NCE RJ45 Cab Panels

NCE's RJ45 UTP Cab/Throttle Panel System using standard RJ45 cables.

A complete manual and schematic for these panels can be found on the bottom of this webpage.

NCE has recently introduced RJ45 UTP Throttle Panels and adapters that allow one to use Standard low cost Ethernet Cables for cab bus connections between panels while offering a upgrade path for future NCE system capability.

Although these panels are made by NCE, they are generic in design and as such compatible with Loconet. However you cannot use the Power Adapter Jack on the back to re-power the Loconet Bus.

Technical Details:

1) OFF THE SHELF CABLES: Unlike the Pin to Pin RJ12 cables, which must be hand made or purchased specifically from a DCC system vendor, these RJ45 or Ethernet cables are available from just about any store that sells computers supplies and is very inexpensive.

2) ROBUST POWER WIRING: There is also a improvement in the electrical performance of the system that reduced voltage losses for the POWER and GROUND lines. The wiring is doubled up effectively cutting the wire resistance in half. Compared to standard RJ12 wiring, you can run the cab bus twice as far BETWEEN PANELS than a standard UTP panel wiring before you will need to re power the bus due to cable voltage drops.

3) NCE FUTURE HIGH SPEED BUS UPGRADE PATH: The RJ45 UTP panel system is a 8 wire bus system. Compared to the standard UTP Panel 6 wire bus, there are 2 wires reserved for future expansion with hints of it being a high speed communication bus (CAN-BUS) as indicated in the schematic of the panel.

4) NCE ALTERNATIVE ROBUST RS485 WIRING: The extra 2 reserved wires can alternatively be used to double up on the RS485 wires making them more robust. Wire jumpers holes are available to bridge the 2 extra wires with the existing RS-485 wires.

NCE Recommendation:

Although you can mix standard UTP and RJ45 UTP panels with NCE adapters and so forth, from a pure economic and electrical performance stand point do not do that. Go 100% RJ45 UTP and preserver your upgrade path. The only exception out of necessity is that you will need ONE NCE RJ12 to RJ45 adapter right at the command station when using CS02, SB3a, PowerPro or PowerCab based NCE systems. When the new NCE command station comes along that is designed to take advantage of the extra wiring, you will only have to change the command station and remove the one RJ12 to Rj45 adapter.

The FRONT panel remains as before with 2 RJ12 (6p6c) telco modular connectors. There is no impact on the throttle compatibility. On the REAR panel, replacing the 2 RJ12 connectors, are 2 RJ45 (8p8c) Ethernet modular connectors that follow the Ethernet wiring standard. Like NCE UTP panels made before, the RJ45 Panels are generic and compatible with Digitrax Loconet with a suitable adapter cable. See wire guide below.

NCE has also introduced the RJ12 to RJ45 adapter. At least one will be needed to connect the RJ45 cab bus to the RJ12 jack on the command station front panel. The wiring is the same as the adapter cable shown in the RJ45 UTP manual.

RJ45 Wiring:

The RJ45 cables' twisted pair connections are pre-choosen to take full advantage of Ethernet cables twisted pair wiring standard. We are NOT following With respect to the power rails, the wires are "doubled up" to cut resistive losses (voltage drops) in half. In other words, the system takes full advantage of the extra wire pair to improve performance. The Cat Cable wiring system is electrically optimized for NCE but will work with Digitrax. Below is the wiring table and schematic for the NCE panel:

Here is a schematic of the panel: (A copy of this schematic is available at the bottom of this link in PDF format.)

Using normal off the shelf RJ45 Ethernet cables, this is what the wiring comes out to be:

This is electrically very robust wiring with low noise.