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need help NCE Power Cab trouble

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  • Member since
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  • From: Columbia, IL
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need help NCE Power Cab trouble
Posted by wdcrvr on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 6:44 PM

Turned on my system today (NCE power cab with an SB5 booster) Power cab contoller flashes on and off and the red STATUS light on the booster flashes on and off and beeps.  Where do I start?

wdcrvr

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 6:49 PM

What did you do to railroad between now and last time you ran?  Perhaps left something across tracks, or possibly derailed something?

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  • From: Columbia, IL
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Posted by wdcrvr on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 7:05 PM

I was working on a turnout to set it up with a switch that would power the frog in accordance with which way the turnout was set.  I have removed all wires that were temoporarily attached and cleaned the area to make sure there is nothing causing a short there.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 7:57 PM

 Sounds like a short to me. What type of turnout is it?

Disconnect the track wires at teh SB5 and turn everything on. If it powers up normally, definitely a short in the track somewhere.

                                     --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 Wednesday, February 24, 2021 9:25 PM

Some years ago I picked up a buzzer from Radio Shack and connected a 9 volt battery. With a couple wires to the track the buzzer would go off with any short when laying track. Some ohm meters have that option.

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 wdcrvr on Thursday, February 25, 2021 8:03 AM
rrinker Thanks for your suggestion. I unplugged the track connection from the SB5 unit. I then turned the power on and still got the flashing red light on the SB5 and a flashing green light on the power adapter that plugs into the SB5. So I disconnected the power adapter from the SB5 and turned the power on again. Now the green light on the power adapter comes on steady like it is supposed to. So, my guess is that I have a short in my SB5 unit. Does that make sense? I hate dealing with this stuff because although I can wire a house top to bottom I do not have electronics knowledge. Thanks wdcrvr
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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 25, 2021 8:03 AM

 Just disconnect the power source before trying to use a buzzer like that. It may be OK with the buzzer limiting current or the low current source of a multimeter, but why take chances? Feeding power back in the booster's output drive is generally not good. It's why the DCC equipment takes a hit if you accidently mix DC and DCC on the same track.

                                      --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
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  • From: Columbia, IL
  • 367 posts
Posted by wdcrvr on Thursday, February 25, 2021 8:30 AM

Good News, Bad News.  The good news is I do not have a short in my track.  The bad news is that it must be in the SB5 unit.  I completely disconnected the SB5 and set up my original connection for the Power Cab system and everything works.  My layout is only about 14 x 18 and I really ionly run one or two locos at a time so I don't need the SB5 for power.  I really only got it to allow more flexibilty for when my grandsons come over and want to run trains at the same time.  I don't understand how the SB5 could develop a short.  It has not been dropped or even moved around.  But like I said, I know nothing about electronics.  Is there any chance I can open up the SB5 and find the problem?  Thanks

wdcrvr

  • Member since
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  • From: Western, MA
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Posted by richg1998 on Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:31 AM

Not knowing anything about electronics, I would not open it up.

Did you register the unit?

When I bought my Power Cab I registered it. The back light stopped working. NCE repaired it for free.

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.

  • Member since
    October 2006
  • From: Western, MA
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Posted by richg1998 on Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:39 AM

Are there any strands of wire across the output terminals of the SB5?

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 Overmod on Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:44 AM
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Posted by wdcrvr on Thursday, February 25, 2021 11:18 AM
overmod Thanks. That info appears to be exactly what I need because my power supply flashes if it is connected to the SB5 but gives me a steady green light when the SB5 is not connected. wdcrvr
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  • From: Columbia, IL
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Posted by wdcrvr on Thursday, February 25, 2021 11:21 AM
I just want to say that I really appreciate all the people out there that respond with such great advice on so many topics here. I would never be able to enjoy my layout without the support of so many on this forum.
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Posted by woodone on Thursday, February 25, 2021 2:02 PM

I just read the NCE repair page listed earlier.

WOW-- 4 to 5 weeks for a repair?  I have always been happy with NCE, I have two Power Cabs and a older SB-3 Booster. Seems like they need more help--OR Heaven forbid some faulty product is getting out.

but I guess good help is hard to find.

 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:37 PM

woodone
WOW-- 4 to 5 weeks for a repair?

Sounds like a deal that's hard to pass up.  I mailed a check to my mother's nursing home on Jan 28th and it took 3.5 weeks to get there.

How many guys do you think they have doing repairs?  My guess is one. 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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Posted by woodone on Friday, February 26, 2021 7:06 AM

Big Daddy-   That may be true. You are comparing federal works with privet works. I think privet company's can do much better.

You are problem right with the number of repair workers.

Thats why I said they need more help. Hard to measure the work load and see which products are causing the back log.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, February 26, 2021 8:26 AM

 Everybody expects something instantly these days. They probably can only have one person working at a time because they don't have a giant shop to allow for proper social distancing.

 Per their web site, they are currently returning items received the week of 1/25, so pretty much exactly 4 weeks.

 Frankly, I'm glad they, and Digitrax, actually repair things instead of tossing them and sending a new one (though if too fried, they do send replacements). 

 For the OP, if installing that turnout caused a steady short, it may have damaged the SB5,. You might want to also order an EB1 breaker and install that between the SB5 and track when the SB5 comes back from repair. 

                                            --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
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Posted by woodone on Friday, February 26, 2021 4:57 PM

I don't expect instant repairs or any thing close to that.

I do expect a reasonaly amount of time to repair or replace some things.

'The time I was told by Ed at NCE was 4 to 5 weeks. There are 4.3 weeks per month so they are taking over a month to turn things-has I said earlier, they don't have the man power or too much bad product is getting out the door. I have spent way too many years in the service field to buy into a 4 or 5 week turn-that is just my opinion. When work loads start to back up you change some thing to fix that. The COVO is getting too much blame for way too many things. 

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, February 26, 2021 5:17 PM

woodone

I don't expect instant repairs or any thing close to that.

I do expect a reasonaly amount of time to repair or replace some things.

'The time I was told by Ed at NCE was 4 to 5 weeks. There are 4.3 weeks per month so they are taking over a month to turn things-has I said earlier, they don't have the man power or too much bad product is getting out the door. I have spent way too many years in the service field to buy into a 4 or 5 week turn-that is just my opinion. When work loads start to back up you change some thing to fix that. The COVO is getting too much blame for way too many things.  

Given the nature of the business, 4 to 5 weeks is to be expected. There is probably only one repair guy named Ed (it used to be Larrry), and I doubt that he does repair work 8 hours per day. I recently spoke to the guy who does decoder installations for TCS, and he only does the work from 1 PM to 4 PM.

Also, you mentioned "too much bad product". Not necessarily. A lot of repairs are the result of customer handling of the product. 

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, February 26, 2021 6:48 PM

richhotrain

 

Also, you mentioned "too much bad product". Not necessarily. A lot of repairs are the result of customer handling of the product. 

Rich

 

"A lot"? I'm going to say "most". I have yet to get a bad decoder out of the box (haven't fried any myself, either). Or a bad piece of DCC equipment out of the box - including the stuff I bought used. 

In none of these cases are you dealing with a big company. In the Rapido video where they visited TCS - they run that in the guy's basement, and there's maybe 5 employees. NCE isn't much bigger. Digitrax doesn't have much more than 20 or so either.

 Also, lots of newcomers this time of year, bet repair turnarounds in the middle of Summer when the seasonal modelers are out doing other things are much faster.

                                      --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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