The Powercab ( 5240025) is a complete system including power supply. You will need to have a method to connect to the track with two wires. The connection panel has an included removable plug with two screws for the ends of the wire coming from the tracks.
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!
Do not confuse this with OPS mode programming (POM) programming on the main. POM begins by selecting the loco you wish to modify first. Thereby eliminating the possibility of programming multiple locos at once UNLESS you have multiple locos set to the same address such as 3.
If you want a dedicated programming track to use with you Powercab we have the AutoSW for that purpose.
The AutoSW is a smart relay board with one input (two wires from powercab output) and two outputs. One output for the main layout and a second output for a programming track.
The Auto_ SW senses when you put the PC into program track mode and energizes a relay that disconnects layout track power and connects a dedicated program track.
The auto sw is designed to detect packets on the DCC track bus that initialize service mode programming aka- programming track mode. When it sees those packets it throws a relay disabling one set of outputs and activating the other.
The Auto Switch will operate with other DCC systems such as the Digitrax Empire Builder, Big Boy, or Challenger.
The Auto Switch does not operate when using PROGRAM ON MAIN.
The AutoSW is designed to be used with the Powercab in the original starter set configuration only. This will not work with the SB5 because the SB5 does not have a programming track output or programming track capabilities. Therefore it cannot activate the AutoSW.