PowerCab operation mysteries

husafreak Mar 21, 2020

  1. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    This post will probably end up embarrassing me one day, looking back, but I am often a bit confused when programming my PowerCab! Just the other day while attempting to speed match two AZL4 equipped loco's I was changing CV's 2-5-6. Program track. Every so often the programmed CV's game back different on recall? This happened about 20% of the time, eh, maybe I'm losing it. The recall feature eludes me, sometimes both loco's are there, sometimes not. My mind played tricks on me. I played tricks back. Then when programming the consist I could not get an old style to run well, so I went to advanced style. I know it is supposed to say "con" with a consist but sometimes it said "loc", but ran as a consist. As I repeated programming steps (with manual in hand) I saw everything from the headlights and tail lights on the lead loco only operating, properly in fwd and rev, to the headlights and tail lights on the rear loco only, to the head lights on the lead loco and the tail lights on the rear loco operating (I liked that). Dementia setting in early?
    In the end I don't really have a solution. I did start to cycle power to the PowerCab after almost every programming cycle. Which led to much more reliable results, but loads of power cycles. And I am happy to report that once I got everything the way I wanted it The PowerCab holds those settings day after day. Maybe a good rule of thumb is to cycle the power whenever you, or your Powercab, gets confused? Just wondering.
     
  2. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I don't know?
     
  3. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I would delete all consist from the cab, and do a decoder reset. That will put you back at the beginning, and start all over.
     
  4. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    LOL, maybe there is no answer! But yes in the end I got everything the way I wanted it. But I’m not sure how I just kept deleting and programming and cycling power until I was happy. I’m pretty sure it should have been easier than it was!
     
  5. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The problem when you are new, you do things unintentionally. There’s definitely a learning curve in dcc.
     
  6. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, I kind of alluded to that in my initial post. But it was unpredictable so I wanted to ask in case it is normal for this DCC system to do weird things. Apparently not.
     
  7. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    boy aint that the truth. ive done some unintentional button pushing and im finding that im not liking the power cab so much any more. . im thinking im gunna maybe try digitrax system. all them hand held buttons get in the way . sometimes i grab it wrong an push a button then start pushing numbers
     
  8. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    First: not clear if ONE loco is on the Program Track or Two? If Two, NO-NO !
    Second, the Program is LOW power and relies on a "load" to respond. In the proper case, the Motor. If the track is dirty or truck/pickup issues (you typically see "Cannot Read CV") or can have that same random value. In Writing or Sending, it is sending a Serial 'string' of On-Off-On-etc. If the track is clean and all else electrically good, the CV value will be written and the will respond by pulsing the motor (and LED blinks). You will notice that you see the loco moves mulitple times. Reading back the CV (Program: CV, enter CV to Read [Enter] ) the motor will pulse and light blinks as it sends those 1 & 0's back. Same concerns, if the track is dirty or poor electrical, you get bogus numbers.

    Like I said, an Old School consists removes all the complexity. You can program either loco On The Main so extremely easy to speed match a loco.
     
  9. grymg

    grymg TrainBoard Member

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    I have a similar confusing situation with my brand new PowerCab, I set the display to show current, and allow 2 recalls. Also bell button set at function 1. Then when I go to program a few Cv's or setup come consists, the time shows up on the display again, it goes to multiple recalls and the bell button doesn't function. I have to program the cab again to set them back. Sent an email to NCE but no response.
     
  10. grymg

    grymg TrainBoard Member

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    Nevermind, they were able to response, same fix!

    "you need to reboot / power cycle after exiting out of program track mode / service mode.
    your symptoms are only temporary and should go away after a reboot."
     
  11. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Oh that’s it then! I noticed that rebooting would rescue me from going crazy and now I see it’s a necessary step after using program track to change cv’s.
     
  12. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    you guys need to (try) and contact NCE. What version firmware? I have had NO issues with programming CV's.

    are you using the Relay board for the separate 'Programming' track? That might be a quirk. I have always programmed direct to a standalone track (no relay needed)
     
  13. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    I am using the “relay board” the one with several plug receptacles and red LED. But I really liked the post you made recently with a short straight program track, very handy. I will try and find out which two wires from the PowerCab go to the track.
     
  14. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I bought a extra power plug, so I can switch plugs, when I use the programming track.
     

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