Author Topic: Problems with DCC  (Read 2901 times)

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Hawghead

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Problems with DCC
« on: August 31, 2019, 05:12:10 PM »
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First of all you have to know I'm a complete noob when it comes to DCC, so speak slowly using small words.  :)  Anyway, I'm starting a new layout using a NCE Power Cab. I bought the Power Cab almost ten years ago but never used it until now.
 
I bought an Atlas SW-7 converted to HOn3 and DCC on ebay.  I hooked up the Power Cab to a single piece of track and after learning about the difference between long and short locomotive addresses I was able to get the switcher to run. (sorta)  If the engine runs down the track for more than a couple of feet, it doesn't want to respond to speed decrease commands (using either the speed wheel, the decrease speed button or the fast decrease button)  I can see the speed commands stepping down on the LCD display but without affect on the engine.  Now if I only let it run a foot or so then it responds normally, momentum is set to zero. Additionally the headlight doesn't come on.

Second issue, I put my Blackstone K-27 (purchased used) on the track and all the sound functions work but the engine won't respond to the throttle at all (no movement).  Additionally the headlight doesn't work.  So do I have two locomotives that each have problems or do I have a bad Power Cab?

Thanks,
Scott
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 05:17:46 PM by Hawghead »
There's a prototype for everything.
If you can't make it perfect, make it adjustable.
DCC is not plug-n-play.

Chris333

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2019, 05:41:59 PM »
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 :trollface:

Dave V

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2019, 06:29:41 PM »
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Many DCC systems have a setting for scale to ensure the right appropriate amount of power is being supplied.  See if you can check to see if it's set for HO.  If it's set for O or N it could cause problems.
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Rich_S

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2019, 06:38:57 PM »
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This may sound like a silly question, but are the track and locomotive wheels clean? I do not own a NCE system so my answer is going to be a little vague. I'd also suggest trying to reprogram the decoder and make sure you get the correct values when you read back the decoder settings. Meaning, if you program the locomotive number to 123, when you read back the value, does it report 123 as the locomotive number?
Something else I've run into, with some decoders you cannot set the momentum values to zero, it does funny things. I most often set all my momentum values to 1.

Steveruger45

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2019, 06:47:49 PM »
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Steve
Atascocita, Texas

Hawghead

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2019, 09:29:56 PM »
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:trollface:

I'm starting to see your point.

Scott
There's a prototype for everything.
If you can't make it perfect, make it adjustable.
DCC is not plug-n-play.

Hawghead

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2019, 09:31:41 PM »
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Many DCC systems have a setting for scale to ensure the right appropriate amount of power is being supplied.  See if you can check to see if it's set for HO.  If it's set for O or N it could cause problems.

Dave,

The literature doesn't say anything about a scale setting.

Thanks,
Scott
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 09:37:50 PM by Hawghead »
There's a prototype for everything.
If you can't make it perfect, make it adjustable.
DCC is not plug-n-play.

Hawghead

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2019, 09:35:05 PM »
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This may sound like a silly question, but are the track and locomotive wheels clean? I do not own a NCE system so my answer is going to be a little vague. I'd also suggest trying to reprogram the decoder and make sure you get the correct values when you read back the decoder settings. Meaning, if you program the locomotive number to 123, when you read back the value, does it report 123 as the locomotive number?
Something else I've run into, with some decoders you cannot set the momentum values to zero, it does funny things. I most often set all my momentum values to 1.

Rich,

The track and the wheels seem reasonably clean and I'm not even sure how to reprogram the decoder.  The literature says momentum value of 0=off.

Thanks,
Scott 
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 09:38:12 PM by Hawghead »
There's a prototype for everything.
If you can't make it perfect, make it adjustable.
DCC is not plug-n-play.

Hawghead

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2019, 09:37:28 PM »
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Try checking out nce dcc site.  It has some good info that may help you.

https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201884929-Power-Cab-will-not-run-a-Locomotive-LED-on-Panel-Blinking-or-not-Lit-

Steve,

Tried that, although I have yet to try resetting the Power Cab to factory settings, but as I haven't changed anything I'm not confident that will help.

Thanks
Scott
There's a prototype for everything.
If you can't make it perfect, make it adjustable.
DCC is not plug-n-play.

Hawghead

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2019, 09:42:14 PM »
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Thanks for the responses,

I'm leaning toward something wrong with the Power Cab as both locomotives exhibit similar problems 

1. one does not respond to throttle commands correctly and one doesn't respond to throttle commands at all. (both throttle command issues.)
2. neither of the headlights function.

Thanks,
Scott
There's a prototype for everything.
If you can't make it perfect, make it adjustable.
DCC is not plug-n-play.

Steveruger45

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2019, 09:51:03 PM »
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Scott.  I use a power cab but have never had your problem.
Hmmmm.
At the moment we are not sure if it’s the power cab, it’s connections or the locos.

 I think I would do the cab reset to factory settings first, that can’t hurt anything. Then  Maybe double check the connections too, from the cab with the flat cord to the panel left socket and panel to the track. 
Then do a decoder reset.

It does sound like the commands are not getting through or getting corrupted somehow.  Maybe the flat cord is broken.  Check the cord for continuity on each wire

If any of that doesn’t identify the issue or fix it you can send nce an email using their site I mentioned earlier and they are pretty good at getting back to you. 

« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 10:03:19 PM by Steveruger45 »
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

MK

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2019, 10:01:14 PM »
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Do you have someone or some club near you that runs NCE?  Bring the throttle over and see if you're can run their equipment.  That would as least rule in or rule out your NCE equipment.

Steveruger45

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2019, 10:05:38 PM »
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Yep. Or conversely take the locos to another layout.
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

Hawghead

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2019, 01:46:15 AM »
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MK and Steve,

Unfortunately neither option is available to me.  I just got some new electrical connectors, I'm going to try them tomorrow and see if that helps.

Thanks,
Scott 
There's a prototype for everything.
If you can't make it perfect, make it adjustable.
DCC is not plug-n-play.

Maletrain

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Re: Problems with DCC
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2019, 08:58:29 AM »
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Do NOT do a PowerCab reset unless you are sure that the PowerCab has the Version 1.65B chip in it!  Otherwise, you will lose several functions, such as the ability to use cab numbers 4 and 5.  This is due to a problem with the original V1.65 chip.  You can get a replacement from NCE, and I think those are still free.

I have some locomotives that exhibit the problems you posted, while others are working fine on my PowerCab.  Since you bought the locos used on eBay, it is actually likely that the problems are with the decoders in the locomotives.  Those problems might be why those particular locomotives were being sold on eBay.

There is an NCE group on Groups.IO that you should join. You can e-mail  NCE-DCC+owner@groups.io and ask to join.