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Old 12-07-2019, 10:56 PM   #1
akabu
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USA Power check

I am still looking for information relating to the voltage in an N scale track with the power cab control unit. I was under the impression that the track maintains a constant voltage (12-14 VDC). I have taken my power scab to the shop where I purchased it and it works just fine. When I hook it up to the input for my track I get nothing. I have checked about every thing I can but still no go. Can I use a common low voltage meter to determine ir and power is in the system?
I have hooked up an older 12 VDC transformer with clips and I have the proper voltage in all tracks, with some better than others.
I believe the only thing left is checking the voltage the power cab puts out to the small PC board the cap plugs into. Am I on the right track? Double endendre?
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:30 PM   #2
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Make sure

your meter is set to read AC (alternating current) vs DC.
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:10 AM   #3
CTValleyRR
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You WANT your multimeter reading in AC. DCC uses a modified waveform that looks like AC to a multimeter. 12-14 volts is what you should see.
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:34 AM   #4
DonR
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Akabu

What 'small pc board' are you plugging your DCC
controller into? Normally, the two wires from
the controller connect directly to the track or to a bus
that then feeds the track by drop wires from the rails. Whatever
device you have may be blocking the DCC voltage.

Don
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:35 PM   #5
MichaelE
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Track buss wires feed the track from two wire jacks on a PCB using the NCE Powercab.

The hand held controller does not connect directly to the track.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:15 PM   #6
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Thanks to all of you for your insights. I plug the Power Cab into the PCP panel supplied by NCE.

I am especially pleased to be advised to use the AC side of the meter, wouldn't and didn't even think about that. I read about how DCC operates but I just didn't realize that it must be checked using the AC. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:24 PM   #7
akabu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidJones View Post
your meter is set to read AC (alternating current) vs DC.
Thanks, it never entered my mind to check a DC system with the AC part of the meter. Makes sense since I vaguely remember the way DCC works.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:27 PM   #8
akabu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTValleyRR View Post
You WANT your multimeter reading in AC. DCC uses a modified waveform that looks like AC to a multimeter. 12-14 volts is what you should see.
Never entered my mind that you check the DCC system with the AV meter. I vaguely remember reading tha power to the track is a constant 12-14 volts DC bu with the magic they use now anything is possible. Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:35 PM   #9
akabu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonR View Post
Akabu

What 'small pc board' are you plugging your DCC
controller into? Normally, the two wires from
the controller connect directly to the track or to a bus
that then feeds the track by drop wires from the rails. Whatever
device you have may be blocking the DCC voltage.

Don
NCE supplies a plug in panel that mounts on your control station. It has two telephone type female receptacles, the Power Cab to be plugged into the left one and the second is available for friends to use if necessary. Thanks for the feedback
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:38 PM   #10
DonR
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I'm very familiar with the panel used for
connecting any wired hand held controller
with the main controller.
I just didn't recognize it with the term 'PC circuit board'.

There could be a defect in this unit that is blocking
current to the track.

I would suggest that you connect the main DCC
controller directly to the track, bypassing this device.
If your track power is then restored it would point to
a possible defect in the device.

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