Home >

Introduction to Acc+Ess Protocab

Protocab works by managing an onboard rechargeable battery which provides power to your loco's DC electric motor. This lets the loco run for several hours on a full charge.

Chart of Voltages Even when partly charged, the battery still has full power for the motor. Of course, the motor will stop when the battery reaches empty, but all the time there is a workable charge in the battery, the Protocab system delivers the required power to your locomotive's motor. There's no slowing down when the battery is low. Managing your fuel is exactly what the driver has to do on the full-sized railway!

Gone are the days when to make a model railway layout would take hours of working out which wire goes where. And then when everything seems to be working fine, the next time you come to run trains, it doesn't work any more and it takes hours of modelling time to find out why. Often it's because the rails are dirty and don't make good electrical contact with the wheels. Sometimes it's more serious and needs even more hours to track down which of the wires has broken. Let's make life a lot easier for you!

Your controls are on a handheld walkaround wireless controller which not only transmits your instructions over radio waves to a small control unit hidden inside the loco, it also continuously receives back messages from the loco containing data on how the loco is performing.

The Protocab Locomotive Control Unit (LCU) which you install in the locomotive connects to the onboard Protocab battery and manages the flow of current from the battery to the motor, depending on the setting you have made on the handheld controller. You don't have to remove the battery from the loco to recharge it, the Acc+Ess Protocab LCU is connected to a charging socket, a much smaller component that you can install on the loco wherever convenient and accessible for charging. Charging from empty takes around 4 hours (depending on battery capacity), less if the battery is only partly discharged. There is no memory effect, as there was with earlier battery chemistries, so you can top up the battery whenever it suits you. (Acc+Ess has attended several exhibitions in the UK and in every case, the locomotives on the display layout ran all day with the typical starts and stops of trains on exhibition layouts without needing to be recharged).

Here are the steps to take to make an Acc+Ess Protocab layout:

1. Make a baseboard.

2. Lay track - no wiring needed! And because there is no wiring, you don't have to separate your layout into separate sections or districts, and you don't have to ensure the points and crossings are insulated!

3. Install the Acc+Ess Protocab LCU, battery and charging socket inside your locomotives. Because the entire Acc+Ess Protocab installation inside the loco is self-contained, you don't have to worry about insulating the wheels. You won't even need pickups!

4. Turn on the Acc+Ess Protocab controller.

5. Allocate a button on the controller to your chosen locomotive.

6. Press the same button again, turn the knob on the controller and the loco moves -smooothly- and realistically.