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***There's also the decoder to consider here. The ESU decoders can be set to have "persistent function" so they stay on without further command station prompting or to have them turn off when the loco is de-selected.

Read the ESU manual and it'll become clearer.... (open the manual as a PDF and ask acrobat reader to search for the word persistent - easier than scanning all the text)

Also.... you really do need to be aware of the limits of the power handling of the PowerCab - so activate the ammeter )how to is detailed in the manual, and it will show on the powercab screen. Its decoder active polling memory is matched to its power output so to speak....

There's some logic failure here to me - limit the controller to a hundred quid and buy lots of sound decoders at nearly a hundred quid each... The power supply will deliver 2 amps if needed but the manual rating is what you should be looking at - thats the "long term use" level and with each sound decoder equipped loco needing appx 200mA to stay alive, I think you are pushing "reasonable expectation" a little too far.

To me, looking to buy a low current start set and then running lots of high current loc's is not sensible - sorry. I'd always recommend buying a system to suit the application, and yours is NOT a start set need!

If you want the full stack and large memory of a full system, then add the 5 amp NCE command station/Booster which is available separately.... It has huge memory for all sorts of things and a serial port on the side of the box for direct computer interface - helpful with tuning sound decoders!!

All in all A far more sensible investment than the next two sound loco's you were thinking about.

Richard
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QUOTE (dieselweasel @ 17 Jan 2008, 22:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>some DCC compliant systems are "more compliant" than others.........
***No, all compliant systems are equally compliant.
Compliance simply indicates ability to act and react properly irrespective of brand.

Operating features beyond those mandated in the NMRA standards are totally at the choice of the manufacturer.

Its a real problem I do understand, but there will always be some compromises in a starter priced system. NCE chooses to give far more than most in the areas of programming and direct control...

Having said that, the way to get anything like this changed is to write a polite letter to the Mfr. NCE releases regular software upgrades and if you see this as a disadvantage then you should explain why and also explain what you'd like to see to them. You might just be surprised how receptive they are to positive suggestions.

If you'd prefer, then call them direct - Its always a better idea anyway: Larry is the Service manager and troubleshooter, Jim scorse is the No1 man and he is also happy to talk.

Having said all that:

(1) have you checked whether the sound decoders/anything from esu (not sure about all brands, but some others also have this choice in the software) have functions set as persistent?
(2) have U considered just the smart booster addition - this is quite well priced and will increase the stack to the level you want. It will also give you useful added power & full walkaround ability so it has other advantages too....

Food for thought - this is genuinely the first time I've seen this comment re the lighting & powercab and I've been selling powercab since it was released..... so its certainly not an issue many are seeing...

However, I have more arriving soon and I will try to both reproduce your problem and see if I can find a resolution when they arrive. I can tell you now that any "limits" of PowerCab disappear when the PowerCab is plugged into the PowerPro base station or smart booster.... more will have to await my tests.

I'm sorry U are frustrated... but I have no other direct answer to your problem.

Richard
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QUOTE (34C @ 17 Jan 2008, 23:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As a Lenz 100 user, wasn't even aware that such a limitation existed.

*** you'll never see any limit with any full system - Set 100, PowerHouse Pro, Digitrax Super Chief, ESU, Uhlenbrock etc etc.... they all use the very generous memory of the base station for things like that, so you'd be close to 9999 loco's before problems exist.

The memory is retained by a battery in the base station when the system is off, so it'll still be there in a year if necessary.... (Mind you, when it goes, you WILL see limitations unti its replaced - unfortunately Lenz solder theirs in


The Powercab has it all in the handset with NO base station - It is live memory wise ONLY when physically turned on - same with most entry level systems - so long term memory can't exist. Adding the Smart booster takes it closer to "big system ability"

regards

Richard
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QUOTE (dieselweasel @ 17 Jan 2008, 23:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Maybe this is going into things too deeply, but how do the function commands work ? I had thought that a decoder would do something until it was told to stop. Eg - lights on - they'll stay on. If you move the loco, the controller starts telling the DCC chip to increase to speed step 11, 13, 17 etc - and stay until told otherwise.

Having chips with "latching" functions should not be necessary if that was the case.

***It really depends on the function. In most cases, a decoder should do as it was told until it is told not to. Some functions however are constantly refreshed.

Its important that all commands do not need repeating as the overall amount of data on the bus would very quickly increase to the point where data collision and error would create chaos. This cab be seen sometimes on club layouts as it is, as lots of members adding and changing loco's all the time can actually choke the stack memory of some units requiring a "purge" to be done - its sort of a routine housekeeping job on many big layouts with big operating crews, and is easy enough to do...

Decoders.... ESU has a choice in their decoders as do others. In otherwords, you can choose to have a loco dead until it is addressed by the controller and dead when it is "dispatched" after use, or choose for funtions like lights to stay on.

Not so silly really - not all stabled loco's have them on, and some people can't be bothered turning them on and off....

Again - I'm actually quite interested in the topic as its not been raised as an issue before now on any of the many lists I inhabit and with US models lit up like christmas trees this surprises me a LOT. (US modellers are very quick to bleat about things <sorry to any US modellers on list> )

....so I'll see what I can find and report back when its done...

Richard
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QUOTE (dieselweasel @ 21 Jan 2008, 18:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>From Wiggy - "Alas it also sends a signal to turn off functions F0-F8."

Aarrgh !!!

So they've jiggered it then with this "fix" ! Thought something like that had been done......despite all this talk about "latching" commands on decoders etc etc. I can understand them putting a command in to stop the loco moving, but the "stop" on the functions........!!!!!

So we have someone on "our side" (ie non-manufacturer) who can check what signals are being sent out from controllers ? Good stuff

****You might be surprised Dieselweasel


There are several people squirelling away at this. A bit of background. UK sound files in LokSound are off initially and use F1 to turn on. US sound files in Loksound are on initially and use F8 to mute.

All loksound decoders have built in to them the ability to use either method for on/off.

Because NCE designed this in USA the fact that UK uses a different function and method wasn't clear to them. This is because although a loco will have f1~8 turned off by the handset, that meant that in a US loco soud file the loco would stay on sound-wise.

This thread will have a very positive outcome sometime in the future...

As a result of this and other threads ably contributed to by UK modellers such as Wiggy and others, NCE's "field beta test people" are now very much aware of the importance of doing something to correct this issue for EU/UK people, as export sales are important to NCE.

These very helpful people are now doing a lot of work in the background and will propose to NCE a change. (We AU modellers are in the same boat as you, and agree re the need for a different reset approach AND a stack increase by the way)

It won't happen overnight, but if previous issues I've observed are anything to go by, it will happen.

When it does, your PowerCab will be able to have the new chip inserted with the software changes and will then do as you wish it to... So you can buy with confidence that it will continue to evolve to be more and more what you want.

Its my experience that its rare that ANY company is as receptive as NCE!

Kind regards

Richard
 

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QUOTE (16A @ 10 Apr 2008, 14:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The PowerPro comes with a default of 2 in the recall stack but can be altered to give any number up to 6.

A couple of mentions in this thread of having an ammeter instead of the clock and, looking through the manual for how to do it, I couldn't find anything. E-mailed John R who promptly replied this is only available on the Power Cab.

Now excuse me if I'm wrong, but if I pay nearly £300 for a 5amp PowerPro (supposedly a top end DCC controller), I don't expect a £90 starter set (supposedly a building block to a full system) from the same manufacturer to have a facility that mine doesn't. For me the clock is a waste on a small LCD screen, some may find it useful but, having moved recently from DC, I would find the ammeter a much more usable proposition.

Is this also another backward step or has it always been this way?

Mike

*** Hi Mike

No, you do have it sort of backwards thought. It was added first as a new feature to the PowerCab. Its very easy to add to powercab as it was designed into it from day one & physically, the handset contains all of the power electronics too.

NCE tend to keep things positive as far as feature growth is concerned so I'm guessing the possible next step is to add it to the PowerHouse Pro at the next upgrade PROVIDING that there are not hardware issues needing change too. That really is a guess, not an informed probability by the way :) :)

Bear in mind the clock isn't just a "real world" clock... It is there as an operating session thing - it can be set at different time ratios as a fast clock for larger layouts that have serious operating sessions, and they'd certainly argue that its more important than an ammeter!

As to the ammeter:

I too find it a great feature, but I must admit it's of no interest to me at all while running trains - I only ever need or use the ammeter when building, servicing or doing installations, and can see no use for it as a general bit of data when I'm running them as I am confident that the system has more power than I need and the loco's I run are "on spec".

Regards

Richard
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QUOTE (16A @ 10 Apr 2008, 22:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for that Richard...... so the cart comes before the horse


I understand what you are saying re major operating session requirements and to such people it must be a valuable tool with which I have absolutely no quibble at all. However, an ammeter must be equally valuable to those building and testing etc so hopefully NCE will do what they seem to do so very well - listen to their customers, and provide this facility in their next upgrade.


Thanks again

Mike.

***Agreed 100%, and there's no reason why the two can't coexist.

By the way, you can also have the best of both worlds now. I can't speak for John/Bromsgrove but I do do deals on such things as below for my customers:

Why don't you see if you can talk to John and do a deal on the following as a special order - John may have to get some bits in to make it up for you but with a firm order that'd probably be OK I'm guessing.

1x PowerCab system
1x SYS-Box (The main base station of the PowerHouse Pro only)
1x UTP panel (the standard NCE layout panel)
(the powerCab is already supplied with the extra curlycord lead to plug into the full system.)

That way, you have a panel for plugging in throttles at the workbench (the powercab panel)
plus a full system + panel for plugging in throttles at the layout (The UTP panel)
and a full 5 amps at the layout where U may need it.

All for what will probably be only a tiny bit more than a powerhouse Pro system.

Richard
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QUOTE (16A @ 10 Apr 2008, 23:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>MMMmmm...... I'm confused and not sure quite what you're suggesting here Richard.

Is it that I buy the listed kit from John in addition to having already purchased from him a 5amp PowerPro (another £250 - £300) or that I ask him politely to take back my system and provide the kit you list, making up any financial difference?

It's not really a big issue as I can quite easily manage without an ammeter - I ignore the clock anyway. It was only after reading it 'could be' displayed on the PowerCab (I think you actually mentioned it in one of your posts) that I began to think about it and became somewhat miffed that my full system was inferior (in this respect) to a starter system but, your explanation of it being a later technological improvement on the Cab satisfied my discontent.

Mike

**Mike, I assumed you had nothing and were still looking, so suggested it as a possible way to have the best of both worlds.... I would never suggest either of the options you mention.

Personally, I still use the NCE PHP I bought for myself many years ago and I later added the powercab as a second throttle so I had the convenience of a workbench system too for not much more than buying a second procab. That too makes logical and cost effective sense.

Anyway, Just enjoy the PowerHousePro...it is already well ahead of the herd and a super value product as it is!

Richard
 

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QUOTE (zmil @ 14 Jun 2008, 10:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi all
I know this is an old thread
This is an interesting read
Have the issues with the NCE power cab been fixed?
I was not aware there could be other issues ,other than total current draw of the Load on the track (Loco's ,Lighting in coaches etc.)
The Roco Multimaus (3Amp) system We have set up on my Grand sons Layout had 6 loco's(Fleischmann and Roco) running at once and 3 with lights on waiting in sidings and did not overload the system or cause any control problems
Regards Zmil

***I'm not sure there really were any "PowerCab issues" other than being differerent operating preferences each side of the Atlantic, however yes it was changed to allow either to be chosen as you do the cab setup so all are therefore accommodated, and as with all NCE product, any previous owner who wanted to change the chip to reflect this has had the opportunity to do so..

Re your comment re the roco I would hope so!!

A 3 amps system should easily handle way, way more than the ones indicated - a static loco sitting on the track will rarely draw even 50mA (1x 20th or 5% of an amp) with lights on and moving loco rarely draws as much as 150mA (or 15% of an amp)

Richard
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