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Ian Wigglesworth
750 Posts
It's not a fault, it's the limitation of the PowerCab.

When you press SELECT LOCO, it automatically drops one of the locos out of the recall stack, so ALL settings, speed, direction, functions are all forgotten.

I have tried this myself, hence my reason for wanting a few more locos in the recall stack!
Problem is this takes up memory, which needs to be bigger, in turn will need more physical space, of which there isn't any more room in the PowerCab.

The Powerhouse Pro can store only 6 locos in the recall stack, it's something NCE really need to work on now, as the newer systems seem to be able to store many more, I don't know if this means they will store all the function settings though!!

I would be quite happy with the unit being able to store 10 loco's in the recall stack and remember ALL settings so you could flick between any one of the 10 and they would continue from where you left them, any more and you take forever scrolling through the list to find the one you want!
Also how many could you have running at any one time?

Just my opinion!

I'm not sure how the Elite worked on that didn't really try it, you can though set up a favourites list and store locos in there, when the FAV list is switched on only the locos in that list are shown.

I just can't remember what happened when you had say 2 running one on each controller then selected a 3rd, all you needed to do was press LOCO and enter the address then press either one of the control knobs to confirm.
The new loco would be assigned to the control knob just pressed, if you went back to the other loco would it continue from where you left it with functions still active....crap memory!!

Maybe Richard can test this when he gets his Elite.


Ian Wigglesworth
750 Posts
QUOTE (dieselweasel @ 17 Jan 2008, 06:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sorry Wiggy, but I think I've not made it clear in my post.

I understand that the recall stack function applies to speed and direction of locos only, and accept that should you select a third loco, the controller will forget the settings for the first one.

But the problem seems to be the Power cab sending a "function" stop signal to the loco when it is reselected. His much maligned "select" had no stack function, but let you swap from one loco to the next without switching all running functions off when a new loco was selected.
I'll state my understanding again. A decoder should run the functions (ie sound and lights) unless it receives a stop signal, specifically telling it to stop something (ie "switch lights off). Calling up an "idling" diesel model to tell it to move should not switch off lights and sounds unless you tell it too, but this is what happens here - as if the power cab is sending out a "reset" or "stop all functions" code to whichever loco is called up.

My mates two "inferior" controllers worked perfectly in this regard, so why should a power cab show this disappointing and annoying feature ?

Does yours do it ?

My mate is disappointed with his, and I think this has spoiled the power cab for me - unless, of course, he has a rogue sample.........

No it's clear, it's the same on mine even when I use the Smart Booster.
It's very easy to prove, just have ONE loco on the track turn the lights and or sound on and just leave it sitting there.
Now instead of using the recall button you just press SELECT LOCO and re enter the loco address above...which is what you would need to do if this was sitting in a siding and you were controlling 2 other locos.

As soon as you enter the address and press enter all of the functions to that loco will turn off, if it was running it would stop as well.

This is nothing to do with the decoders or the power requirement, the loco with sound is drawing less than 0.20amps it happens on ALL of my decoders.
This is a limitation in the PowerCab, the recall stack saves all of the information speed, direction and which functions are on or off.
If you need to reselect the address without using the recall button then the above will happen.

I still have the old firmware chip so I will fit that back in and try again as I'm sure that with the old version if you did use the SELECT LOCO button then the loco wouldn't stop, not sure if functions stay on or not as I din't have any functions on my locos at that time.


Ian Wigglesworth
750 Posts
I've had a reply from NCE basically blaming the decoders!

It's a bit garbage really, other systems work with the same decoders so it's unfair to blame the decoder manufacturers:-


This is how the systems work. When the locomotive is not selected, information is not sent to the decoder. This came about by having the locos still operating even when you would choose a third loco in the Power Cab/Smart Booster and then sound would stop. Complaints about this was corrected by the way the system operates now. If some of the sound manufacturers would not have the sound stop, by not requiring the sound to have constant refresh, then it would not have been a problem.

I will try with the old firmware that part in red looks promising, but why would any one complain?

I did actually put in my review a negative about only having 2 in the recall stack.
I have to admit I only have two locos with sound and lights so it's not really been an issue for me, it's just been a bit of a niggle switching between three locos, but this has highlighted just what a major problem it is.

I will return with news!!

I have installed the old firmware chip V1.10 and can confirm that the functions DON'T switch off, nor does the loco stop, it will however speed up if the speed of the last loco controlled was running faster than the loco you are about to control.

This new firmware seems like a step backwards, there are more functions on the new firmware and it handles short circuits better, it maybe a case of asking NCE to modify the 'NEW' firmware to put back in this ability to swap between locos and not have them stop or the functions switch off.


Ian Wigglesworth
750 Posts
QUOTE (dieselweasel @ 17 Jan 2008, 19:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Cheer Ian...well well well !!

So, are you going to contact NCE about this ? They've had emails from me, you, my mate with the system, and must be getting fed up with this !

I will buy one if this feature is corrected and no other negatives are introduced, so there is a money incentive...

Bloomin' upgrades !

BTW Which version is it now...and do Bromsgrove Models keep the old eproms ? Might I be the first to ask for one with the old firmware ? And was the old version satisfactory for you ? Why did you upgrade?

I upgraded because it fixed some bugs and added new functions...oh and it was new firmware!!

I was very happy with it, the olny major issue was if you had a short circuit, the screen would turn back on all scrambled with lots of different characters on it.
You had to switch the power on/off to clear the screen back to normal mode, I got used to this, but also fitted a few light bulbs in series with the supply so that these lit up and stopped the screen from crashing.
This has been fixed with the new firmware.

I have sent Larry an email at NCE and asked if I could buy a replacement chip with the new features and bug fixes but with the old way of switching to different locos.

You can try John at Bromsgrove to see if he has any of the old chips, the old version is V1.10 the new one is V1.28.

Will let you know what the reply is.
It seems as though they have had complaints that the locos were still running so have stopped this in the new firmware, problem now is lots of us have quite a few locos with functions on that we want to keep running, which way do they go?

QUOTE Re the power cabs limitations, realistically if you want to run more than two locos at once, for me you should not be looking at budget sets but instead going for a full system. Spend an extra £150 and you will see a big difference. Otherwise you will be back here in a few weeks time having discovered that budget set X has problem Y that you can't live with.

Sorry I don't agree with that at all!
The PowerCab is more than capable or running 4-5 locos I would say 3 with functions switched on.
Your saying spend another £150 ontop of the £95 I spent when I first bought the PowerCab...£250 to run more than 2 locos...I think not!!

Horses for courses we all have our own opinions and we can go round in circles ending up like the oosalam bird
, the point is we have found a solution to the problem, lets see if NCE can provide the V1.28 firmware but with the old loco control.
I believe that will make many people very happy with the PowerCab as I think this is about the only major negative issue that has been found with it.

Oh just read through the posts......The Smart Booster doesn't increase the amount of locos in the recall stack!!!

It gives 3amps to the track, allows a further 3 cabs to be connected and allows the cabs to be completely removed and plugged in somewhere else true walkabout.

Ian Wigglesworth
750 Posts
I have been doing some tests today and after some searching about found some more information!

Right, If you use V1.1 in the PowerCab then if you select a loco NOT in the recall stack it will NOT turn the functions off or stop the loco if it is running.

The reason this was changed was because some other users complained about locos shooting off at high speed!
This happens when you have a loco running at full speed then select a loco(not in recall stack) at stand still in a yard, as soon as you touch the thumb wheel the stationary loco will shoot off at full speed, to match the last one controlled, it will also turn on any functions that were on.

So NCE have fixed this 'fault' when it was first mentioned, but it now has caused another 'fault' depending on how you want to operate your layout.
Hopefully NCE will be able to provide a solution to keep both sides happy.

I have the Smart Booster and this has firmware V1.28A installed, this works the same as the new PowerCab so locos will stop or functions will switch off if the selected loco is NOT in the recall stack.

For me I would need to get a repacement chip in the Smart Booster as well.....if it's possible!

Also in the V1.1 PowerCab firmware, the OPTION button is factory set for BRAKE, so if your loco is running just press the OPTION button and it will slow to a stop the more momentum the slower it will stop...this doesn't work though it has been fixed in the V1.28 firmware!

Altering one thing can cause so many other issues, hope this has cleared a few things up, we will wait for NCE to see what they come up with!

Ian Wigglesworth
750 Posts
Testing testing!!

With the help of Marcus on the NCE Yahoo forums have found a bit of a work around for the sound decoders!
The mans a genius!

The PowerCab and ProCab now send a stop signal to the loco you are about to take control of when using the SELECT LOCO button.
I can understand this as I've nearly crashed a loco, on the old firmware, because the loco to be controlled didn't stop.

Alas it also sends a signal to turn off functions F0-F8.

The UK Loksound decoders use F1 to turn sounds on/off hence they are turned off!

You can re-map the CV's so that the sounds are turned on using F9, this way the sounds will stay on, I think you could also re-map the headlights as well and put them onto function 10!

I've done this and it did work, using a Loksound decoder that I have fitted to my own steam loco.
I don't have a diesel RTR sound loco so can't be sure what CV's you can and can't change or if you can re-map the headlights.

I have looked on the Bachmann web site which gives the LoKsound V3.0/V3.5 manual as the sound chip thats used in their locos.
This is the same as mine so it should work!
So using this system you can select a loco and the sounds will not switch off but it will stop running if it already is.

You will need to program CV148 to 0 (zero) and CV 151 to 0 (zero)
Then program CV196 to 4 and CV 199 to 4.

Remember though if you already have a function which is turned on/off by pressing the number 9 this will need to be re-mapped to another button as well!!!
I don't know which functions Bachmann have used for their sounds....if someone would like to present me with a Bachmann sound chipped loco I would of course humbly accept it and see which functions are being used

Using the PowerCab you could press the BELL button to turn the sounds on, this will not work now! to turn the sounds on press the number 9 button. This will turn the sounds on/off.

I have tried to re map the BELL button to operate output number 9 but it can't do it, not too much of a problem really though, now if you select this loco and press the number 9 button the sounds will turn on.

If you the press SELECT LOCO and re enter the same address the sounds should stay on.


Ian Wigglesworth
750 Posts
QUOTE (BromsMods @ 21 Jan 2008, 11:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Further to Ian's useful post above about remapping functions, you can remap the lights on Loksound (Bachmann) decoders as follows:

Set CV141 to 0
set CV144 to 0
set CV201 to 1
set CV204 to 2

With the sound activated using function 9 and lights now mapped to function 10 I can confirm that selecting a loco out of the stack does not affect sound or lights. If you want both activated on power-on then you need to make sure CV124 is set to 6.


John R
Bromsgrove Models

You beat me to it John!!

I worked it out last night but didn't get chance to post, at least you've proved it works!
Once Marcus had helped me work out exactly how you change things it's quite easy to see the pattern, the instructions don't really explain it too well!

I have had a few replies from NCE and will wait for developments.
Seem very helpfull, and now with this workaround there is time to get it right, which to be fair is the right thing to do!
I would sooner wait and have a 'proper' fix than get something rushed out as a stop gap!

So if you have loads of sound locos alter those CV's and keep em running!!

Enjoy you noisey people!

As nobody offered to present me with a Bachmann RTR diesel loco I may just have to go and buy one myself now

Ian Wigglesworth
750 Posts
QUOTE (MaverickScot @ 24 Jan 2008, 17:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi all,

I'm still out on the Dynamis or the NCE Power Cab, although I'm heading to the later.

With the problems currently with the recall stack, can someone tell me if I have four locos on a layout will all the lights/sound remain on using the NCE Power Cab if they are stationary and are not in the recall stack. I assume from what i have read here that this is the case until i dial in that loco's code again then it will reset.

Can you also tell me if the NCE Power Cab can run a DC layout as it suggests in the manual.


If you select each individual loco and turn on functions they will stay on, it's only when you go back to a loco and use the SELECT LOCO button to input the loco address that the function will switch off.

As far as I know the Dynamis and the PowerCab can't run a DC layout, where in the manual did you see this, I can't find it.
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