DCCWiki, a community DCC encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search

Manufacturer: NCE

Summary: NCE began as an OEM in 1993, supplying hardware and software for the Wangrow SystemOne. NCE became a DCC manufacturer when Wangrow passed on the NCE Power House DCC system as the replacement for the SystemOne. Today NCE offers a variety of DCC Systems and accessories.

See more Manufacturers
General information
Phone +1-585-265-0230
Fax +1-585-265-0234
Email [email protected]URIs of the form "[email protected]" are not allowed.
Main URL Main URL
URL to manuals
Address NCE Corporation

82 East main Street Webster, NY 14580

Date Opened 1993
Date Closed
Device Types Booster, Command Station, Mobile Decoder, Other, Power Supply, Stationary Decoder, Throttle

NCE Corporation

Company Summary

NCE began manufacturing DCC Products on an OEM basis in 1993 and was originally known as North Coast Engineering. They provided the software component of Wangrow's SystemOne and RamFixx Technologies' RamTraxx DCC systems. The name was changed to NCE when it was incorporated in 1996. Today, NCE has to grown into a full-time electronic design and manufacturing firm devoted entirely to the development and sale of products for the control of model railroads.

The NCE Power House was intended to be marketed by Wangrow as the next generation SystemOne. Wangrow declined, so NCE decided since it was a finished, ready for production product, they would release it under their own brand. Wangrow subsequently went out of business when their licence for the command station software supplied by NCE expired. Wangrow failed to comprehend the difficulty and time requirements needed to create their own software.

AML Interview with Jim Scorse of NCE

This is an audio podcast of an interview with Jim Scorse. Listen in the background if you wish. Youtube allows allows changing playback speed.

There are so many great folks to talk with in the AML Nation and one of the best, is our very own Jim Scorse the owner NCE. Jim has spent over twenty years building NCE into one of the most important companies in the hobby while he continues to innovate and improve his products year after year.

But like so many of our guests Jim isn’t just NCE, he’s passionate about model railroad operations along with his many outside interests such as trivia nights at the local pub, online racing, and his love of music. It’s a great interview and one we’re sure you’ll enjoy, so grab yourself a big bowl of shredded car cards, a steaming hot mug of melted solder and enjoy!!

Episode 198: Jim Scorse-NCE


NCE produces a full line of Digital Command Control products

Starter Sets

Advanced Systems
  • Power Pro
    • Power Pro R (Radio)
  • Power Pro 10
    • Power Pro 10 R

Originally this system was marketed under the Power House name. Complete system with Throttle (Pro Cab), integrated Command Station / Booster. A Power Supply is NOT included.

  • Five- and 10-Amp versions available.
  • Walkaround capability
  • Expansion: 63 devices (Additional cabs and accessory items). NCE calls anything on the throttle network a "cab".
  • Interface: Serial Port, RS232. USB adaptor card is not recommended as some commands are not available over USB connections.
  • Programming Track connections, Programming Track Booster recommended.

The radio systems will be upgraded and increase the number of channels available in the process. It will be backwards compatible. [1][2]

Entry Level Systems
  • Power Cab

While the Power Cab looks a lot like a Power Pro (they use the same package for the throttle), it is a 1.5A Booster, Command Station and Throttle integrated into a handheld device. If you disconnect it from the layout, everything stops as the DCC track signal is generated in the handheld. Adding a Smart Booster eliminates that issue. The tight level of integration limits the available current for the track power bus. Some software features are also absent.

The Power Cab features Pro Cab compatibility when connected to NCE Pro Cab / Power Pro command station it functions as a throttle. A cable to enable this feature is included.

The interface to the layout is called the PCP or Pro Cab Panel. It has connections for the ProCab, DC Power, and the Rail A and B terminals to connect the track power bus. It also has jacks to enable expansion of the system via the Cab Bus. Only three additional UTP panels are supported. In addition, three additional cab bus devices are supported for a total of three throttles and three accessories.

Supports USB interfaces for computer control

Basic System
  • DCC Twin

This system features two throttles integrated into a single enclosure with the command station and a 3A booster. Limited programming options. Can also be used as a pair of throttles in another NCE system.

Power Pro compared to Power Cab

The Power Pro has additional features. While both units may look alike, there are some important differences:

  1. Computer interface: RS232, does not require a cab bus address to function, advanced features compared to other NCE systems
  2. Macro Capability Enhanced
  3. Accessory decoders last state is restored upon power up
  4. Control up to 250 locomotives
  5. Consisting: Up to 128 Advanced Consists possible, with additional consisting features.


  • Pro Cab/Pro Cab R
  • ProCab Deluxe
  • Cab6
    • Available singe throttle cab with radio and choice of rotary encoder or potentiometer. Four digit display. Can be used with YARD mode (center zero)
  • Cab06r: Radio version


Wireless cabs
  • Cab04pr
  • Cab04r
Tethered Cabs
  • Cab04
  • Cab05


A Pro Cab and a Power Cab look almost identical but they are two completely different products.

A Pro Cab is a Throttle only. It requires a DCC command station to function. It is a dumb terminal with a keypad and a display.

The Power Cab is a complete DCC system in one package. It is a Throttle, Command Station and Booster. All three in one (handheld) package.

  • The Power Cab has a six-wire cable which connects it to the power supply, and also has wires which carry the digital DCC track signal and the throttle bus. This cable cannot be substituted with another. If you need a longer reach, the solution is to purchase a Cab06. They are available in tethered and wireless versions. The Power Cab must remain connected to the Power Cab Panel for the system to work.
  • If you wish to run more than a few locomotives with your Power Cab, an SB5 booster may be required.

Each Cab must have its own unique cab address. Available cab addresses are based on the command station being used. Example: For a Power Cab system the available cab addresses are 3, 4, and 5. Addresses 8, 9, and 10 can be used for devices like the USB interface, AIU and Mini Panel.

Command Stations

  • PH-Box
    • Power Pro System command station/booster
  • CS02
    • Command Station Only for Power Pro
  • SB5 Smart Booster
    • Five-amp command station / booster for Power Cab system, up to six throttles. NCE radio compatible. Converts to booster only if needed.

See this page for firmware revisions applicable to their command stations.


NCE has used three product names in its manufacturing history.

  2. Power House
  3. Power Pro
  • PB5
    • Five Amp
  • PB110A
    • 10 Amp Booster with Automatic Reverse. Recommended for large scales.
  • DB5
    • Five Amp booster

Expansion Boosters

  • DB3/DB3A
    • Replaced by the DB5 Booster
  • SB3/SB3A
    • Replaced by SB5 Smart Booster

The SB5 and DB5 are 5A units. They are current production as of 2017

Smart Booster Firmware
Version 1.28
  • Function Refresh
  • USB support
  • 28 Functions
  • CVs up to 999 supported
  • Reset to factory defaults
Version 1.65
  • Total number of Cabs supported is 6, Addresses 2-7.
  • Supports three AUI, USB or Minipanels on addresses 8-10
  • Improved USB functions


  • Corrected issues with Dumb Booster modes


  • Number of cab addresses available after reset corrected
Older Units
  • PB105. This model evolved into the DB and SB3 boosters. Available by special order only.
  • PB110 10A booster, superseded by the PB110a
  • PB205. Many PB205a boosters don't have the model's name marked on the front of the booster. Dual 5A boosters

Circuit Protection

Main article: NCE/Circuit Protectors

Auto Reverser

AR10 10A Auto Reverser

Discontinued Products

Name Replacement Status

See Also

  • NCE FAQs
  • NCE FAQ - NCE Frequently Asked Questions
  • NCE Hints - Hints and tips for NCE products
  • NCE Products - a more detailed list of NCE's offerings.
  • Wangrow - Early DCC manufacturer which used NCE parts and software.

References to this Manufacturer

See more results...


Q: Power Cab and JMRI

If JMRI will not connect to the Power Cab using the NCE USB, try the following steps:

  • Disconnect all cabs except the Power Cab first.

The best settings for any version of the Power Cab and NCE USB:

  • All USB Jumpers OFF. Jumper #1 is ignored, but jumpers 2, 3 and 4 should be Off.

JMRI Preferences:

  1. System Manufacturer: NCE
  2. System Connection: NCE USB
  3. Serial Port: This is determined by the port the USB device is connected to
  4. USB Version: V7.x.x
  5. System: PowerCab
  6. Additional Connection Settings: Select this to get the next setting:
    1. Baud Rate:9600
      1. (Setting to another bit rate will cause issues.)

Edit FAQ Related Articles: NCE Power Cab, NCE USB and Power Cab Related Manufacturer: NCE Categories: Computer, Computer Interface

Q: Power Cab Overcurrent Protection

The Power Cab has an overcurrent sensing circuit for basic self-protection which will continuously attempt to reset itself until destroyed. Neither the Power Cab or the P114 power supply have circuit breakers or fuses. Using a DCC circuit breaker such as NCE's EB1v1.1 is strongly recommended to protect your Power Cab from damage.

NCE did include a software fix (1.28b) which would disconnect power to the track if an overcurrent event was detected in the booster output. It would disconnect and reconnect the track power until the short was cleared or the Power Cab itself was damaged. If the short was not corrected and promptly cleared, the Power Cab would overheat, resulting in damage to itself. Do not leave a Power Cab unattended while operating a train.

  • The current limitation of the Power Cab is imposed by amount of heat the case can withstand. As the current increases the amount of heat dissipated by the booster increases; being enclosed within the handheld throttle's plastic enclosure limits the ability to effectively dissipate excess heat. The designer enforced this limit, specifying a low current power supply.

NCE recommends a circuit breaker on the output of the Power Cab. Their EB1V1.1 was designed with the Power Cab in mind.

Other manufacturer's devices can be used, but ensure they can operate at the lower current levels of the Power Cab.

  • Power Input Requirements: 10-15V regulated DC 3A maximum
  • The preferred method for adding more capacity to the Power Cab is with the SB5 Smartbooster

From NCE's Zendesk:

  1. The NCE Power Cab does not regulate the track voltage. The power supply does.
    1. The DCC track voltage is similar to the power supply's DC output voltage rating. Get a power supply between 12 and 14VDC.
    2. 13.8VDC is a common voltage which emulates a car battery's voltage.
  2. The NCE Power Cab does not limit the current. The power supply does.
    1. The Power Cab's current rating is determined by the power supply's maximum current.
    2. If the current exceeds three amps, the Power Cab shuts down to protect itself.
    3. Use care regarding the selection of a power supply used with the Power Cab.
  3. One cannot run three amps of current continuously with the Power Cab. It will overheat causing deformation of the Power Cab shell due to excessive heat build up.
    1. It is strongly recommended to use multiple DCC circuit breakers with a 2 amp trip current. The Power Cab feeds all of these circuit breakers, which feed various parts of the layout. The DCC circuit breakers isolate any short circuits, protecting the PowerCab from overheating during a short circuit event.
  4. The Power Cab's long flat cable loses a lot of voltage and may get warm when running a lot of trains. The cable and associated telco RJ jacks and plugs are not designed to handle 3 Amps efficiently.
    1. Replacement Power Cab cables must be sourced from NCE. Other cables may not be adequate for the purpose.

Edit FAQ Related Articles: NCE Power Cab, NCE/Circuit Protectors, Power District, SB5, Short Circuit, Short Circuit Protection Related Manufacturer: NCE Categories: Power, Wiring

Q: Power Pro Serial Port Issues

The jackscrews used on the DB9 socket may be too tall for the application making it difficult to secure the connector to it. This can be problematic when using a computer to communicate with the Power Pro.

This is a result of the case material being too thick, where the connector is meant to be mounted through a knockout on a thinner metal case. One solution is to cut the jackscrew so it is no longer proud of the connector.

Also on that page is a Loopback test which can determine if a USB Bridge cable is bad.

Edit FAQ Related Articles: Power Pro, CS02 Related Manufacturer: NCE Categories: Computer, Computer Interface

See more FAQs!

  1. A Modeller's Life podcast, Episode 198
  2. Fall 2022
  3. Replaced by DCC Meter and Packet Analyser