An entire DCC system in the palm of your hand! The Power Cab system can operate one or two HO locomotives. The Power Cab provides all of the capability and ease of use that you’ve heard about in the NCE Power Pro system, at an entry level price.
Installation is a snap. Hook two wires to your track and plug in the cab. You’re off and running trains!
The Power Cab kit contains:
- Power Cab
- 7′ Power Cab Cable
- PCP Power Panel
- Power Supply
- Pro Cab Coiled Cord
The Power Cab represents an Entry Level starter system for small layouts but has all the same features as the high end 5 amp PH-Pro. Its limitations are found in the number of expansion options it can connect to and support.
We like the PowerCab because it is a full featured NCE DCC system with a true programming track output capability designed to handle Sound Decoders without any programming issues. Some people with a 5 and 10 amp PH-Pro system purchase a Power Cab system for the full programming track capability and to add an additional throttle for the layout. Here in our shop, we have Power Pro systems running the layouts and we use the Power Cabs on the test bench when programming is required.
The Power Cab offers the best Programming Track capability of all the NCE systems. It offers a safe low current programming track output mode where it is safe to test decoders. At the same time, the programming track current from the Power Cab has been raised enough to accommodate the special needs of sound decoders which can have problems working properly with older style programming track outputs. No 3rd party programming track booster is required when using a Power Cab.
Up to 256 turnouts can be DCC controlled using DCC accessory turnout decoders. They can be controlled from the PowerCab throttle or any NCE throttle with an accessory control button. See Jack Wabbits and Hares.
The Power Cab allows you to add up to 3 NCE cab bus based accessory devices to the system using 3 special cab addresses. This does NOT take away from the number of throttles [six] you can use with the Power Cab system. The following devices are above and beyond the ability to control turnouts. The following expansion devices are supported:
1) USB SUPPORT: The Power Cab can be connected to a computer using NCE’s USB adapter board allowing control of trains from a PC, so you can Program On the Main [POM/OPS mode programming] or program using the Programming Track mode of the Power Cab. It is fully compatible with free popular decoder programming software such as JMRI Decoder Pro.
2) MINI PANEL SUPPORT: A NCE MiniPanel can be connected to the Power Cab system to build traditional control panels to setup controls for complex paths or routes through interlockings and yards, control trains, signals or any DCC accessory. It accepts button inputs and other devices such as block occupancy detectors. It is an intelligent device you can program to do complex tasks with a single push of a button. It works with the command station to control the layout.
3) AUXILIARY INPUT UNIT: NCE’s AIU is an input device intended for COMPUTER FEEDBACK to monitor the status of various user chosen devices on the layout. It is primarily intended to support a signaling system. The most common monitored devices are block occupancy detectors for detecting a trains presence in a given section of track and/or the status of a given turnout position (Normal or Reverse). Software such as the free JMRI Panel Pro can be used to implement a dispatcher layout control system and/or signal system.
COOL FEATURES: The PowerCab offers a fast clock but the feature can be switched in favor of its unique built in “current meter” which tells you how much current (Power) your layout or engine under test is drawing from the PowerCab.
System Upgrade Path: The SB5 will upgrade the track current capability (up to 5Amps) allowing running of more trains. It will also allow the Power Cab to be used as a walkaround throttle (ProCab Mode). The SB5 is essentially a complete DCC system (command station+Booster) but has no programming track support. The SB5 is designed specifically for the PowerCab in that all programming track function will continue to be performed by the PowerCab.
The Power Cab does support radio cabs in the form purchasing a radio base station (RB02) and Radio Cab throttles. The Power Cab is intentionally NOT sold with a radio because it must always be plugged into the layout to power the layout when used as a Power Cab. Why? People would falsely assume they can run their layout with it in radio mode only to be disappointed that it will not work that way “out of the box” after they purchase it. NCEs want to avoid any misunderstanding or claims of False Advertising. When the Power Cab is used on a DIFFERENT NCE layout where the Power Cab is to used as a ProCab, then radio operation is possible. In that specific operational regard, the PowerCab can be upgraded to support a built in radio.
Power Cab Radio Option
When can you use the Radio?
The radio’s value is limited to ONLY operating on a layout that already has a dedicated NCE command station including a NCE SB5, CS02, or PH Box along with a RB02 Radio Base station. Here the Power Cab is not used as a Power Cab at all, but just as a regular Pro Cab. Operating as a “cab”, the Power Cab can now use the “cab radio” built inside to talk to the command station via the RB02 just like any other radio cab does.
When the Power Cab is used on a NCE layout where the Power Cab is to be used as a Pro Cab throttle, then radio operation is possible. In that specific operational regard, the Power Cab can be upgraded to support a built in radio.
People will falsely assume they can run their layout with the Power Cab in radio mode only to be disappointed that it will not work that way “out of the box” after they purchase it. Tony’s Train Exchange wants to avoid any misunderstanding or claims of False Advertising.
Power Cab Radio Option
The Power Cab can be upgraded to support a cab radio. However, adding the radio does NOT do what you might think it will do. Specifically, when using the Power Cab to run a layout, the radio will not work. The Power Cab must still be plugged into the PCP panel as before so the layout can get power over the WIRES from the Power Cab. You cannot send power over the radio.