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Walk around controlers

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  • Member since
    March 2008
  • 22 posts
Walk around controlers
Posted by esprrfan on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:44 AM

Ok just when I thought I decided to go with the NCE Power cab I read in one of the posts below that for truely "walk around ability" I'll need to buy and install more power cab power panels on my 18X22 e shaped layout. With the "e" being operated on both sides with a scene divider I'm looking at atleast 6 more PCPP's adding anothe 150.00 to the costs.

Since I'm just starting out in this DCC thing I would like to know do the other systems require the same sort of thing? Or can I buy face plates and the data cable and just build off the shelf plugs to plug into where I need them? I'm now more thinking of going with the MRC prodigy advanced square. Same issue as with the NCE?

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:48 AM
Get the NCE radio PowerPro system and you don't need any plug-ins anywhere.
  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,688 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 9:35 AM

Lenz uses off-the-shelf jacks for their tethered throttles.  I think the jacks cost me about a buck each online.

I think Lenz also sells pre-built panels with jacks embedded in them, though, for those who don't want to go the off-the-shelf route.  You may find that NCE also uses a standard jack which is embedded in a panel.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 3,312 posts
Posted by locoi1sa on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:35 PM

  With the Power cab and smart booster you can put a cab buss around your layout. If you have a large layout then the radio will be your best freind. The MRC systems I know of are infra red like a TV remote. You will need line of site to use it. Depending on how large a layout you have then a more powerful system (5 amp ) with several track buss with breakers are in order. As for my Power cab and seven foot cord I can reach anything on my modules when set up in my basement. I have 14 feet of modules.


 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: S.E. Adirondacks, NY
  • 3,246 posts
Posted by modelmaker51 on Thursday, August 14, 2008 2:21 AM

You can get a longer cable from NCE for your powercab.

I added 4 plugin panels with off the shelf components:


C-415 Build: 

Other builds: 

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Eastern Shore Virginia
  • 3,290 posts
Posted by gandydancer19 on Thursday, August 14, 2008 3:56 PM

I have an NCE Power Pro and a garage size layout. I have added the extra UTP panels as required. However, to start with I just added one or two in critical areas which was enough. (I also got a longer cab cable.)  You will have to run a Cab bus to connect them together. The easiest way is to build your own cables to save money. For that you will need a GOOD crimper. Stay away from the plastic ones. This is an investment in a tool.

The radio up-grade cost some bucks and for me it wasn't worth going that way. With the NCE, you can unplug the controller and the train will continue to run. Most systems you may be able to do that on, but it wasn't always the case years ago.


The above is my opinion, from an active and experienced Model Railroader in N scale and HO since 1961.

(Modeling Freelance, Eastern US, HO scale, in 1962, with NCE DCC for locomotive control and a stand alone LocoNet for block detection and signals.) at home, and N scale at the Club.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 290 posts
Posted by steamnut on Saturday, August 16, 2008 11:40 AM
You don't need to purchase their ridiculously over-priced panels. For about $6 get the optional DIN coil cord. DIN sockets are available from many sources - one good one is - for under $1 apiece, and are easy to wire.
  • Member since
    July 2007
  • 153 posts
Posted by barrok on Monday, August 18, 2008 8:42 AM

Be careful of unplugging the Powercab -- it will shut down your layout as it is the power source.  If you are planning on unplugging a throttle and walking around, you will need to use another throttle with the Powercab being left plugged in where ever it is. 



Modeling the Motor City

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