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Peter's Model Railroading | Articles | Electronics | Battery Power
S-CAB Throttle

The throttle feels good in my hand. Where my thumb is in the photo are two small slide switches. The bottom one (covered by my thumb) turns the throttle on and off. The upper one (visible) switches between normal mode and CV-programming mode. Either state is indicated by the LEDs to the left of the main two-digit display. Below the display is a slide switch to control the locomotive's direction. To the right of the display is a long slider that is used to control the locomotive's speed.

The push-button section of the throttle can be used to select a different locomotive, control the speed via the push-buttons (the mechanical slider doesn't adjust, of course), turn on and off decoder's features (lights, bells, horns, etc.), do an emergency stop, and select and program the programmable CVs.

By the base of my thumb is a USB port. That is used to connect the throttle to a computer port that can be used to charge the rechargeable battery that is inside the throttle. The USB cable is supplied with the throttle. I charge mine a couple of times per year. I have never had the throttle battery "die" on me!

At a train show in early 2015 I accidentally dropped my throttle on the concrete floor of the facilities. Ever since then something rattled inside. I finally took some time to open it up. While I had it open, I figured I'd take some photos of it for those who are curious about what's inside. On the left you can see the antenna. On the top are, from left to right, the CV slide switch, the on/off slide switch, and the USB battery-charging port.

There is an NWSL rechargeable battery in the throttle, identical to the one I have installed in my S-scale NW2 switcher. Remember, I bought mine in 2012, so the newer versions of the throttle may have a different battery inside.

It is held in place with some Velcro®. This, actually, turned out to be my "problem". The battery had almost completely slipped off of the other Velcro piece, which was the source of the rattle. So, the throttle survived the fall intact; not even an exterior scratch!

While I had it open, I snapped a photo of the Linx radio-frequency module that sends out the signal to the receiver in the locomotive. This is the same chip that the CVP T5000 throttle uses to send its signals out. This transmitter module is no longer manufactured by Linx, but the new throttles being sold by Neil use a transmitter that is backward-compatible. The "916" in the model number indicates 916MHz broadcasting frequency. Linx Technologies was bought out by TE Connectivity.

The long chip shown in this photo is the one that may need to be replaced if Neil comes out with a significant upgrade to the throttle. I updated my chip to version 2.5 in June 2021. The old chip was hard to remove, but the new chip went in easily. The only thing I noticed was that my default locomotive ID selection was reset back to the default of "3", but that is easy to change.