• ProtoThrottle

ProtoThrottle

   

MRBW-CST

The ProtoThrottle™ Realistic Control Stand Throttle mimics a standard EMD control stand including full detent throttle and reverser handles, a spring-loaded horn handle, a push-on/push-off bell button, and fully programmable front and rear headlights with a setting for ditch lights. In addition, the ProtoThrottle comes with a robust faceplate machined from aluminum, including prototype bezels, and anodized to give the look and feel of a real control stand.

"That’s one impressive piece of hardware."Tony Koester

"I'm having more fun with trains now than I have in years."Pete Mulvany

"Overall, this is truly a game changer for me... that’s an investment worth making."James McNab

"...the only description I can think of is WOW!!!! What a cool addition to any layout, it was so easy to use and realistic to operate you guys have hit a real home-run here."Lionel Strang

The ProtoThrottle is being developed in tandem with Scott Thornton of Designgrid LLC. Scott is responsible for the throttle’s aesthetics, faceplate mechanical production, and marketing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Features

  • Fully wireless throttle
  • Eight detent throttle handle
  • Reverser handle with centered position
  • Brake handle
  • Spring-loaded horn handle
  • Push-on/push-off bell button
  • Front and rear headlight knobs with dim and ditch light settings
  • Auxiliary buttons that can be assigned to any DCC function
  • Works with any standard DCC decoder
  • Interfaces to any* DCC system
  • Highly configurable to suit your operating style
  • Also available with a black faceplate (limited quantities available)
  • NEW! Laser Cut holder available from Precision Design Company.

*Note: Requires purchase of a separate receiver specific to your DCC system.



Due to regulatory requirements, the ProtoThrottle can only be shipped to the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Orders placed with a shipping address to any other country will be cancelled and refunded.


Videos

Click here for a video Product Review by Model Railroader Magazine.

Another excellent review by Shane Mason:


Watch the ProtoThrottle in action on professional locomotive engineer Tim Garland’s Seaboard Central...

Watch the ProtoThrottle in action during an operating session on Thomas Klimoski's Georgia Northeastern Model Railroad...

Two short videos produced by Joe Atkinson explaining how the ProtoThrottle has made his layout operations more realistic...

Specifications

Approximate Dimensions: 7.6"(L) x 3.2"(W) x 3.0"(H)

Powered by 2x AA batteries (not included).

Documents

The complete gEDA design files are available on GitHub.

User Manual | Menu Map (Legal Size)

Previous User Manuals: v1.0

Schematic: Main | LCD Board

Firmware

v1.1.0 (Rev A73AE5) | Release Notes (10/21/2018)

v1.0.0 (Rev A4A983) | Release Notes (06/29/2018)

Update Instructions
  • $482.00

  • 3 in stock

Don't forget to also order a receiver for your DCC system!


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News & Application Notes

ProtoThrottle in Action: March Train Shows

Spring Creek Model Trains will be at these shows in the month of March:

  • Hostler’s Festival, Ogden Union Station, Ogden, UT. March 8-10
  • Sioux City Cosmopolitan Club Train Show, Delta Hotel Center, South Sioux City, NE. March 9-10
  • Boot Hill Train Show, Gray County Rec Center, Cimarron, KS. March 16-17
  • Spring Creek Model Trains Freemo event at the store, Deshler, NE. March 23-24
  • Greater Sioux Falls Model Railroad Show, Multi-Cultural Center, Sioux Falls, SD. March 23-24

Stop by to try out the ProtoThrottle and see all the wonderful products and service that Spring Creek offers!

Dead Rail Interface for the ProtoThrottle

We’ve been asked a few times if there would ever be a dead rail interface for the ProtoThrottle.  While this is not something we would likely embark on ourselves (Nathan and I are both N-scale modelers), the open source nature of the design has allowed others to do so.  Over the last few months, Martin Sant has been busy building a dead rail interface for the ProtoThrottle to run his G-scale trains.  Check out the progress on Martin’s blog.

Decoding the ProtoThrottle Notch Settings

One of the key distinguishing characteristics of the ProtoThrottle Realistic Control Stand Throttle is its throttle handle with eight notches plus idle.  With those characteristics detents, you can operate your locomotives like the prototype and have the prime mover sounds respond accordingly.  Setting this up on the ProtoThrottle is simple and takes just a few minutes, with the help of the ProtoThrottle, to find where your particular DCC decoder transitions between notches.  Those transitions can then be used to pick the optimal speed steps to assign to each notch.

Read More...

ProtoThrottle Holder

We’re pleased to announce that we now have a holder for the ProtoThrottle that is easy to assemble and attach to your layout fascia. The holder is lightweight, strong and can be painted to complement your layout colors. It holds the throttle securely and at a comfortable angle for ease of use in a stationary position if desired.

The holder is available exclusively through Precision Design Company.

Scott Thornton Live!

For those who missed the live stream, you can still watch Scott Thornton talk all things ProtoThrottle with the AML (A Modeler’s Life) crew over on YouTube:

ProtoThrottle Configuration for the Scale Trains GE Dash 9-44CW

We now have available a Loksound configuration file, pre-configured for the just announced ScaleTrains.com GE Dash 9-44CW locomotive, which improves the experience when used with the ProtoThrottle™ Realistic Control Stand Throttle. This configuration mostly keeps intact the original function mappings, but adds ProtoThrottle specific functions for the lights and increased momentum settings. Uploading this configuration file to your locomotive will give you a quick starting point to get up and running with the ScaleTrains.com GE Dash 9-44CW and the ProtoThrottle.

Read More...

We’re at Springfield!

If you’re at the Amherst Railway Society’s show in Springfield, MA, this weekend, be sure to stop by and see us at the Spring Creek Model Trains booth.

We’re happy to partner with Scale Trains on their amazing new Dash 9-44CW models to bring you the most realistic control experience on one of the most realistic models available. Thanks to the folks at Scale Trains, we’ve had a demo locomotive for a few days to figure out how to make the new ESU LokSound v5 decoder in the unit operate well with the ProtoThrottle. If you’ve just bought a new Dash 9, stop by for all the tips and tricks to run the best with the most realistic throttle on the market, or see how well they run together on our demonstration layout.

Even if you’re not in the market for a Dash 9 or a throttle, if you want a good story when you stop by, ask Michael about his airline adventures yesterday. It’s guaranteed to make you glad you drove to Springfield.

Setting up Auxiliary Lighting Functions on the ProtoThrottle

In this video, we explore how to set up the ProtoThrottle to control various auxiliary lighting functions on a locomotive. It’s based on a ScaleTrains.com SD40-2 (thank you ScaleTrains!) with lighted number boards, class lights, and a rotary beacon, but the techniques apply equally well to any DCC equipped locomotive. Keep an eye out for a special treat with the class lights…

Read More...

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.

Read More...

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.

Read More...

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