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Hornby R2343

Q1 Class 0-6-0 locomotive. Southern Livery, C8

Review & DCC Decoder installation - Text & photos by Doug Teggin



Prototype Info:  

Oliver Bulleid designed some unusual locomotives for the Southern, and the Q1 was no exception. Introduced in 1942 it was of course an 'Austerity' freight locomotive designed for minimal maintenance and with no consideration given to the niceties of appearance. The result was a powerful and effective freight engine. Two 19" x 26" inside cylinders, 5' 1" driving wheels and a boiler pressure of 230psi gave a tractive effort of 30,080lb. Loco Weight: 51tons 5cwt.


Length: 222mm; Running number: C8; Livery: SR black; Period: 1940s; Features: Cab detail, brake rods, DCC ready; Finish: Pristine; Motor: 5 pole skew wound loco drive; Purpose: Freight; Suitable rolling stock: Wagons of the period.


Sliding doors to cover the water filler cap on the tender do slide back. They are rather fragile though. A set of detailed parts are provided: Fireman's tools, lamps and white identification disks for the front of the locomotive. These have to be painted and added to the locomotive and tender.
It is debatable whether this locomotive is ugly or attractive - I say that it is attractive, in an ugly fashion. In the same way as small pug-like shunting locos are appealing.
The cab interior is very well detailed. Dials, pipe work and regulator arm can all be identified. Likewise the tender has a good amount of detail.
I had difficulty posing the model on this curved piece of track for the photos and would say that it is only suitable to run on second radius curves or greater. The middle drive axel and wheels do not have enough lateral movement to allow problem free running on small radius curves and points.
The model picks up current from all 6 wheels of the tender and all 6 drive wheels of the loco. The tender current is fed to the loco using the conductive tender attachment pin and plate. Due to these connectors, when running DCC, always set the tender on the track attaching it to the locomotive with the DCC power turned off otherwise a short could occur. An isolated track section for setting locos on the track is a good idea.

DCC Decoder Installation

Follow the supplied instructions to take the loco apart. One screw in the chimney and a couple of clips under the cab and you're done. You don't have to force anything - if you do it right, it comes apart easily.

I installed a Arnold Digital 81201 decoder into the Loco. As there are no extra functions required by the locomotive a simple, but robust decoder is fine. The 81201 can handle 1.5 amp. The Q1 model draws 0.15 amp when rolling by itself; 0.3 amp when held stationary at the buffers, but with wheels freely sliding on the track. The locomotive (with tender) can pull 1.42 kg (6 x 150g coaches + 4 x 130g coaches).

The installation was simplicity itself as the 8-pin NEM-plug just popped into the NEM 652 (NMRA Medium) socket that is supplied, protected by a blanking plug. Make sure the orange wire is aligned with the hole #1 indicated on the socket.

Note: The TV interference suppression capacitor has to be removed for DCC use. A capacitor is only needed for conventional operations to prevent radio interference. With DCC operation a capacitor corrupts the data format and the error free data transfer is disturbed. A snip with a small cutter does the job. Make sure the ends are insulated if exposed.

The DCC chip sits comfortably in front of the motor. There is plenty of space within the boiler enclosure for even for the biggest chips. Double-sided tape keeps the decoder secure. Tape everything in place with black electrical tape and close up the body.

Note: This locomotive does not have lights.
Programming done and the locomotive runs very smoothly. The max speed is set at 120 as the Q1 was a freight pulling locomotive that didn't go anywhere in much of a hurry. Under DCC control, it moves off on the first speed step, without any jitter or hesitation. I had to run the locomotive a couple of times up and down the track to wipe away a little stiffness in the stock model.


DCC CV Settings for the Q1 Locomotive
CV1 08 Address (The loco number)
CV2 2 Minimum Speed (V Min at step 1)
CV3 4 Acceleration delay (0-15)
CV4 4 Brake Delay (0-15)
CV5 120 Max speed (V High)
CV6 40 Acceleration Curve (V Mid)
CV9 216 PWM frequency (69Hz)
CV29 2 Decoder Configuration
CV49 0 Decoder specific values
CV50 20 Decoder regulation

The rest of the CV's are left untouched (factory default).

A very tidy model. Beautifully made with the right amount of detail. I look forward to running this loco around the layout with a selection of period wagons.

- April 2005


All text, photos & graphics 2005 Doug Teggin - All rights reserved.

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