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Longer NCE cable?

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Longer NCE cable?
Posted by Alexander on Monday, July 17, 2017 1:23 PM

Hey everyone,

I hope to use the NCE power cab for my first layout, but my layout is a medium sized 11x8' space so the cable that the manufacturer provides is a tad short. I know you can have more plug ports but wouldn't the dcc system shut off when you unplug the cab, since it's the system? And I also know there a throttles for the problem but they're always around $70. That's $70 I don't want to spend. So my question is: will a long cable like this one (http://www.advantagehobby.com/196028/NCE5240214/Cab-Bus-6-Wire-Flat-12-Cable-RJ12-Connectors/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwwLHLBRDEARIsAN1A1Q5TjP4C0U07nWK7TVg3Mpzwlfvq6z9wBwZ-h8r3_Aq4A3UJOlmp86kaApMzEALw_wcB) work just as good as the stock one?

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Posted by Old Fat Robert on Monday, July 17, 2017 1:39 PM

Alexander, my NCE Power Cab does not shut off when I unplug and move to a different plug in panel. Of note, I did "upgrade" my starter set with a SB5 booster. But I don't see why that would make any difference. Just my thoughts for your consideration.

Olf Fat Robert

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Posted by tstage on Monday, July 17, 2017 2:08 PM

Alexander,

Without the Smart Booster (SB3a/SB5) your layout will shut down when you unplug the Power Cab from the PCP panel because it's a throttle/booster/command station all rolled-into-one.

If you have the 7' 6-contact flat cable, couldn't you center the PCP panel in the middle of your layout?  You'd then have a 14' reach (7' on either side of the panel) of your 11 x 8' layout.

Just a thought...

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by maxman on Monday, July 17, 2017 2:09 PM

Alexander
I know you can have more plug ports but wouldn't the dcc system shut off when you unplug the cab, since it's the system?

If you just have the basic PowerCab, yes, the train will shut down because the power comes through the cab.

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Posted by Alexander on Monday, July 17, 2017 4:01 PM

Thanks everyone for clairifying that for me! Ill probably use the booster metiond by someone above since a longer cable could be the culprit of tripping. I also would need a booster anyways so it all works out. Boy are they expensive though... but I guess you get what you pay for.

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Posted by Alexander on Monday, July 17, 2017 4:17 PM

Actually I only plan to run a couple locos at a time, which the cab alone can handle. So maybe I'll use the middle cord setup like tstage said.

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Posted by richg1998 on Monday, July 17, 2017 4:33 PM

Alexander

Thanks everyone for clairifying that for me! Ill probably use the booster metiond by someone above since a longer cable could be the culprit of tripping. I also would need a booster anyways so it all works out. Boy are they expensive though... but I guess you get what you pay for.

 

I have seen them for under two hundred at about three different places. Amazon also has free shipping. I just checked.

Rich

N

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Posted by maxman on Monday, July 17, 2017 4:50 PM

StreanlinedBackshop (SBS4DCC) has one item in stock right now for $176 including power supply.

EDIT: $165 @ ModelTrainStuff

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Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, July 17, 2017 9:29 PM

Alex,

My layout is nearly the same as your (13x7') and I also have the NCE power cab.  Keeping it in the middle of the layout (as others suggest) makes the most sense. Moving around by unplugging seems to create issues.

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 12:37 AM

Yea, moving the PCP panel to the middle of the layout would be the most economical path for you, Alexander.  The price for the Smart Booster also includes the cost of the transformer, which generally runs around $40.

If you already have V1.65 of the Power Cab the increase in power output (i.e. 2A->5A) is really the major benefit of the Smart Booster, along with the ability to plug/unplug the Power Cab w/o shutting down your layout.  Most of the other upgrades/benefits are covered in the newer firmware.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by bearman on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 5:35 AM

You can add up to one more UTP panel and purchase an addional throttle.  The additional throttle plugs into the right socket of the PCP panel while the Powercab has to remain plugged into the left socket of the PCP panel.  The extra throttle can be unplugged and then plugged into the UTP panel located somewhere else on your layout.  

Approximate cost of the UTP panel is $20 and the additional throttle can range from $80 to $180.  There is also the cost of the cable which connects the PCP panel to the UTP panel.  Plus there is shipping, handling and tax depending on your location and the vendor.

As noted by some other comments, you cannot unplug the Powercab from the PCP panel unless you install an SB5 Smartbooster which turns your Powercab into a plain throttle.  Ad it allows you to daisy chain more than one additional UTP panel.

However, for a layout your size, the Smartbooster may be a pricey solution to your issue.  As you noted, the Powercab alone, at 2 amps, provides ample power for the number of locomotives you plan to run.  The Smartbooster is a 5 amp system.

NCE has a lot of information on their web site, and there is a youtube clip by a guy named Deryk Glass who explains converting the Powercab to a Smartbooster system.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 7:34 AM

The other additional item(s) you would need with the Smart Booster (SB5) is a UTP panel and an RJ12 cable.  [Edit: Actually, you could use the 7' flat cable - if it's long enough.]  You cannot use the Power Cab's PCP panel because it's not designed to be hooked up to the SB5.  The SB5 is connected to the rear connector port of the UTP panel then the Power Cab can be plugged and unplugged to either of the two front connector ports w/o shutting down the layout.  The PCP panel is still needed though and is a useful and convenient option for programming your DCC locomotives at your bench.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by DanO22 on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 7:52 AM

hi reply to your question I have been using a 10 foot cable for over 1 year on my power cab with no problems. you could try the 12 foot , if there is a problem have a local hobby shop cut it down for a minimum charge, using a 10 and the center location  this would give you an extra 6 foot, a 12 would be 10 foot. good luck and enjoy

Dan

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