LokProgrammer/LokProgrammer Troublshooting

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Troubleshooting Programming Issues with the LokProgrammer

For additional troubleshooting information see ESU's Support Page



  1. Ensure the latest version of the LokProgrammer software has been installed.
    1. It is possible to have two or more versions of the software installed on the computer, only one copy can be in use.
  2. Verify connection between computer, LokProgrammer, programming track or Test Stand.
  3. Use a Test Stand such as those by ESU.
    1. If using a Test Stand connect the decoder directly instead of via an adapter board (if possible)
  4. Reseat the decoder on the Test Stand or in the locomotive itself.
    1. Verify correct orientation of plug-in decoders or plugs
  5. Verify decoder model and firmware version using Programmer/Extended Decoder Information
    1. This verifies communication.
  6. Force a firmware update.
  7. The LokProgrammer must detect the resistance of the motor or it will not program the decoder.
    1. Connect a 100-to-1000Ω 1/4-Watt resistor in parallel with the programmer's outputs, or across the motor if possible.
    2. Eliminate any secondary connections in the circuit.
    3. Clean the track and wheels.
    4. Place additional mass on top of the model.
    5. Connect directly to decoder's red and black power wires.
    6. Verify programming track joints.
    7. Use a larger power supply. Extra power may overcome any issues.
  8. Ensure the decoder is the only one in the circuit.
  9. LokProgrammer will only program one decoder at a time. Additional decoders cause conflicts when the LokProgrammer attempts to read the parameters necessary to determine model and firmware verions.


If you can provide additional information, please do!

Model Variations

  1. Older decoders may not work with the newer 53451 LokProgrammer. The older 50450 version (in blue) is no longer available from ESU
    1. 53452 is the North American version, identical except for the inclusion of a 120VAC 60Hz power supply
    2. 53451 is the European version with a 240VAC power supply.
    3. Both models are functionally identical and rely on the same software for operation.
    4. The 53451 shipped with a USB to serial bridge cable.

This model cannot be used with version 2.x LokProgrammer software.

  • To program LokSound V3.x the 53451 LokProgammer is required, which can program older LokSound2 decoders.


  1. It is not possible to read sound files from a decoder, but they can be deleted from and written to the decoder

Operating Systems

The LokProgrammer Software requires a computer running Microsoft Windows.

  1. The LokProgrammer Software will not run on WindowsXP.


  1. Check for updates every time the software is opened
  2. Automatic Download via the LokProgrammer software only becomes active several weeks after an update is posted to the ESU website. Manually downloading the updates is possible.