Powercab thumbwheel stiff

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LittleReggie
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:43 pm

Powercab thumbwheel stiff

Postby LittleReggie » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:29 am

Hi folks,

The thumbwheel on my NCE Powercab has a tendency to stiffen up a bit at certain times during use. Sometimes I have to press on it quite a bit harder to get enough grip to turn it. Then it will free up a little, perhaps depending on exactly what position the thumbwheel is in. I am tending to use the buttons for speed control now because of this, but I would prefer a nice smooth thumbwheel!

I was wondering if this was a common problem and if there might be an easy fix? I can't remember off the top of my head when I got the Powercab - probably around a year ago, but I think it actually had this issue from the start. I'm not afraid to take the unit apart and have a poke around inside if it's less hassle than trying to get it repaired.

Regards,
Reg.

D0260
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:55 pm

Re: Powercab thumbwheel stiff

Postby D0260 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:12 pm

Common problem, thumbwheel worn out - Call NCE in US and they usually send one FOC or for quick service try suppliers in this country ( DCC Supplies?? for a start) Easily replaced..

User avatar
Peterm
Posts: 1649
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:26 pm
Location: Bribie Island. Australia

Re: Powercab thumbwheel stiff

Postby Peterm » Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:16 pm

A friend of mine bought the Powercab a few years ago and it had a stiff wheel from the start. I don't know why, but he never did do anything about it. :roll:
Pete.

LittleReggie
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:43 pm

Re: Powercab thumbwheel stiff

Postby LittleReggie » Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:46 pm

I've read in a few places about problems with the thumbwheel encoder causing erratic behaviour. It seems that the encoder is a generic part that can be replaced (it requires soldering though), and the actual thumbwheel is just attached to the encoder shaft. In my case, either the encoder shaft is stiff or the thumbwheel is binding somewhere. If I can work out which it is I can attempt to remedy. I will speak to the supplier first anyway, in case they can offer any suggestions.

Thanks,
Reg.

BromsMods
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:34 pm
Location: Bromsgrove, Worcs
Contact:

Re: Powercab thumbwheel stiff

Postby BromsMods » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:26 pm

If the thumbwheel is working correctly but just stiff then:

Remove the screws from the back of the PowerCab (not the very small one in the middle - this is for the battery enclosure). Lift the circuit board out and examine the thumbwheel. Sometimes it has just moved a little on the three prongs which attach it to the circuit board and it binds on the cradle it sits in. If that doesn't fix it you could try putting just a little grease (as used on locos) on the cradle where the thumbwheel sits.

If the thumbwheel isn't working correctly then it will need replacing - it's a simple job but requires some careful desoldering of the existing thumbwheel and soldering of the new part. If you need a new thumbwheel I still have some spares - a fiver each - PM me if you need one.

LittleReggie
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:43 pm

Re: Powercab thumbwheel stiff

Postby LittleReggie » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:01 pm

That's really helpful, thanks.

The thumbwheel works ok, it is just a bit stiff at times. I have found a picture of the inside of a Power Cab on the net so I can see how the thumbwheel is located now. I will definitely give this a try.

Thanks,
Reg.

LittleReggie
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:43 pm

Re: Powercab thumbwheel stiff

Postby LittleReggie » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:19 pm

When you open up the Power Cab it is obvious how the thumbwheel works. Without the support of the cradle built into the back cover, you can only really twist the thumbwheel between thumb and forefinger to test and it felt ok (if a little wobbly) when I did this. I applied a little grease to the U-shaped cradle and checked nothing was binding anywhere. However, when I put everything back together again the thumbwheel still feels a bit stiff when pressing it. I really don't understand what is casing this, but can only conclude that it is a combination of it's design and me just being fussy. When you press the thumbwheel it comes into contact with the cradle, and I suppose it is inevitable that some friction will occur.

Reg.

BromsMods
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:34 pm
Location: Bromsgrove, Worcs
Contact:

Re: Powercab thumbwheel stiff

Postby BromsMods » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:18 pm

Very occasionally the thumbwheel seems a little out of line with the cradle, which is why it appears to bind. This can sometimes be remedied by adjusting the angle of the thumbwheel on the three prongs which are soldered to the main board.

LittleReggie
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:43 pm

Re: Powercab thumbwheel stiff

Postby LittleReggie » Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:45 pm

I think you hit the nail on the head there. The thumbwheel is at a slight angle to the slot in the front of the Power Cab. This means that it can't be sitting flush in the cradle either. I think I am inclined to leave it alone now - it isn't worth risking breaking it for what is really a minor irritation.

Regards.


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