Radio cab interference

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tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Has anyone had experience with radio cab (in this case NCE Power-Pro-R) interference, garbling the messages on the cab display, or dropouts of the cursor? Possibly caused by being in a metal framed building with metal framing also used in the layout's construction.
 

gregc

Apprentice Modeler
Has anyone had experience with radio cab (in this case NCE Power-Pro-R) interference, garbling the messages on the cab display, or dropouts of the cursor? Possibly caused by being in a metal framed building with metal framing also used in the layout's construction.
The Pacific Southern was using the NCE wireless cab until there were reliability problems. I borrowed a spectrum analyzer from work and we were able to see an intermittent signal at the frequency the NCE system operates (916 MHz ?), which is in the unlicensed and shared ISM band. There wasn't much that could be done.

a metal from building would block interference from a source outside the building.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Thanks for that info Greg. This is also in a club's building. I guess that should eliminate an outside source. It is somewhat intermittent, but can be really troublesome (read infuriating) when it happens.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
some wireless phones. anything that says 900 MHz
Well, well. Seems that the small cheapie cell phone I carry in my shirt pocket may be in the 900MHz range. My 3G provider has 2 frequencies for them 900 and 2100MHz. The 2G I had previously was definitely 900. While I haven't needed to make or receive calls while programming via my radio cab, the culprit could've been right under my nose. When I'm doing loco programming at home on my short garage test track, tethered, I get no problems. Set up the wireless aerial tonight at the end of one of it's cables, several feet away and had no problems with it. Phone was in the kitchen. Will try it again tomorrow with it in my pocket.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Did some wireless programming of CV's and setting up and killing consists tonight with my phone in my pocket, without any glitches or instability on the cab's display. Something I did note was how much easier and consistent was the entering of data to the display, allied with a much lighter and quicker touch of the buttons, than when doing this at the club. There it's necessary to go slow and firm while checking entries as I go to avoid miss hits. I think I can eliminate both the phone and any faults with my cab being the source of my woes there. I believe it's either the metal framing that's causing the radio signal to break up or be bounced around, or it may be the close proximity of the computer and Wifi to the base station. I have been googling the problem and there were several references to WLAN, operating in 2.4GHz also being in the 900 MHz band. Microwaves were also mentioned similarly. It was said at the last Thursday night meeting that they'd like to replace the current laptop system with a desktop tower and monitor. I think I'll try to convince those with the powers, to consider the possibility of interference and position it away from the NCE system, at least as a trial.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
DCC running day last Sunday at the club, so was a test to see if I got any of the "usual" glitches and strange display behaviour. Result. Still occurring, not as bad or as frequent as other times (has always been random), but definitely still a problem. Once again the slowness in entering data to the display. Couple of occasions of dropping out of the cursor or the dotted lines where that should appear. Whatever is causing it, it is most certainly associated with something at the club. Oddly the problems happened mostly at the day's end when there was only a couple of members still present.
 




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