NCE Powercab question. Will there be enough power........

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PrairieKnight

Active Member
I am planning on expanding my current 4' X 8' layout by adding a 2' X 8' section. Does anyone know of a way that I can determine if my NCE Powercab will be able to power the proposed addition. My turnouts on the present 4 X 8 are Atlas remote snap switches powered by a separate power source. I plan on doing the same thing with the turnouts on the addition. Is there a "rule of thumb" pertaining to the amount of track I have or the length of the BUS that can tell me if I will have to buy a power booster for the addition? Of course I can always just wait until the addition is done to the point of where I wire it into the existing BUS.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I am planning on expanding my current 4' X 8' layout by adding a 2' X 8' section. Does anyone know of a way that I can determine if my NCE Powercab will be able to power the proposed addition. My turnouts on the present 4 X 8 are Atlas remote snap switches powered by a separate power source. I plan on doing the same thing with the turnouts on the addition. Is there a "rule of thumb" pertaining to the amount of track I have or the length of the BUS that can tell me if I will have to buy a power booster for the addition? Of course I can always just wait until the addition is done to the point of where I wire it into the existing BUS.
Even if you add the 8' section end to end so it is 16' long. If the power cab is in the middle that make a bus of only 8'. That is still a small layout and the Powercab should easily be able to deal with it. Usually the power question isn't the length of bus until it gets over 25'. A more important factor in whether a power supply can handle something or not is the number of locomotives being powered. If that hasn't changed, there is less reason for concern. If you are adding more locos or a lighted passenger train you might want to start adding up current consumption to see if a booster is warranted.
 
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Edsland

Active Member
I have about 100 feet with my power cab but I only have 3 locomotives that I run 2 at a time at the most. When I put the display on volts use its bearly .6. I'm pretty sure you can go up to 2 volts so unless your running a lot of locomotives at a time you should be fine.
 

jdetray

Well-Known Member
I'm pretty sure you can go up to 2 volts so unless your running a lot of locomotives at a time you should be fine.
That's 2 AMPS, not volts, but your point is still valid.

If the Power Cab is connected more or less in the middle of the layout, and the layout is wired in accordance with good practice as suggested by Iron Horseman, then the main limitation is the number of locos you can run simultaneously. Locos with sound will pull more current than those without, so that is also a consideration. The Power Cab has a built-in ammeter, so you can easily see how close to the 2 Amp limit you are at any given time.

- Jeff
 




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