Upgrading a NCE powercab system

kmcsjr Apr 28, 2012

  1. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

    I'm confused. I like my new power cab. I'm not ready for a bigger system, but was pricing things out. I bought a new system for about $150. What would I need to buy to upgrade the system to 3A, 5A, 10A?

    I'm probably missing something, but the system came with a 13.5V 1.3A power supply. The manual says on pace 14 that I could use a 10-15VDC supply of 3A or less. So for the price of a wall wart, I'd have a 3A system?

    To go further to 5A, can I buy the power pro separately, or would I need to buy a whole starter set? Could I just add a PB105 and 5A supply?

  2. NotchHill

    NotchHill TrainBoard Member

    Hi Marty

    Why do you think you need to upgrade the power?

    What are you running? HO? N? Z?

    How may locos and stationery decoders are you running at once?

    Do you have sound locos?

    I have been using a power cab with T-TRAK in N scale, and I have run serveral locos at once, including using the USB interface and also running from iPhone and iPod. My layout runs over 3 and at times 4 tables (18 to 24 feet double track and both sides of the tables. I have yet to run out of power with the 2 amps it provides.

    If you really just need more power, then you may need to think about the smart booster or dumb booster.

  3. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

    John thanks
    I am running N. I do have a few sound locos, I will be running some trains with Kato LED lighting kits. I won't be running more than 3 trains at a time, in the near term. I will want to add some turnout control, but I think controlling a few Kato turnouts just means adding a different NCE accessory board and doesn't draw more current, as it is an instantaneous spike.
  4. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Marty, the next logical step is to 5A using the SB3A which will require a suitable power supply replacing the supplied wallwart that came with the PowerCab.

    This will give similar functionality to the PowerHouse Pro system except for the computer interface will require the USB adaptor and you will be restricted to four cabs total and up to 6 user set recalls (vs PHP 63 cabs and 10 recalls). The now redundant PowerCab plate and power supply can be transplanted to the workbench to give full programming capability and/or incorporated into the layout on a stand alone programme track.

    When you're ready to go to the full system, it's a matter of buying the command station only, CS2 (maybe CS3 by now). The SB3A has a switch to change it to a booster. This is the same capability as a PHP system, just a longer path to get there.

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