ProtoThrottle set-up

Proto Throttle - Port Rowan

I’m pleased to report that my ProtoThottle is up and running on my layout, and I’ve been enjoying using it to run CNR #1 – my GE 44-Tonner.

I’m also pleased to report that set-up went very smoothly and as advertised in the instructions. Well done, ProtoThrottle team!

I’m embarrassed to report that it took me three days to set up the throttle – which was entirely my fault. Here’s why:

I’ve been using wireless cabs for a while now, starting with the TouchCab application on my smart phone, which interfaced with my Lenz DCC system through a dedicated Apple Airport Express wireless router.

When I switched DCC systems to my ESU ECoS 50200, the unit came with its own WiFi Wireless Access Point to connect ESU’s Mobile Control II wireless throttles. These throttles are customized Android-powered tablet devices, so to connect one simply enters the ID and password for the WiFi network (which one sets in the ECoS 50200).

When interfacing the ProtoThrottle to an ESU system, one essentially treats it like a Mobile Control II. To enter the ID and password for the network, one edits a Text File housed on a micro SD card that slots into the ProtoThrottle’s receiver. So that’s what I did – and it failed to connect. I tried making several other adjustments to the ProtoThrottle, with no luck.

Stymied, I got in touch with Matt Herman at ESU. I know he had set up a ProtoThrottle to work with an ECoS system, so I asked if there was something I missed.

That’s when I realized I was using the ID and password for the old Apple Airport Express – NOT the ID and password for the ECoS 50200.

I edited the file, and the ProtoThrottle connected flawlessly. And I’ve updated my logbook of passwords for the layout.

Boy is my face red…

WiFi WiFi

7 thoughts on “ProtoThrottle set-up

  1. To me it shouts out that it needs a fixed panel, or somewhere you can fix it on to, but carrying it around otherwise, especially whilst switching.

    • A number of owners have come up with a means to fix it in place. Some are using the arms that one installs in a car to hold a smart phone so the map can be seen, I think.
      I may build some fascia-front receptacles with a slot in them to receive the triangular extension at the bottom of the faceplate. (This extension is for a supplied lanyard, but I hate lanyards.)

  2. A GE 44-tonner. Hmm, that’s what the Union Frt RR used in urban Boston. Another cool potential for my next railroad! What scale though….
    Thanks for sharing your pain!

  3. Thanks for helping me get my ProtoThrottle up and running, by the way. I’ve been busy with construction at my house and travelling with Michelle. At this point, it feels like the discussions on are in a foreign language, but they’ll be there for me when I finally get some time to dive in. I think a tutorial might be in order at some point. Can I convince you to come back for another visit?


    • Absolutely, Hunter! We’ll plan another day to play with the ProtoThrottle on The Niagara Branch. I’ve now had a chance to play with some decoder settings in a diesel and can help with that, too.

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