This section talks about the NCE PowerCab capabilities and Limitations.
The PowerCab represents a Entry Level starter system for small layouts but has all with the same feature as the high end PowerPro. Its limitation are found in the number of expansion options it can connect to and support.
The photo on the left shows a complete PowerCab system as shipped from the factory from NCE.
1) The Hand Held throttle (cab) on the left (also see manual cover picture of someone hold the cab).
2) Power Supply is on the lower right. The is the one of many types of power supplies used and it will vary with the country it is sold in. It provides a current limited 13.8VDC to the PowerCab. The power supply one shown is one of the US versions.
3) Flat Black Cable is in the lower center. This is the normal cable you use when you want to run your layout with the PowerCab.
4) Coiled Black Cable in the plastic bag is the cable you use when you take your PowerCab to another layout with already has a NCE system.
5) The Manual is on the top right. Coiled bound makes for easy reading with the manual staying flat on any surface.
5) PCP panel is in the center below the letters "NCE" on the manual cover. The front face plate for the PCP panel is above and top the left directly above the Flat black cable.
Power Input Requirements: 10-15V regulated DC, 3A maximum
Power Connector: 5.5mm x 2.5mm center positive
Track Power Output: Input Voltage minus 0.5 Volts @ 2 Amps peak using supplied 7ft cable.
Cabs: 2-4, Varies with version of software.
Number of simultaneous trains: 12
Number of consists: 16 advanced consists of unlimited number of locomotives each. Plus 4 old style consists up to 2 locos each.
Range of locomotive addresses: 0-9999
Range of consist addresses: 112-127
Range of accessory addresses: 1-2044
Range of signal addresses: 1-2044
Computer interface: Optional NCE USB Adapter. To learn more go here: NCE USB Adapter Limitations
Feature Comparisons: For a technical comparison of features with other NCE systems, go here: NCE DCC Systems
Software: To learn more about the various software upgrades, go here: PowerCab Software
Radio: The PowerCab does support radio cabs in the form purchasing a radio base station (RB02) and Radio Cab throttles. The PowerCab itself is intentionally NOT sold with a radio because it must always be plugged into the layout to power the layout when used as a PowerCab. 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. NCE want to avoid any misunderstanding or claims of False Advertising. That said, when the PowerCab is used on a DIFFERENT NCE layout where the PowerCab 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. To learn more go here: PowerCab Radio Option
System Upgrade Path: Purchase of a SB3*, SB3a* or SB5 will upgrade the track current capability (up to 5Amps) allowing running of more trains. It will also allow the PowerCab to be used as a Walkaround throttle (ProCab Mode). The SB3, SB3a and SB5 are essentially complete DCC systems (command station+Booster) but have no programming track support. They are designed specifically for the PowerCab in that all programming track function will continue to be performed by the PowerCab. To learn more about