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Fast Clocks and the ProtoThrottle

Have you noticed the –:– display on the main screen of the ProtoThrottle and were wondering what that was? Or, are you one of the lucky ones, and actually see a time displayed on the second line? Those characters on the display are for displaying a fast time from one of several fast clock sources. The ProtoThrottle simply acts as a repeater display for the time, from whatever source.

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ProtoThrottle Firmware Update (v1.1)

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

https://github.com/IowaScaledEngineering/mrbw-cst/releases/tag/1.1

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.

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What Are All Those Blinky Lights?

You may have noticed all those blinky lights on the ProtoThrottle and its receivers. Yes, Nathan and I are fans of LEDs on the stuff we build. There is a small coolness factor, but more importantly, for products going out into the wild, beyond our loving care (and our ability to see and touch them), these lights convey important information that helps the user – and us – debug problems when they arise. Below is a guide to what all those lights do and what they mean. To use and enjoy the ProtoThrottle, you certainly aren’t expected to know and remember all the information below. But things do sometimes go wrong, and we wanted to provide a reference guide to help in figuring out what happened. This should also help you understand why one of our first questions, when someone contacts us with a problem, usually involves us asking about those pesky little blinking LEDs…

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