1156 Bulb Short Protection and Powercab


Dave Hamernik
 

I have read a lot about using the 1156 bulb for short protection and understand how it works.  However, I have an NCE Powercab and  find that the Powercab typically senses a power surge first and my bulb doesn’t light.  The bulb lights sometimes but the majority of the time the Powercab turns off and resets.  Has anyone else experienced this that has a Powercab?  Thanks.


wirefordcc
 

Hi Dave,

Using a 1156 bulb doesn't work with all systems.  As you probably know, the filament in the bulb needs to heat up for the bulb to limit current.  Some systems are faster than the bulb and the PowerCab is one of them.  I have also found that "chem fuses", which also do a similar thing, will not work with the PowerCab either.  I haven't tried the NCE CP6 bulbs with the PowerCab to see what would happen.  Let's see if anyone else has tried them.

Should no bulb work for you, the new NCE EB1 electronic circuit breaker has a lower initial current trip current than the old one and will work with the PowerCab.  Other electronic circuit breakers, if they have low current trip points, will also likely work.

Allan Gartner
Wiring for DCC


Dave Hamernik
 

Well I guess wiring up my 1156 bulbs was a bit of an exercise in futility since the powercab responds more quickly. However, the bulbs sometimes do respond first so at the end of the day, they offer an extra level of protection. Not sure why they sometimes light before the powercab but…

Thanks for your response. 
Dave


Blair
 

Dave,

It's a function of prior-current, I suspect - if the bulb was already seeing significant current(i.e. a couple of locos running at speed), then the filament is already warming, so when the short occurs, it takes less time to light up, and hence acts before the powercab; if the filament was cold (i.e. a single low-current loco crawling into a turnout that is in the wrong position), then the booster sees the short before the filament warms.  That's what I think is going on.

I suppose a chart showing which boosters/systems will benefit from bulb-style protection, and which won't, might be useful, but how many people are still deploying bulb protection?

Blair

On 2021-06-16 15:43, Dave Hamernik wrote:
Well I guess wiring up my 1156 bulbs was a bit of an exercise in futility since the powercab responds more quickly. However, the bulbs sometimes do respond first so at the end of the day, they offer an extra level of protection. Not sure why they sometimes light before the powercab but…

Thanks for your response. 
Dave


Dave Hamernik
 

That makes a lot of sense Blair. Thank you. 


 

This is what the NCE sites says about protection of the Powercab

"The Power Cab has built in overload for basic self-protection that will continuously try to reset until destroyed if left uncorrected. The Power Cab does not have circuit breakers that will trip or fuses that will blow. Use the new EB1 v1.1 electronic circuit breaker to protect the Power Cab against short circuits."

The power supply only supports 2 Amperes of current.  This increases the trip time for chem fuses.

Best,
Ken Harstine


Dave Hamernik
 

Thanks Ken.


PennsyNut
 

Just for those of y'all that don't use NCE. I use a 1157 bulb with my Digitrax and it works like it's supposed to. I mounted it at the center of my layout/command station, visible all long my shelf layout. And it has functioned perfectly. No matter where I stand, if I see it flash or light up. I know instantly where the problem is. And it's usually right where I'm at. LOL
Morgan Bilbo, slightly over one year with very basic DCC


John Bauchiero
 

I have to agree with Morgan. I do run NCE but the 1156 did not work for me. I use the 1157’s brake filament. One filament of the 1157  is equivalent to the 1156 and the second is a higher current. The 1156 would not light on a short but worse, it would warm up and not pass enough current to the existing locos. I got brave and tried the 1156s in parallel without total satisfaction. So when using the high current 1157 element it worked well and the PowerCab did not trip. It lit on a short but I am not one to leave a short condition for a long time.  I’m a gambler but not to a point to risk my rolling stock.  I am sure if the current was slightly higher and more instantaneous, the PowerCab would go into protect mode. 

This doesn’t mean this is the best way to protect the PowerCab but until I install a real protector, it will have to do.

I am tending to lean toward the DCC Specialties PSX breakers. Flexible, functional and future DCC worthy. I would welcome comments or corrections. 

John

On Jun 18, 2021, at 10:22 AM, PennsyNut <fan4pennsy@...> wrote:

Just for those of y'all that don't use NCE. I use a 1157 bulb with my Digitrax and it works like it's supposed to. I mounted it at the center of my layout/command station, visible all long my shelf layout. And it has functioned perfectly. No matter where I stand, if I see it flash or light up. I know instantly where the problem is. And it's usually right where I'm at. LOL
Morgan Bilbo, slightly over one year with very basic DCC


PennsyNut
 

And I'm with John. Until a good solution comes along - but I also want a reasonable price. You can't compare a bulb with a good circuit breaker. But. The price must be within my budget. And that bulb certainly does it's job and for what it cost - wow! I also think it is best on a small/ish layout where you can see the bulb. A buzzer wired in could be even better. But then, the cost goes up. I must admit, it's a good thing that NCE has that feature.        Morgan Bilbo, slightly over one year with very basic DCC


Phil Friday
 

Go to electronics stores..relays, resistors , bus bars etc. are much less expensive than RR hobby shop prices. Same goes for styrene plastics .