PowerCAB Fixed


When I returned to the club after the Christmas / New Year break I was told the club’s PowerCAB in the workshop wasn’t working. Basically the symptom was that it would only come up in the initial ProCab mode — it would never switch to PowerCAB mode like it should. After a lot of investigation, fault finding and research on the ‘net (including the excellent NCE-DCC Yahoo Group) I was able to determine the fault was actually in the internal microcontroller (i.e. the ‘PIC’).

A fellow NCE-DCC Yahoo group member (Gary Rose in Sydney) read my post on the Yahoo group and contacted me off list to offer us his old PowerCAB microcontroller as it was surplus to his requirements after he upgraded to V1.28c for compatibility with the NCE USB adapter:


True to his word, the PIC arrived in the post from Gary (gratis I hasten to add) and it immediately fixed the problem. The PowerCAB is now back in the workshop at the club and fully functional (see picture above). So a huge thanks to you Gary for being so kind!

This PIC has later firmware (V1.28a) than we did have in the PowerCAB before (V1.10). The additional features we now have access to include a display of the total current draw (to two decimal places), software current overload protection and support for up to F28.

Need a new foam loco holder

Foam loco holder

I cleaned up the workshop bench again and noticed the extremely sorry state of our foam loco holder (see above). Now whilst this heirloom has a great deal of history (it looked worn out when I joined the club 12 years ago) I really think we can treat ourselves to a new one!


A brand new Peco PL-70 Loco Servicing Cradle (see above) should cost of the order of $12 judging by prices on the internet, but Perth Hobbies didn’t seem keen on ordering one in for me claiming it will “probably cost in excess of $50” and that I should just make one. Fair enough — looks simple enough.

So does anyone have any spare foam they can bring in so we can make one with the hot wire?