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Understanding the Function Control with a Power Cab


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I have battled to understand how to expand the Functions of my NCE Power Cab. The instructions in the reference manual hasn't enabled me to access the sound functions beyond Function 9. It is a waste of time buying expensive sound chips if you cannot use all the possibilities! The NCE web pages, like many companies have been written by experts expecting mere mortals to understand their gobbledy . I would welcome any advice from the fellows of RMweb.

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Les,

 

Function 10, 11 and 12 can be quickly accessed by holding shift and pressing one of the three buttons on the bottom row of the handset.

 

For function 13 press OPTION then 3, for function 14 press OPTION then 4 and so on....

 

For function 20 press OPTION twice then 0, for function 21 press OPTION twice then 1 and so on.....

 

Edit:  NB Please note, to enable this you have to reprogram the OPTION button!  See further post below. 

Edited by cravensdmufan
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22 minutes ago, Les le Breton said:

I have battled to understand how to expand the Functions of my NCE Power Cab. The instructions in the reference manual hasn't enabled me to access the sound functions beyond Function 9. It is a waste of time buying expensive sound chips if you cannot use all the possibilities! The NCE web pages, like many companies have been written by experts expecting mere mortals to understand their gobbledy . I would welcome any advice from the fellows of RMweb.

PM sent

ATB

Chris

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3 hours ago, Les le Breton said:

Thanks for the help cravensdmufan, just one question [for now!]:- Do the Functions remain as created above, in the Power Cab memory, or do I have to access the functions individually as I proceed?

Les,

 

Sorry, I don't really understand your question.

 

Do you mean the functions on and off? If so, they toggle - except the horn/whistle button which momentarily operates F2 (on my handset that was as supplied by the manufacturer).

 

You can remap the function numbers on your decoder. I understand that using JMRI software is the easiest way to do that, though I haven't tried it myself.

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17 hours ago, cravensdmufan said:

Les,

 

Sorry, I don't really understand your question.

 

Do you mean the functions on and off? If so, they toggle - except the horn/whistle button which momentarily operates F2 (on my handset that was as supplied by the manufacturer).

 

You can remap the function numbers on your decoder. I understand that using JMRI software is the easiest way to do that, though I haven't tried it myself.

I think the NCE Manual suffers from being written for states side consumption!

 

It took me a while to figure out the "toggle" action. I think we expect everything to work like our TV controllers, and the NCE doesn't!

 

By the way  Les, if you have yet to do so, don't forget to send in your registration for the NCE so you get free software upgrades. I thought it might not be beneficial here in the UK, but an answer to another thread highlighted that they do send out upgrades etc. to the UK.

 

Best regards

Paul

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Good advice from Paul - do register with NCE.  I did, and they sent an upgrade chip through the post which I didn't even ask for!

 

And yes, the manual is worded very American.  Took me a while to see where they were coming from but then it soon makes sense!  Just a different way of putting things!

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     I am delighted with the help and advice that the members above have posted for me. I am now able to use all of the sound Functions of my locos. I am also about to post the NCE registration. Many thanks to you all, you have made an old man very happy.

"There's something about the sound of a train that's very romantic and nostalgic and hopeful."

                                                                                                                                                                                          by  Paul Simon

    An apt quotation, now I can hear all my locos with sound.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 17/03/2019 at 18:15, cravensdmufan said:

 

 

For function 13 press OPTION then 3, for function 14 press OPTION then 4 and so on....

 

For function 20 press OPTION twice then 0, for function 21 press OPTION twice then 1 and so on.....

It seems that the OP's question has been answered but for anyone else reading, what you describe is not the default action on the Option button.

The Option button is programmable & by default is is a 'Brake' button, so if anyone uses this, they will lose this feature by enabling extended functions.

 

To enable access to functions 10-28 via the Option button, do the following:

 

Hold down 'Select Loco' while you plug in the Powercab/Procab. This gives you access to several features such as cab address. If you only want to change the behaviour of the Option key, then enter through the different features until it reads OPTION, setting this value to 122.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

It seems that the OP's question has been answered but for anyone else reading, what you describe is not the default action on the Option button.

The Option button is programmable & by default is is a 'Brake' button, so if anyone uses this, they will lose this feature by enabling extended functions.

 

To enable access to functions 10-28 via the Option button, do the following:

 

Hold down 'Select Loco' while you plug in the Powercab/Procab. This gives you access to several features such as cab address. If you only want to change the behaviour of the Option key, then enter through the different features until it reads OPTION, setting this value to 122.

 

 

That is an interesting response Pete.  My apologies if I have posted misleading information.

 

I am curious because I cannot recall ever programming the Option button on my throttle!

 

I will go back to the manual and study it (mine was a very early release Powercab;  NCE sent me a replacement chip very soon after I purchased it as a result of returning the registration card).

 

EDIT:  Having just checked the NCE Powercab manual, Pete is indeed correct to point out that the OPTION button should be reprogrammed to use it to select extended functions F10-F28.

 

So for absolute clarity, here is the relevent bit from the manual:

 

EXTENDED FUNCTION CONTROL (F10 - F28)
Control of functions F13 through F28 has been added. To access these function
numbers program the OPTION key to a value of 122 (see CAB SET UP, below).
Pressing OPTION will display “F10 through F19 on the bottom line of the cab.
Pressing a digit will toggle that number plus ten. For example. pressing 6 will issue an
F16 command.
Pressing OPTION a second time will display “F21 through F28” on the cab. Pressing
a digit with this display will toggle that number plus twenty.
Pressing OPTION a third time will return to the F10 through F19 display. Pressing
Prog/Esc at any time will abort the operation.

 

CAB SETUP
The Power CabTM has various internal setup parameters and operating modes. Most
of the settings apply to both Pro CabTM and Power CabTM modes of operation. The
following steps describe the parameters you can change to customize the cab to
your liking.
To access the cab set up mode:
1) Turn on the system power.
2) Unplug your cab from the Power Panel.
3) Press and hold down the SELECT LOCO button while plugging in the cab. The
cab will now enter its internal setup program. At any time you may press PROG/
ESC to leave set up mode.
4) Press ENTER to accept the current cab address (unless you want to change it).
To change the cab address, type in a new address such as 3 followed by the
ENTER key. If you make a mistake just unplug the cab and re-plug it while holding
down the SELECT LOCO key.
NOTE: If you program the address to zero the cab will reprogram itself to the
original factory values, including the cab address, which will be set to 2.

 

So thanks Pete for pointing that out.  I must have reprogrammed my throttle, but can't remember doing it :mad_mini:.  Just realised I've had my Powercab for 8 years - and without fault. I have to say it's been a terriffic piece of kit.

 

 

 

Edited by cravensdmufan
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I think we both did it so long ago that we have forgotten all about it. :D

 

I have no memory of doing it on my PowerCab either, but I have bought a PowerPro more recently & I had to do it on those.

I have had my PowerCab for around 10 years now. Maybe it was set up as a function key back then & the default has changed? I think this is unlikely.

 

It was a post on this forum somewhere from Paul Chetter who explained that the button was by default configured to act as a brake key. I have no memory of using it for this so I do not know what, if anything, I am missing.

I have since set this up for a couple of friends who have bought their PowerCabs more recently.

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1 hour ago, Pete the Elaner said:

I think we both did it so long ago that we have forgotten all about it. :D

 

I have no memory of doing it on my PowerCab either, but I have bought a PowerPro more recently & I had to do it on those.

I have had my PowerCab for around 10 years now. Maybe it was set up as a function key back then & the default has changed? I think this is unlikely.

 

It was a post on this forum somewhere from Paul Chetter who explained that the button was by default configured to act as a brake key. I have no memory of using it for this so I do not know what, if anything, I am missing.

I have since set this up for a couple of friends who have bought their PowerCabs more recently.

Ah, yes it's coming back to me now!  You're right, it was indeed Paul Chetter's post which triggered me to do it.

 

Also there was another post which gave advice on how to manually disable the MOMENTUM button - very useful as pressing that button inadvertantly could upset sound funtions in decoders:

  .

Edited by cravensdmufan
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4 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

It was a post on this forum somewhere from Paul Chetter who explained that the button was by default configured to act as a brake key. I have no memory of using it for this so I do not know what, if anything, I am missing.

 

 

In my opinion you are missing nothing. The default 'Brake' function on the Option key simply drops the Speed Steps to zero.

 

So if you are using the ZIMO decoders' manual brake feature and have high momentum in CV4, the NCE brake will not give anything remotely like a 'brake'. Much better configured as something useful like a Shift Key.

 

Best regards,

 

Paul

Edited by pauliebanger
To spell my name correctly (its been a tough day, LOL)
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You can also select F10 to F19 by pressing SHIFT & HEADLIGHT together.

 

A further press on SHIFT & HEADLIGHT together selects F20 to F28 

 

Eltel 

 

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 17/03/2019 at 18:15, cravensdmufan said:

Les,

 

Function 10, 11 and 12 can be quickly accessed by holding shift and pressing one of the three buttons on the bottom row of the handset.

 

For function 13 press OPTION then 3, for function 14 press OPTION then 4 and so on....

 

For function 20 press OPTION twice then 0, for function 21 press OPTION twice then 1 and so on.....

I’m grateful for that guidance but have found the the OPTION then 3 etc action does not activate function 13, but only function 3

 

any further ideas?   Thanks 

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3 minutes ago, pw said:

I’m grateful for that guidance but have found the the OPTION then 3 etc action does not activate function 13, but only function 3

 

any further ideas?   Thanks 

Hi pw,

 

You actually have to reprogram the OPTION button.  As per this post:

 

 

  Vivian

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry to revive an old post.

 

I am really struggling with my NCE -  have tried both cabs - neither seems to be able to access anything beyond F12  -  i know the shift key works  as i can get f10-12  but no joy with shift headlight or option ( yes i reprogrammed to 122)  - what am i doing wrong?

 

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Have two PowerCabs. One bought about seven years the "Option" button to access functions 13 to 28 works fine. I do not recall having to program it. My new one, bought a couple of months ago, does not.  How interesting. 

 

Edit:- have followed the advice above and the new controller's "Option" key now accesses F13 to F28. I am glad I stumbled on this advice else I would have got uptight as to why it did not work. FWIW, after following above advice, the value of the "Option" key was 94. Once this was changed to 122 it worked. Thanks a mill.

 

If you are wondering why I have two PowerCabs it is because the original has a slight bleed in the display. Otherwise it works fine. Given the lockdown thought it was prudent to get another, whilst there were stocks in the UK, in case the bleed was signalling a failure and if NCE had suspended manufacture as a result of Covid-19 could end up waiting a long time to replace. The original PowerCab now powers the programming track with the new one the layout. 

Edited by geoffers
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  • 3 weeks later...
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Great idea Dorkingian

 

Another recommendation for  Powercab users:

 

Get yourself a curly lead to replace the flat lead as supplied.  The original flat lead was prone not only to getting tangled up but will usually eventually fail due to kinking at one end or the other where it meets the plug.

 

So much easier when moving around the layout, and more reliable too.

 

https://www.coastaldcc.co.uk/products/dccconcepts/all/alpha-curly-cord

 

https://www.dccconcepts.com/product/2m6ft-curly-cord-rj12-with-6-wire-connections/

 

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