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NCE powercab programming of lights of locos

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  • Member since
    April 2003
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NCE powercab programming of lights of locos
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 12:03 AM

Hi there.

I'm a real newbie to dcc and although I've managed to install a decoder into a train and get the train to run, I'm having trouble with making the light come on in a factory installed loco. I bought a Bachmann loco and the documentation that came with it says the light function is programmed into the decoder at function 10. Now, I have the NCE powercab and from the documentation that came with it, it says that the light button on the controller is pre-programmed to function 0. I find the powercab information in the manual a little hard to understand. Can I change the decoder's function of f10 to somehow be aligned with the light button on the controller?? And if this is possible how do i do it? So far I have not been able to turn on the light in the loco at all. Can anyone advise on how I can turn this function on? I'm guessing I need to programm the functions. How do i do this?

Thanks for your time and patience.

cheers

Dean

 

  • Member since
    February 2007
  • From: Christiana, TN
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Posted by CSX Robert on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 3:00 AM
Function 0 should turn on the light. The reason the Bachmann manual says function 10 is because the buttons on the Bachmann EZ-Command system are labeled 1-10, but button 10 actually controls function 0.
  • Member since
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Posted by locoi1sa on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 4:49 AM

  Hi DeanSign - Welcome [#welcome]

 You said that you instaled the decoder. Was it a plug in with the 8 pin plug? If so it may be in backwards. The way the plug is designd when pluged in the lights wont work and your power cab will read forward when the loco goes backward. Try turning the plug 180 degrees and check the lights. Then get back to us with make and model decoder and what lights the loco has and we can program more functions for it.

   Pete
 

 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

  • Member since
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  • From: NC Piedmont
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Posted by dad1218 on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 6:25 PM

     Dean,

    I have a Powercab, the headlight button is connected to whatever fuction controls the headlight (F1 I think). If it is directional lighting make sure it is in forward direction or the headlight will not come on. Is the Bachmann a standard line or Spectrum series and what scale. I don't personally have any experience with factory decoders, but alot of them are not the best decoders in the world.

                  Gary

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 3,312 posts
Posted by locoi1sa on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 7:04 PM

  Hi Gary

 F0 is headlight control by default in any decoder and comand station I know of. You can remap lights to another function thru CVs in most decoders.

  Pete
 

 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 1:49 AM

Hi Guys.

Thanks for the replies.

The loco I'm having trouble with is a Bachmann spectrum dash 8-40cw in factory condition. Brand new. I have not been able to turn the lights on. That said , I haven't pulled it apart to check that there is a light. I'm just going off the paper work that came with the train. It states that the light is programmed to F10 on the E-Z command system and other NMRA compliant dcc systems. So does that mean the light is programmed to function 10 or the normal light function of function 0? The NCE paperwork says the lights are programmed for function 0, so this train may not be set up as per the NMRA specs.

Sorry for confusing a few of you. I was trying to say in my first post that I successfully installed a decoder in one of my other trains but I have not connected any light to it at this time. The decoder install went well, so I was trying to say that I sort of know what I'm doing. I'm an Electrician by trade but have only just begun to scratch the surface with DCC. It is very exciting to know what can be done with this type of system. I hope to learn quickly.

So, if anyone can shed some light on why the light button on the NCE powercab controller does not control the light in my Bachmann train then I would truly welcome some feed back. Can I possibly reprogramm this function and how do you do that.

Thanks again.

cheers

Dean

 

  • Member since
    October 2006
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 883 posts
Posted by jktrains on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 10:53 AM

Dean (& Others),

First things first.  You're dealing with a factory installed Bachmann decoder.  When you run on DC, does the headlight work?  What about the rearlights when you change direction?

On the NCE PowerCab, the button marked "HEADLIGHT" is programmed to turn on/off F0.  Whether that is the headlight, rearlight, rotary beacon or ditchlights depends on how things are connected to the decoder.  Almost all manufacturers of factory installed decoders have the headlights connected to the F0 function of the decoder.  Yours should be the same, regardless of what the Bachmann instructions indicate.  While I'm not completely familiar with the Bachmann decoders, I believe they are a basic decoder with 2 functions, at most 4 functions.  As a previous post stated, on the Bachmann EZ commander DCC system, the system uses the #10 button to toggle the lights, or to put it another way it is programmed to control the headilghts.  It does not mean that the headlights are connected to F10.

Your best bet is to first try the loco on DC and see if the headlights work.  The next step would be to remove the shell and check the headlight wiring and connections.

 

 

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: NC Piedmont
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Posted by dad1218 on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 3:33 PM

   I agree with Dean. I made a test DC track with a piece of 1x4 board and a piece of flex track to test new locos with before I put a decoder in them and I normally buy the DC locos then put the decoder I want in them.

             Gary

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 11:59 PM

Hello again.

Good news. I have been able to get the light on my factory installed DCC Bachmann to operate. As some had suggested, I tested the train back on good old DC. At first the light did not come on. On a 2nd attempt, the light came on when applying DC. Marvellous. At least that meant that there was a light installed.

I then put the train back on to DCC and what do you know, the light now comes on and off via the light button on the NCE controller. My guess is that the decoder in the train just needed a bit of a push. It now works perfectly. Thanks to everyone who had some suggestion on what to do and what to test.

cheers

Dean

Bow [bow]

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