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Newbie can't get trains to run independently

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Newbie can't get trains to run independently
Posted by Barryvernick on Friday, February 09, 2018 8:49 AM

Please help. I called NCE but the person just wanted to impress me with his technical knowledge and I had no idea what he was talking about.

I have 3 DCC locomotives that I bought with the decoders already installed. When I start one they all start. If I select a new loco they still all run. If I change direction on one loco they all change direction. I am sure this has to do with them all having the same address, but I am confused about long and short addresses. I thought the long address was the number on the side of the loco and the short address was a unique number you give to each loco instead of them all having the default of 03. I dont even know how to start over. Please help! I will buy you lunch!

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Posted by Steven Otte on Friday, February 09, 2018 9:08 AM

All new DCC decoders (and decoder-equipped locomotives) are defaulted to address 03. This has nothing to do with the number on the side of the locomotive. You have to change the locomotives' addresses using your DCC controller, or else they will all respond to commands sent to address 03. Setting the addresses to the cab number is the common practice, since it's easy.

The difference between the long and short address is something internal to the decoder's programming. These days, you don't need to know the difference, since most DCC controllers automatically handle programming those bits to tell the decoder whether to use a long or short address. Just hook up a programming track to your DCC system's base station and program each locomotive to the cab number, and let the system handle it.

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Posted by Barryvernick on Friday, February 09, 2018 9:27 AM

Thanks. I thought I did that. When I set up each loco on the program track (which is seperate from the main track) I input each unique four digit address that is on the side of each loco.

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Posted by tstage on Friday, February 09, 2018 9:29 AM

Barry,

Which NCE system do you have?  The Power Cab or the PH Pro?  Did you look at/read the manual?  Everything you need to program your locomotives is listed in there.

As Steve stated, all decoders come programmed to address "3".  If you want to program them to a different address than you need to do them individually.  If you place all three locomotives on the programming track they will all be programmed to the same address.

The short address I always leave at "3" and I set the long address to the number on the side of the locomotive.  Again, this all should be in your DCC systems manual.

Tom

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Posted by Barryvernick on Friday, February 09, 2018 9:37 AM

I have the power cab pro starter system and of course I read the manual.

If there is anyone out there who is willing to take me through the steps to correct these problems over the phone, I will pay you for your time.

Thanks!

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, February 09, 2018 9:52 AM

tstage

Which NCE system do you have?  The Power Cab or the PH Pro?  Did you look at/read the manual?  Everything you need to program your locomotives is listed in there.

As Steve stated, all decoders come programmed to address "3".  If you want to program them to a different address than you need to do them individually.  If you place all three locomotives on the programming track they will all be programmed to the same address.

Same question. Which NCE system are you using?

Rich

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Posted by Steven Otte on Friday, February 09, 2018 3:06 PM

Barryvernick

Thanks. I thought I did that. When I set up each loco on the program track (which is seperate from the main track) I input each unique four digit address that is on the side of each loco.

When you do, make sure:

1) The programming track is hooked up to the program track terminals on the base unit, not the regular terminals

2) The base unit is in program track mode, not program-on-the-main mode

3) You have only one locomotive on the programming track

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Friday, February 09, 2018 3:20 PM

There's two types of programming...programming on the main and programming on the track.

I can't remember for sure, but with NCE, depending on model, if you stick it on the programming track and the trains have sound, you'll need to add a power booster.

If you program the loco address while the train is on the main track (Known as programming on the main or POM) you need to take off ALL locomotives except the one you wish to program.

 

Once you get past this part, the rest will be a lot easier.

A little history so you understand what the difference is between short address and long address.

DCC was invented back 1990's by Lenz.  The first versions of it were only designed to handle up to 127 trains.  So your train could have an address of 1->127.

 

This wasn't big enough a number range for a lot of people, so they gave the address range up to 9999.  (Which coincidently is the maximum number on the side of REAL locos)  This is known as LONG address.

Now with MOST command stations, if you program in 1->99 it's automatically a short address.  If you program in 100+, it becomes long address.  Then the command station tells the chip on the train which to use, (short address or long address)  Truth being told, your train can have both a short address and long address that are different in value.  But you or the handset tell the decoder on the train which you want it to use (short or long address).  Like I said, it's usually automaticly set by the handset when you set the address.

Now you can program a trains address on the main track (where you run your trains) or the programming track (where you set them up initially)  You just have to tell your handheld where to program (Main or programming)

If you put the train on the programming track, you should see it lurch a little forward when you set the address.  If you don't, and you have sound, you may need to buy a seperate booster to use the programming track.

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

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Posted by Barryvernick on Friday, February 09, 2018 3:26 PM

I thought I answered your question. I have the Power Cab.

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Friday, February 09, 2018 3:29 PM

Barryvernick

I thought I answered your question. I have the Power Cab.

As a new guy, there is a delay of your posts showing up on the forum.

Robert

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, February 09, 2018 4:56 PM

 Have you followed EXACTLY the steps on pages 4 and 5 of the PowerCab manual? Are you getting the responses shown in the manual? If you do not get the expected response to a step, you can't just skip it and assume, if the reading fails, no way will it write, either. 

                                           --Randy

 


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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, February 09, 2018 5:31 PM

DigitalGriffin
I can't remember for sure, but with NCE, depending on model, if you stick it on the programming track and the trains have sound, you'll need to add a power booster.

No, at least not for loksound decoders.  I suppose we should ask what locos you do have?  Tony's Trains say the Power Cab will program anything.  I think Keep Alives create a problem with programming.  I confess I don't full understand that, so I will start my own thread on that.

It sounds like they are all set to the same address.  When they move what address is showing on the controller?

If you skim the manual and think the programming will be obvious on the Power Cab controller, and you might think you can program both a short and a long address.  No, You only get one address.  You also don't want to add zeros in front of the numbers of a short address.  As others have stated, programming on the main, with all locos on the track, programs all the locos, at the same time.

Henry

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Posted by tstage on Friday, February 09, 2018 6:04 PM

Barry,

As long as you are on moderation your replies have to be approved before they are posted.  That's why there is a delay in your responses being posted and why folks don't see your responses until after they are approved.  FYI: The initial moderation period is usually 5 posts.

Okay, so you have the Power Cab. Since you are able to operate your locomotives (i.e. they move back 'n forth) then you obviously have the track wires hooked up properly and your Power Cab cable connected to the LEFT connector port of your black PCP panel.  And the back of the Power Cab PCP panel only has two connector ports, which are used to power your track AND to program your locomotives.

[Note: Your Power Cab has enough oompth to program sound decoders so you do NOT need a programming track booster.  Only the PH-Pro may need a programming track booster (e.g. PowerPax) for some sound decoders.]

Whenever programming a locomotive initially, its' always best to use Programming Track mode (vs POM or Programming On the Main).  Programming Track mode safeguards your locomotive's decoder in the event that it's installed improperly, or there is a short to the decoder.  It also allows you to read back the decoder CVs, which POM mode does not.

Here's the steps for programming both the short and long addresses of your decoders using your Power Cab:

[Note: Remove ALL but the one locomotive you are addressing from the programming track.  Otherwise, you will program all locomotives to the same address.]


  1. Press the PROG/ESC button (bottom left) 4x - Your Power Cab's LCD screen should read "USE PROGRAM TRK"
  2. Press ENTER
  3. Press "1" for STD - There will be a slight delay as Power Cab reads decoder
  4. Press ENTER 2x to get past the manufacturer and decoder version screens - Each manufacturer and each decoder is given a unique ID number by the NMRA - e.g. ESU: 151, TCS: 153.
  5. Press "1" for YES to setup short address
  6. The short address should display as "003" on your LCD screen; if so, press ENTER - If it displays any other number, press "3" then press ENTER.  [Note: You ONLY need to enter "3"; do NOT enter "03", "003", or "0003"]
  7. Press "1" for YES to activate short address - Your locomotive should scooch forward slightly as the address is written to the decoder.  This is normal.
  8. Enter the long address - Decoder addesses shorter than 4-digits need to have leading zeros added to make it 4-digit - e.g  234 would need to be entered as "0234"; 23 would need to be entered as "0023", etc.
  9. Press ENTER
  10. Press "1" for YES to activate long address - Your locomotive should, again, scooch forward slightly as the address is written to the decoder.
  11. Press PROG/ESC or EMERGENCY STOP to exit Programming Mode - The PROG/ESC button will require 2 presses to completely exit programming

Test your locomotive using it's new long address:

  1. Press SELECT LOCO
  2. Enter the locomotive's 4-digit address - No leading zeros needed
  3. Press ENTER

If it works - you're good to go.  If it do NOT work:

  1. Tilt your locomotive to one side to lift the wheels on the opposite side off the track - This will interrupt power to the decoder
  2. Place the wheels back on the track again - You can also accomplish this by just unplugging and replugging your Power Cab into your PCP panel

Some CVs don't "take" until track power is interrupted.  I usually don't need to do this for programming decoder addresses but do occasionally when changing other CVs.

Hope that helps...

Tom

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Posted by richg1998 on Friday, February 09, 2018 10:50 PM

I have the NCE Power Cab. I put a piece of track on the workbench for a programming track rather than using the layout. I have programmed, SoundTraxx, Tsunami, Digitrax, QSI and LokSound decoders with no issue.

I followed the instructions as noted. I also cycle the power to the track. Unclip and clip back on. The headlight will flash a number of times when I had the loco programmed.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 10, 2018 4:30 AM

It seems clear that either all of the locos are being programmed with the same long address or none of the locos are being programmed with the long address.

I have to believe that the OP is not clear in his own mind about how to use the Programming Track that must be established with a Power Cab.

Rich

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Posted by bearman on Saturday, February 10, 2018 6:05 AM

I suggest that you approach this programming problem the way I do, by pretending that you are totally ignorant of everything involved and follow the instructions step by step with the manual in front of you.  And when I mean ignorant, I mean ignorant, pretend the first instruction is to pick up the manual.  The second instruction is to turn to page 2 and proceed.

I have also set up a separate 18" length of track on my work bench that I use for programming and for measuring coupler height with the Kadee coupler gage.  

EDIT:  There is another option for programming on the loco number but it is pricey at $80 retail.  Broadway Limited has an address changer which will change the address on your loco.  You still need to have an isolated track and it will only change the loco address.  BLI-1020 is the item number.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by gdelmoro on Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:22 AM

richg1998

I have the NCE Power Cab. I put a piece of track on the workbench for a programming track rather than using the layout. I have programmed, SoundTraxx, Tsunami, Digitrax, QSI and LokSound decoders with no issue.

I followed the instructions as noted. I also cycle the power to the track. Unclip and clip back on. The headlight will flash a number of times when I had the loco programmed.

Rich

 

Rich this may be a stupid question but does the NCE system read CV’s from a loco on the separate track on your workbench?

Gary

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Posted by richg1998 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:33 AM

gdelmoro

 

 
richg1998

I have the NCE Power Cab. I put a piece of track on the workbench for a programming track rather than using the layout. I have programmed, SoundTraxx, Tsunami, Digitrax, QSI and LokSound decoders with no issue.

I followed the instructions as noted. I also cycle the power to the track. Unclip and clip back on. The headlight will flash a number of times when I had the loco programmed.

Rich

 

 

 

Rich this may be a stupid question but does the NCE system read CV’s from a loco on the separate track on your workbench?

 

Yes, my Power Cab reads CV's.

Rich

N

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Posted by Barryvernick on Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:36 AM

Tom,

Thanks so much for your help. I followed your instructions exactly as if I were an ignorant child and it worked!

I now have 3 locos going their own way around the tracks.

Thanks!!!

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Posted by richg1998 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:38 AM

I use to belong to an NCE Yahoo Group that was very good. Go join.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/NCE-DCC/info

Rich

N

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:33 AM

gdelmoro
Rich this may be a stupid question but does the NCE system read CV’s from a loco on the separate track on your workbench?

Gary,

As long as your Power Cab is hooked up - albeit to a piece of track on your bench, or to your entire layout - and you are in Programming track mode, you can read back CVs. 

Tom

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:38 AM

Barryvernick

Tom,

Thanks so much for your help. I followed your instructions exactly as if I were an ignorant child and it worked!

I now have 3 locos going their own way around the tracks.

Thanks!!!

Good to hear, Barry!  Now you're not so "ignorant" and you can teach someone else how to address decoders. Big Smile

Tom

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 10, 2018 4:01 PM

tstage
 
Barryvernick

Tom,

Thanks so much for your help. I followed your instructions exactly as if I were an ignorant child and it worked!

I now have 3 locos going their own way around the tracks.

Thanks!!! 

Good to hear, Barry!  Now you're not so "ignorant" and you can teach someone else how to address decoders. Big Smile

Tom 

...and, kudos to Tom for his excellent advice.  Yes

Rich

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Posted by bearman on Saturday, February 10, 2018 5:55 PM

Amen to Rich's response to Tom.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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