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NCE DCC Systems

IN THIS SECTION WE COVER

1) HOW TO DECIDE WHICH NCE SYSTEM IS FOR YOU

2) QUICK SUMMARY FEATURE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN POWERPRO AND POWERCAB

3) DCC SYSTEM DISCUSION
    3A) DCC TWIN
    3B) PowerCab
    3C) SB5 (+ PowerCab)  [SB3a and SB3 discussion included]
    3D) PowerPro/PowerHousePro

4) Link: NCE DCC System Technical Spec Comparisons






1) HOW TO DECIDE WHICH NCE SYSTEM IS FOR YOU

Below is a guide in highlighting the difference between all the systems in order of importance.  You will have to decide for yourself what you need and do not need in terms of your layout capability and users.  The key differences are:

1) The maximum number of Cabs:  Cabs or Throttles are the "Engine Controls" for running a given train.  DCC key feature is it allows multiple trains to share the same track at the same time.  The more cabs supported, the more engineers can run more trains on the layout.

To determine what you Cab/Throttle needs, you figure out how many trains you can run on your layout at the same time and the corresponding number of engineers you will need to run them.  Hence the number of Cab/throttles needed is directly related to the size of the layout.

2) "Out of the Box" LCD Cab/Throttle:  A LCD cab is required to access all of the functions offered by the DCC system via its menu system.  Only a ProCab or a PowerCab have a LCD display.

3) Adding "Out of the Box" Walk-Around Capability:  None of the NCE DCC systems offer a complete "Out Of the Box" Walk-Around Capability.  But the cost of adding Walk-Around capability varies greatly from a little to a lot depending on which system you chose.  At a minimum, you will have to buy a relatively inexpensive cab/throttle panel (called a UTP panel) for every location you wish to plug the throttle into around the layout.  (UTP stands for Universal Throttle Panel)   Hence the number of panels varies with the size of the layout you have.  Typically one will need a UTP panel about every 10-12Ft or so.  However UTP locations can be skipped or dynamically spaced farther appart based on the need.  If there is no purpose for an operator to stand in that given location and operate a train, then skip it.

The two low end NCE DCC systems (Train Set and Entry Level) will also require you to by a second cab!  

Walk-Around gives you the ability to take your cab/throttle and walk around the layout next to your train as it moves around the layout.  This involves unplugging the cab/throttle from on UTP panel to the next UTP panel where you can plug in to restore control of the train to you.  Repeat as required going from UTP panel to UTP panel till you reach your destination.  (The ultimate expression of a Walk-Around system is a cordless Radio Cab/Throttles.   This practically eliminates the need for any UTP panels.)  The larger the layout gets, the more important the Walk-Around feature will become.  Likewise the smaller the layout gets, the LESS important this capability becomes.   Sitting down in one spot to run the 4x8 layout can be just fine like in the old DC days.

4) The Current Capability:  This determines how many RUNNING ENGINES in a given scale the system can support.  Running is the key word here.  Each DCC system has an associated current in Amps (Power) which is an electrical limit that describes how much current you have available to run your trains.  When a given engine is physically running down the track, it consumes a certain amount of current (Power).  On the other hand any engine NOT MOVING at all and/or just sitting on the layout (yard) DOES NOT CONSUME any current (Power) of any concern.  These none moving engines should not be included as part of your "power budget".  Another way to say this is you need to figure how many trains you can run on the layout at one time followed by how many engines will be a part of any given train (consist/double heading/MU).  One place to start is to figure out how many people (Operators) will be running trains on your layout at the same time.  If it is only you, then any NCE system will work.  If this was a large club, this is something that need serious consideration.

Why is this important?  DCC applies voltage (power) to the track regardless if trains are running or not.  Stated another way, DCC power is global to the layout and is available to runs any and all trains at the same time.  When the total train current (Power) from all of the running engines exceeds the system's current rating, the system will consider this to be the same condition as a short circuit and shutdown.  Every train on the layout will come to a stop even though there is no true short circuit.

To figuring out how many engines you can run at once, use the following conservative current/engine numbers as a guide:

SCALE      Amps/Engine
-------------------------
  O-Scale: 1.5Amps
HO-Scale: 0.5Amps. 
  N-Scale: 0.25Amps (1/4 Amp)

(NOTE ON HO: Old engines with old motors draw about 0.7Amps while modern engines with modern motors run just under 0.4 Amps.)

Example: A 3 Amp DCC system with modern engines will be able to run 2 O-Scale, 6 HO-Scale or 12 N-Scale engines with full train loads at the same time.

NOTE: Engines that are not moving DO NOT CONSUME CURRENT of any consequence.  Hence the number of engines on the layout has nothing to do with the power calculation.

Simple Steps:

1) Determine the worse case number of engines involved for all the running trains at one time.
2) Multiple by the the current/engine number by the number of engines you will run.

The value you calculate will be your total current you will need to successfully run all of your trains.  You must make sure the DCC system you purchase can support that current.

5) Programming Track Sound Decoder Support:  This is a NCE legacy issue regarding the capability of the Programming Track circuit designed before sound decoder became common.  The PowerCab is the latest full feature NCE DCC system with a true programming track output capability that is designed to handle Sound Decoders without any programming issues.  On the other hand the older but top of the line PowerPro system has the oldest Programming Track circuit that does not reliably work with all sound decoders.  Standard Decoders are not a problem.  Although technically not required, to bring the PowerPro up to the PowerCab's capability, one must purchase a 3rd party "Programming Track Booster".   As an alternative, some people buy a PowerCab system too such that they not only get the full programming track capability but to also get an additional ProCab throttle for the layout.  Leave the PowerPro system only run the layout and use the PowerCab system on the test bench when decoder programming is required.

6) Layout Feedback Support:  The ability to support PC Layout Feedback to implement a complete Signal System using PC software.  This is a very advanced feature that takes the layout to the next level beyond running trains.  If you have no such planes to connect a computer to control the layout, this feature should not be a selection issue.


2) QUICK SUMMARY FEATURE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN POWERPRO AND POWERCAB

This is for people who are looking for a instant comparison of the two NCE DCC systems.  If you do not understand what the following means, then read the subsequent sections which breaks out the details.

OUT OF THE BOX COMPARISON: The PowerPro can do the following that the PowerCab/SB5 system cannot do.  (Not in any specific order)

1) Built in PC computer interface. No NCE computer interface Adapter to buy and does not consume a cab address.

2) 256 macros with each macro controlling up to 10 DCC accessories each.  More and bigger Macro capability. 

3) Remembers last state of a given accessory decoder (position feedback)..makes it easy to throw a turnout from a throttle.

4) 63 cab addresses.  More cab address for any use such as more NCE cab bus based accessory devices. (More AIU’s and MiniPanels)

5) Can run/control up to 250 trains.

6) PC can read command station memory to access command station data. More advanced PC control and status monitoring.

7) PC can backup memory (Consist, Macro’s, Command Station Settings). Quickly restore full operation if battery dies.

8) 128 Advanced Consist supported.

9) More Old Style Consist:  250 with 4 positions for locomotives and/or Advanced Consist in each.  Useful to merge two or more advanced consist into one temporary big consist.


3) DCC SYSTEM DISCUSSION

3A) DCC TWIN. (Train Set Level)



 
    This product is intended for small simple layouts or for converting a given Trainset to DCC.  It has 3Amps of power and 2 throttles built into a single box allowing the operator to take instant advantage of being able to run two independent trains at the same time.  The two throttle knobs integrate both speed and direction. Turn to the left give you reverse and turning to the right gives you forward.  Turn the knob to the top center to stop the train.  Since the DCC TWIN has no LED or LCD display by itself, it is very limited in what it can do out of the box.  One way to look at the the DCC Twin is that it is a crippled PowerCab put into a stationary box.  The programming track capability, functions support, train addressing capability has temporarily been simplified since the LCD display has been removed.

    FUNCTIONS: The prototype has 6 Buttons that by default control functions 0 to 8 (9 total) and access limited programming options.  The control button setup is headlight (F0) plus functions (F1-F4) and additional 4 functions (F5-F8) accessed using the shift button.  (Note small number under the buttons 1-4.

    TRAIN ADDRESSING: The two built in throttles are pre-assigned to locomotive short addresses 3 & 4.


    PROGRAMMING: What you can program is determine by what your are using.  If you are only using the DCC twin, your programming options are very limited. Example: Locomotive address are only programed to the the two pre-set locomotive addresses 3 & 4.  However if one purchased a Procab as an expansion cab for the DCC twin, then the Procab's LCD display will allow full access to all the programming track menus and capabilities not unlike that found in the PowerCab.

    PROGRAMMING TRACK: There is no true "Isolated low current" or "safe" programming track output capability like the PowerCab offers.   (Low current means that IF there is something electrically wrong with the engine or the Decoder inside the engine, it will not burn up in smoke.)
    All programming track commands are sent to the main line where full track power is available during programming.  This is also known informally as "Blast Mode" programming.  If you have an engine with DCC decoder pre-installed (sound or no sound), this should not be a problem.   Likewise given it has been conceived as being part of a simple ready to go DCC Trainset, the included DCC engine would also be pretested and preprogrammed negating the need for any out of the box programming to get up and running.   That said, if you plan to install your own DCC decoders in your old DC engines, this presents a risk of damaging your decoder if you make a mistake in the wiring.    You would be better off with the PowerCab, with it safe programming track support, to do that type of programming and testing.

    CAB EXPANSION: The DCC Twin has a RJ12 cab bus port and support for 3 more expansion throttles/cabs (3 Cab addresses) of any type made by NCE including radio cabs with the optional purchase of a NCE radio system upgrade.   Hence one can get an optional ProCab (or Radio ProCab) with its full LCD display allowing you to get full access to all the features.

    ACCESSORY EXPANSION SUPPORT:  The TWIN allows you to add up to 3 NCE cab bus based accessory devices to the system using 3 special cab addresses.  This does NOT take away from the number of throttles one can use with the PowerCab system.  These devices are above and beyond the ability to control turnouts.  The following expansion devices are supported.

        1) USB SUPPORT: The TWIN can be connected to a computer using NCE's USB adapter board allowing control of trains from a PC, "Programming On the Main" AKA OPS mode programming or programming using the Programming Track mode of the PowerCab.  It is fully compatible with free popular decoder programming software such as JMRI Decoder Pro.

        2) MINI PANEL SUPPORT: A NCE MiniPanel can be connect to the TWIN system to allow one to build traditional control panels that can be setup to control complex paths or routes through interlockings or yards, control trains, signals or any DCC accessory.  It accepts button inputs or with some consideration, other devices such as block occupancy detectors.  It is an intelligent devices that you can program to do complex task with a single push of a button.  It works with the command station to control the layout.

        3) AUXILIARY INPUT UNIT:  (AIU for short) Input device intended for COMPUTER FEEDBACK of the monitoring the status of various user chosen devices on the layout.  It is primarily intended to support signaling system.  The most common monitored devices are block occupancy detectors monitoring for a trains presence in a given section of track and/or the status of the given turnouts position (Normal or Reverse).   Software such as the free JMRI Panel Pro can be used to implement a dispatcher layout control system and/or signal system.
 
    DUAL MODE OPERATION: Like the PowerCab, the DCC twin can be use as a dual throttle with any other NCE DCC system.   It will simply appear as two throttle/cabs to the host NCE command station. It is unclear how one sets the throttle addresses nor is it clear how one chooses a engine/train beyond the present address.  Although one could use the "Assign Loco To Cab" function, this would really limit the appeal of the product.

    PACKAGING/CONNECTIONS: The DCC TWIN is designed to be set on or be mounted some place like a your typical DC power pack would be installed on the layout.  On the front is a ON/OFF LED.  On the back are Screw terminals for the layout, RJ12 jack for the Cab Bus expansion and a DC IN jack for the supplied AC to DC power supply adapter.

    SYSTEM EXPANSION OPTIONS:  See SB5 below.
 

3B) PowerCab (Entry Level)
    The PowerCab is a hand held entry level system which contains a full featured Command Station, Low Power Booster and a ProCab all inside a ProCab case.  The typical current rating is 1.5Amps.  The actual current is determined by the the AC power adapter supplied with the system.

    POWERCAB USAGE: Despite it hand held form factor intended for walkaround use, out of the box the PowerCab is not usable as a walkaround throttle in the sense one can unplug it and move with the train to another location and plug it back in.   Why?  The DCC booster that drives the layout is inside the PowerCab and must be connected by wire to keep the layout powered.  Unplugging kills layout power.   To free the PowerCab for full walkaround capability will require upgrading the system with the SB3a Smart Booster.  The range or movement plugged in is limited by the supplied 6Ft cable.  This restriction only applies to the PowerCab when powering the layout.

    PROCAB EMULATION:  The PowerCab itself can be unplugged from your home layout and taken to a another NCE layout that has it own NCE system and used the PowerCab as an extra ProCab to run trains.  In that capacity, it performs like a normal walkaround throttle.  A coiled cable that normal walkaround throttles have is supplied too as part of the system.

    SPECIAL PCP PANEL: The PowerCab comes with a special panel called the "PCP" panel which come from the words: PowerCabPanel.   This special panel is where all the connections for the PowerCab take place.  There is a DC power jack for the supplied AC power adapter plug as well as screw terminals for connection to the layout.  RJ12 Cab Bus jacks on the front and back allow expansion of the system.

    CAB EXPANSION: In addition to itself, the PowerCab offers the ability to support 3 additional cabs for a total of 4 cabs.  These additional cabs will have full walkaround capability with purchase of expansion "UTP" panels  (Universal Telco Panel) that are placed around the layout as needed and connected to the rear RJ12 jack on the PCP panel.

    RADIO SUPPORT: The two extra cabs can be radio cabs with the purchase of a radio system upgrade purchase.  However there is no radio option for the PowerCab ITSELF when it is being used as the command station to power/run the layout.  That said, the PowerCab can, upon special request, be upgraded at the factory with a radio option with the understanding that the built in radio can ONLY BE USED when you take the PowerCab to a another NCE layout that has a radio system.  Otherwise you will have to plug in like a ProCab.

    PROGRAMMING: Being the newest NCE product with a Programming track, the PowerCab offers the best Programming Track capability of all the NCE systems. It offers a true Safe (low Current) programming track output mode where it is safe to test decoders with unknown wiring.  However at the same time, the programming track current has been raised enough to accommodate the special needs of sound decoders which can have problems working properly with older style programming track output.   No 3rd party programming track booster is required.

    DCC ACCESSORY SUPPORT: Up to 256 turnouts can be DCC controlled using DCC accessory turnout decoders.  They can be controlled from the PowerCab throttle or any NCE throttle with an accessory control button.

    ACCESSORY EXPANSION SUPPORT:  The PowerCab allows you to add up to 3 NCE cab bus based accessory devices to the system using 3 special cab addresses.  This does NOT take away from the number of throttles one can use with the PowerCab system.  These devices are above and beyond the ability to control turnouts.  The following expansion devices are supported.

        1) USB SUPPORT: The PowerCab can be connected to a computer using NCE's USB adapter board allowing control of trains from a PC, "Programming On the Main" AKA OPS mode programming or programming using the Programming Track mode of the PowerCab.  It is fully compatible with free popular decoder programming software such as JMRI Decoder Pro.

        2) MINI PANEL SUPPORT: A NCE MiniPanel can be connect to the PowerCab system to allow one to build traditional control panels that can be setup to control complex paths or routes through interlockings or yards, control trains, signals or any DCC accessory.  It accepts button inputs or with some consideration, other devices such as block occupancy detectors.  It is an intelligent devices that you can program to do complex task with a single push of a button.  It works with the command station to control the layout.

        3) AUXILIARY INPUT UNIT:  (AIU for short) Input device intended for COMPUTER FEEDBACK of the monitoring the status of various user chosen devices on the layout.  It is primarily intended to support signaling system.  The most common monitored devices are block occupancy detectors monitoring for a trains presence in a given section of track and/or the status of the given turnouts position (Normal or Reverse).   Software such as the free JMRI Panel Pro can be used to implement a dispatcher layout control system and/or signal system.

    COOL FEATURES: The PowerCab offers a fast clock but the feature can be switched in favor of its unique built in "current meter" which tells you how much current (Power) your layout or engine under test is drawing from the PowerCab.

    SYSTEM EXPANSION OPTIONS:  See SB5 below.


3C) SB5 + PowerCab (Mid Range Level)  [SB3a, SB3 included]

These DCC systems are specifically offered as a power and feature UPGRADE path for the PowerCab.  You will not find NCE selling a complete SB5 DCC system.  NCE assumes that the buyer of this system is a PowerCab owner.   Therefore these system do not include a Programming Track option since that feature is already offered by the PowerCab itself.   THe system consist of a Command Station and a Booster in the same box. The SB3 and SB3a are discussed at the bottom.

SB5: Current Production.  The SB5 is a 5A Booster and limited Command Station in a single box.  The SB5 includes a power supply.

The identical power expansion booster is called the DB5.


    STANDALONE DCC SYSTEM:  The SB5 does not need a PowerCab to function.  It can be purchased by itself and work with any NCE cab of you choice.
    
    CAB EXPANSION: The SB3a command station is limited in that it only offers support for 6 cabs to run trains.  Of note, this upgrade frees up your PowerCab to become one of the 6 walkaround cabs to run a train.   This is because the PowerCab will be operating in it ProCab mode all the time.  Hence no long need to keep the PowerCab plugged in.
    
    RADIO SUPPORT: The system can be used with radio cabs with a radio upgrade purchase.  That includes the special order radio PowerCab.

    POWER SUPPLY: The Power supply is not included but uses the same power supply as recommended for all NCE 5A boosters.

    PACKAGING/CONNECTIONS: The SB5 comes in the plastic box with all connections and indicators on the front.  The status LED on the front lets you know it has power and if there is a short circuit or any other type of fault.  There are two RJ12 Cab Bus jacks to support expansion with purchase of expansion "UTP" panels  (UniversalTelcoPanel) that are placed around the layout as needed and connected to the RJ12 jack on the front of the SB5.   Doing so frees up the PowerCab "PCP" panel so it can be moved to a test bench with a an electrically isolated test track where the PowerCab can be used to test and program locomotives.  So you can run trains while programing engines at the same time as needed!

    ACCESSORY EXPANSION SUPPORT:  The SB5 allows you to add up to 3 NCE cab bus based accessory devices to the system using 3 special cab addresses.  This does NOT take away from the number of throttles one can use with the PowerCab system.  These devices are above and beyond the ability to control turnouts.  The following expansion devices are supported.

        1) USB SUPPORT: The SB5 can be connected to a computer using NCE's USB adapter board allowing control of trains from a PC, "Programming On the Main" AKA OPS mode programming.  It is fully compatible with free popular decoder programming software such as JMRI Decoder Pro.

        2) MINI PANEL SUPPORT: A NCE MiniPanel can be connect to the SB5 system to allow one to build traditional control panels that can be setup to control complex paths or routes through interlockings or yards, control trains, signals or any DCC accessory.  It accepts button inputs or with some consideration, other devices such as block occupancy detectors.  It is an intelligent devices that you can program to do complex task with a single push of a button.  It works with the command station to control the layout.

        3) AUXILIARY INPUT UNIT:  (AIU for short) Input device intended for COMPUTER FEEDBACK of the monitoring the status of various user chosen devices on the layout.  It is primarily intended to support signaling system.  The most common monitored devices are block occupancy detectors monitoring for a trains presence in a given section of track and/or the status of the given turnouts position (Normal or Reverse).   Software such as the free JMRI Panel Pro can be used to implement a dispatcher layout control system and/or signal system.

   POWER "BOOSTER" EXPANSION: A RJ-H "Control Bus" jack is provided for allowing expansion via adding NCE DB5 booster(s) to meet the power needs of larger size or scale layouts.  

SB3a:
 Discontinued. The SB5 replaces the SB3a.  Both are identical in operational features and current rating.  The difference is the SB5 now includes a DC Power Supply.   The SB5 is sold at a higher price but the total cost is less than the SB3a.  Why?  With the SB3a, you must purchase a power supply sold separately.  In other words you save money and setup time with the SB5 as it right out of the box.  

The SB3a offers 2A more current than the SB3 is replaced and has a more robust power system design inside.  

DB3a:  The identical power expansion booster was called the DB3a.  The box is identical to the SB3a except the number and type connections along with the label are different.  There is no command station functionality.  It connects using the same RJ-H "Control Bus" jack.


SB3:  Discontinued.  The SB3a replaced the SB3.  The SB3 is identical in operational features as the SB3a and SB5 but it current rating is lower at 3A.  The case design and connections are also very different.  History has shown the SB3 is not as a reliable system from a power point of view compared SB3a or any other NCE DCC system.  Short Circuit protection was not robust enough.  NCE recommended you place some supplementary protection in the form of a NCE CP6 bulb based protection device or any DCC circuit breaker that works at 3 amps right on the output of the system before connecting it to any track.  

DB3: The identical power expansion booster was called the DB3.  The box is identical to the SB3 except the number and type connections along with the label are different.  There is no command station functionality.






2D) PowerPro/PowerHousePro (High End)
The PowerPro is the name for a complete DCC system that contains a CS02 Command Station, booster and a ProCab.  The system comes in two versions as shown below.  The system change its name from PowerHousePro some time ago but is otherwise exactly the same system.

1) 5 Amp.  In this configuration, both the Command Station and 5Amp booster are inside a single box as shown in the 1st photo.    There are two variations of this product with the only difference being the latest version eliminates the need for two input power connections.  Power expansion boosters are called the PB5.  It is the same booster as the former PB105 but the PB5 includes a power supply reducing the total cost over the PB105.  NCE will sell all PB105 it has in stock before selling the PB5.

2) 10 Amp.  In this configuration, the CS02 Command Station is in one box (Bottom Box) while the PB110a 10Amp booster is in an identical looking second box (Top Box) as shown in the 2nd photo.  This system is recommend for O Scale or larger layouts.  Power expansion boosters are the same PB110a's.











    WALK AROUND CAPABILITY:  The system does not have walkaround capability "Out of the Box".  However that is not due to the system itself for you are supplied with a walk around ProCab.  The limitation is one needs to purchase more Cab/Throttle (UTP) panels to ALLOW the cab to walk around the layout.  How many you need depends on the size of the layout. 

    CAB EXPANSION:  The PowerPro command station support up to 63 cabs to run trains meeting the needs of any large layout.  On the front of the system is a RJ12 cab bus jack that is used to connect up all the UTP panels allowing for more cabs to be used.
    
    RADIO SUPPORT: The system can be used with radio cabs with a radio upgrade purchase.  You can buy a system with radio included.

    POWER SUPPLY: The Power supply is not included with any of these systems.   The 5Amp system uses the same power supply as recommended for all NCE PB105 5A boosters.   Basically any transformer that puts out 15VAC at 5A will work.  NCE is now selling a  The 10Amp system require purchase of NCE 10 Amp transformer or other high current power supply.

    PACKAGING/CONNECTIONS: The system comes in the metal box with all connections and indicators on the front.  The status LED on the front lets you know it has power and if there is a short circuit or any other type of fault.  There are two telco jack to support Cab/Throttle expansion and connect any power expansion boosters.  There are two sets of wire terminals connections.  On the left side is POWER input and TRACK output connections.  On the right center is PROGRAMMING track and depending on the version of the system a second POWER input.   If you have a older version with dual POWER jacks, you must hook both of them up to a power source.  It can be the same power source.

    RS-232 SERIAL COMPUTER PORT: The PowerPro can be connected to a computer using any USB-RS232 adapter allowing control of trains from a PC or "Programming On the Main" AKA OPS mode programming using free popular decoder programming software such as JMRI Decoder Pro. 

ACCESSORY EXPANSION SUPPORT:  The PowerPro allows you to add up to a maximum of 63 NCE cab bus based accessory devices to the system.  However, for each device you add to the system you must give up one corresponding operational cab address.  These devices are above and beyond the ability to control turnouts.  The following expansion devices are supported.

        1) USB SUPPORT: The NCE USB adapter board is NOT recommended to be used with the PowerPro.  You will NOT be able to do as much as the RS-232 port supports. 

        2) MINI PANEL SUPPORT: A NCE MiniPanel can be connect to the PowerCab system to allow one to build traditional control panels that can be setup to control complex paths or routes through interlockings or yards, control trains, signals or any DCC accessory.  It accepts button inputs or with some consideration, other devices such as block occupancy detectors.  It is an intelligent devices that you can program to do complex task with a single push of a button.  It works with the command station to control the layout.

        3) AUXILIARY INPUT UNIT:  (AIU for short) Input device intended for COMPUTER FEEDBACK of the monitoring the status of various user chosen devices on the layout.  It is primarily intended to support signaling system.  The most common monitored devices are block occupancy detectors monitoring for a trains presence in a given section of track and/or the status of the given turnouts position (Normal or Reverse).   Software such as the free JMRI Panel Pro can be used to implement a dispatcher layout control system and/or signal system.

    BOOSTER EXPANSION: A RJ-H "Control Bus" jack is provided for allowing for additional NCE power expansion boosters to meet the power needs of larger scale layouts.  Each booster has a two corresponding RJ-H control bus jacks allow easy daisy chaining the next expansion booster as needed.

    PROGRAMMING TRACK: Common to both systems is the CS02 Command Station that comes with a dedicated true programming track output.  However the Programming Track output is old and predates sound decoder equipped engines.  In 2007, some improvement has been made but still not perfect. In other words, you may not be successful in reading the CV value from every given sound decoder.  A 3rd party "Programming Track Booster" will typically be an additional purchase to add the additional power capability to the programming track.  (Recommend the SoundTraxx PTB-100 programming track booster.)  NOTE: The PowerCab is much newer and it programming track output is designed to supports all sound decoders.


4) DCC SYSTEM TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION COMPARISON

Go here: NCE DCC System Technical Spec Comparisons

Updates:  
11/24/2015
02/16/2017