output 1 during programming!

Hi Neil,
Thanks for the help, I just joined this forum, b/c its about the only place where english speaking people seem to be using ECOS + Switchpilot.
I am still confused by the addressing of switches and accessories. The SWP has its own address (Just like any loco has). While the points have different addresses. I have been scouring the ECOS forum, but sadly my german is too basic.
If you have any pointers I would be greatful.
I use tortoise switch machines, and I must say so far all I got from the SWP is a LED plugged in the output channel 1 that I get to blink!


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