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WFD-30 NCE CAB Bus Wi-Fi Interface

Compatibility Product

WFD-30 NCE CAB Bus Wi-Fi Interface

Available February 2020


You can install this Wi-Fi/DCC NCE CAB Bus Interface on your layout to provide Wi-Fi Control of trains using your NCE DCC Equipment. Control Trains using popular apps such as WiThrottle on Apple, Engine Driver on Android or Loco Operator on Windows or Android. This NCE CAB Bus-Compatible product will work with any NCE Command Station such as Power Pro, Smart Booster and Power Cab. The unit acts as a WiThrottle server using Hoffman's WiThrottle protocol, just like JMRI, with optional loco roster and turnout list. YOU DON'T NEED TO INSTALL JMRI ANYWHERE - just connect to your NCE command station, install a recommended App on your Apple iPhone/iPad, or your Android phone/tablet, connect to the device and start driving trains.

Full Description and Specification   Read the Quick Start Document   Read the Full Manual

The name NCE and the NCE logo is the property of North Coast Engineering, Webster, NY, USA. WiThrottle is the name of a communication protocol authored by Brett Hoffman and also of an IOS app written by Brett Hoffman. Engine Driver is the name of an Android app written by M. Steve Todd. The WFD-30 was developed with NCE assistance and encouragement but WifiTrax takes full responsibility for its features and performance.

WFD-30 NCE CAB Bus Wi-Fi Interface

This module provides Wi-Fi control of DCC locomotives and accessories using your NCE Command Station from a hand-held such as a phone, tablet or dedicated throttle that uses the WiThrottle protocol authored by Brett Hoffman. WifiTrax has thoroughly tested operation using the popular and excellent apps Engine Driver for Android and WiThrottle for Apple and guarantees operation for all the scenarios described in our Recommended App Test Report.
Please contact WifiTrax support for any questions or issues relating to operation with 3rd-party apps rather than the authors these apps. It is is unlikely that authors of apps will be able to answer questions relating to our products.

Of course you can also operate locomotives using WifiTrax Loco Operator on Windows or Android, in which case you can operate other WifiTrax products such as Switch Machine controllers etc.

The WFD-30 has been developed by WifiTrax with the assistance of NCE representatives in Australia who have tested it with excellent results.

Don't be fooled by the simple appearance of this module. The value is in the firmware!
WifiTrax has developed Complex Real-Time C language code to run in the Silicon Valley Tensilica L106 32-bit micro controller processor licensed by Espressif and built into their Wi-Fi module to do many things:

  • It provides a WiThrottle Server, just like JMRI except that YOU DON'T NEED A COMPUTER - it's all in this little module.
  • It provides an NCE CAB Bus interface - the NCE standard to connect Cabs to Command Stations.
  • It translates all the WiThrottle commands to NCE Cab Bus commands.
  • It provides an on-board loco roster and turnout list and allows you to maintain it using web pages on your browser.
  • You can provide meaningful names for the function keys for each loco in your roster and set them to latch or not as required.
  • You can set WPA2-PSK Security on the device's direct Wi-Fi Access Point with your own password. You can connect more than one WFD-30 to an NCE command station so you can take your unit along to your club with your own roster - only those your authorize can access it and drive your locos.
  • It supports 4 connected throttles out of the box, BUT you can connect it to your home network so that the number of throttles is limited only by your router.
  • Last but certainly not least, you get a complete and detailed on-line manual on all aspects of operation, with clear instructions on using third-party apps with the WFD-30.

To get started with this device, all you need to do is connect it to the CAB Bus socket on your NCE command station, connect your smart phone or tablet to the device's Wi-Fi Access Point and start one of the recommended Apps such as WiThrottle, Engine Driver or Loco Operator.

Select the broadcast WiThrottle server, and drive trains by selecting a locomotive using its DCC address. But there's a great deal more:

You can create a locomotive roster similar to JMRI, specify a name and DCC address for each entry, and customize the function keys for the decoder in each loco. When you select from the roster, displayed by your smart-phone app, all the function keys will be labelled for that loco and decoder. Maybe you have diesel locos, where F2 should show "Horn" and steam locos where F2 should show "Whistle". Similarly, some locos might have various lights that others do not.

You can define a list of DCC accessory turnouts that will be loaded into WiThrottle or Engine Driver when you connect.

With direct connection to the WFD-30 module, you can have up to 4 hand-held throttles, BUT you can connect the module to your home network which allows any number of throttles - limited only by your Wi-Fi router. So when there are many operators, you don't need to install multiple WFD-30 modules and remember which one you should connect to. Also all your hand-helds are connected to your home net, so you can access the internet and use other apps at the same time as driving your trains.

Read the Quick Start Document

Read the Manual

Read about working with 3rd-Party Apps and Devices.

WFD-30 NCE CAB Bus Wi-Fi Interface

Preliminary Specification - Subject to change until product is released for sale.


Length: 55mm (2.17") Width: 55mm (2.17") Maximum Height: 13mm (0.51")

Functions and Modes of Operation

Installs on your layout to provide Wi-Fi control of an NCE Command Station by acting as a Cab on the NCE CAB Bus. The NCE command stations is master on the CAB Bus and polls cab addresses. The WFD-30 responds to its designated cab address and represents Wi-Fi connected hand-held devices that use the WiThrottle protocol as authored by Brett Hoffman and used by JMRI. The WFD-30 converts all WiThrottle commands to NCE CAB Bus commands including speed/direction, functions and turnouts. (The WFD-30 does not handle DCC CV Programming.)

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO INSTALL JMRI and you need no other computer. WFD-30 acts as a WiThrottle Server similar to that provided by JMRI. In other words it responds to connections and commands defined in the WiThrottle protocol, authored by Brett Hoffman, and allows connected devices to select and control trains and accessories. The WiThrottle Server is built into WFD-30 firmware so there is so software set-up required.

You can however use JMRI AS WELL as your WFD-30 and drive trains or use Decoder Pro to do your CV programming via a JMRI connection to your NCE command station. You can have some cabs on JMRI and some on the WFD-30.

Direct Wi-Fi Mode allows up to 4 Cabs (Android, IOS or Windows computers/tablets/phones) to connect directly to the WFD-30 device's access point. WPA2-PSK security is optional in this mode using your own password.

Home-net Mode allows the WFD-30 device to connect automatically to your home router on power-up. This enables an unlimited number of Cabs to communicate with the device and control trains. In this case operation will ultimately be limited by the Wi-Fi capabilities of your router and the rest of the Wi-Fi and DCC system.

The Loco Roster feature allows up to 16 rostered locomotives each with up to 29 named function keys. On 3rd-party smartphone apps, locos may be selected either from the roster OR by typing the DCC address. Once your roster is full, you may drive extra locos by using their DCC Address, but they will not have the named function key feature.

The Accessor List feature allows up to 32 listed, named accessories with your specific accessory address. On 3rd-party smartphone apps, the state of accessories may be changed either by tapping the entry in the list, or by using the accessory address. You may operate more than 32 accessories by using the accessory address for extra accessories. Only two-state accessories such as turnouts may be operated. The display of accessories is determined by the features of the 3rd-party app such as Engine Driver or WiThrottle.

Power Supply

WFD-30 needs no separate power supply obtaining all of its power from the NCE CAB Bus.


Four M3 mounting holes for use with screws, nuts and spacers, or suitable wood screws with spacers.


Two NCE CAB Bus sockets (RJ-12 6P4C Sockets). One is used to connect to your NCE Command Station. The other may be used to connect another NCE Cab such as Pro-Cab.


4 DIP Switches to allow selection of 7 different pre-set CAB Addresses. Any other address may be selected using the WFD-30 Web-page settings via a browser or the installed hand-held device app. The following NCE Cab Bus addresses are selectable via DIP Switches: 3, 4, 5, 10 (default), 20, 30, 40. The addresses 30 and 40 may be replaced by any Cab Bus Address using the Web Page Settings.

Factory Reset

The eighth position of the three switches causes complete factory reset of the unit upon cycling power.

Read the Quick Start Document

Read the Manual

Read about working with 3rd-Party Apps and Devices.