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HELP! Problems with NCE Procab

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HELP! Problems with NCE Procab
Posted by Motley on Monday, February 04, 2013 1:25 AM

I have the Powerhouse Pro 5 amp Wireless. I've had it for about 3 years now, and its been perfect for me, until today.

When I address a loco, the startup sounds work, but the loco won't move. The horn, bell functions work when pressed. Forward or reverse just stopped working.

I tried a system reset. Nothing. I cleared all the memory, consists, etc. Nothing.

I checked all the cables, wiring, all looks good to me.

I shorted the system out with a screw driver over the rails, and it came back up normally.

I can even control the NCE accessory decoders Snap-ITs on my switches.

Any ideas before I call NCE for help?

Michael

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Posted by Motley on Monday, February 04, 2013 2:20 AM

OK now some of my locos are working, and moving forward and reverse, but not all of them.

I reset the cab address, it was 12, and I changed it to 2.

Somehow maybe they got assigned to a new cab?

Wouldn't a system reset clear this?

I cleared the cab memory.

I'm confused....

Michael

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Posted by Motley on Monday, February 04, 2013 2:57 AM

It was the consists. I had to clear the consist on each and every loco by setting cv 19 = 0

I'm all good now. That was weird, never had that issue before.

Michael

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 04, 2013 5:05 AM

So, the question is: what caused the system to go haywire in the first place?

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 04, 2013 6:49 AM

 Forgetting to clear consists when done with them?

Once a system reset is done, the system no longer has and knowledge of any consists created, but since NCE sets CV19 to create consists, the decoders still have a consist defined. And if you select the loco's standalone address, you can control functions but it won't move, it will only move with the consist address.

          --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 04, 2013 7:11 AM

Randy, I don't get it.

What does forgetting to clear consists have to do with Motley's problem?

He turned on his system, and none of the consists would respond.

I don't get it.

Rich

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Posted by maxman on Monday, February 04, 2013 9:24 AM

Motley

I reset the cab address, it was 12, and I changed it to 2.

Somehow maybe they got assigned to a new cab?

Wouldn't a system reset clear this?

I cleared the cab memory.

The locos don't care what the cab address is.  The only time changing a cab address would be a problem is if you assign the same cab address to two different cabs.

In a later post you said that the problem was found to be that the locos had consist addresses.  NCE assigns a consist number to CV19.  That consist number is remembered by the loco decoder.  However, the information as to which locos belong to which consist is retained in the command station memory.  If you did a command station reset, then that information would be lost.  However, the value in CV19 would not be affected.

One thing you might want to do is change the battery in the command station.  If that battery dies, then the command station will lose its memory when the power is turned off.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 04, 2013 11:09 AM

The loco was in a consist, with CV19 set, ergo, at some point, it was added to a consist and never removed.

Could have been on another NCE layout, if the locos were used elsewhere.

If the system is setting values in CV19 all by itself, there are some really major problems, so I doubt that's what happened.

     --Randy

 

richhotrain

Randy, I don't get it.

What does forgetting to clear consists have to do with Motley's problem?

He turned on his system, and none of the consists would respond.

I don't get it.

Rich


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 04, 2013 11:14 AM

ahh, I see what you are saying, Randy.

We will have to wait to hear from the OP.

Rich

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Posted by Motley on Monday, February 04, 2013 11:33 AM

I've never had a problem with consists before. That's why I was confused.

Some locos, that were never even in a consist, wouldn't respond until I set cv 19.

When I have a consist setup, I don't even have to use the consist address, usually just the loco number works, and it detects the consist, and it works just fine.

Michael

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 04, 2013 1:29 PM

 Behid the scenes though NCE is setting CV19 to the consist address. It also aliases the lead loco address so you cna runt he whole thing just using the lead loco address, and when you swap ends it aliases the trailing loco so you cna control it with that loco number, never using the 'hidden' consist number.

 It makes it easy, but if something ever interrupts that chain such that the command station forgets what consists it had, or which loco belongs to which consist, there's no way to undo it other than manually resetting CV19. Once CV19 is set to 0, the loco should respond on whichever the active address is, short in CV1 or long in CV17/18.

          --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 04, 2013 2:11 PM

Randy, I am losing you once again.

I have the exact same system that Motley has - - the PH-Pro 5 amp wireless.

I have never yet had to mess with CV19, and the command station has never forgotten, or lost track of, a consist.

And, it is hard for the operator to screw it up either.  Once you set up a consist, the only way to undo it is to delete all locos except the lead loco and then you kill the consist to free up that lead loco.

So, I don't understand what Motley may have done, or how the command station could screw up, to cause the problem that he is describing in this thread.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 04, 2013 2:26 PM

 The ORIGINAL issue? Unclear. But define some consists, then do a complete system reset without clearing the consists.

 I don't think you'll be able to control any of those locos by their original address, they will still have CV19 set, but since you reset the command station, all that info is gone. Guess it's possible the system reset somehow, although since the PowerPro doesn;t use a battery to retain memory when turned off, it should be able to be shut off and/or unplugged for weeks without losing any of the consist info.

               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 04, 2013 2:34 PM

rrinker

 The ORIGINAL issue? Unclear. But define some consists, then do a complete system reset without clearing the consists.

If I understand Motley correctly, though, he turned on the power and none of his consists would move forward or backward.  Only then did he reset the command station. So, something happened before he reset the command station that caused all of his consists to become unresponsive.  At the time that he initially turned on the power, all individual locos, not in consists, were responsive.

I just wonder what caused that to happen.  He only did a command station reset to try and restore responsiveness to the consists.

Rich

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Posted by maxman on Monday, February 04, 2013 2:43 PM

rrinker
Guess it's possible the system reset somehow, although since the PowerPro doesn;t use a battery to retain memory when turned off, it should be able to be shut off and/or unplugged for weeks without losing any of the consist info.

Randy:

Unless I missed something in one of the posts, they are talking about the 5 amp PowerPro system, not the Procab.  The PowerPro system does have a battery.  If the battery dies, than the system will lose whatever is contained in the command station memory, which would include all the consists.

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Posted by gandydancer19 on Monday, February 04, 2013 2:46 PM

Some sort of power glitch could have caused it.  Either possibly from a track short, from a power supply, a line voltage spike, or something from the command station.  For NCE, the original situation described is rare.

And the NCE Power Pro DOES have a battery.

Elmer.

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.) http://waynes-trains.com/ at home, and N scale at the Club.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 04, 2013 2:53 PM

 Didn't think they did - well, right there is probably the problem, the battery is dead, and with the system off for an extended period of time, the settings were all lost.

           --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by maxman on Monday, February 04, 2013 2:54 PM

richhotrain
Once you set up a consist, the only way to undo it is to delete all locos except the lead loco and then you kill the consist to free up that lead loco.

I believe this to be incorrect.  The way I kill a consist is to browse through the consists until I find the one containing the units in question (unless I happened to write down this information ahead of time).  For example, if the locos in the consist are 465 and 467, and they are in consist 95, then what I do is select clear consist and enter 95.  I believe that the screen will say kill consist 95 1=yes (or something similar).  This will clear consist 95 from the system and should also reset CV19 in the consisted locos to zero.

I do always go to the locos in question after doing this process to make sure that the locos will run on their normal address.  We just had 5 open house weekends where I ran consisted Tsunami-equipped Blackstone locos that I picked up and put away after each weekend.  I followed the procedure above and it worked every time.

If you try to kill a consist by entering one of the loco numbers, then you have a problem because this will not reset all the other loco CV19s to zero.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 04, 2013 3:53 PM

A couple of comments here.

Motley and I both have the PH-Pro and the throttle for that system is the ProCab, not the Power Cab.

The PH-Pro does have a battery, but if it were dead, how could Motley get the inidividual locos to respond following the reset.  I am not so sure that his battery is dead, but it may be.

Regarding the consist kills, I was speaking from memory, so that is always dangerous.

But, I did not think that you could kill a consist until only the lead loco is left in the consist.  I may be wrong.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 04, 2013 4:24 PM

 He reset the PowerPro - AND reset CV19 in each loco to 0.

How would there be any consists to scroll through if either the battery died or the system was reset - ie, the memory storing such consists was erased?

It could be the battery is not quite dead( "I'm not dead yet!" "Well you soon will be!") such that turning the system off for a few hours - no problem, but a few days - oops. Easy enough to test, but it means not runnign trains for a while. Or since it's inexpensive, and if it IS the original one, and more than a few years old, just replace it.

               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by maxman on Monday, February 04, 2013 4:35 PM

richhotrain

The PH-Pro does have a battery, but if it were dead, how could Motley get the inidividual locos to respond following the reset.  I am not so sure that his battery is dead, but it may be.

Regarding the consist kills, I was speaking from memory, so that is always dangerous.

But, I did not think that you could kill a consist until only the lead loco is left in the consist.  I may be wrong.

The short/long loco address information is contained in the decoder memory.  The consist address is also contained in the decoder in CV19.  But the addresses in CV 19 are between 1 and 127.  What the command station memory contains is the information as to what locos are in a particular consist.  So let's say that consist 99 contains locos 456 and 457.  If you select loco 456, this information is sent to the command station which looks up that loco 456 is in consist 99 and sends a signal to all the locos that are in consist 99 (as entered in CV19) and tells them what to do.

With NCE if you want those two engines to run, you can select either 456 or 457 and the units will run.  You can also select, in this example loco 99, and both locos will still run.  However, you will not be able to control any loco functions with address 99.

If the battery is dead, what the command station loses is the information relating to what locos are in which consist.  However, when the system is turned on, the operator is able to run any of the locos because of the information remembered on the decoders.  So the operator can enter either 456 or 457, set CV 19 to zero on both these locos, and they will run individually but not consisted until he reconsists them.  The operator can also select loco 99, before setting CV19 to zero, and the two locos will operate together, consisted as before, because that address is still contained on the decoders.  However, the command station will not know that 99 is a valid consist address.  All it knows is that you asked for 99 to run, and it treats 99 as a short address.

In fact, at this point you could set up another consist 99 with two different locos.  Then when you select one of the different locos, the command station will send a signal to the new locos (99) and they will run as well as the original loco 99's

The idea that the battery may be dead is offered as one posibble explanation as to why the consist information was originally lost.  That may or may not be the actual case.  If the system is shut down overnight and again all the consist address are lost, then that again points to the battery.  If the consists are not lost, then something else has happened.

Regarding the killing of consists, I suggest that you try what I explained to confirm to yourself that the process actually works.

Regards

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Posted by maxman on Monday, February 04, 2013 4:38 PM

rrinker
How would there be any consists to scroll through if either the battery died or the system was reset - ie, the memory storing such consists was erased?

Randy:  I understand that.  However, I was responding to the statement as to how Rich killed consists and was only pointing out that I thought that there was a better method.  Obviously if the system lost its memory and/or all the CV 19's were reset to zero there would be no consists to scroll through.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 04, 2013 4:42 PM

I want to hear back from Michael.

As I understood it from him in an email earlier today, before he ever did a reset of the command station and before he set CV 19 to zero, he did nothing more than turn on the power to his layout and he could not move any consists.

I still want to know how that could happen.

Rich

P.S.  - Now that I have re-read the entire thread, I see how a dead, or nearly dead, battery could cause problems.  I wonder if that is what happened to Motley?

 

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Posted by maxman on Monday, February 04, 2013 4:53 PM

richhotrain

I want to hear back from Michael.

As I understood it from him in an email earlier today, before he ever did a reset of the command station and before he set CV 19 to zero, he did nothing more than turn on the power to his layout and he could not move any consists.

I still want to know how that could happen.

Rich

 
Again, if the battery were dead, the consist information contained in the command station would be lost.  So the only way he could move consists would be to select the consist address contained on the decoder.  This would be some number between 1 and 127.  If he tries to move the consist by entering a loco nimber, the command station would not know what to do because it has forgotten that locos A and B belong to a consist.
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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 04, 2013 4:59 PM

maxman

richhotrain

I want to hear back from Michael.

As I understood it from him in an email earlier today, before he ever did a reset of the command station and before he set CV 19 to zero, he did nothing more than turn on the power to his layout and he could not move any consists.

I still want to know how that could happen.

Rich

 
Again, if the battery were dead, the consist information contained in the command station would be lost.  So the only way he could move consists would be to select the consist address contained on the decoder.  This would be some number between 1 and 127.  If he tries to move the consist by entering a loco nimber, the command station would not know what to do because it has forgotten that locos A and B belong to a consist.

Yeah, I see your point and I edited my last post to reflect it.

I wonder what happened, or will happen, when Motley turns on his system once again later today.

And I wonder if he has replaced the battery or intends to do so.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 04, 2013 5:05 PM

maxman

richhotrain
Once you set up a consist, the only way to undo it is to delete all locos except the lead loco and then you kill the consist to free up that lead loco.

I believe this to be incorrect.  The way I kill a consist is to browse through the consists until I find the one containing the units in question (unless I happened to write down this information ahead of time).  For example, if the locos in the consist are 465 and 467, and they are in consist 95, then what I do is select clear consist and enter 95.  I believe that the screen will say kill consist 95 1=yes (or something similar).  This will clear consist 95 from the system and should also reset CV19 in the consisted locos to zero.

I do always go to the locos in question after doing this process to make sure that the locos will run on their normal address.  We just had 5 open house weekends where I ran consisted Tsunami-equipped Blackstone locos that I picked up and put away after each weekend.  I followed the procedure above and it worked every time.

If you try to kill a consist by entering one of the loco numbers, then you have a problem because this will not reset all the other loco CV19s to zero.

maxman, thanks for that info on killing consists.

I went on the NCE web site and looked at the manual.  It confirms what you said about killing consists.

I don't build or kill consists very often, so my memory may well be faulty.  I have to go try the method you described.  It seems to me that I have tried that method in the past and failed.  Yet, that method seems so intuitive and logical, so it is the first thing that one would try even without consulting the manual.  I will go down to the layout and check this all out.

Rich

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Posted by Motley on Monday, February 04, 2013 5:18 PM

Aha! OK so it sounds like it was possibly the battery that lost the consist information, which makes sense.

I bought the system 3 years ago, and it could even be older than that for the original manufacture date. So it 's probably a good time to replace the battery.

Anybody know what kind of battery is uses? And how do I replace it?

Michael

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 04, 2013 5:33 PM

Michael, to replace the battery, remove the 4 cover screws from the Power Pro and slide off the cover.

The battery should be replaced with CR-2032 3 VOLT LITHIUM after 5 years. The battery should be replaced with the power on if you want to retain all system settings. Be careful to not drop the battery on active circuitry if you replace it with the power on.

Rich

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Posted by maxman on Monday, February 04, 2013 5:56 PM

Motley
Anybody know what kind of battery is uses? And how do I replace it?

Michael:  Replacement of the battery is described on page 20 of the manual: http://www.ncedcc.com/images/stories/manuals/sysman07.pdf.  Since you wil be doing this with the power on, unless you want to lose all the command station info again, note how they describe inserting a piece of paper to cover the lower circuit boards so that you don't accidently create a short of some sort if the battery slips out of your fingers.

FYI, there was a thread discussing replacement of command station batteries a couple days ago.  Many people reported not ever having changed the battery even though they've had their systems longer than you.  I change the battery in my system every two years as cheap insurance because I have macros that i don't want to go back and recreate.

Batteries seem to have a mind of their own as to when they'll die.  As I was writing some of my original posts to this thread, the batteries in the TV remote decided to go to battery heaven.  And a couple weeks ago the battery in the key for my wife's 3 year old Honda decided it only wanted to work part time.  Interestingly, the battery in the spare key, which is never used, did the same thing.  On the other hand, I have never replaced the battery in the key to my 8 year old Honda.

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, February 04, 2013 6:06 PM

maxman, I went down and tried to kill a consist.

Here is what I did and what happened as a result.

I had an advanced consist number 70 with lead loco number 9015 and rear loco number 9016.

I pressed the sequence of buttons to Kill Consist and keyed in 70 in response to the request for the consist number. 

As a result, I could independently operate loco number 9016, but loco number 9015 would not respond to forward or backward movement requests.  However, the lights and sound worked on loco number 9015.  To get loco number 9015 operating, I had to press the sequence of buttons to Delete a Loco and key in 9015.  That got loco number 9015 moving.

So, something must be wrong somewhere.

Rich

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