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Powercab trackpower issue


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Hi

i have a powercab which has worked brilliantly for me for a number of years. However yesterday I started to have issues. As far as I know and can tell none of the wiring under the layout has been disturbed or moved.

When I power up the powercab the power indicator light on the power panel is dulled not its usual brightness. If I unplug the track wiring from the control panel the light illuminates as usual. I have tried to wire up a separate piece of track and with new wire and the light does not illuminate at all which to me rules out the track wiring. 

Has anyone had this issue - is it a problem with the powercab itself or The power panel or even the small track wiring plug which plugs into the power panel?

thanks in advance

mark

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I have had 2 problems with my Powercab & with both, it appeared to work but provided no power.

The flat lead is a bit flaky. The sheath is not crimped properly & it never was, causing the cable to work 1 way round only.

The other was a contact inside the socket on the Powercab itself. You should see 6 copper strips which connect to the plug. 1 of these had bent a little & I was able to gently pull it back up with a very small screwdriver.

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25 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

I have had 2 problems with my Powercab & with both, it appeared to work but provided no power.

The flat lead is a bit flaky. The sheath is not crimped properly & it never was, causing the cable to work 1 way round only.

The other was a contact inside the socket on the Powercab itself. You should see 6 copper strips which connect to the plug. 1 of these had bent a little & I was able to gently pull it back up with a very small screwdriver.

Thank you I will take a look tomorrow

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Had a look all contacts ok.

Took the powercab off the layout and set up on a single piece of track, put a loco on and the trackpower light flashed as if a short circuit or if the power light came on when I tried to apply power the track power light dimmed with no response from loco.

Think powercab issue may have to send off for repair to New York!

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  • RMweb Gold

You mentioned initially that the PCP LED lights normally if the track connection is removed.

 

I'd suggest that this isn't necessarily a fault with the PowerCab.

 

I've made up a number of the flat ribbon cables and often find that although the connection in the plug looks good, cutting it off and fitting a new plug can resolve a previous non-working issue.

 

I'd try and swap out the flat ribbon cable for a different one if you can. I'd also scrutinise the solder joints on the PCP. Another option is to take the back panel off the throttle and push home any plug in components.

 

Better still, do you know anyone near you with a PowerCab that might be able to lend you their throttle and cable - or take yours and try them on their system?

 

The above will be cheaper than sending the throttle to the States if it resolves the problem.

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Thanks ray have tried another cable with the same result and have also attached a spare rock multimaus to the layout and it works fine.

unfortunately dont know anyone with a powercab. I am a solitary creature!

Thanks for your help though will look at taking the back off had too much gin in the garden at the moment to try safely

Cheers

mark

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  • RMweb Gold

Mark

 

Indicate your whereabouts and you may find somewhere on RMweb is local and can check it out for you.

 

Can you get to a shop/trader locally to see if they can help?

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Thanks Ray I am Fleetwood Lancashire, I have also had some correspondence off forum and we are thinking along the lines of the power panel which costs about 20 quid to replace so may try this route first as you have noted the powercab seems fine until a loco is involved.I have ordered a new track connection plug which should come tomorrow in case the problem is that simple!
Thank you for your help and advice. 

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Mark

 

I think that's the way to go at first. A replacement PCP might allow you to use the present PCP as a spare configured as a UTP - that's the slave of the PCP and has no provision for track connection or power supply.

 

Let us know how you get on as the information might come in handy if someone else experiences a similar problem.

 

It might just be worth checking the flat cable out if you have a test meter.

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New pcp hasn’t helped so

Power light on the pcp fully illuminated on the new panel but dimmed on the original when trying to apply power to the track

Power cab powers on fine with normal display 

No response from loco when trying to command

I have a multimaus which I have connected to layout so I know layout fine as I found the multi more sensitive than the powercab

No obvious issues with the wire to powercab and I have tried with another 6 pin wire with no success.

So unless anyone has any other thoughts I think back to nce!

thanks for the help so far

mark

 

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It might just be worth emailing NCE first and ask if they can throw any light on the problem. Have you had the back off and made sure that any plug in device is pressed right home.

 

Whilst you have the back off it might all be worth removing the membrane and cleaning the surface of the printed circuit board that the back of the membrane presses against. IPA and a cotton bud should suffice. I doubt that is the reason for the problem but it doesn't hurt to clean it. Warm water with a dash of detergent should do if you don't have any IPA but do make sure the membrane is dry before you put it back.

 

Don't worry, nothing can fall out by removing the membrane or, if something does and isn't a foreign body, you may have found the cause of your problem.

 

Thanks for keeping us posted on developments.

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Those resistor look as if they have been very hot and there looks to be something odd oozing between the resistors and the transistor, or is it a diode?

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Posted (edited)

Certain components don't look too well and may be the cause of your problem.

 

Is that a sticking plaster in the first picture? I'm not sure that looks original.

 

You might be able to get a replacement circuit board from NCE because I'd guess that's what it needs. Fitting the replacement isn't too difficult and may be cheaper than sending the whole thing back to the States for them to fit it.

Edited by Ray H
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6 hours ago, Ray H said:

Is that a sticking plaster in the first picture? I'm not sure that looks original.

 

Thermal transfer pad to connect the components to the heatsink.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks guys according to nce coastal  dcc and hattons do repairs in this country so have emailed coastal and awaiting reply. It’s looks like something is scorched!

Edited by Markwj
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