Re: Programming track "short" message on NCE Powercab
That is correct for it will prevent a lot of problems. The higher end DCC system typically include a set of dedicated programming track terminals so one can implement an isolated programming track. The PowerCab does not.
The main problem with the programming track has to do with “reading" the settings stored inside the decoder such as the locomotive number (address). If there is any electrical load such as a light that draws power from the programming track that is not under control of the decoder, then it will interfere with the reading process and result in errors.
Because if you take the time to remove ALL of you engines and lighted cars off the layout prior to programming so there is no current draw, you can be successful in the programming track reading. Just place the engine on the track you wish to program and go.
The PowerCab's lower price comes at the physical expense of asking you to take time and prepare your layout for programming before you start to program.
Yes that will interfere with the programming track. NCE does offer a solution. The NCE Autoswitch allows the PowerCab to have a dedicated set of programming track terminals.
By installing the Autoswtich between the PowerCab and the layout, you will:
1) NOT have to disconnect the Tam Valley controller
2) NOT have to remove any locomotive or lighted cars from the layout.
3) HAVE a dedicated set of terminals like a high end DCC system has to setup a dedicated programming track.
If you want to go one more step to create a truly flexible programming track go here:
Now you can have the same dedicated programming track not only program locomotive successfully, but you will also be able to test them with a flick of a switch on the same track.
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics: www.markgurries.com