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Macro Devices

COMMAND STATIONS


With the introduction of the NCE PowerPro system, the concept of a macro to control DCC accessory devices was introduced.  
NCE continued the macro capability with the new Smart Booster and PowerCab. 

The Macro at this point in time were exclusively limited to accessory decoders which at the time were targeted to just throwing turnouts.    It allowed a single action to control multiple devices at the same time.   An example is a yard ladder were a single track feeds into multiple tracks.   By assigning a macro number to each track, the macro when executed will throw each turnout as required along the ladder to reach that specific track.  Up to 10 turnouts all at once.  The same action can be used at an interlocking.   

What NCE calls Macro other DCC systems call track "route control".

To setup a macro, there was no language involved.  All you needed to do was enter the accessory address and the position you want to be using railroad terminology of Normal or Reverse.


MINIPANEL

When NCE introduce the Mini Panel, Macros moved beyond Route Control.   It accomplished two things.

1) The Minipanel allowed one to build control panels with buttons and switches.  The push of a button will cause the associated macro # assigned to that button input to be executed.  Push button route control.

2) NCE greatly expanded what what Macro could control.
   In addition to turnout control, you could now control signals and locomotives all at the same time.  It also allowed you to make interactive decisions and control the timing of events.  

An example of what a Mini Panel can do is schedule the running of trains setting up routes and starting and stopping locomotives.  It can run a show trains automatically, coordinated moving scenery and/or lights,  or implement a primitive signaling system.  Only ones imagination limited what could be done under DCC control.

To support this power and flexibility the Minipanel required development of a language of "macro commands".

To learn more about the Mini Panel, go here:NCE Mini/Macro Panel