New throttle

I finally bit the bullet. Here’s a new throttle for the A&O. It will always be paired with dedicated locomotive(s) (which remain to be built) because custom Loksound 5 decoder settings will be required.

My first impression is that it is too big and for the most part requires two hands. But turning a knob feels nothing like running a real SD9 or GP7 (both had the round control stands, and this is 2nd gen EMD, although the controls are the same.)

I am actually intrigued by that controller. I understand what you are saying when comparing to older control stands but from videos I have watched in Youtube it actually looks pretty interesting. I wouldnt be able to make a decisive decision until I hand one in my hands and used it.

It does look like fun though and should bring somemore interesting operating aspects to your modeling… let us how it is when you get it up and going… I am hoping the price drops over the next year or two as it seems a little steep the last time I looked into it…


Nice! I predict you will come to enjoy it despite the size. :wink: I am completely addicted. I find it hard to go back to a knobby throttle now.

Definitely helps if you run 2-man crews so the engineer can have both hands free. It seems to make the engineer’s experience more realistic and involving, especially when switching.

You can do some neat stuff with PT and LS decoders, here’s a playlist with a few clips:

Resistance is futile! :grinning:


That is very realistic Pete. Love it…


Thank you Anthony!

The LS decoders really help get the best out of ProtoThrottle I think. Here’s a playlist of a few clips of an ops session on my switching layout with 5 out of 6 crew being new to my layout. These guys are highly experienced operators in HO with DCC but had never seen PT before. Within an hour they all had it figured out.

I think it takes a session or two for PT to become second nature but it does seem quite intuitve. The biggest difference is the “feel” of having max coasting in the decoders and needing to use the brake to make nice joints and spot cars accurately.

Fun!! :grinning:


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Pete, which LS decoder are you using and do they come preprogrammed with the sounds you want? Also which command system are you using by chance?


Anthony, I’m using LS Select HO and now LS 5DCC HO for the locos that have low-enough current draw. I have used LS V4 L with Pittman motors previously. I hope to standardize on LS5 DCC, budget permitting, as they can have a lot more coasting time and more brake options than the V4 and Select. I find that makes them even more fun with ProtoThrottle. :grinning:

I load the sound files with my Lokprogrammer and set the CVs to work well with ProtoThrottle. As Bob said above, there are some differences, mainly in coasting and braking setup, plus some of the lighting controls that need different settings than one would typically use with a conventional throttle.

My DCC system is now ESU CabControl after 24 years with Digitrax. But no one has used the ESU MCII throttle since my PTs arrived about 18 months back. :wink:


But turning a knob feels nothing like running a real SD9 or GP7 (both had the round control stands, and this is 2nd gen EMD, although the controls are the same.)

The Protothrottle is open source, so you could make a round one Bob!

I am hoping the price drops over the next year or two as it seems a little steep the last time I looked into it…

A Protothrottle costs $482, plus you need to spend another $99 for the receiver that connects to your DCC system, so it will cost you $581 to add your first Protothrottle to an existing DCC system.

That’s not terribly more expensive than adding proprietary wireless throttles to a proprietary DCC system. For example, a wireless NCE ProCab costs $279.95 and you need a $189.95 wireless base station to connect it to a wired NCE system… so adding the first wireless Procab to a wired NCE system will normally cost $469.90.

Going with a Protothrottle costs $111 more than a Procab, but I think that’s a very reasonable premium for a throttle I can use with other DCC systems.

I have the Proto-Throttle I have a total of 6 of them. It helps to slow down the operations on the layout. It makes the user slow down. So far all that have come over love them and really enjoy to use them. I have tweaked all my locomotives to work with the PT units.

To me the PT units really help make the sound decoders come to life, as the sounds now match the throttle and its operations.

Hey Pete and Anthony, and Mike-

I haven’t chimed-in on this thread to date, but just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed watching the video clips, etc. The operation looks and sounds like it will be a lot of fun with a proto throttle. Time will tell if Bob lets me play with his down the road.



If you guys are NCE based. I can bring out all 6 of mine if your interested in trying them for op’s. But they are addicting. Figure it a trade, I get to learn more about “O” scale and you guys get to play with the PT units :smile:

I worked with a few CSX Engineers to get them working correctly with my HO Scale ESU V4’s and V5’s. Like the proto-type my EMD’s will slightly drag the older GE’s around as they take a bit longer to “load” up also notch “1” sets the field its really “2” notch the RPM’s start to ramp up.

It was great to learn more about how the “real” stuff works!


Thanks David! ProtoThrottle has given me more enjoyment in the hobby than anything since DCC. :grinning:

Mike, nice work! I’ve been grilling a few Engineer buddies also for more accurate Diesel operation. So much fun. :smiley:

It’s almost like we’re “super-detailing” the Engineer’s role to match all the detail we’ve been adding to the Conductor/Brakeman roles with paperwork, radio/phone, locking switches, derails and gates etc. in recent years.

I guess one challenge when you bring PTs to a new layout will be having to adjust some CVs in the locos you want to run to get PT working realistically. CV4 coasting maxed out and a working brake at minimum I should think. But worth the effort IMHO. Almost half my operators have bought PTs after using them here. :wink:


Wow! That sounds like a fun plan. It will be a fun time.