RB02 Radio Base Station Versions

DO NOT update anything unless you are trying to solve a problem.

Native two way wireless for NCE DCC handheld controllers equipped with wireless. Handles up to 48 wireless cabs simultaneously including up to 16 Wireless Pro Cabs. All features of your Cabs are available without plugging in. Cabs automatically switch over to bus power when plugged in. No guarantees are made by NCE or authorized NCE dealers as to the suitability of this product for its intended use. As with all radio products, communication integrity in the presence of interference can not be guaranteed. The RB02 operates in the ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) radio band at 916.50 Megahertz (Mhz).

There are two versions of the radio base station RB01 and the RB02. The RB01 was the original radio base station the has no radio repeater support capability. RB02 is a RB01 with radio repeater support. You can tell the difference by looking at the number of connections the unit has. A RB01 only has one jack where as the RB02 has 3.


 Base Station
Radio Description Version Status
1.0 RB01 Original Radio Software Release Obsolete
1.0 RB02 Support for Base Station Repeaters

2.0 RB02 Major Radio Bug Software Release.
See section 5 for list
2.1 RB02 Same as V2.0 but includes software bug fix for the CAB06 Supported
2.5 RB02 Same as v2.1 but updated for new parts, improved response times for wireless Cab06. In Production

RB01:  There was only one SW version released for the RB01. Retired with no support or upgrade. RB02:  Look on the bottom of the RB02 for a sticker. A) no sticker, it is V1.0 B) sticker, the sticker shows version number:  2.0  2.1 or 2.5

There is no user software upgrade options for the radio system. All upgrades must be done by NCE.

RADIO REPEATERS (RPT1)- Due to lack of sales this is retired and discontinued
The radio system has a limited amount of radio transmission power per the FCC rules. This limited the range the radio based station could cover. The problem would show up on large layouts.  With the introduction of the RB02, radio repeaters were introduced to allow the radio system coverage to work with very large layouts. Repeater look exactly like radio base stations but they are not.  They all have a label on them that says they are a repeater. Connection wise, they do not connect to the cab bus but instead connect to one of the two RB02 repeater jacks or a repeater jack of another repeater. A large array of repeaters can be connected to a single radio base station allowing for mega large radio coverage. However in practice there is diminishing performance returns in going past two repeaters.

The RB01 and non upgraded RB02 radio base station would start to show problems when the following conditions were met:
1) A lot of radio cabs were being used.
2) The combination of wired (plugged in) and wireless (radio) cabs being used at the same time.
3) The radio cab addresses being used.
4) Sudden complete loss of radio operation on power up from a previous operating session where the radio ran just fine.  In other words very flaky radio operation under some conditions or loss of radio operation. 
Version 2.0 update of the RB02 FIXED bugs and timing issues related to:
1) Key presses to get dropped
2) Runaway trains
3) Several cab addresses (8, 18, and 49) would cause the system to do bad things.
4) Loss of correct radio ID in the base station.

If you RB02 suddenly stopped working when you powered the layout up but it worked just fine when you shut it down before, you may have suffered the loss of the Radio ID information. The Radio ID is a feature that ATTEMPTED to make sure the correct radio cabs talk to the correct layout in a multi-layout setup with each running a NCE radio system at the same time. But it does not work and further more turned out to create radio operation problems. Plug a Pro Cab into the repeater Port A jack on the RB02 and then disconnect and then reconnect the cab bus to the RB02. When you reconnect the bus the RB02 should wake up in setup mode on the Procab. Check the layout ID setting and set it back to 0. Unplug the Pro Cab and the RB02 from the cab bus to kill power. Reconnect the cab bus to the RB02 to start the RB02 up. It should now work correctly. If you have this problem, you have a old RB02 radio base station. There is a radio base station software upgrade available for the RB02 that will fix this bug by removing the radio ID function that does not work.
Was this article helpful?
4 out of 4 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request