ProtoThrottle Firmware Update (v1.1)

Firmware v1.1 for the ProtoThrottle has been officially released:

Full release notes can be found at the link above, but here are the highlights:

  • Manual power down with a long press of the SELECT button
  • AUX button indicator on the main display
  • Menu lock to limit menu options for operators
  • User interface enhancements (hide options that don’t apply)
  • Programmable battery thresholds
  • DIAGS screen to see active (and inactive) DCC functions

The next production run of throttles (available soon!) will ship with this new firmware installed.

How Do I Update My Throttle?

To update the firmware on the ProtoThrottle, you have 3 options:

  1. DIY: Purchase a programmer.  We recommend this one.  Not so much because we’re selling it, but because we designed it to better accommodate 3.3V targets such as the ProtoThrottle.  It does so better than other inexpensive programmers on the market, anyway.  With the programmer, follow the directions here to update the throttle.
  2. SEND TO US: Send your ProtoThrottle(s) back to us.  We will update the firmware and return it to you.  Please email us ( before sending it so that we know it’s coming and can give you instructions for properly packing it.  Please plan on being without the throttle for up to 3 weeks.
  3. FIND US: Find us at a show, RPM, op session, etc.  Often times we will have a laptop and programmer with us and can do the update on-the-spot.  You would be strongly advised, however, to contact us in advance to make sure we are actually going to be there and are bringing the programmer.  Note: we do plan to be at Trainfest in November – look for us at the Spring Creek booth.

Which Version Do I Have?

In the DIAGS menu of the ProtoThrottle, the VERSION screen shows the firmware version.  This, along with the hexadecimal string in the GIT REV screen, uniquely identifies each released version of the firmware.  These identifiers are also in the filename of the firmware .hex file you will download when following the directions above.


  1. I made a mistake while trying to DIY updating the firmware in my Protothrottle, using the programmer that you sent me. I clicked on write instead of upgrade. Then I stopped the process, restarted the system, and started again, using the upgrade. However, when I tested the throttle on the layout, it was completely haywire. So then I tried it again, and made the mistake of selecting reset defaults. Now the programmer itself is not coming on when I connect it to my mac. Did I erase all the settings in the programmer? I am afraid to do anything now. Any advice would be helpful.

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