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NCE, Also known as North Coast Engineering

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NCE FAQ section.

Command Stations / Boosters

The NCE starter system is the Power Cab. It comes with a UTP panel that will allow an additional cab throttle to be connected so that two people can operate up to three separate trains on the same model train layout. The Power Cab itself is the throttle, command station and booster all in one handheld package. As such, when the PowerCab is physically disconnected from the layout, all trains stop. When the connection is restored, trains begin moving again. For true walk around operation a second command station/booster must be added, the SB5. When a Power Cab is connected to an SB5, it acts only as a throttle, similar to the Pro Cab.

The Pro Cab system comes with an external Command Station/Booster


The NCE starter system is the Power Cab. It contains all you need to convert a model railroad from Direct Current power to Digital Command Control. The Power Cab throttle can also be taken to your local model railroad club to use on their layout if they have a NCE Pro Cab system. The Power Cab is a command station/booster/throttle integrated into a hand held unit.

The other throttle is the one with the Pro Cab set. NCE also makes utility throttles.

Power Cab as Throttle

A Power Cab Throttle can be used with another Power Cab. The second throttle must be connected using the cable meant for throttle only usage. The primary Pro Cab will function as the command station and booster.

The same is true when using a Power Cab with a Pro Cab / Power Cab system.

Read the manuals, as there may be a cab address conflict.


NCE Decoders and RailCom

With an update to the NMRA DCC Specifications, older NCE decoders which were compliant are no longer. The issue arises when RailCom is active on the command station.

When RailCom is enabled, older NCE decoders may operate erratically or with unexpected results. Disable RailCom to prevent these issues should they arise.

Command stations made with RailCom on board cause the issue. Not all manufacturers1 support RailCom. Most older systems lack RailCom capability. See your manuals to learn if your system has RailCom, and how to disable it.

(1) RailCom is often found on European DCC brands, such as Lenz and ESU.

See also