Step 2 - Option A: Power Cab + SB5 Smartbooster




Add the SB5 Smartbooster. The SB5 replaces the Power Cab as the command station and will now be supplying track power. The SB5 has five amps of capacity for up to 10 HO scale locos running at the same time, six cabs maximum using cab addresses 2 through 7. the SB5 Adds true walk around capability with the SB5 running the layout. Power Cab can be unplugged and moved to a different location without trains shutting down. The SB5 will run the layout, AND Power Cab retains ALL normal functionality when plugged in to the PCP - Power Cab Panel.

When used with the SB5, the PCP (Power Cab Panel )  functions only as an extension of the cab bus jacks on the SB5. The type of cab bus cables (four or six wire) makes no difference.  In this case which SB5 cab bus jacks you use make no difference either, the cab bus jacks on the SB5 are both the same, and all 4 jacks on the PCP work all the same now.  They are all just to extend the cab bus jacks on the front of the SB5.

The Power Cab is used as a Pro Cab throttle with the coiled cord. When you use the Power Cab with the SB5 the Power cab becomes just a cab. That means it functions as dumb terminal with a keypad and display. The track power comes solely from the SB5. The best solution for a medium sized layout (2 to 6 operators). The SB5 is a 5 amp command station / booster. This allows you to set up the Power Cab as a dedicated program track on the workbench or an isolated siding. Use the Power Cab on the main layout as a Pro Cab throttle. As needed or desired you can add additional cabs such as the Cab06. Using radio cabs is now an option to be considered (requires a radio base station-RB02). The Power Cab can be converted to wireless for use with the SB5. As the number of operators increases, the use of DCC circuit protection such as the EB1 is recommended.  

The SB5 and Power Cab have built in overcurrent sensing for basic self-protection that will continuously try to reset until destroyed if left uncorrected. They do not have circuit breakers that will trip or fuses that will blow.  

The power supply that came with the Power Cab is only needed when using the Power Cab as a full system along with the Power Cab Panel (PCP). An example would be: to run a test track on your workbench. The Power Cab functions as a Pro Cab when used with the SB5 and is powered by the SB5. Use the Power Cab and the flat cable with the original panel and power supply in a different location.
This will be your testing and programming area. You only work on one loco at a time, and you can run a loco and program a loco using program track mode. You can read and write CVs, read back the existing loco number, and reset a loco to factory settings without knowing the existing number.

If you have no need for a test track on a workbench, you can reuse the original Power Cab panel as a UTP – universal throttle panel. Simply use the plug on the back of the panel to plug it in up to 30 feet away from the SB5. In this case the panel needs no power at all since you just using it as a throttle extension.

Click here to buy the SB5 now 

Make sure you add a DCC track power circuit breaker like the NCE EB1:  Click here

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