ESU switchpilot

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ESU switchpilot

Postby Michaelaface » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:25 am

Recently bought two of these as they were a good price and the DCC concepts solenoid decoder I wanted was out of stock at hattons, now they do work, everything is programmed and I can change all the points etc, however I've noticed from time to time I'll hear the power going to the solenoid but it'll fail to throw the switch

I doubt it's anything to do with the solenoids as they are all new and the ones operated by my DCC concepts decoder all work fine

Only thing I can think is that it's internal CDU is underpowered

anyone have any experience with these and can shed light on whats going wrong

also I operate everything with the Z21 app on my phone if that has any relevance

*Edit* also I'm powering the units from the DCC bus, should I get an independant power source for them?

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Re: ESU switchpilot

Postby Bigmet » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:41 am

I suspect you know the answer on the power supply question. Independent supply is always recommended.

While about this, check that the supply you choose is rated for the maximum the switchpilot is specced for, to ensure you are getting best performance from this unit.

If that doesn't fix the 'missed switching' problem, you will have to troubleshoot the old fashioned way.

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Re: ESU switchpilot

Postby Flashbang » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:17 am

The ESU Switchpilot does not have any internal CDU. It takes all power from either the DCC System or a separate power source to feed to the solenoid motor coils. It's not best used in a DCC feed mode with lower powered DCC systems that are outputting 3.0Amps or less. In fact its actually taking any power available from the DCC system to operate the solenoid and robbing it from the locos!
It is not overly suitable for use with Seep PM 1 to PM 4 range of solenoid motors and the best would be to use the Peco PL10W.
Whenever its used, I would highly recommend a totally separate power source be used to feed it and the point motors. The DCC then just used to give it data instructions!

TBH where solenoid motors are used you're better off with a DCC Concepts AD-SnSX decoder, which has a CDU for each output! When available.
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Re: ESU switchpilot

Postby Michaelaface » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:17 pm

ahh thank you, didn't know they didn't have a CDU inside, just saw them going for a low price on hattons and the DCC concepts one was out of stock, do you have any recommendations regarding a power supply for them? and would they need independent power supplies or could I power 2 with one power supply?

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Re: ESU switchpilot

Postby Ironduke » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:20 am

Hi Michaelaface.
According to section 9.3 of this manual,
9.3. Configuration of an output for PECO solenoid drives
If you wire a PECO solenoid drive to an output write the value 1
into the corresponding configuation-CV. This adjusts the overload
(over current) protection to the higher values for PECO solenoid
If you would like to use PECO turnout motors you have to use an
external transformer to supply the SwitchPilot with enough
current. See section 6.5

(and presumably applies to Seeps as well).
They specify a max power supply voltage of 18VAC or 24VDC. I would probably use an old laptop power supply, 19VDC and about 2 -2.5A, but I have lots of these in my "what do I do with old electrical stuff?" box.
In theory you could use one PSU for two switchpilots as long as you don't switch many points all at the same time. Try it and see. You could always get another if it doesn't work out.

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Re: ESU switchpilot

Postby Bramshot » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:34 am

I use one power supply with about 8 x switchpilots. It is rated about 1A from memory, maybe a bit more, but quite sufficient as only one point is operated at a time. I use the low power Peco solenoids. Used to have Seeps but ditched them when I found they guzzle too much power for the Switchpilots.

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