Digitrax Utility Throttles

To clarify the differences between the various throttles, I have put together tables that summarize their features. In some cases, the information I present conflicts with what is on Digitrax's own specification sheets from their web site. In such cases, this is because I have determined the values in the table from direct observation.

This table is not intended to describe the specific features in detail-- it is a comparison table, not advertising material or user instructions. I have deliberately chosen to omit the CT4 throttle, as it is not a LocoNet compatible device and has no use on current Digitrax-equipped layouts.

A "utility" throttle is any Digitrax throttle that is designed primarily to just run trains. With the exception of the UT6-series throttles, they do not have displays.

Digitrax's "advanced" throttles are described on a page of their own.

  BT2 UT1 UT2 UT4 UT6
Manufactured 1995-
Native 2-Digit/4-Digit Addressing 2/41 2/42 2/42 2/4 2/4
Number of Functions Supported3 5 6 6 13 29
Direction control switch Button Toggle Toggle Toggle Toggle
Potentiometer speed control knob - -
Encoder speed control knob(s) - - -
Infrared Wireless Capability - - -
Simplex Radio Capability Available (R)4 - - - -
Duplex Radio Capability Available (D)4 - - -
Ability to Program Decoders - - 5 - -
  BT2 UT1 UT2 UT4 UT6
Ability to Create or Modify Consists - - - -
Highest Stationary Decoder Address - 99 99 - 2048
Number of Throttle Knobs 2 1 1 1 1
Throttle Power On/Off Switch - - - -
Track Power On/Off - -
Indicator for Multiple Throttles Controlling Same Loco6
Supports Expanded Slots Mode (more than 120 throttles)7 - - - -
Locomotive Recall Stack Depth - - - - 6
Color Display - - - -
On-Screen Menu - - - -
  BT2 UT1 UT2 UT4 UT6
RF Channel Scanning (Duplex models, only) - - - -
RF Signal Strength Indicator (Duplex models, only) - - - -
Edit System Duplex Group Name and Channel - - - -
Display Fast Clock Time - - - -
Edit Fast Clock Time - - - -
Battery - - - 9V 3xAA
Battery Level Indicator - - - -
Optional Rechargeable Battery Pack Available - - - -
Downloadable Firmware Updates8 - - - 9
  BT1 UT1 UT2 UT4 UT6



1 The BT2 cannot directly dial up a locomotive or consist, but acquires control over the last locomotive or consist dispatched by an "advanced" throttle.  
2 UT1 and UT2 throttles can directly dial-up locomotives numbered 0-98 using their encoders, or can acquire locomotives or consists dispatched by an "advanced" throttle. When acquiring locomotives or consists that have been dispatched, the locomotives can have two-digit or four-digit numbers.  
3 Counting reversible headights mapped to function key 0 as a single function.  
4 This row indicates whether the throttle was ever sold with that capability, or whether a radio upgrade was available at one time. It does not necessarily mean that a radio upgrade is currently available from Digitrax.  
5 The UT2's programming capability is extremely limited in that it is only able to program CVs 0 through 99, and then only to set them to values 0 through 99.  
6 On utility throttles other than the UT6, this is indicated by a red light when trying to select a locomotive or consist.  
7 Expanded Slots Mode is only supported when this throttle is used with a DCS240 command station.  
8 Installing throttle firmware updates requires using a command station with a built-in computer interface or an external computer interface such as a PR3, PR4 or RR-CirKits LocoBuffer.  
9 The RF24 duplex radio transceiver module in at least some UT4D throttles can accept downloaded firmware updates. The firmware controlling the throttle's basic functionality can only be upgraded by Digitrax.  


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--Fritz Milhaupt, May 2022

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