How to connect Z21 with ESU 50094 ECos Detector

Hi all,
I need your help.
I just bought the ESU 50094 from Reynauld's today. How do you connect this unit to the black Z21?
The ESU has this ECoSLink which is a round connector and the Z21 has the Bus connectors which are square.

Thank you


  • RailwriterRailwriter Durham, NC

    Okay, let me begin by saying that I am by no means an expert on all things related to digital model railroading. But ...

    • I am reasonably comfortable with technical things, and
    • I've tried to learn as much as I can about digital model railroading in the last few years.

    As far as I can determine, how you wire a detector into your system will depend, among other things, what you are trying to accomplish with this detector. Most likely, you will need some other digital building blocks to send out braking instructions, operate signals, and operate turnouts, among other things. And some, or all of these devices may need to be programmed individually, for your specific applications.

    Volume 2 of the Roco/Fleischmann digital handbook -- which I just received this month -- has wiring diagrams for how to hook up a variety of non-Roco items from ESU, Lenz, and Viessmann to a z21/Z21 system. But, I did not spot a diagram specific to the ESU detector you mentioned. (I am still in the process of reading the book -- which is currently available only in German.)

    However, there are diagrams for using Roco and Lenz detectors for a variety of applications, and, I assume that the use of the ESU detector would be similar, with the inputs and outputs having similar names -- or being described in the documentation that came with your ESU unit.

    How useful the book would be for you would depend, in part, on your ability to read German. But, most of the diagrams can probably be figured out by someone with little knowledge of German. One of the things that these diagrams show is that wiring for digital building blocks can very quickly get incredibly complex -- even for a relatively simple track arrangement.

    Another option that may help you is to go to the Roco factory Web site and to download the instructions for a Roco detector. That would help you use your ESU detector for similar operations.

    I hope that helps.

    -- Ernest

  • Ernest,

    Every help is welcome. Now i have a ~$200 unit I can't use.

    Do you think that the signal the ESU is sending out similar to the Roco detector? I have a Roco detector which works great and checks the occupancy of the track but I used all 8 and need more. I could us my ESU with additional 16 free spaces.

    So if the signal would be similar, I would need a adapter cable that will allot me to connect it to the BUS input. Unfortunately I believe that is not the case otherwise ppl would already used it that way.

    Is the German manual available online?


  • RailwriterRailwriter Durham, NC
    edited July 2019


    I got my copy from Reynauld's, where it had been on backorder for a while. You can contact them to see if they still have copies in stock.

    The signals sent out by various equipment should be fairly standardized, as there are international norms for these. It's in the connections between devices that things can get tricky, as different manufacturers use different types of connectors. And, in some cases, digital building blocks need to have their own power source, while in other cases, these units get their power through the connecting bus, or through an additional pair of wires in the connection to another device -- one of the reasons that different systems use different connectors.

    I am using both Roco and Digikeijs switch decoders -- and their operation is similar enough not to be a problem. The Digikeijs units can optionally be either powered from the Roco data bus (feed to the tracks) or from their own power source. I plan to use an additional power source to reduce the draw on main system components.

    In many cases, you can make your own cables, as long as you have the proper connectors -- and you are sure of what you are doing.

    I would try to contact ESU to see about what they have to say about connecting this component to a Roco system.

    -- Ernest

  • Ernest,

    Thank you.


Sign In or Register to comment.