NCE Power Cab

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Summary: The Power Cab is NCE's entry level system.


Power Cab General Description

The system consists of a single unit that combines the functions of a cab, command station and booster. There is an external 'wall wart' type power supply that provides 13.6v DC to power the system, necessary cables for the Power Cab and second throttle, and a control panel that the Power Cab, power supply, optional second throttle and additional NCE UTP panels for remote connection of the second throttle.


Power Cab Panel

The Power Cab Panel is the main interface point between the layout and the Power Cab. The Power Cab must remain plugged into the PCP for the system to work, as the Power Cab has only one DCC output. (See Smart Booster below).

Power Supply

The power supply is a 13.6VDC switching type power supply. The output voltage of the Power Cab follows the input voltage of the power supply, so tuning for different track voltages can be effected by changing the power supply. NCE lists a voltage range of 10 to 15 VDC at up to 3A.


Two cables are provided with the Power Cab system. A six conductor cable is provided for the use of the Power Cab in 'master' mode. The outer two conductors are track power. The inner four are the normal NCE cab bus. An additional four conductor cable is provided for the optional second cab, or to use the Power Cab as a cab on another NCE system. The cables are normal RJ11/12 style telephone style cables.

Types of Cables Used with NCE DCC Systems

See the Cab Bus page for more information

Control Bus Cable

RJH 4P4C cable, used between boosters and a command station, Maximum 300 feet.

Cab Bus

RJ12 6P4C 4 conductor cable used for tethered cabs

RJ12 6P6C cable used between the Cab Bus and the Power Cab.

This cable carries track power and the Cab Bus. NCE's recommendation is to purchase a replacement cable from them, as third party cables will lack the heavy gauge conductors that are needed by the Power Cab.


Additional Cab

The Power Cab system can support one additional cab. This cab must be set as cab 03. Any NCE or compatible cab may be used. It the optional USB interface is used, it counts as the additional cab.

Smart Booster

The SB5 Smart Booster (5 Amps) The Power Cab when used with the SB5 can be unplugged and used in true walk around fashion. It no longer needs to remain connected for the system to work. Up to 6 cabs can be used with the SB5. Additional 5 Amp boosters (DB5) may be added to the SB5 for even more power handling on larger layouts.

Computer Interface

The Power Cab does not come with a computer interface port. The USB interface connects to the NCE cab bus providing an interface for the Power Cab. The Power Cab has a more limited set of available commands than the NCE PH Pro systems. The commands are sufficient for normal operation and programming. The USB interface can also be used with the Smart Booster. The USB interface can also be used with PH systems, but with an even more limited set of commands, not sufficient for programming.

Auto Switch

The Power Cab comes with a single track power output. When the Power cab is put into service mode (programming track) programming mode, the entire main line is energized as the programming track. The Auto SW (Auto Switch) provides separate track power and programming track output. The Auto SW can be used with other DCC systems that do not provide separate programming track output.

The Auto SW monitors the DCC track bus, When it detects the DCC Packets used to initialize Service Mode (programming) it will disconnect booster power and connect a dedicated programming track to the system. It will also change modes if a computer is used for programming.

UTP Panel

NCE UTP Cab fascia panels can be used to provide remote locations for attaching the second cab. Note that the Power Cab itself must remain plugged into the PCP panel.

Radio throttle modification

Radio Base Station (RB02) and any other radio equipped cab are required.

  • RB02 Wireless Base Station 916.50 MHz
  • ProCab-R ProCab with radio
  • CAB06r CAB06 with radio

The Power Cab set is not available with a Radio feature. This must be purchased separately.

Further Expansion

Add the 5A PH Pro, up to 63 cabs! Set up the Power Cab as a programming station (isolated from layout). Change the SB5 to Dumb booster mode to power a 5amp power district.

Additional Information

Address Range

  • Primary: 0-127
    • Adding a leading zero to a primary address will cause it to become an extended address. Example: 0127 versus 127.
  • Extended: 0-9999


NCE Intelligent Consisting

Decoder Reset Issues

After reseting a decoder to its factory default, select address 3, not 0003. The system sees an address with leading zeros as a long address.

See Also