Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The ROCK 3.0: DCC Electrical Woes

Good evening,

I had an interesting evening.  For the past two nights I have been operating my layout on my own after I restaged it.  

I was taking a break this evening to help my daughter with her math homework and my loco started moving on its own very erratically.  

I'm like, what the hell?  I wasn't even touching the layout.  A controller had that loco pulled up, but it wasn't the controller I was using this evening.  I rebooted the system and left off for a bit but it still continues.

I rebooted again and removed all the controllers.  It still acted full blown crazy.  

I rebooted again, and another Atlas loco started doing the same thing.  None of the Bachmann or Kato units are doing it.  When either of the Atlas locos are on the track, I can't pull up anything else.  The controllers are frozen and won't even register right with those locos on the layout.  When locos are off, the controllers will register but I can't control any other loco.  It appears to pull up the loco or consist though.

Before I started with the math homework, I added three cars to the layout.  When one was placed on the layout it sparked as it had metal wheels (six axles) and was near a switch.  No big deal as I corrected it instantly.  It was five minutes later or so before the first loco started acting crazy operating on its own.   I have since removed the three cars I added to the layout.  

I don't know what to think.  I have had this NCE system since 2008 so it does have some age on it.  

Any thoughts?  Have you seen anything like this before?

Any insight is greatly appreciated.


I have a PowerHouse Pro (PH-PRO) model.
I consulted with Allen tonight.  When troubleshooting with him, it was determined one loco (that was not consisted) worked.  One by one, I pulled all the locos off and zero'd out the consist address in CV19 (Advanced Consisting Address).  I was able to gain back control of the loco after clearing this out.  After each loco fixed, I checked to see if I could pull up any of the remaining locos.  Still nothing.  I was able to reset all of the locos CV19 address and regain control.  All locos are back on the layout (unconsisted).  All controllers are also connected.  I left the system on for about ten minutes and nothing happened.  When I have more time to stay in the room to monitor, I will leave the system on for a while to see if it occurs again.  We think it might be a bad locomotive chip.  The question is which one?

Another idea is the booster is going bad.  


  1. Interesting, indeed, Steven.

    Did you take a good look at the car that caused sparking when you added it to the layout? I've never seen a car do that, and I wonder whether it has a faulty axle set.


    1. I didn't see anything wrong with the car. When I placed the car on the layout, the trucks turned sideways and that is what caused the spark.