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Power Cab will not run a Locomotive. LED on Panel Blinking or not Lit.

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Please read this carefully and do all the steps. 

The DCC track power output from the Power Cab Panel is measured as AC and should be about 13.8v AC. The track voltage is constant and should not vary.

The round silver barrel on the power supply from the wall should measure about 13.8v DC; remove the plug from the panel and read the output with a multimeter.

Try multiple locomotives FIRST. These steps below only apply if your system behaves the same way with ALL LOCOS.

Note: The red LED on the Power Cab Panel (PCP) will not come on until the wall power supply AND the Power Cab are plugged into the panel.

You must use the flat 6-wire cable on the LEFT jack, with the LED below the jacks towards the bottom. Is the LED on solid?

Warning: Do not use third-party part substitutions, modify any NCE products or cables, or use cables or jacks designed for phone/telco equipment. Do not attempt to repair NCE cables.

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Please read and try all of this first; it is essential to do all the steps.

You must use the flat 6-wire cable on the LEFT jack, with the LED below the jacks towards the bottom. Is the LED on solid?

Is the red status light giving a slow blink? That is a short circuit. Remove the two-pin track plug and leave it unplugged. If the red status light with the unplugged track is solid red, you have a short in your wiring or track. If the red status light has a slow blink even with the track UNPLUGGED, the Power Cab is damaged and must be sent in for service.

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Before buying a replacement panel for a nonfunctioning Power Cab, please note that the panel (PCP/ Power Cab Panel) is a passive device. If your Power Cab is not working, the problem is likely NOT in the panel.

1. Remove everything from the track, including all locomotives and cars. Remove and restore the wall power and try again. If the LED comes on solid with everything removed from the way, you have a terrible loco or car with a short circuit or something metal is on track.  

2. Does the screen on the Power Cab say LOC? That is the standard locomotive operating screen. If the Displays says CON, you are in CONSIST mode, which means you are supposed to control a set of locomotives as a single unit. If you wound up in consist mode by accident, go here: https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201251979-Reset-Power-Cab-to-factory-defaults

3. If the Display says Cab Address=02 and you are stuck on that screen, the command station part of the Power Cab is not coming on. Are you using the flat cable? Are you plugged in on the left side with the LED below the jacks?

4. Is the panel's LED blinking, or is it not on at all? Are the Power Cab display and the PCP—Power Cab Panel LED flashing? You might have a short. Remove the two-pin track plug from the back of the panel and leave it unplugged. 

5. Remove and restore the AC wall power to the system and see if the LED comes on. If the LED comes on solid with the track wires still removed, you have a short in your track wiring, a problem with a locomotive, or something on the track. Could you remove everything from the track and try again? If the LED still blinks WITH the way unplugged, the Power Cab has been damaged and must be repaired. Is the LED off / not lit? It would be best to use the flat six-wire cable on the LEFT jack, with the LED below the jacks towards the bottom. Is the LED lit? Not at all? The coiled cable should NOT be used in this configuration.

6. Check your track voltage. If you do not own a multi-meter, here is a link to an inexpensive one from Home Depot - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Powerbuilt-Digital-Multi-Meter-648349/204505225 

Reading track voltage correctly on DCC can prove challenging. The voltage available on the rails is a Digital PWM form of AC at about 14v and 10Khz. It is NOT standard 120v / 60 Hz sine wave AC like a standard wall outlet. Unless you use a device specifically designed to measure DCC track voltage or an oscilloscope, your measurements are a best guess only. 

You can test your meter first on a 120v AC wall outlet to ensure the meter is set correctly and functioning correctly. If you can read a wall outlet, you should be able to read a DCC track voltage.

A regular meter will not give 100% accurate readings on the rails or the two-pin plug out on the back of the Power Cab Panel. But it can tell you if some indication is yes or no.

The DCC track power output from the Power Cab Panel is measured as AC and should be about 13.8v AC. The track voltage is constant and should not vary.

If you have no track power measured as AC, but the light is on steady, are the pins in the RJ12 jack bent? Jiggle the cord and see if the light blinks. If you hold the line in, will the light come on and stay on? The outer two wires in the six-pin flat cable (Blue and White wires) are track power. Take a flashlight and look inside the jack on the Power Cab throttle and panel. Notice the outer two "pins." Make sure they stick up as far as the inner four. Use a small screwdriver or Xacto knife and carefully bend the two outer pins up the same as the other four.

 

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7.  Try a factory reset and do both parts:   https://ncedcc.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201251979-Reset-Powercab-to-factory-defaults

The power supply output from the transformer wall wart should measure about 13.8v DC. Could you remove the plug from the panel and work the production with a multimeter?

The DCC track power output from the Power Cab Panel is measured as AC and should measure about 13.8v AC. Before buying a replacement panel for a nonfunctioning Power Cab, please note that the panel (PCP/Power Cab Panel) is a passive device. If your Power Cab is not working, the problem is most likely NOT in the panel.

If the Power Cab has been damaged due to a short circuit or does not work, send it in for service. No RMA number is needed. Include your contact information and a description of the problem.

Send to: NCE Corporation Attn: Service Dept.  82 East Main Street, Webster, NY. 14580

Before buying a replacement panel for a nonfunctioning Power Cab, please note that the panel (PCP/ Power Cab Panel) is only a passive device with a lightning spike protector. If your Power Cab is not working, the problem is most likely NOT in the panel unless the panel is physically damaged. Scrutinize the board for physical issues with loose components or bent pins in the sockets.

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Replacement parts:  Warning: Do not use 3rd party substitutions.

1. 5240213 RJ12-7. A 7 Foot, 6-wire flat cable cab bus, 2 RJ12 connectors    USE ONLY THIS ONE! https://www.ncedcc.com/online-store/RJ12-7-6-Wire-straight-cab-bus-cable-p38322152

2. 5240222 PCP  Power Cab Connection Panel https://www.ncedcc.com/online-store/PCP-Power-Cab-Connection-Panel-with-two-pin-track-plug-p38322159.

3. 5240221 P114 24 Watt 13.8v DC Power Supply for U.S. Power Cab

https://www.ncedcc.com/online-store/P114-24-Watt-13-8v-DC-Power-Supply-for-U-S-Power-Cab-p38322158

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