The Stanton Cab (or S-Cab) is a series of dead-rail transmitters and receivers developed and sold by dead-rail pioneer Neil Stanton, Ph.D. S-Cab products are available at this site.
Stanton offers a hand-held transmitter, the S-Cab Throttle, specifically designed to transmit to S-Cab RF receivers. These receivers include the S-CAB Radio Receiver (LXR-DCC) and Loco Receivers for HO, On3, On30, and some S-scale installations. Also, Stanton will provide an S-Cab receiver coupled with decoders for larger scales. The available options are discussed on the S-Cab website here.
The S-Cab Throttle and receivers operate at 916.48MHz or 918.12MHz (single frequency only!). The former frequency is close to Airwire Channel 16 (916.36MHz), and the latter is the same frequency as Airwire Channel 11. The S-Cab Throttle and receivers replaced their older-generation Linx transmitter/receivers chips and now employ CMOSTEK CMT2119A/CMT2218B transmitter/receiver chips.
However, Airwire hand-held transmitters WILL NOT WORK with recent S-Cab receivers using the CMOSTEK CMT2218B receiver on Channel 16. And Airwire receivers WILL NOT WORK with the recent S-Cab Throttle using the CMOSTEK CMT2119A transmitter on Channel 16. Previous generation S-Cab transmitters and receivers using Linx transmitter/receiver chips are reported to work with Airwire.
I successfully determined RF settings that allow the ProMiniAir transmitter (PMA Tx) to operate with these recent S-Cab receivers (such as the LXR-DCC). So I have added an S-Cab compatible Channel 17, which required moving the European Channel 17 to Channel 18.
The specialized RF settings for Channel 17 also allow the S-Cab Throttle to transmit to the ProMiniAir receiver (PMA Rx) with just a tiny wrinkle to establish communication (more below).
At this time interoperability at 918.12MHz (Airwire Channel 11) S-Cab interoperatibility with Airwire and ProMiniAir is unknown.
Stanton designed his products to operate with intermittent transmissions from the S-Cab Throttle to the S-Cab receivers. This practice is at variance with other transmitters such as Airwire hand-held throttles, the Tam Valley Depot DRS1 transmitter, the NCE Gwire Cab, and the ProMiniAir transmitter.
S-Cab Receiver Interoperability with the ProMiniAir Transmitter
I used the S-Cab LXR-DCC receiver for interoperability testing with the PMA Tx. See the photo below.
[Warning: Technical, you can skip this paragraph.] Since the LXR-DCC would NOT operate on Airwire Channel 16 (916.36MHz), I devised more specialized RF settings that allow the PMA Tx to transmit successfully to the LXR-DCC receiver. The new “S-Cab Channel 17” transmits at 916.48MHz with a reduced “deviation” frequency FDEV of 25kHz instead of the Airwire channels’ value of 50kHz. Shifting the RF transmission from the “center frequency” FC (916.48MHz in our case) by FDEV indicates a logic transition. Thus a series of pulse transitions are generated by the timing of transmitter frequency shifts: FC -> FC+FDEV -> FC -> FC+FDEV -> … This encoding technique is called Frequency Shift Keying (FSK).
The photo below shows the DCC transmissions from the PMA Tx on Channel 17 and the DCC output from the LXR-DCC. The waveforms clearly show that the PMA Tx successfully transmits to the LXR-DCC.
There’s not much more to say about using the ProMiniAir transmitter with S-Cab receivers: set the PMA Tx to channel 17!
As a parenthetical note, Channel 17 will also work with the older Tam Valley Depot (TVD) Mk III receiver/amp and the NCE D13DJR wireless decoder. Both use the now-discontinued Linx ES Series receiver operating at 916.48MHz. Unlike the S-Cab LXR-DCC, they will also work on Airwire Channel 16.
S-Cab Throttle Interoperability with the ProMiniAir Receiver
So now, let’s turn to operating the S-Cab Throttle with the PMA Rx. Since the S-Cab Throttle transmits at 916.48MHz, the PMA Rx must use its automatic “channel search” capability to “find” the intermittent transmissions at 916.48MHz with an FSK deviation frequency of 25kHz.
The S-Cab Throttle’s intermittent transmissions are where the “wrinkle” occurs. The PMA Rx’s channel search after power on quickly searches for transmissions in the following channel sequence: 0(A), 18(E), 17 (S-Cab), 1(A), 2(A), 3(A), …, 16(A), where (A) mean Airwire channel, (E) means European ISM frequency 869.85MHz, and (S-Cab) means for S-Cab at 916.48MHz.
Since the S-Cab Throttle’s transmissions are intermittent, if the operator does nothing, the S-Cab Throttle might not be transmitting in the short time window when the PMA Rx is looking for transmissions on Channel 17. So, to force the S-Cab Throttle into nearly continuous transmissions, slide the speed control up and down continuously for several seconds while the PMA Tx is powering up to guarantee the PMA Tx has transmissions on Channel 17. If the PMA Tx does not “sync up” with the S-Cab Throttle, try again by turning the PMA Tx off and back on while sliding the S-Cab’s speed control up and down.
The video below demonstrates that the PMA successfully receives S-Cab transmission since the DCC address displayed by the PMA Rx matches the S-Cab’s loco address (4) and the PMA Rx auto-selected Channel 17.
I have updated the ProMiniAir transmitter and receiver firmware with a new Channel 17 to allow interoperability with the S-Cab throttle and S-Cab receivers. This new channel will also work with the Tam Valley Depot Mk III receiver and NCE D13DJS wireless decoder, although Airwire Channel 16 will also work with them. To make “room” for this new channel, the European channel (at 869.85MHz) has been moved to Channel 18.