2015-12.4: LokSound decoder tips

31 Dec 2015

Average: 4.8 (20 votes)
31:53 - Dec 2015 Act IV - Loksound decoder tips (2015)

Matt Herman from ESU visits the set of DCC Decoded in the TrainMasters TV studio to discuss choosing, testing and programming Loksound decoders.

Bonus: Weathering with Gary Christensen, part 2 ...

Go to Bonus video


Matt did a great job of describing some of the options and potential capabilities of DCC decoders.  I have a good sized collection of DC locomotives that I would like to start changing over to DCC with sound, so I appreciate these video segments!



Nice overview by Matt on the loksound decoder functionality. Nicely done video guys!

The title should be "Introduction to LokSound decoders." It's infomercial material.

Nice placement of the Model Rail Radio mugs.

TMTV Station Agent's picture

To be fair, the descscription does mention that the segment is about LokSound decoders.  We invite ANY manufacturer to the studio to talk about their products, and how they function with the products of other manufacturers.

i thought that Matt's discussion about 21-pin decoders was especially useful.  I enjoyed hearing his perspective on the subject.


TrainMasters TV producer

I think Barry has it right. The 21-pin plug info is useful. Also, TCS has been on a couple of times and I found those segments useful too. I would be hard pressed to find demos of this type anywhere else. Local Hobby Shops are fading away. It is simplly not easy to see the products in person anymore. 

I have locos with Soundtraxx, Digitrax, and ESU decoders. To me, more info is always better.

We did an extensive survey when we launched TMTV and got thousands of responses from modelers. A highly request topic was vendor product reviews and demos. Modelers ask for it a lot, and that's what this is. How will we know about what a product is and what a product does if someone doesn't tell us? Ideally, we prefer a vendor keep the marketing rhetoric low and the info level high ... And some vendors get it better than others.

We thought Matt kept the info level pretty high and did a great job. Plus this is Efram's first shot out the gate as the new DCC Decoded host, replacing Clark who has gone on to better things as NMRA VP.

He didnt mention if the ESU decoders have a keep alive function. Ill be checking out their website. The small size of the decoder would work great in my 0-6-0 shifter.

Why don't you make videos for N scale Locos, which are more difficult to work with? I hope to see N scale also in future videos. Thanks



Georonn's picture

Nicely done Efram.  And congratulations on the new role on TMTV.  First as a guest and instructor, now a show host -way to go.  This episode really provided a clear explanation of the ESU strategy for how they designed their decoders.  I do think it may have been too technical for some people, and a couple of times my eyes started to glaze over when some things were being discussed where a demonstration might have been more effective.  At any rate you did a good job tackling a difficult topic to introduce and I look forward to more segments with the ESU decoders, and decoders in general.  I am looking at my fleet of former DC locos I converted to DCC in the 90's and am thinking it is time for me to convert them to sound decoders, and the Loksound units might be just the thing I am looking for.  Great job.  Thank you.

Loksound decoders don't drop out as often as the other brands seem to, so you can get by without keep-alive if you must. But you can still add keep-alive - here's a link to some info on how to add a TCS keep-alive to a Loksound decoder:


Very nice to see Matt Herman demonstrate the LokSound decoders.  Look forward to seeing more, and perhaps more in-depth, from Matt.  In my view, Matt and ESU have been instrumental in pushing DCC/Sound to new levels.  All my DCC decoders will likely be LokSound (all but three are now) going forward as I've been very pleased with those I've purchased and those that have come with my Rapido locos.

filly535's picture

Well done Efram, and Matt. I always enjoy DCC or decoder segments, as it seems to be always evolving. The 21 pin explaination was very useful to me

I need to write down all my questions and do some research, because as informative as this video was, the discussion answers some questions, but brings up others.

I'm eager for the next installment.



These DCC Decoded episodes are by far my favourite, please can we have more!


Well done on the clip, it taught me a few things!

Great video way overdue.  Matt is a fantastic presenter  and I am really looking forward to round 2.


do you have a directory for N sacle subjects

do you have a directory for N sacle subjects

Very few subjects are scale specific, so unless it really matters, we don't call out scale.

A famous old-school editor of Model Railroader, Linn Westcott, felt many modelers were so scale-focused that they often overlooked perfectly good material because "it's not my scale". This is a big mistake, so Linn adopted the practice of not calling out scale unless it really mattered.

We feel the same way. In fact, MRH Publisher, Joe Fugate, is an HO scale modeler but he likes to read the N scale magazines because there's so many good ideas in there that HO scalers can use. It often goes the other way, too - N scale modelers can often use ideas and methods the modelers in the other scales use, too.

Long-winded answer - the short answer is no, we don't feel it's necessary in most cases to differentiate our content by scale.

That said, we can see how doing a few N scale decoder installs might be useful. We have done no videos yet of an N scale decoder install - but let's see what we can do to add some to the lineup.