Uhlenbrock© S88 to Loconet adapter
As I mentioned in a recent post, I have recently switched from S88 to Loconet train detection. However, I didn’t want to buy new Loconet detection modules. It would have been expensive, and above all I would have had dozens of track sections to reconnect.
The solution comes from the German manufacturer Uhlenbrock. The S88 to Loconet adapter (ref. 63880) allows a smooth transition from S88 to Loconet.
The adapter allows to connect S88 modules (up to 31, so an entire S88 chain if necessary) to a Loconet network.
It converts the S88 detection signals to standard Loconet messages, that can be transmitted to any Loconet command station (or in my case, the Locobuffer USB and my PC).
The adapter is quite small (about 6*5 cms). Only two connectors are there: S88, and Loconet. No need for any external power supply. Just connect the adapter to both the Loconet on one side, and to the S88 detector(s) on the other side.
The module works immediately: it reports occupancy messages with address 1 of the S88 bus reporting as address 1 on the Loconet network. If you are connecting your entire S88 chain to this module, that means you are done: that was easy!
If, like me, you want to have several of these modules, or if you want the Loconet occupancy reports to not start at address 1; you will have a bit of configuration to do.
I will discuss the programming of Uhlenbrock Loconet modules in another post. Suffice to say, if you don’t have a Uhlenbrock command station, it may be a little tricky. Here are the changes you can configure in this module:
Loconet adapter under my layout, connected to a single (16 sections) S88 module.
I have been using this adapter for a few weeks. In fact, since I now have a modular network, I decided to install 4 of them. With one adapter per module, I have fully gotten rid of S88 connections between modules: only the Loconet runs across the entire layout.
I haven’t had any problem with them, and for about 30€, I would say it’s a time and a money saver for anyone who wants to upgrade from S88 to Loconet. The 4 available settings respond to any situation I could imagine.
Programming does require either a Uhlenbrock command station, or another method that allows configuring Uhlenbrock modules: there is no “programming button”. That’s the only drawback I found; but otherwise, this little device will come pretty handy to some of us.
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