NCE PowerCab

Relatively new on the scene, looks like the ProCab, but has the red PowerCab script on top. Not available in wireless.

Basically with the addition of a power supply, it is a complete DCC system, with 3 amp capability.

Here's a link to the manual:

There are some limitations in the number of cabs, and some other items, but a great deal.

I have one to use on my Z modules, and also for testing G scale locos.

One cool thing is that there is a single output to the track, and it functions as either regular DCC track power, or a programming track.

It will also function as a normal wired ProCab when you use the normal 4 wire NCE cab cable.

You must use a 6 wire (straight through) RJ11/12 cable... the extra 2 wires carry the track power.

Also, you must use a special "panel" called a PCP. The panel looks very similar to the UTP cab bus panels normally used on layouts, but this one has a dc in jack on the back to power the system, and also special wiring to accomodate the PowerCab's extra wiring.

There is also a red led on the panel, which will tell you when power to the track is enabled.


PCP Panel:

NCE tells you to install the panel with the LED on the bottom. Well, when you plug in cables, they can obstruct seeing the LED, so I mount mine with the LED up.

Also, only one of the 2 jacks on the front panel is wired to take the PowerCab, plug into the other and nothing happens. With the LED up, the jack on the right is the one you use. I mark this with a label to avoid hair pulling.

There's also a RJ12 jack in the back to extend the cab bus, which is wired the same as the other front panel jack.

Power supply:

Don't use over a 3amp 10-15 volt supply or you can damage the PowerCab.

The DC power plug is a 5.5 x 2.5 mm DC power plug.

I substituted a regulated power supply, for more consistent operation, and my stock one died after a month, it is a cheapie.

Limitations / differences from "normal" NCE system

Rumber of recalls is limited to 2, although I heard there is a new chip that allows 6.

Consists are allowed at addresses of 112 to 127.

Accessories are limited to addresses 1-2044


Portable use:

I thought this would be great for portable use, but the panel you plug the throttle, track, and power supply into is meant to be installed, and has exposed connections.

I went to the local Michaels and found a box that with very little modification will hold the panel easily




Notice I intentionally only cut a hole for the powercab cable? Also while NCE shows this plate with the LED on the bottom, you want the LED visible, since it's the only indicator of track power.


On the backside I made cutouts for the track power and the main power supply, again make it easy and foolproof.




Side view:






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