Jmri nce powercab and notepad windows 10

 
  SB55 Station Staff

Hi guys,

I'm moving along nicely with my dcc powercab setup.

Ive downloaded and installed JMRI ON my desktop computer  windows 10 and after a few dramas managed to get it running ok using the USB interface board.


I'm now thinking of buying a cheap notepad windows 10 so i can use it near the layout.

But they don't come with any comms ports anymore. And I'm not sure if that's going to be a problem.

When i look at the port settings on my desktop i can see that comms port 3 has the device driver installed on it.

I read on the JMRI site that you need a comms port to make it work.

Is that correct? Will it work on a laptop?

Any ideas world be greatly appreciated before i buy a laptop.

Thanks

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  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
since  the  computer interface with the NCE powercab is a USB device, you will need a USB interface to the Notebook somehow. You will have to check the input/ output specs and options for that device.  Can you mention the exact make/model of the one you are looking at ?

David Head
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Does the intro pack for NCE come with the interfaces required to use a computer or are these accessories?
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Does the intro pack for NCE come with the interfaces required to use a computer or are these accessories?
bevans
NCE basically has two systems that allow computer control. The newPowercab has a accessory  called aUSB interface that acts like an adapter USB- NCEBus.

The other NCE device is the NCE PowerPro command station. It has a 9 pin serial port built in.  Of course these days  most young one may  never seen such a port !  Thus aserial to USB adapter has been a common device to connect to a computer.

Regards,
David Head
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
David thanks for your response.

I am planning to get a PowerCab starter kit and move away from Digitrax also because USMRCA is using such a product.  So this "kit" would allow connection to the laptop via USB?
  SB55 Station Staff

Well ... thats my question really... , I know JMRI connects to the layout using the Desktop computer because, as said, it uses the NCE USB Interface.



If you can see it... Thats a pic of the board.

Its done that way as most computers (mainly laptops) made these days do NOT come with serial ports anymore.

You would think that it totally replaces the need to have a serial port... BUT when you look at the ports in the device manager on the computer, mine has 2 of them, comms 1 and comms 3 you can clearly see that the drivers are installed on the comms3 port.

And I definitely read somewhere on the JMRI documentation, cant find it anymore, that you still need the ports on the computer to have it work.

I know it sound a bit of contradiction, but that is my question, is there anyway to make it work without serial ports?

Thanks for all the replies. Ill keep bashing away... LOL
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Looking at the interface it would seem to me one end is the BUS connection and the other the USB cable connect.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
As long as you can geta USB port happening, you can connect most DCC system and of course all NCE systems. Yes the usb interface is really a sort of converter, and as long as you can connect the usb to another converter you should get it working.


A friend bought a serial - ethernet adapter and connected his NCE powerpro serial port to his laptop via his network port, and it worked.  So it's up to us propeller heads/geeks/ sensible people to get it working.

Another way is to connect the USB to a Rhasbery Pi with wifi, and simply remote control it from your laptop......

Regards,
David Head
  Captain Underpants Train Controller

The connection from the NCE PowerCab to notebook, laptop or any computer for that matter is very simple using a USB port not Serial/Com ports.

You need:

NCE PowerCab DCC Starter System
NCE USB interface module (Purchased Separately)
NCE curly cable (Supplied with PowerCab)
NCE PowerCab Panel (PCP) (Supplied with PowerCab) This is the panel that connect the DCC system to your track.
USB standard printer Type A to Type B cable (Purchased Separately)
Notebook, laptop or any computer with at least 1 USB port.

Connection:

1. UBS printer Type A to Type B cable plugs into a USB port on your notebook, laptop or computer. They all have at least one USB port on them these days. The other end plugs into the NCE USB interface module that should be already set up on your layout.

2. NCE curly cable plugs into the bus connector on the NCE USB interface module.

3. The other end of the curly cable plugs into the unused port on the NCE PowerCab Panel (PCP). You should already have the flat cable plugged into one port and the other end in PowerCab Throttle.

4. Start up your computer and it should automatically assign the USB port you are using with a COM# number.

5. Turn on the NCE PowerCab

6. Open JMRI, go to the Edit Tab and select Preferences.

7. On the Connections Tab select
   System Manufacturer = NCE
   System Connection = NCE USB
   Serial Port = COM3 (There could be more than one COM# so start with the first one and keep changing until one works)
   USB Version = V7.x.x
   System = PowerCab
   Connection Prefix = N
   Connection Name = NCE

8. Save your changes and shut down JMRI but leave the NCE PowerCab still on.

9. Start up JMRI again and down the bottom of the JMRI page will tell you if your are online in green print.

10. If still offline then go back and change the Serial Port COM number if there was more than 1 showing.

Now you will have JMRI communication with your NCE Power Cab to your track.

From there you can advance to have JMRI run your locos via WiFi using a tablet or mobile phone as a throttle for complete wireless control.

Hope this helps

Cheers

Captain U
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Well ... thats my question really... ,
SB55




What computer make/model / supplier are you looking at.....  As we all have said we need  "something" to convert to USB so if we can search the specs we may be able to suggest something.......


David
  Captain Underpants Train Controller

Well ... thats my question really... ,




What computer make/model / supplier are you looking at.....  As we all have said we need  "something" to convert to USB so if we can search the specs we may be able to suggest something.......


David
dthead

David,

No computer spec searching is needed. Any computer with a USB port will work.

That's why it is called a NCE USB interface. A USB interface between your computer and your command station so the both can communicate with each other.

I have it set up on a 14 year old laptop running windows XP, a 3 year notebook/laptop running windows 10 + WiFi router + 3 7inch tablets for wireless control on my layout and a 8 month notebook running windows 10.
I also had it running on a desktop computer in the early days

It works with all of them.

The NCE USB interface is plugged into a USB port, Windows OS will convert the USB port into to a communication port and your computer/JMRI will program your locos though the command station.

I explained how to do it in an earlier post.

Cheers
Captain U
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

No computer spec searching is needed. Any computer with a USB port will work.

I explained how to do it in an earlier post.

Cheers
Captain U
Captain Underpants


Have another read of the first post, I'll bolded the part concerned.




Hi guys,

I'm moving along nicely with my dcc powercab setup.

Ive downloaded and installed JMRI ON my desktop computer  windows 10 and after a few dramas managed to get it running ok using the USB interface board.


I'm now thinking of buying a cheap notepad windows 10 so i can use it near the layout.

But they don't come with any comms ports anymore. And I'm not sure if that's going to be a problem.



When i look at the port settings on my desktop i can see that comms port 3 has the device driver installed on it.

I read on the JMRI site that you need a comms port to make it work.


Is that correct? Will it work on a laptop?

Any ideas world be greatly appreciated before i buy a laptop.

Thanks




Captain U   he does not know if the computer he is looking at, the new one he wants, has a USB port !!! His existing one does, but that was not what he was asking....

Regards,
David Head
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
To the best of my recollection Sad  Windows  (all versions) create ports when suitable devices are connected to USB.


Originally my Digitrax PR3 needed a special USB cable and I had to load drivers to get it to work. In Win 10 it usually loads the correct driver when I plug the PR3 in.
I have found the PR3 to be unreliable, and tried a Sprog 2 which is very reliable, and connects up automatically on my touch screen 11 inch portable lap top. Unfortunately ASUS and I did not think it through. It has an 128ig SSD which is almost completely occupied by Win 10 and other programs required to make it work for me.
I found an SD port and loaded another 128 gig card into it and named it E Drive.
I put all saved stuff and new programs on this drive. I paid almost as much money (as I did for the ASUS) to load a hi speed card instead of a normal very slow card.
I can fold the screen behind the unit and operate the PC computer part as a tablet. Look forward to driving trains with it, and setting up signalling and control panels in the future Smile

The little computer is much slower than my normal laptop, however is most suitable to use with JMRI. I would however pay extra for a big HD, at least a TB, if they have them.
Good Luck Smile
Rod Young
  Captain Underpants Train Controller

Hi guys,

I'm moving along nicely with my dcc powercab setup.

Ive downloaded and installed JMRI ON my desktop computer  windows 10 and after a few dramas managed to get it running ok using the USB interface board.


I'm now thinking of buying a cheap notepad windows 10 so i can use it near the layout.

But they don't come with any comms ports anymore. And I'm not sure if that's going to be a problem.

When i look at the port settings on my desktop i can see that comms port 3 has the device driver installed on it.

I read on the JMRI site that you need a comms port to make it work.

Is that correct? Will it work on a laptop?

Any ideas world be greatly appreciated before i buy a laptop.

Thanks
SB55

SB55,

Tell me if you have connected the NCE USB interface to your desktop computer using a USB cable plugged into a USB port.
Because that's how it should be done.

If the answers is "Yes" then it is no different plugging it into a USB port on a laptop.

Go and buy yourself any laptop you want because I am sure it will have at least one USB port on it.
I'm talking notebook/laptop not iPads or tablets.

Windows 10 will convert the USB port to a COM port.
JMRI requires that java be installed so if it's not pre installed on the laptop then you will have to download it from the internet.

Cheers

Captain U
  Captain Underpants Train Controller


No computer spec searching is needed. Any computer with a USB port will work.

I explained how to do it in an earlier post.

Cheers
Captain U

Have another read of the first post, I'll bolded the part concerned.




Hi guys,

I'm moving along nicely with my dcc powercab setup.

Ive downloaded and installed JMRI ON my desktop computer  windows 10 and after a few dramas managed to get it running ok using the USB interface board.


I'm now thinking of buying a cheap notepad windows 10 so i can use it near the layout.

But they don't come with any comms ports anymore. And I'm not sure if that's going to be a problem.



When i look at the port settings on my desktop i can see that comms port 3 has the device driver installed on it.

I read on the JMRI site that you need a comms port to make it work.

Is that correct? Will it work on a laptop?

Any ideas world be greatly appreciated before i buy a laptop.

Thanks




Captain U   he does not know if the computer he is looking at, the new one he wants, has a USB port !!! His existing one does, but that was not what he was asking....

Regards,
David Head
dthead
Hi David,

I think it would be very hard to find a laptop these days that doesn't have a USB port.
It's a standard feature found on all of them.

A quick search at JB HI-Fi and a $279 laptop with windows 10 comes with 3 USB ports.

Cheers

Captain U
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Again he has JMRI installed and working on the existing computer.  Your info will help others though.

These days even usb ports are dropped off  "hip" computers. They might have a mini usb port, or an adapter ( read extra money to buy)  - depends.  Do not assume modern machine have what one may be used to.... I do know of many laptipo that had serial and parrallel ports, as well as PCMICA ports, and VGA ports !  No longer Wink


David
  Captain Underpants Train Controller

Again he has JMRI installed and working on the existing computer.  Your info will help others though.

These days even usb ports are dropped off  "hip" computers. They might have a mini usb port, or an adapter ( read extra money to buy)  - depends.  Do not assume modern machine have what one may be used to.... I do know of many laptipo that had serial and parrallel ports, as well as PCMICA ports, and VGA ports !  No longer Wink


David
dthead
And there is no reason why he can't have it working on a new cheap laptop/notebook just because he has it on an existing computer.


David, your showing your age now, young blokes today wouldn't know what your taking about.
Today laptops are called notebooks and they have as standard USB ports, HDMI output ports, WiFi and Bluetooth.
USB ports have been around since 1996 and they were designed to replace serial and parallel ports.


All SB55 has to do is buy a Laptop/Notebook with at least one USB port whether it be version 2.0 or 3.0
I found a cheap one at JB Hi-Fi for $279 that has three, and if he wants to spend more and get a faster processor then between $499 - $899 they all have between 2-3 USB ports. He is spoilt with choices as I could find one that didn't have a USB Port

Cheers

Captain  U
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I have dealt with computers for over 23 years so are fully aware of past and current trends quite well.   I would also reccomend a computer/notebook/laptop, surface pro etc with a USB port. Just hope the original poster understands  when he goes to buy.  

I do have someone trying to use a tablet to run JMRI, again not the normal use but when the person comes back from holidays I hope to work with him more.

JMRI is a great program and are exploring it gradually !



David
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
I think this is pretty much answered above, but I use JMRI without a 9-pin UART ('comms port'  per the OP).

I use a PR3 (Digitrax) and connect the USB to a laptop running Windows 10, no problems.

No need for a 9-pin serial port.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I think this is pretty much answered above, but I use JMRI without a 9-pin UART ('comms port'  per the OP).

I use a PR3 (Digitrax) and connect the USB to a laptop running Windows 10, no problems.

No need for a 9-pin serial port.
SAR523
There is a need for a serial port if the device you wish to use HAS one for computer interfacing .  NCE's  fully featured Command station still has a serial port, hence the discussion about serial port ( why NCE have not upgraded to a USB is a bone of contention for NCE users).

Other DCC systems use USB ports, but this info does not assist the OP with a NCE system (unless they want to change DCC systems).

Regards,
David
  SB55 Station Staff

THANKS to all for all your replies/concerns...!

I have it ALL working OK.

NCE > NCE/USB interface > Laptop (windows 10) > JMRI

and Loving it... ! Controlling all my locos with digital...

It all went so smoothly once I bit the bullet and bought the Laptop (cheap ACER from Harvey Norman). Now I can leave my desktop and sit by the layout and control all the locos with multiple throttles... Havent hit a limit yet on how many I can have open at the same time.

JMRI is really a fantastic piece of software, I had to install Java but that was no drama.

Also have the WIFI throttle working as well... a tiny bit of lag, but no big deal.

THANKS AGAIN..LaughingLaughingLaughing
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
THANKS to all for all your replies/concerns...!

I have it ALL working OK.

NCE > NCE/USB interface > Laptop (windows 10) > JMRI

and Loving it... ! Controlling all my locos with digital...

It all went so smoothly once I bit the bullet and bought the Laptop (cheap ACER from Harvey Norman). Now I can leave my desktop and sit by the layout and control all the locos with multiple throttles... Havent hit a limit yet on how many I can have open at the same time.

JMRI is really a fantastic piece of software, I had to install Java but that was no drama.

Also have the WIFI throttle working as well... a tiny bit of lag, but no big deal.

THANKS AGAIN..LaughingLaughingLaughing
SB55
Wow!!! Got the wireless throttle working?? Ha Ha well your one up on me. It works for me once on setup and next time I log in its gone to hell, and I have to start again Very Happy Everybody that visits says they can fix it, but alas I have to delete reload to get it to work once Given up on it, but I am tempted to buy  the new Diitrax WIFI controller, that does away with the modem.
Cheers
Rod
  Captain Underpants Train Controller

I think this is pretty much answered above, but I use JMRI without a 9-pin UART ('comms port'  per the OP).

I use a PR3 (Digitrax) and connect the USB to a laptop running Windows 10, no problems.

No need for a 9-pin serial port.
There is a need for a serial port if the device you wish to use HAS one for computer interfacing .  NCE's  fully featured Command station still has a serial port, hence the discussion about serial port ( why NCE have not upgraded to a USB is a bone of contention for NCE users).

Other DCC systems use USB ports, but this info does not assist the OP with a NCE system (unless they want to change DCC systems).

Regards,
David
dthead

(why NCE have not upgraded to a USB is a bone of contention for NCE users)

Apparently, because NCE is secretly working on a replacement system and it is not giving away too much as they have had their fingers burnt from another DCC system manufacturer previously after releasing the system.

If you simply plug the NCE Coiled/Curly cable into the UTP cab bus panel supplied with the system or directly in the cab bus port on your NCE's fully featured Command station and the other end into the NCE USB interface then to the USB port on a computer, it should work. At the end of the day, your computer and JMRI are just another form of a throttle.


Otherwise you need one of these for under $6 AUD

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Hign-Quality-USB-to-RS232-9-Pin-DB9-Serial-Male-Converter-Adapter-Cable/292172179667?hash=item4406d1a8d3:g:ibMAAOSwJtdaHx5Z
  Captain Underpants Train Controller

THANKS to all for all your replies/concerns...!

I have it ALL working OK.

NCE > NCE/USB interface > Laptop (windows 10) > JMRI

and Loving it... ! Controlling all my locos with digital...

It all went so smoothly once I bit the bullet and bought the Laptop (cheap ACER from Harvey Norman). Now I can leave my desktop and sit by the layout and control all the locos with multiple throttles... Havent hit a limit yet on how many I can have open at the same time.

JMRI is really a fantastic piece of software, I had to install Java but that was no drama.

Also have the WIFI throttle working as well... a tiny bit of lag, but no big deal.

THANKS AGAIN..LaughingLaughingLaughing
Wow!!! Got the wireless throttle working?? Ha Ha well your one up on me. It works for me once on setup and next time I log in its gone to hell, and I have to start again Very Happy Everybody that visits says they can fix it, but alas I have to delete reload to get it to work once Given up on it, but I am tempted to buy  the new Diitrax WIFI controller, that does away with the modem.
Cheers
Rod
comtrain

Rod,
You must be just unlucky Sad

I run my layout using NCE, a laptop with JMRI, a WIFI router and three 7 inch tablets with no problems/lags or delays with communication to the locos. And if I need more than 3 wireless throttles then I simple plug in the old NCE throttles and they all play nicely together.

On start up I'll have the layout on first then the laptop on running with JMRI WiThrottle, then I'll open the throttle apps on the tablets and wait a little until they're all taking to each other and then I'm ready to run.

Cheers

Captain U
  SB55 Station Staff

THANKS to all for all your replies/concerns...!

I have it ALL working OK.

NCE > NCE/USB interface > Laptop (windows 10) > JMRI

and Loving it... ! Controlling all my locos with digital...

It all went so smoothly once I bit the bullet and bought the Laptop (cheap ACER from Harvey Norman). Now I can leave my desktop and sit by the layout and control all the locos with multiple throttles... Havent hit a limit yet on how many I can have open at the same time.

JMRI is really a fantastic piece of software, I had to install Java but that was no drama.

Also have the WIFI throttle working as well... a tiny bit of lag, but no big deal.

THANKS AGAIN..LaughingLaughingLaughing
Wow!!! Got the wireless throttle working?? Ha Ha well your one up on me. It works for me once on setup and next time I log in its gone to hell, and I have to start again Very Happy Everybody that visits says they can fix it, but alas I have to delete reload to get it to work once Given up on it, but I am tempted to buy  the new Diitrax WIFI controller, that does away with the modem.
Cheers
Rod

Rod,
You must be just unlucky Sad

I run my layout using NCE, a laptop with JMRI, a WIFI router and three 7 inch tablets with no problems/lags or delays with communication to the locos. And if I need more than 3 wireless throttles then I simple plug in the old NCE throttles and they all play nicely together.

On start up I'll have the layout on first then the laptop on running with JMRI WiThrottle, then I'll open the throttle apps on the tablets and wait a little until they're all taking to each other and then I'm ready to run.

Cheers

Captain U
Captain Underpants

Yes, that certainly seems like the way to go.

Originally I was thinking about NCE wireless controllers because I was getting fed up with moving aroung the layout and being tied to the NCE powercab throttle.

But started looking into JMRI and WIFI and I was sold.... I can have my andriod phone in my hand and walk around freely.

I also have it installed on a tablet.

The NCE wireless option would have been very expensive as well. (I think its radio controlled???)

Again thanks for all the coments.Cool

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