Edit NCE Consist
This tool allows you to review, edit, and save NCE style consists. It also allows you to
backup and restore all the NCE command station consists to and from a file. The file format
is identical to NCE, so you can restore a file that was generated by the NCE backup command.
Very useful since the restore and backup commands in the 2007 EPROM don't currently work! We
recommend that you set the baud rate at 9600 when using this tool.
There is also a separate JMRI generic consist tool, whose
help page also has a
small tutorial on the various forms of consisting.
To backup all of your consists to a file, press the "Backup" button located on the bottom row
of the JMRI consist editor. A default file name will appear in the Save window, you can
change the name it to whatever you wish. Press the "Save" button and the JMRI consist editor
will read the NCE command station memory and store the contents into the file you selected.
To restore all of your consists from a file, press the "Restore" button located on the bottom
row of the JMRI consist editor. Select a file by typing the name, or clicking on it. Press
the "Open" button and the JMRI consist editor will write the NCE command station memory with
the contents of the file you selected. The JMRI consist editor will check the contents of the
file before writing the command station memory to verify that the file is indeed a NCE
consist backup file! Note that the "Restore" only updates the NCE command station memory. It
doesn't program the locos on your layout.
To review a consist, enter the number of the consist in the text box under the heading
"Consist" and press the "Get" button. This will retrieve the consist from the command
To add a loco to a consist, enter the loco's address and then press the "??" button until the
desired direction "Forward" or "Reverse" appears. If you want the use the short address
format press the "Long" button and "Short" should appear. To program the loco with the
consist address and update the NCE command station, press the "Add" button and the loco will
be added to the consist.
Add Loco from Roster
To add a loco from your locomotive roster, select the desired loco and the program will
automatically fill in the loco address and address format. Select the loco direction and
press "Add" to complete the operation.
To replace the lead or rear loco, press the "Replace" button. This will delete the selected
loco from the consist. Enter the address of the new loco along with its direction and press
"Add" to program this loco with the consist address. If you want a mid loco to now be a lead
or rear loco, just enter the mid loco's address and then press "Add".
To delete an loco from the consist, press the "Delete" button across from the loco address
you wish to remove.
To remove all locos from a consist, press the "Clear" button located on the bottom row.
Previous and Next
The "Previous" and "Next" buttons allow you to search for consists. If you're looking for an
empty consist, click the "Empty Consist" box located in the upper right hand corner.
Verify Loco Checkbox
When checked, the program will verify that the loco that you are adding isn't assigned as a
lead or rear loco in another consist. It takes several seconds for the program to verify that
the add loco is available. An error message will appear if the program determines that the
add loco address is already in use.
However, if the add loco was previously assigned as mid loco loco in another consist, the
program will delete the loco from the other consist and add it to the new one without any
Consist Roster Checkbox
When checked, the program will create and manage a roster of consists. A consist must have a
lead and rear loco before the program will create an entry for you to manage. Two additional
buttons will appear when the "Consist roster" checkbox is selected, "Save" and "Delete", and
the "Consist" pull down menu becomes enabled. If you already have a NCE consist that you want
to add to the consist roster, simply press the "Clear" button when the "Consist roster"
checkbox is selected and the program will ask you if you want to add the NCE consist to your
roster. If you pressed "yes", the "Consist" menu should then have a new entry which is the
address of the lead loco of your consist. To load your consist back into NCE memory and
reprogram your locos, simply select the consist from the "Consist" menu and press "Load". If
you don't want to load the consist, press "Cancel".
There isn't a limit to the number of consist that the consist roster can manage. This
means those of you that are lucky enough to have more than 127 consists can use the NCE
Consist editor to manage an "unlimited" number of consists.
When managing a large number of consist, it might be useful to identify your consists by
assigning the lowest number of your end locos as the lead loco. This way you can quickly
select a consist by using the lowest number of your two end locos.
Save and Load button
The label for this button can be "Save" or "Load". If the program detects that a consist has
been created or changed the "Save" button will become enabled. The program will enable the
"Save" button when there's at least a lead and rear loco and the direction for each has been
When you select a consist to load from the "Consist" menu, the "Save" button becomes
"Load". You must specify the loco's direction to enable the "Load" button. You can also
modify the consist before loading it and the program will ask if you want to save the
changes. When loading a consist the program will search for the first empty consist number in
the NCE command station starting at consist number 127. If you select a consist from the
"Consist" menu that is already in the NCE command station, the program will pop up a message
stating that the consist has already been loaded. You can press "Load" to reprogram your
locos if you wish, otherwise press the "Cancel" button.
To remove a consist from your roster, press the "Delete" button located on the bottom row.
The "Delete button only becomes active after you've selected a consist from the "Consist"
There are many states that the NCE consist editor can be in and the "Status:" field provides
an indication of what is happening and whether the operation was successful. Listed below is
a brief description of the various "Status:" states.
- Operation completed successfully.
- Operation failed. A popup error message should also appear.
- The editor is waiting for the NCE command station to respond. The NCE command station
should respond within a couple of seconds, otherwise there's a problem with the connection
or command station.
- The editor is reading the NCE command station for the desired information. Normally the
state after pressing "Previous" or "Next". Also when loading a consist from the roster the
editor will search the NCE command station memory for an empty consist number to assign to
the consist. Searches should complete in a few seconds, otherwise there's a problem with
the connection or command station.
- The editor wasn't able to find a consist or an empty consist.
- The editor is reading the NCE command station memory to see if a loco has already been
assigned as a lead or rear loco in a consist. If a loco is already assigned, a popup
message will appear and "Status:" will show "error".
- The initial state of the NCE consist editor. Also when the "Consist roster" checkbox is
selected means that the consist in the NCE command station wasn't created by the editor.
Therefore the editor doesn't know the direction of the locos in the consists.
- The editor knows about the consist, but the consist has been modified. If a loco has
been added, the direction of the loco isn't known. And if a loco has been deleted from the
consist, the editor wants you to know!