NCE Hints

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A list of hints relating to the NCE and Wangrow System One systems

NCE Hints and Tips

NCE / Wangrow Serial Communications

The serial port works at 9600 bps. Setting it to a faster speed will not work, as the system lacks the handshaking capability to manage communications. JMRI does not allow speeds greater than 9600 for this reason.

This mostly impacts the Power House Pro and the Wangrow System One command station. (NCE supplied the software to Wangrow.)

NCE Serial and USB Interfaces

A number of commands present when using a serial cable are not available when using the NCE USB interface. Of the commands that are available, the computer interface can send any command it wants.


The NCE USB uses the SiLabs CP2102 chipset. Use the SiLabs CP210x drivers from SiLabs available here. There is a universal driver for Windows10. You also need to know if your OS version is 32 or 64 bit, and install the appropriate driver.

Limitations of the USB Interface

All Systems

Clock unavailable. Turnout monitoring unavailable.


No programming track support, operations mode only.

Power Pro

No mobile decoder programming.

Auxiliary Input Unit (AUI) Support
  • USB versions 7.x and above, Smartbooster with firmware version 1.65 and above support the AUI
  • USB versions less than 7.x, no AIU support

Software Versions

Pro Cab

When the Pro Cab is connected to the Cab Bus, it will display the software revisions.

For a Radio person (Pro Cab R), install the battery and press E-Stop to display the Radio version. If is has an external antenna, the version will be less than V1.5. Cabs with V1.5 or better have an internal antenna. Those versions appeared in 2008.


This is important if you take your motive power to run on another layout which uses NCE equipment when you do not use an NCE system on your own layout.

NCE uses a hybrid version of Advanced Consisting which they call Intelligent Consisting.

  • Always break up any consist you created with an NCE command station before removing your locomotives from the layout. Failure to do so will render the units immobile when placed on a layout which does not use an NCE DCC system.

If you forget to do that and find you can not get the locomotives to move, write a value of "0" (zero) to CV19

Power Pro

Clear All Consists

The "Clear All Advanced Consists" command available in the NCE Power Pro sends a Clear Consist Address command, which causes CV19 to be reset, This is done using the Broadcast Address. All decoders on the track must obey Broadcast Address commands.


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.

Mini Panel

The Mini Panel is a throttle class device. It can instruct the command station to create commands to one or more preprogrammed loco addresses.

Cab Reset

To reset any NCE throttle including the Power Cab: Press SELECT LOCO button when plugging the Cab in, then release button. Reading or changing the cab address is now possible.

With the cursor blinking, select a new address, or enter 00 to reset the cab to its factory defaults. Press ENTER when finished.

If no changes are desired, just press ENTER to exit.

Reset Cab ID Number: Power Pro

  1. Press the PROG/ESC key five times, to go to Set CMD Station
  2. Press the ENTER key 33 times, scrolling through the menu options. The last option is Clear All Cab Memory
  3. Reboot the command station
  4. Each Cab must be plugged in, one at a time, to register its existing Cab ID, which is stored in the cab.

Cab Addresses

Every cab must have its own unique address. Consult your documentation to determine which addresses are permitted by your system and software.

Programming Issues

Blind Writes

Many systems, including NCE, perform a blind write when programming in OPS Mode. The throttle may indicate success, when the write was not successful.

Power Cab

If you do not have a dedicated programming track, the load presented to the Power Cab may be too great, which will result in a failure to program and CV read back will not work. It is also likely that every decoder on the rails will also be reprogrammed.

Solution: Create a dedicated programming track.

Note: A program track booster should not be used with an NCE Power Cab

Power Pro

A firmware issue in the Power Pro affects programming track operation. Attempting to write to a CV greater than 256 will result in the decoder's possible corruption. The firmware will write to a CV which is less than 257, which could have unpredictable results.

There is no way around this issue. An alternate strategy is to use a Power Cab system to perform programming,

A program track booster may be required with an NCE Power Pro. The Soundtraxx PTB-100 is the best choice. Other devices may have issues when used with the Power Pro.


This problem will also occur using JMRI on the program track. The advantage to DecoderPro is that it understands the issue, and instead of corrupting the decoder's memory, will just return an error response.

One workaround is to employ DecoderPro to read the decoder on a programming track, then use OPS Mode to alter the CVs.

ESU Decoders

This issue does not impact the programming of an ESU decoder, as they have an intelligent method of handling CV >256 in their firmware.

Ops Mode Programming

In Operations Mode commands can be sent to a specified decoder, which requires pre-selection via a throttle.

Computer Interface

The serial interface (USB or serial) can send any command.

Notes and References

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