From the moment I heard about DCC I was very interested in it. In 2000 I made the decision to switch the Dombås layout to DCC. At that time there was an annual show in Rosement, IL, where all the modeltrain manufacturers would show their products. This allowed me to 'play' with the various DCC systems. I ended up selecting the North Coast Engineering (NCE) Power Pro system.
The NCE Power House Pro system consists of a small box which houses the booster and command station and a controller, the ProCab.
On top of the NCE box sits the RRampMeter. This shows the current track voltage (13.9V) and current (0.09 amps).
This system is now in use for more than 16 years and without any problems. NCE has issued two software upgrades (NCE Software Upgrade) and that kept the system up-to-date with current technology. I also installed the NCE wireless system and have two Pro Cab throttles that are wireless, which allows for very easy walk-around-control.
Early DCC systems only allowed for 2 digit addresses, which required you to have a little cheat sheet to map your 2 digit number to a locomotive. Nowadays 4 digit addressing is the standard.
The 4 digit addressing scheme that I use uses the last four digits for a locomotive number. For locomotives with a computer number, like used in Germany, I won't use the computer control number. Here are some examples.Note that I use leading zeros in the addresses. For the NCE system this means it is a four digit address. See Loco Address Confusion.
|DCC address||Locomotive number|
When I started to use a computer for decoder programming. I use both JMRI and the ESU LokProgrammer, I create a separate programming track. To make it look nice I use Roco Line code 83 track. The picture on shows the overall setup, which is built around an NCE PowerCab with USB connector to connect to a computer.