Getting some heat from the NCE DCC powercab

 
  SB55 Station Staff

Hi All,

Have searched the threads and cant find anything specific to my issue, so I will have a go at describing the problem.

I have setup my DCC powercab and all runs OK.

Except that the powercab device starts to get hot after about 5 minutes.

I managed to narrow it down, by accident really, to a carriage that is part of the S set series Comeng Minimodel.

I took that carriage of, for some reason, and noticed the heat had gone, even after running about 5 locos simultaneously.

Put it back onto the track and bang, within minutes the heat came back in.

Now this carriage has no motor. It just has connectors, that I can see, that run to the lights.

There is no shorting going on... well at least nothing that bad that triggers the Powercab to restart.

So before I go wildly into pulling it apart and searching for something that I have no clue what....

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what it could be?

Thanx in advance.

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  figjam Beginner

Hi have you replaced the dummy dcc plug in the dummy power car with a function decode as the dummy power car is also has a dcc socket to control the marker lamps i did with my set
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
Hi,

I don't know your model, but perhaps this experience might assist you with the problem.

Some time ago, I had built a fleet of hoppers. I was placing them on the layout, one wagon at a time. The third wagon caused a short across the layout. Took the wagon off, short resolved. I examined the wagon and no obvious metal or cause of the short. Hmm? Wagon back on the track and again, the layout was in a short condition. Wagon off, place one bogie on the tracks, no short, the other bogie - short. Hmmm... making progress. Examine that bogie, nothing obvious. Bogie back on - short. Hmmmm.... Take the wheels out and place on the track, no short. WTF?? Wheels back in, bogie on track - short. ARGHHH!!!! Upon closer examination, it appeared that there was a fine metal sliver from the wheel, about the thickness of a hair on the isolated side. When the wheel was in the bogie, that pressed the sliver of metal over the isolated hub and back onto the wheel and instant short! When found, the solution was easy, remove the metal sliver and all was fixed!

It would seem to me that you have something that is causing a great deal of resistance, but not quite resulting in a short (yet, or a meltdown!). Perhaps a simple flaw like what I found is your problem?

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Dan
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Hi,

I don't know your model, but perhaps this experience might assist you with the problem.

Some time ago, I had built a fleet of hoppers. I was placing them on the layout, one wagon at a time. The third wagon caused a short across the layout. Took the wagon off, short resolved. I examined the wagon and no obvious metal or cause of the short. Hmm? Wagon back on the track and again, the layout was in a short condition. Wagon off, place one bogie on the tracks, no short, the other bogie - short. Hmmm... making progress. Examine that bogie, nothing obvious. Bogie back on - short. Hmmmm.... Take the wheels out and place on the track, no short. WTF?? Wheels back in, bogie on track - short. ARGHHH!!!! Upon closer examination, it appeared that there was a fine metal sliver from the wheel, about the thickness of a hair on the isolated side. When the wheel was in the bogie, that pressed the sliver of metal over the isolated hub and back onto the wheel and instant short! When found, the solution was easy, remove the metal sliver and all was fixed!

It would seem to me that you have something that is causing a great deal of resistance, but not quite resulting in a short (yet, or a meltdown!). Perhaps a simple flaw like what I found is your problem?

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Dan
SA_trains
Sounds plausible.....suggest original poster check the wheel-sets with a multimeter sets to "ohms" setting. However, I also think it could be the presence of the dummy plug in the carriage that was removed and then put back on the layout.

Roachie
  SB55 Station Staff

Thanks for the replies.

To be honest i didn't even know there was a second chip in the non motored car. It must still have the 8 pin dc pin in place because i haven't opened it up yet.

I'm still very knew to DCC, but I got to say that im enjoying it very much.

I looked closely for any possible short but couldnt see anything.

Do i need to install the same type of decoder into the car as i installed into the loco?

Thanks again

Steve
  FirstStopCentral Chief Train Controller

The Powercab has an inbuilt amp-meter, turn it on and see the measurements with and without the offending dummy car.

Paul
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Thanks for the replies.

To be honest i didn't even know there was a second chip in the non motored car. It must still have the 8 pin dc pin in place because i haven't opened it up yet.

I'm still very knew to DCC, but I got to say that im enjoying it very much.

I looked closely for any possible short but couldnt see anything.

Do i need to install the same type of decoder into the car as i installed into the loco?

Thanks again

Steve
SB55
Steve,

No, I don't think you don't need to install a decoder in the 2nd car unless you want to control the lights etc independently (I think).....but it would be wise to remove the dummy plug perhaps, as that could be like putting a non-dcc loco on to a dcc layout...but I admit to not being 100% sure about this aspect.

As said above though, check out the amp meter on the Procab's screen with and without the offending car on the rails. If the amp reading drops dramatically when you remove the car, then you definitely have an issue with that car. As I said earlier, use a multimeter to check there is no short across the wheel-sets.

You can buy a multimeter for about $10- and set it to OHMS to measure electrical resistance.

The screen will read "1" when you just hold the two probes apart....touch them together and it should read "0"......indicating there is a closed circuit.

Now, touch the probes to the wheel-sets on each axle. If you get a reading of anything other than "1" you have a short of some description.
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

It might also be and this is a real long shot as well on the dummy plug you might have a bridged solder joint that is two pins connected together as Roachie and others have said search out all possible places where a short or partial short could occur as ignoring it could cause considerable damage to either your model train cars or the controller. I would not like to see either of them happen to you. If you think you do not have the knowledge to check it out then get a reputable model shop that services model trains to have a look at it or get a friend with electrical knowledge to check things out for you. If you are a member of a club or a model train operating group it might pay to ask one of the members to check it out for you.

One check you could make is to try another blanking piece from another of the cars in the same  set plug that in and see what happens if it does nothing at all then the actual plug could be faulty like I said. The one other thing that might be wrong has the plug in that car been fitted the right way around in the socket it is not reversable so that could also cause some thing like that!
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
If in doubt seek info from where you purchased it ! A lot of the time they wil answer if asked politely, and explain the issue.

Regards,
David Head
  SB55 Station Staff

Thanks all for the good advise.

I took out the blanking pin from the dummy car, as suggested and put it back on the track.....and...  NO more HEAT in the powercab... ! great.

This is a better solution for me. I just dont have any lights in that car at all.

I suppose I could add another decoder to that dummy car at some later stage and programme it with the same address as the decoder in the motored car??  

Funny thing is .. I have red rattler minimodel that I bought at the same time, but it doesnt cause any heat. I presume it has the same setup???

I will ring the model shop as suggested and ask, they have been very helpful so far.

Thanks again, really appreciate all the help, my layout is moving along nicely now. Fell as if I have been time warped back to the 60's and 70's.

LOL

Steve
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

SB55 If you removed the plug and it cured the problem then it might just be that they need to be removed on DCC, but if the other cars have the same set up and plugs are in place and they work alright then it could be the blanking plug is faulty or the socket is not wired correctly. But glad to see removing it fixed the problem though.

 Later on if you do add decoders for the lights it might be advisable to check all the connections in this car before installing a decoder though as something is amiss with it. Mistakes in mass produced RTR happen a lot. It might simply be a crossed wire or something in this car that caused it but if you leave it and forget it later when installing lights and a decoder in it to work them you could blow the decoder and once blown replacement of the decoder is the only real option.
  SB55 Station Staff

I think you may well be correct there DJ.

I bought a TCS FL2 decoder and installed that in the dummy car so I could get the lights working but with no luck.

It just doesnt work, so I think you may well be correct in that it may be a faulty plug or some wiring that not right.

I will take it back to the shop to see if they can help.

Thanks All, appreciate your replies...

Steve
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

Best thing to do take it back to the shop as they will know or hopefully know what the problem is. Some Austrains loco's I bought from a shop here in Adelaide, the shop included a piece of paper to explain how they were wired up wrong and also how to fix the problem it required one wire shifted from memory. But these things happen though, on DC it did not make any difference and they still ran but on DCC bang there goes your decoder.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
Hi SB,

The FL2 decoder is a function only decoder. It needs a load to correctly be sensed on a command station.

But, there is good news. Use the Program on Main function on a programming track, and you should be able to program it. Noting that it has a default address of 3.

I ran into this when adding decoders to my brake vans.

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