Last updated 20 June, 2017
NCE have released a new accessory decoder called the Q-Snap for controlling twin-coil point motors. This provides:
November 2012 - NCE has discontinued the SB3a Smartbooster and DB3a Booster and replaced them with new models, called the SB5 and DB5, both now provided with a universal power supply. NCE has also introduced a new twin control DCC system which comes with a 3 amp universal power supply and a bus expansion connector enabling a ProCab throttle to be used with the system. To view the manual for using the DCC Twin as a "Master" device click here.
Also released by NCE in 2012 is the PB5 booster which replaces the PB105 and can be used with most DCC systems to provide an additional 5 amps of power. Also released recently are the Mini Panel, USB Interface, Packet Analyser (for the PowerPro system) and the BACHDSL decoder, a drop-in decoder for Bachmann US diesel locos. In addition there is a new throttle, the Cab06, which has a digital display.
For an in-depth illustration of Mini-Panel usage for automatic train control click here (it's a long video!).
For some extremely helpful information and advice on using NCE products in particular and more general advice on using DCC see the website of Mark Gurries.
The latest EPROM upgrade has been released and is now available. It provides software version 1.65.
To view the manual for version 1.65 click here.
For a guide on how to install and connect up the USB interface for use with the PowerCab, click here.
Latest versions of firmware, as at 1 September 2008, for NCE systems are:
All systems retailed should have these firmware versions already installed. If not, or you have a system with older firmware that has not been upgraded, please read the following:
A firmware upgrade was released by NCE during March 2007 for PowerCab and PowerPro users. If you think you have lost your registration card, you have also lost your manual! The card is usually attached to the inside of the front cover of the manual. If you really have lost your card (and your manual!) you should contact your retailer who will (should?) be able to verify your purchase.
To view the manual for version 1.28 click here.
Some users have reported problems when using sound equipped locos, especially those containing QSI and Soundtraxx decoders, and the NCE EB3 circuit breaker. The problem is that the EB3 does not reset itself. For a more complete discussion of the problem and a possible solution please see this item. Note that NCE have now withdrawn the EB3 from their product list and has been replaced by the EB1.
The PowerCab starter system from NCE is no longer available from Bromsgrove Models but is available from Digitrains. It consists of a PowerCab throttle (which is fundementally the same as the throttle used in the more powerful PowerPro system), a Power Panel into which the throttle is plugged (and there is another connector for an additional cab) and a connecting lead.
The PowerCab now comes with a UK compatible 2A power supply. Note that there is a separate adapter/jack plug in the bag of bits supplied to enable the power supply to be plugged into the PowerCab panel.
The system provides a power output of 2 amps, enough to run two or three OO/HO locos or four N scale locos simultaneously, though this will depend very much on the power requirements of the locos (whether they are fitted with sound, etc.). It is possible to increase the output to 5 amps with the use of the Smart Booster, as well as connect the system to a computer via the optional USB cable. You can also use more throttles with the Smart Booster and increase the number of locos in the recall stack to 6, though it is set to 2 by default. You will, though, need a 5 amp transformer in order to use the Smartbooster.
PLEASE NOTE: There are issues with using the CAB4e and Cab05 with the PowerCab and we would currently advise against using these throttles in combination with the PowerCab.
It is possible to upgrade the PowerCab to a full PowerPro system by just purchasing a PowerPro System Box and a 5 amp transformer. The PowerCab throttle becomes a PowerPro throttle when plugged into the System Box using the curly cable.
To view the PowerCab manual, click here.
For a review of the PowerCab see the June 2006 edition of Model Rail magazine, or click here.
To purchase the NCE PowerCab, click here.
To view the manual for the 5 and 10 Amp Power Pro systems, click here.
To view a PDF summary of the advantages of NCE DCC systems click here. Note that the radio versions mentioned in the document cannot be legally sold in the EU.
For a list of NCE decoders suitable for US locos currently available, click here.
Whilst the PowerCab is the NCE starter system this can be upgraded to the full PowerPro by purchasing the PowerPro System Box. The PowerCab throttle, when plugged into this box, becomes a full PowerPro with all of the functionality you would expect from a 5 amp system. You can also purchase the PowerPro as a complete system with command station and throttle, with both 5 and 10 amp systems available. All you need to purchase in addition is a suitable transformer.
To view the manual for the PowerPro system, click here.
To purchase the NCE PowerPro 5 amp System, click here.
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