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How many consists can I have? What numbers can I use?

The number of consists that can be stored in a system varies from system to system based on memory capacity of the command station and is not related to the cabs being used.

The Power Cab and SB3/SB3a/SB5 SmartBooster command station memory has storage for 16 consists numbered 112-127.

The 5 amp PH-Pro system box and the CS02 command station have memory capacity for 128 consists numbered 1-127. 

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This ventures into the gray area where consisting aliases and regular locomotive numbers can intertwine. To make things even more interesting the way different DCC systems (NCE, Digitrax, MRC, Lenz , etc. treat consists is not standardized at all under the NMRA and can get a bit ugly sometimes. Without getting into a long winded and boring explanation the simple version is NEVER use a SHORT address that is 128 or lower. 

Remember that long address and short address are two different types of numbers. In a locomotive only type of address can be active at a time. Consequently 114 and 0114 are NOT THE SAME ADDRESS!   114 is a short address, but it is ALSO a valid consist ID. Hence the confusion. 0114 is a LONG ADDRESS.

For anyone who uses consisting and also happens to have low numbered three (or two) digit locos I have this conversation with.  Also never change the consist ID the command station automatically assigns when creating a consist.

 

 

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