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Which NCE System for me

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Which NCE System for me
Posted by GAPPLEG on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 2:06 PM
I have decided after 30 years in the hobby to go DCC. I have decided on NCE, the next question is what system would be best for me? 1 man layout 12x16 two full loops, no reverse loops, many sidings. I have concerns about the limited power of the power cab, (buy a 3 amp booster ?)  or should I go all out for the power pro ? Cost is not the issue , just the operational power available. I don't mind going either way just looking for guidance. Please no food fight over other systems , NCE advice only.  Thanks guys.
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Posted by Vail and Southwestern RR on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 3:00 PM
How many locomotives do you anticipate operating at one time?  Any with sound?  Is this HO?

Jeff But it's a dry heat!

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 3:29 PM

Jerry,

You mention "1 man layout" in your descrition above.  With that said, you don't ever expect to have more than one throttle connected to your layout at a time?  As Jeff already pointed out, I think the amount of locomotives you plan on running and how many with sound will be the determining factor in your final choice.

Tom

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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 4:08 PM

If cost isn't an obstacle, go with the full system.  If you have the full system you can expand in any way you desire and fully utilize any of the benefits NCE or DCC will provide.  One of the reasons I went with NCE in the first place, you get all the power right up front, then its just a matter of what you choose to use. 

Dave H.

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Posted by simon1966 on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 4:17 PM

Regardless of which brand you are looking at, go for the full system if money is no object.  Then you wont be limited either with power, or by other operational things that are stripped out of the starter units.  For example the PC interface, which allows you to use the invaluable Decoder Pro application, is included on the Pro but not on the Powercab, though one is supposed to be imminently available.

 

 GAPPLEG wrote:
Please no food fight over other systems , NCE advice only.  Thanks guys.

Too bad this advice can't be followed when other vendors are being discussed.

Simon Modelling CB&Q and Wabash See my slowly evolving layout on my picturetrail site http://www.picturetrail.com/simontrains and our videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/MrCrispybake?feature=mhum

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 4:41 PM
 simon1966 wrote:
 GAPPLEG wrote:
Please no food fight over other systems , NCE advice only.  Thanks guys.

Too bad this advice can't be followed when other vendors are being discussed.

I agree, Simon. Sad [:(]

Tom

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

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Posted by jktrains on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 5:55 PM

Jerry,

I'd say there are two lines of thought to consider.  As others have mentioned, if cost is not a factor, then go with the full PowerHousePro system.  If is full power (5 amps), easy to use, easy to expand and comes with the computer port built in so using DecoderPro requires no additional hardware.

The other line of thought is to go with the PowerCab.  You mention a 1 man operation, but I'd bet sooner than later 2 or more man operation will be desired.  If it will truly be one operation, a PowerCab maybe sufficient.  The other line continues by say that if you decide later you need more power (ARRR, ARRR, ARRR) the purchase a PHP and keep the PowerCab for bench testing installations, programming off layout and the PowerCab doubles as another ProCab with the PHP.  The cost difference between a ProCab and a PowerCab is not much and you get some added versatility.

Being a PHP user for almost 10 years now, I'd still go with the PHP out of the box and with cost not a consideration.

jktrains

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Posted by dad1218 on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 6:57 PM

   Jerry,

   With a layout that size you will probably want a walk around throttle. The Powercab must stay plugged in or trains will stop, but the cable for the Powercab is 7 foot long. The Powercab+SB3 combo gives you the walk around capability with 3 amps, then you have that computer thing.

    I have a Powercab, if price doesn't matter go with the PHP.

 

     Gary

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Posted by GAPPLEG on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 7:05 PM

Ah, thanks JK for pointing out the computer port is built into the Pro. That will be a must for me. I was leaning toward the Pro for the additional power right out of the box.

As for many other things raised , right now I have no DCC equipped locos. I'll be doing alot of converting in the future. Sound is enticing but not a must for me. (I'm deaf in my left ear, and can't hear with the right) When I purchase my unit from Tony, I will ask for a bunch of good decoders and I'll specify to them what loco's they will be for so I'll get the right ones. Thanks for the input from all.

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Posted by locoi1sa on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 7:16 PM

  If cost is not an issue than go for the PHP radio for walkaround not tethered. Your layout is not that large so a PHP would do you right with a couple panels(UTP). Than again if cost is no problem get both a Power Cab and PHP. That way you have a system at the workbench for programing and testing and an extra throttle for the layout. The price of a power cab is less than just a procab throttle alone. Go figure. I probably use my Power cab as much as my xacto knife at the bench. The built in amp meter comes in real handy for diagnostics and tune ups. Plus Im always instaling or programing decoders for freinds and club members.

    Just my My 2 cents [2c]

       Pete
 

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Posted by Bapou on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 10:01 AM
You can actually get a computer USB interface for the PwerCab.
Go NJT, NJ Transit, New Jersey Transit. Whatever you call it its good. See my pictures and videos here: http://s239.photobucket.com/albums/ff20/Bapouthetrainman/
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Posted by modelmaker51 on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 5:39 PM

I went with the 5amp ProCab or Power Pro as it's called now. I love it. If cost is not an issue, I would definitely recommend the radio control version (get rid of the tethers even on a small layout). I'd also recommend getting one of the smaller utillity throttles, easier to handle for switching and they have a nice big throttle knob.

If you do have a lot of engines to convert here's good deal: http://www.empirenorthernmodels.com/.sc/ms/dd/ee/552/NCE%20D13SRJpack10%20%2810%29%20of%20D13SRJ

Tim at EmpireNorthern is very knowledgable and is right down the street from NCE in Rochester. The NCE guys are also very helpful, although sometimes difficult to reach by phone (keep trying), they are very email friendly. You'll be talking to one of the developers or their technician.

Jay 

C-415 Build: https://imageshack.com/a/tShC/1 

Other builds: https://imageshack.com/my/albums 

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Posted by draftingplans on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 8:47 PM

Gappleg,

I have both the NCE power cab and the power house pro radio. The best option is the power house pro radio as it has all your going to need plus some.

I use the power cab for my small "N" scale and the pro for my "HO". I use the power cab throttle as an extra with my "HO" also. I like running 6-8 trains at one time.

Sound locomotives, I think you might be very surprised with sound loco's as I am the only one that operates trains at home and very seldom have anybody operate trains with me. I am also profoundly deaf in both ears with hearing aids (85% loss) but I love sound (steam & diesel) when I am home running trains. At the club and at shows it is too noisy and I cannot hear anything unless my hearing aids are right next to the loco's if they let me.

Good luck,

Barry

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Posted by Bill54 on Thursday, February 28, 2008 1:17 PM

Here's another vote for the Power Pro R.  Since you said cost isn't a factor but you will be the only operator there's nothing better than just walking around the layour without having to plug in a cab. 

With the radio unit all you have to do is run the trains.  The 5 amp's of power is more than enough to run multiple consists too.

I have the Power Pro R and love it.  I also expanded and bought a second booster, power pro cab, and P515 power supply. 

One thing you may want to look into is DCC Specialties PSX Circuit Breakers.  They are sold by Tony's Train Exchange.  They will give you the chance to break your layout into power districts.  If one section shorts the rest of the layout will still function.

Bill

As my Mom always says...Where there's a will there's a way!
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Posted by steamfreightboy on Saturday, March 01, 2008 12:11 PM
I just got an NCE system too! I have a 4x8 so I got a power cab. I would go with a regular power pro.
"It's your layout, only you have to like it." Lin's Junction

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