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Auto-Sw NCE Automatic program track adapter for Power Cab

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Hi,does any use the Auto-Sw NCE Automatic program track adapter for Power Cab and is it needed?Thanks in advance.:tumbsup:


Hi Northman


We have an NCE Pro Cab so don't need 'Auto-Sw' as our controller already has two separate track outputs, one for layout and one for programming track. The NCE Power Cab (almost identical system) only has one track output. However this one output can be switched from 'layout track' mode to 'program track' mode. The catch is you must remove all locos from the layout except the one you want to program (i.e. because the entire layout becomes the programming track). You could use the Auto-SW switch, or even wire up your own DPDT switch to toggle your single controller output from the layout to a short piece of test track, and then switch the NCE from 'main' mode to 'test/program mode'. Hope this makes sense.


Personally I prefer having a short 1ft piece of test track thats on the workbench.




PS: Btw, NCE also allow you to 'program on the main' (i.e. change CVs of locos on the layout, but it is write only, you can only query CV settings on the test track). So much for 'railcom' bidirectional programming dream. :)


Since the Powercab only has a single track output, (two wire) that same output does double duty for programming. When you put the Powercab in “program track” mode, that same output now becomes your program track. So this means you entire layout is now a programming track!


BUT you can only have one loco at a time on the layout when in programming mode


See here https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201656579-Auto-SW-Auto-Switch-for-Powercab


PS2: The thing to remember is the that the 'program/test track' would program ALL locos on it, hence its usually a short piece of track and never has more than one loco on it.

Edited by Noel
typo (lexdysia)
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Thanks Noel,a separate test track I think is the answer.Now can the Power cab be disconnected from the main track and be connected to the test track?


Yes thats what the 'Auto-Sw' does automatically.


Adds a separate program track to Power Cab system. Prevents accidental programming of ALL locos on your track when using Program Track mode. Automatically disconnects your main line when in Program Track mode but does not affect Program on Main. Compatible with all DCC systems.




PS: Some folk want the functionality of a test track but not physically separate from the layout, so they optionally isolate a 1 ft track section of layout (i.e. using plastic fishplates) from the rest of the layout but can be toggle switched using a DPDT switch between the test output of the 'Auto-SW' or the 'main track' output of the Power Cab (i.e. connected to the layout). This allows that 1ft section of track to normally be part of the layout, but if the DPDT switch is thrown it is separated from the layout and only functions as a test track.

Edited by Noel
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