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Guess what I found at a car boot sale!

3362 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  80class
Last night my girlfriend arrived shortly after dinner and informed me I was gonig to take her to a car boot sale. I protested, explaining that I had far too much work to be getting on with but the look on her face told me that no matter what I said, I was going to the sale. (We all know THAT look.....)

Once there, I was bored within about 12.7 seconds as basically there was tat as far as the eye could see. Then out of the blue I noticed the blue ESU logo on a box buried on a table covered in general electrical tat. I picked it up and noticed it was a mobile control 51100. The traded then proceeded to tell me that it was a special German telephone that works on a new system called DCC!!! I asked him to elaborate, and he confessed to having googled it and didn't understand what he had found!!! So I asked how much for the phone and he replied £50. I must have looked shocked as he instantly changed his mind and said £40. I thought I'd chance my arm and offer £30 and guess what, look what I own now

Possibly the best bargain I've ever come across. I'm going to enjoy "talking" to my trains with it!!!

Now to get it working....

I wish to connect it to my ECoS. From reading the web it seems I remove the top board as shown below and insert it into my ECoS after using my lokprogrammer to change the software.

Is this my only option or can it be connected straight to the sniffer port?

I have noticed a lot of chat around which is better, the new or the old software but can't find too much info in English about the differences.

Also, when I power it on all I get is "netzsuche" which I gather means searching for network or something similar. I guess I have to connect it up before I can go any further.


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By some distance, ESUs biggest problem is their English language support. However due to the nature of their well designed products this problem has been overcome to some extent by forums like this. I don't understand why ESU doesn't employ an English speaking technical sales guy as it would increase their sales worldwide by a large factor. However I wouldn't let it put you off their products. Compare them to ZTC who have good support yet crap products. I know who I'd rather spend my money on!

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 16 Apr 2008, 23:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Congratulations Rob, I paid a lot more than that for mine.

Thanks, can't wait to ring a few people on my controller! I can see why the guy thought it was a phone. The only real feature to give it away is the loco button. I guess its a reflection of ESUs PR that when he entered it into google he wasn't able to work out what it really was.

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 16 Apr 2008, 23:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You can put it through the ECoSniffer without the software update I believe.

The circuit board on top does seem to look the same as the one that comes with the Mobile control for ECoS.

Does it have a series of pins in single line underneath?

I'll try it through the sniffer tomorrow hopefully. Yes the circuit board is the same. i'll maybe have a go at fitting it into the ecos at the weekend.

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 16 Apr 2008, 23:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>What software update are you on Rob as you need at least 1.1.0 I think to have the software for the Mobile Control for ECoS to operate.

The very latest so should be fine


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All this talk of the Ecosniffer port has reminded me of a question someone asked me at model rail scotland that I still don't know the answer to.

I was asked if its possible to connect more than one command station to the sniffer port. ie club layout controlled by ECoS. Members all like their own handhelds so want to connect a digitrax superchief to the snifferport at the same time as a nce powercab and a lenz set 100.

I realise no one is likely to run this setup, but I am curious if it would work or not. As the port is a one way communication system, if it was wired correctly I think it might just work!

QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 17 Apr 2008, 03:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Rob

No, No, NO - do not try to connect more than one control system to the sniffer port.
There is NO circumstance where multiple DCC systems can be connected together at the outputs. When two DCC systems are connected at the output the one guarantee is that one of them will die. The added possibility is that your ECOS may also be harmed.

Fair enough, It's not something I was ever going to try, just a concept that seemed quite interesting if it was possible.

QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 17 Apr 2008, 03:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Re Mobile Control: A little knowledge is dangerous....

The English manual is available on the website. If U cannot find it I have it here.

(1) The mobile control can NOT be connected directly to the sniffer port. It must be connected to a lenz or similar base station which is in turn connected to the sniffer port.

(2) The mobile control you have must first have its software changed to be able to talk directly to the ECOS. To do this it has to be live and that means connecting to a sutiable base station to power it up.

Once the software change is done it can be plugged into the ECOS. Be aware that the upgrade is one way - once changed, it can't be connected via the sniffer ports.

Hopefully Ian will log on ad see this thread - he has done this conversion and fiddled about far more than I with the mobile control change from Lenz+ sniffer port to direct ECOS interface


Are you sure it cannot be reversed? I read on another forum that due to the lag experienced during function operation ESU released a firmware update to backdate the mobile control so if you had turned a 51100 into a 50111 it could be converted back.

Also, why would I need to connect the mobile control to a dcc system to update the software? In the manual it makes distinct mention to isolating the receiver when updating the software using the lokprogrammer?


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Yes it can indeed, but like all technical translations, they require a fair bit of interpretation to get the true meaning out of the translation.

Thanks alot Ian. Very useful post.

As I sold my lenz set 100 I will have to try using my neighbours ZTC 505 when he returns from holiday. I'll let everyone know how its goes in due course!

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