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Hooking up my NCE Power Cab at the club?

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Hooking up my NCE Power Cab at the club?
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 14, 2019 10:56 PM

Hi gang!

I would like to use my NCE Power Cab at the club. The club currently uses a Digitrax command center and a booster, and we have a couple of PSX-ARs and two PM42s wired into the system.

To hook up the NCE Power Cab I'm assuming that I will have to disconnect the Digitrax command station and the booster, and then connect the two sub sections of the layout together. Do I have to do anything with the PSX-ARs or the PM42s?

I'd rather let the smoke out here than at the club!Smile, Wink & Grin

Thanks

Dave

P.S. The reason I want to use my Power Cab is so I can do some speed matching. I don't have enough space to do it at home and I am much happier using my NCE system for programming than the Digitrax system.

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Posted by bearman on Monday, April 15, 2019 5:17 AM

There should not be an issue with either the ARs or the PM42s.  But you will need to connect the PowerCab to a PCP and the power supply.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by fmilhaupt on Monday, April 15, 2019 5:32 AM

My question on this is: Have the people at the club who maintain the DCC system given you permission to do this?

-Fritz Milhaupt, Publications Editor, Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc.
http://www.pmhistsoc.org

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 15, 2019 5:57 AM

fmilhaupt
My first question on this is: Have the people at the club who maintain the DCC system given you permission to do this?

Ahh, yes, good point. Even though I am the President of the club I would never do anything of the sort without asking our electronics experts. Actually, It was our Master Electrician who suggested asking the question on the forums.

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 15, 2019 6:01 AM

bearman
But you will need to connect the PowerCab to a PCP and the power supply.

Yes, I knew that I needed the PCP panel. I have an extra one.

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, April 15, 2019 7:12 AM

 This should work fine. However the ARs and PM42s will probably not trip, the PowerCab trip current is most likely well below that of the ARs and PM42s since they were configured to work with the 5 amp Digitrax system.

 Do you have a computer with JMRI hooked up at the club? Then you wouldn;t have to worry about Digitrax throttles or NCE throttles and accessing CVs.

 If any of your locos you are matching have Digitrax decoders, just remember that if you match them using NCE consisting they will most likely not behave the same way using Digitrax. And vice-versa. Digitrax decoders have 2 sets of motor control (BEMF) parameters, one for running single, and one for running CV19 consisting (what NCE does). With Digitrax consisting they are effectively running singly but all responding to a common 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 bearman on Monday, April 15, 2019 10:58 AM

hon30critter
 
bearman
But you will need to connect the PowerCab to a PCP and the power supply.

 

Yes, I knew that I needed the PCP panel. I have an extra one.

Thanks,

Dave

 

 
Just trying to make sure the loop is closed, and I will defer to Randy's answer regarding the ARs and PM42s.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 3:40 PM

A little late but I tried that some years ago at our two room club. Disconnected the DCC system and connected my Power Cab with the panel. The two PSX-ARs reversers would not flip.

Rich

If you ever fall over in public, pick yourself up and say “sorry it’s been a while since I inhabited a body.” And just walk away.

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Posted by bearman on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 5:44 PM

Rich, that seems strange to me.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 5:59 PM

 The PSX-AR has a jumper for low power systems, otherwise it needs more current to trip than can be supplied by the PowerCab, no mystery at all.

                                 --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 richg1998 on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 6:10 PM

Yes. Forgot to mention that.

Rich

If you ever fall over in public, pick yourself up and say “sorry it’s been a while since I inhabited a body.” And just walk away.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 6:42 PM

However in the situation described: switching between the club layout digitrax configuration and NCE Power cab configurations, Murphy's Law will eventually take precidence.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 7:59 PM

 Really your best bet for speed matching at home is a temporary table with some Unitrak or the nickel silver Backmann track (don;t use the steel stuff - just...don't) and make a simple 4x8 overl to run locos around for speed matching, then take it apart. Or hang it on a wall or something.

                        --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 BNSF UP and others modeler on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 8:18 PM

Correct me if I am wrong (I very much fear that I am), but I seem to get the idea from this thread that you CAN run an NCE throttle on a digitrax system? My club has a digitrax system and it would be very nice if I could run my powercab at the club.

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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 8:24 PM

A couple people here have to go back and read all the original post.

What I see is he disconnected two wires at his club and connected two wires from his power cab. Maybe a little more. No idea.

I did not see both systems running together, Maybe his explanation is not clear enough. Randy did not think both were running from what I can see. He says the power cab with not flip the reversers.

The is what I did at my club.

Rich

If you ever fall over in public, pick yourself up and say “sorry it’s been a while since I inhabited a body.” And just walk away.

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Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 8:26 PM

Thats where I got my question from...

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 1:11 AM

richg1998
What I see is he disconnected two wires at his club and connected two wires from his power cab. Maybe a little more. No idea.

Hi Rich,

I haven't actually done anything yet. I asked the question so that I could avoid messing things up.

Randy,

Thanks for the reminder that the Power Cab doesn't have enough power to trip the breakers. I have no intention of starting to move jumpers around or otherwise fiddle with the club's system, other than disconnecting the Digitrax Command Station and connecting my Power Cab.

For those of you who haven't said it, rather than trying to find space to build a 4' x 8' loop to speed match my locomotives I need to just bite the bullet and learn how to use Digitrax! Mind you, I'll have to hold my nose!Ick!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh

I need to correct a misunderstanding that I had about the club's DCC set up. We do not have a booster installed, just the 5 amp Digitrax Command Station. I got confused because there was some discussion when we were designing the electronics about whether or not a booster was needed. The experts decided that it wasn't. I guess I wasn't paying enough attention to the conversation.Dunce

Thanks for the answers.

Dave

 

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 2:02 AM

I should mention that we actually figured some stuff out for ourselves on Tuesday night!

We wanted to set up some situations where there would be two toggle switches controlling one Tortoise. Our resident electronics expert figured it out all on his own so I don't have to bore you with a dumb question. It's probably right on the Tortoise instructions anyhow, but we didn't have a copy at the club.

We also wanted to figure out how to get several LEDs on different control panels to show the position for a single Tortoise. After much cogitation it dawned on us that instead of putting a bunch of LEDs in series with the Tortoise motors as we had been doing where there were only two LEDs involved (and thereby killing most of the power to the Tortoise motors), we could just use the auxiliary contacts in the Tortoises themselves. Duh!!

There is hope for us after all!

Don't worry though. I'm sure there will be plenty more dumb questions to keep you entertained!

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 7:05 AM

BNSF UP and others modeler

Correct me if I am wrong (I very much fear that I am), but I seem to get the idea from this thread that you CAN run an NCE throttle on a digitrax system? My club has a digitrax system and it would be very nice if I could run my powercab at the club.

 

 No, Dave is talking about disconnecting the Digitrax and connecting his PowerCab, then when he's done, disconnecting the PowerCab and reconnecting the Digitrax. You cannot plug an NCE throttle into a Digitrax system or vice-versa.

                                   --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 rrinker on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 7:11 AM

hon30critter

 

 
richg1998
What I see is he disconnected two wires at his club and connected two wires from his power cab. Maybe a little more. No idea.

 

Hi Rich,

I haven't actually done anything yet. I asked the question so that I could avoid messing things up.

Randy,

Thanks for the reminder that the Power Cab doesn't have enough power to trip the breakers. I have no intention of starting to move jumpers around or otherwise fiddle with the club's system, other than disconnecting the Digitrax Command Station and connecting my Power Cab.

For those of you who haven't said it, rather than trying to find space to build a 4' x 8' loop to speed match my locomotives I need to just bite the bullet and learn how to use Digitrax! Mind you, I'll have to hold my nose!Ick!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughLaugh

I need to correct a misunderstanding that I had about the club's DCC set up. We do not have a booster installed, just the 5 amp Digitrax Command Station. I got confused because there was some discussion when we were designing the electronics about whether or not a booster was needed. The experts decided that it wasn't. I guess I wasn't paying enough attention to the conversation.Dunce

Thanks for the answers.

Dave

 

 

 

Awww come on, it's only 3 CVs (sorry, I still do not and no one will ever convince me I NEED to set 28 step speed tables to match my locos. I have yet to do so and I have had no problmes running various combos). In fact access to those 3 is probably FASTER with a Digitrax throttle than going to the program CV menu in the PowerCab. It's just CV2-6-5, nothing else to adjust.

                                          --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 CGW121 on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 10:05 AM

hon30critter

 

We wanted to set up some situations where there would be two toggle switches controlling one Tortoise. Our resident electronics expert figured it out all on his own so I don't have to bore you with a dumb question. It's probably right on the Tortoise instructions anyhow, but we didn't have a copy at the club.

I would love to see how he did it, as I have several places on my layout where that would be very handy.

 

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 10:14 AM

 Very simple. If you can wire a single DPDT toggle to control a Tortoise, you can add any number of locations. THe wires from the first toggle that would go to the Tortoise instead go to the input of another identical DPDT toggle. If you need more - keep chaining them together. The last toggle, it connects to pins 1 and 8 on the Tortoise the same as a single toggle would.

It behaves like having multiple light stiches controlling the same light in your house. The toggle handles won;t necessarily indicate the way the turnout is lined, so having the LEDs is somewhat critical.

                                  --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 gregc on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 11:13 AM

might be easier and less expensive to use a DPDT latching relay to drive the sw-mach and a pair of momentary switches located as needed to pulse one side of the relay or the other.   This also support control by computer

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 12:01 PM

hon30critter
We do not have a booster installed, just the 5 amp Digitrax Command Station.

I believe that you do have a "booster" installed.  It is part of your command station.

But, I could be wrong!

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 12:28 PM

gregc

might be easier and less expensive to use a DPDT latching relay to drive the sw-mach and a pair of momentary switches located as needed to pulse one side of the relay or the other.   This also support control by computer

 

 Yes but then you have the majority of the turnouts operated directly by a DPDT toggle, and then those special few with pushbuttoms. I never was much of a fan of a mix and match user interface for pretty much anything. Electrically what you say is true. And does remove the "toggle points up but the points send the train down" setting - although a friend of mine just showed me these pre build control panel toggles, the toggle is aligned left/right instead of up/down and is just labeled normal and reverse. It's mounted on a small PCB which has screw terminals for the DC power bus, 2 sets of them to continue to the next toggle in line, and it also has an LED and resistor driven off the Tortoise contacts. But it also brings all 8 wires from the Tortoise back to the control panel - which I have to wonder why. The motor terminals, and 3 wires for one set of contacts, sure, but then the second set of contacts would I think be more likely be used locally for frog power. At $12 each plus another $4 for the edge connector with 8 position screw terminal board to attach to the Tortoise - too expensive anyway.

These:

http://www.rpc-electronics.com/tortdccontrol.php

                             --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 rrinker on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 12:30 PM

maxman

 

 
hon30critter
We do not have a booster installed, just the 5 amp Digitrax Command Station.

 

I believe that you do have a "booster" installed.  It is part of your command station.

But, I could be wrong!

 

 Since pretty much every system on the market these days includes a booster in the base command station, technicall, yes, although typically when someone says they have a booster they mean a second one in addition to the one built in to the command station.  Technically though, with ANY DCC system, if you ahve enough components to run trains, hen you have at least one booster, somewhere - even the PowerCab, there is a throttle, command station, AND low power booster all in the hammerhead.

                                       --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 gregc on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 1:43 PM

rrinker
 
gregc

might be easier and less expensive to use a DPDT latching relay to drive the sw-mach and a pair of momentary switches located as needed to pulse one side of the relay or the other.   This also support control by computer

Yes but then you have the majority of the turnouts operated directly by a DPDT toggle, and then those special few with pushbuttoms. I never was much of a fan of a mix and match user interface for pretty much anything.

it's an option that can support those special situations.   another tool in the toolbox

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, April 18, 2019 1:07 AM

maxman
I believe that you do have a "booster" installed.  It is part of your command station. But, I could be wrong!

Hi maxman,

You are not wrong. I was referring to a 'booster' as being a second power supply. We are only using the command station, which I guess technically has a booster built into it.

The whole discussion may be academic because, as Randy says, it's only three CVs. I just have to get off my butt and get comfortable with the Digitrax throttles.

Dave

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Posted by CGW121 on Thursday, April 18, 2019 9:15 AM

rrinker

 Very simple. If you can wire a single DPDT toggle to control a Tortoise, you can add any number of locations. THe wires from the first toggle that would go to the Tortoise instead go to the input of another identical DPDT toggle. If you need more - keep chaining them together. The last toggle, it connects to pins 1 and 8 on the Tortoise the same as a single toggle would.

                                  --Randy

Wired one up this morning, it worked very well. Thanks.

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