Author Topic: NCE PowerCab issue  (Read 603 times)

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daniel_leavitt2000

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NCE PowerCab issue
« on: September 16, 2018, 11:10:43 PM »
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My PowerCab started malfunctioning today. The speed will skip all over when trying to adjust it by using the thumb wheel. I have tried a factory reset several times without fixing the issue. Any ideas?
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peteski

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Re: NCE PowerCab issue
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2018, 11:15:34 PM »
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Does the speed indicated on the display also jump around wildly?  How does it behave when you use the speed step buttons instead? All is well?
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: NCE PowerCab issue
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2018, 11:55:17 PM »
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Yes. The digital display jumps around with the speed of the engine. All is well when using the up and down buttons, but I hate using those. The whole reason I went with NCE was that thumb wheel.

My guess is that the optical sensor that tracks the wheel's movement is either dirty or malfunctioning. I've never taken one apart, so I thought maybe a few of you would have some pointers.
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Cajonpassfan

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Re: NCE PowerCab issue
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 12:00:29 AM »
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My guess the "wheel" tracking has gone bad. One of mine did, after 15 years. I sent it back to NCE and they replaced it. I seem to recall the "service charge" was $25. Great support. (Although not much communication). Just send them an email.
Otto K.

peteski

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Re: NCE PowerCab issue
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2018, 01:48:50 AM »
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Yes. The digital display jumps around with the speed of the engine. All is well when using the up and down buttons, but I hate using those. The whole reason I went with NCE was that thumb wheel.

My guess is that the optical sensor that tracks the wheel's movement is either dirty or malfunctioning. I've never taken one apart, so I thought maybe a few of you would have some pointers.

I agree that the encoder is the most likely culprit.  Could also be a cold solder joints at the encoder's leads. If yours is fairly new, I'm surprised it went bad so quickly. Mine unit is few years old and still works well.

I have not looked up the equivalent part to replace it, but I assume it is a common part.  It is actually mechanical, not optical.  Likely similar to the tumb-wheel encoders used in mice (all the ones I have seen in mice were also mechanical).  Easiest way to deal with it is to return it to NCE. Maybe it is still under warranty?
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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Point353

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Re: NCE PowerCab issue
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2018, 03:22:57 AM »
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Litchfield Station sells the replacement encoder with knob: https://www.litchfieldstation.com/product/nce-524-0506-powercab-thumbwheel-nce/

According to a post in another forum, the encoder (without the knob) is Bourns P/N 3315C-001-006L.
https://www.bourns.com/docs/product-datasheets/3315.pdf
The encoder is a stock item at Digi-Key (and Mouser):
https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/bourns-inc/3315C-001-006L/3315C-001-006L-ND/1088224
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 07:29:58 AM by Point353 »

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: NCE PowerCab issue
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2018, 06:01:13 AM »
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Oh that helps! I sent an email and awaiting a reply. If they are going to charge $25 for the repair, I'm just going to do it myself. I did take the case off and it looks like bad solder joints. There was a white powder around the tin like you would see on a leaking cadmium battery.
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peteski

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Re: NCE PowerCab issue
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2018, 02:51:49 PM »
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Oh that helps! I sent an email and awaiting a reply. If they are going to charge $25 for the repair, I'm just going to do it myself. I did take the case off and it looks like bad solder joints. There was a white powder around the tin like you would see on a leaking cadmium battery.

In that case you might just need to re-solder the joints. Make sure to use non-acid flux which will help to make clean joints.  Did other solder joints on the board also looking suspect, or just the encoder's?
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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John

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Re: NCE PowerCab issue
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2018, 02:54:34 PM »
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superior :)

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: NCE PowerCab issue
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2018, 08:38:12 PM »
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They emailed me back and will fix it for free. Can't ask for any more than that.
'In my great and unmatched wisdom'