NCE PHP shutdown question : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

hello everyone, this is my first time to this Q&A center. i have a nce power house pro 5amp system. i ran my main bus lines(12awg) under my track work. i ran track feeder wires(20awg) from each section of flex track soldered. i hooked up the power lines and proceded to do my shut down test(short). from what ive read, if you touch both tracks with a quarter or something metal, the booster unit should shut down. myne wont. i have all good status lights, and good power to my tracks, but it refuses to shut down. i wasnt sure about the size of the wires from the PB105 command station, to the main track bus to power the bus. i used 20awg size. does anyone know why it wouldnt shut down? how long should it take to detect a short? how will i know if the booster actually shuts down, will the command station go dead, and reset on its own? any help greatly appreciated. thanks to all in advance!


-- steve manchester (, April 27, 2004



I don't have any experience with the NCE equipment, so I can only answer a few of your questions. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

Boosters typically shut down in a fraction of a second.

Why don't you try shorting the booster directly? That way you will learn what your booster does when it shuts down - assuming it shuts down. If it doesn't shut down, you will know you don't have a problem with your wiring.

I'm not sure I am understanding your wiring set up exactly right. In general, it sounds like your wiring is good. Your feeders to the 12 gauge bus wires should be short - not many feet long. Where I am not clear is regarding your connection from your booster to your bus wires under the layout. I think you used 20 gauge wire for this purpose. If this is a long run, this could be your problem.

-- Allan Gartner (, April 27, 2004.


Yes, you should be using larger diameter wire. Go ahead and short your booster directly to make sure it is shutting down correctly. If it shuts down, then that tells you that your wiring is inadequate.

The shorting test is a great test for finding inadequate wiring. You definitely perform the test and the booster should definitely shut down.

As I typed this, I see Don Vollrath posted an answer for you. He echos my advice and brings up another important point. Make sure your transformer/power supply is adequate as he suggests.

-- Allan Gartner (, April 28, 2004.

Joe said set the meter to AC current. I believe he meant to say AC volts. If you set it to AC current and put it across the track you might blow the meter. If yours has a fuse, you will be lucky and only blow the fuse.

-- Allan Gartner (, April 28, 2004.

hey allen, thanks for the reply. yes, i did use 20awg wire for the power supply from the command station to the bus lines. you think i should use a smaller awg size? thanks!

-- steve manchester (, April 27, 2004.

Use #16 or 18 wire from transformer/power supply to booster and from booster to DCC distribution bus. These wires should be short (less than 1 ft) as they should be larger, but that's what fits into the connector. #20 can be used for track rail drop/feeders but keep these less than 6-12 inches also. Make sure that every rail section has either an electrical feeder or a soldered rail joiner to a section that does have a feeder. Put feeders every 6 ft or so for HO scale. Be sure that the transformer/power supply can provide 5 or more amps without significant sag below 14.5 Vac (or 17Vdc). the booster should cut out when shorted.... 1. at the track output near the booster. 2. anywhere along the DCC distribution feeder. 3. at any power track section (the coin test).

Cut out should occur in a fraction of a second. The unit should recover after 4 or 5 seconds to 'try again'.

-- Don Vollrath (, April 28, 2004.

Hi Joe here. I had the same problem in a way. mine was with a digitrax and tonies P.S.2, to make this short I will just say what I did in the end to make sure the system was turning power off to the track, I put a multi meter on the track rails, set to A.C. current, which is what a DCC system puts out to the track. and sure enough when I shorted the track the muti meter went from 12 volts to 0. I hope this helps. Joe.

-- Joe Belanger (, April 28, 2004.

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