Alasdair Morgan morganal
I have a layout based on NCE Powercab with an additional tethered controller and a wireless Procab,

 I have 62 points with Cobalt IP Digital motors and three major panels using Alpha Switch D boards, plus smaller panels.

To reduce the amount of excessive cabling I had running to all the Cobalts, I decided to use Alpha Encoder Units (AEUs) on the three large panels.  However I may have run into a shortage of bus addresses on the NCE system.  When I wired up the AEUs, each with their own addresses, some of them did not work.  When I removed all cabs apart from the main Powercab, all the AEUs worked on addresses 3, 4 & 5 respectively.

The helpful staff at DCCConcepts suggest there is a restriction on the number of cabs one can have on a Powercab system and of course each AEU counts as a cab.

The work-around would appear to be to daisy chain my AEUs hence using only one cab address,

However, before I do that and because the AEUs are not close together and so daisy chaining them will use a lot of cable (removing of which was the object of getting the AEUs in the first place), can anyone confirm that I am not missing something obvious?


Alasdair Morgan
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Powercab is a STARTER set, never designed for complex-many control unit operation. It is very clever and has big-system features but not big system power.

You are also going to need to supplement the power available to the control bus.  Every "cab" device draws current from the control bus and you should allow between 75 and 100mA for each. All this load is, of course, in addition to the other loads on the track but so you are stretching PowerCab a LOT by doing what you are doing.

To be honest My personal opinion is that your wisest path would be to upgrade to a Power Pro system. You will not have the same cab limitations and there will be a totally separate power and track bus link able to handel the "System load" you are proposing.

Your powercab will quite happily function as a second "Procab" on the upgraded system so you have no loss in upgrading.

That will also save your need to daisy-chain things.


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