Help Needed - DCC Concepts and NCE PowerCab

 
  Darren O'Leary Beginner

Hello everyone,

I am hoping that someone here has had some experience with DCC Concepts products and might be able to provide some assistance and guidance with a couple of problems I am having with my setup.

I have purchased the following products from DCC Concepts for the operation of my DCC layout for accessory control (point motors), in conjunction with an NCE PowerCab handset for loco control :

  • Alpha Power
  • Alpha Box
  • Alpha Central
  • AD8fx accessory decoder
  • Cobalt Classic Point Motors (analogue)


Power is supplied from the Alpha Power to the Alpha Box, which then has the Alpha Central connected for operation of the point motors via the decoder. The NCE PowerCab is also connected to the Alpha Box.
The setup, with the NCE PowerCab connected, is all documented/illustrated on the DCC Concepts website.

I've been able to successfully configure the decoder to operate the motors when I push the assigned buttons of the Alpha Central, but each time I reapply power to the setup, the motors run through a self-centering process.

Problem #1 :
I contacted DCC Concepts support regarding disabling the self-centering process and they provided documentation, which specifically outlined a process for disabling the self-centering of the Cobalt Digital IP point motors. They have assured me that the same process would work for the AD8fx decoder and analogue point motors.
After connecting all of the components and following the instructions, I cycled the power but the motors still performed their self-centering process.

Problem #2 :
After power-cycling, the entire system, the PowerCab displays "NCE PROCAB V1.3" on the first line and "CAB ADDRESS 02" on the second line, before the first line then changes to "NCE PROC". Eventually the screen then displays garbled or gibberish characters. I am using the NCE-supplied 4-wire curly cable between the Cab and the Alpha Box, as instructed by DCC Concepts' documentation.


If I disconnect the PowerCab from the DCC Concepts system and connect it to the regular NCE panel, it operates normally and I can select my locos by entering their respective addresses.


Has anyone got any experience with or additional knowledge of configuring the decoder with an NCE PowerCab?



regards,
Darren

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  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Do you have a method of measuring the voltage on the supply to your PowerCab? The most likely thing that springs to mind if you’re getting a garbled display is an unstable voltage supply.
  sol Assistant Commissioner

Location: Evanston Gardens SA
I think I read of similar problems here https://www.dccconceptsforum.com/
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT

Power is supplied from the Alpha Power to the Alpha Box, which then has the Alpha Central connected for operation of the point motors via the decoder. The NCE PowerCab is also connected to the Alpha Box.
The setup, with the NCE PowerCab connected, is all documented/illustrated on the DCC Concepts website.



Problem #2 :
After power-cycling, the entire system, the PowerCab displays "NCE PROCAB V1.3" on the first line and "CAB ADDRESS 02" on the second line, before the first line then changes to "NCE PROC". Eventually the screen then displays garbled or gibberish characters. I am using the NCE-supplied 4-wire curly cable between the Cab and the Alpha Box, as instructed by DCC Concepts' documentation.


If I disconnect the PowerCab from the DCC Concepts system and connect it to the regular NCE panel, it operates normally and I can select my locos by entering their respective addresses.

Darren O'Leary
Hi Darren,

Sorry, can't help with DCC Concepts items, but I am a little confused about a couple of your NCE Powercab statements. What you have described, doesn't make sense to me. The PowerCab has two cables, a flat cable and a curly cable. The flat cable is essential for controlling the layout as it supplies the commands, as well as track power. It has a specific location on the UTP and the UTP has a specific orientation. From memory, the flat cable goes into the left side of the UTP (but check your owner's manual). The curly cable is mainly for an additional cab. Happy that the curly cable is your link if that is what DCC concepts say.

What is not clear is where is the flat cable in this and is your UTP in the correct orientation.

Hopefully the above is all good and I offer this as something to check.

Good luck!

Dan

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