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NCE Command Stations

Below is a discussion of the command stations offered by NCE from a production history point of view.  

For a list of features, go here: NCE DCC Systems

NCE SB3 Command Station History


Discontinued:  The short lived SB3 had a 3 Amp booster and was built into a plastic box.  Unfortunately it was not very reliable.  With poor heat and short circuit protection, the unit often failed.  In an attempt to address the heat issue, NCE added holes to the case to increase ventilation.   The short circuit issue required the user to add external Automotive light bulbs in series with the output to limit the sustained current.   Acknowledging the system faults, NCE later offered customers a free upgrade to a SB3a.


Production:  The SB3a came in a new more compact plastic case with an improved 5A booster.   Software wise, it is the same as the SB3.  However the booster designed is based on the PB105 booster design.  The SB3a also offers the option of defeating the command station and becoming a 5A Booster.  The conversion is done with a flip of a switch on the bottom of the box and a software setting change.

NCE High End Command Station History (Master Series/PowerHousePro/PowerPro)

NCE's top of the line command station has evolved over time.  Originally the CS01 command station had 2 CabBus jacks on the front panel.  The 2 Cab bus jacks made it very easy to place the command station anywhere in the Cab bus run.

NCE Master Series CS01 Command Station

Discontinued:  Original Command station made by NCE for NCE and OEM for Wangrow System One version.   This system has 3 RJ jacks.  Two RJ12 for cab bus and 1 RJ-H for the Power Stations (Boosters) .  RS-232 DB9 serial port and 4 color status LEDs.  The screw terminals are for power input (AC or DC) and "Programming Track" output.  NCE wrote the software.  The CS01 was replaced by the CS02.


Discontinued:   99% physically the same as the NCE Master Series CS01.  This was the only command station System One sold until it went our of business.  It has a different vinyl cover sticker and white color RJ jacks were used.   The only important difference is that this command station is not compatible with the latest versions of the NCE command station software.   Newer NCE software can detect if it is being installed into a CS01 or a CSP01 command station.  If it detects a CSP01, it will refuse to run.   Why?  When NCE broke up with Wangrow, all software support for this version of the command station went away with it.

NCE CS02 Command Station

In Production.  The NCE CS01 command station was more expensive than it needed to be and was preventing NCE from offering a lower cost DCC system.  NCE parted ways with Wangrow when Wangrow did not want to follow NCE lower cost goals.  NCE then released the lower cost CS02 which is simply a repackage CS01 that only takes up 1/2 the space inside the same box and mounted on the right half.  The only compromise was fewer status LEDS and one less Cab Bus Jack.  

In addition to the cost reduction, there was another very important reason for making the command station small internally.   It would allow room for a 5A DCC booster on the left half.  Hence the same Box can be used product the NCE PowerHouse and PowerPro.

NCE PowerHouse(Pro) Station (OLD)

Discontinued:  A PowerHouse system is a CS02 above PLUS a booster installed on the left.  It therefore has the same single Cab Bus connection.  Replaced by the PowerPro label which is exactly the same thing but with a name change.

NCE PowerPro Station  (NEW)

In Production:  Other than a name change, this system is the same as the PowerHouse station but eliminated the need for two input power connections.  Notice there is no power connection on the right side when compared to the PowerHouse  picture above.  The power comes from the booster side on the left.