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QUOTE Phew: the Hornby DCC forum is a bit of a mess isn't it?

At least 25% of the threads have nothing to do with DCC and a lot of the questions are very basic indeed. By the look of it a lot of the p0osters aren't just new to DCC , they're pretty new to model railways. Average age about 14 by the look of it

Someone at Hornby needsto sit down and draft an FAQ section fairly quickly . This is what happens when you take a sophisticated niche product out of its little niche and start selling it to little Johnny and his mum in the run up to Christmas ....

Added to which you have a total mix of people mentioning high end DCC concepts like SPROGs and feedback and people who patently
have only a very hazy grasp of basic DC analogue

The difference between Hornby and Bachmann is that Bachmann don't sell many trainsets, their DCC sets were very low key , and I doubt if many found their way into the mass market.

Added to which , Bachmann are selling products which have already been on sale for some time under another brand, and are made by an established player. Hornby are a new DCC player , launching their first DCC products - straight into the Christmas trainset market

In the normal course of events Hornby would expect the dealer network to provide most of the customer support . The trouble is , a lot of the dealers clearly know nothing about DCC and may end up making misleading comments (I know the owner and staff in my local model shop , though experienced modellers, know precisely zero about DCC and have never ever handled any of the equipment . They will shortly be selling the Select and decoders ) I understand Mackays' , the Lenz importer, insist that anyone selling Lenz goes on a 2 day course with them first - I suspect Hornby may need to start providing some sort of course for their dealers.

In the meantime it looks like one or two folk from here are doing a sterling job in firefighting. At the moment , there is no core of experienced Hornby DCC users out there to guide those taking first steps, which makes the whole thing difficult.

Clearly there is some level of failure of decoders, especially during programing - but we know that happens to all brands , and it's difficult to assess how Hornby's failure rate compares with others, and how far the users are contributing. (And how far stray capacitors are behind some issues)

That said, if the system was in serious technical trouble , I think the Hornby DCC forum would look far far far worse than it does , so presumably most users are coping

Totally agree with that 100%. It seems a bit silly refering to the high end stuff which some members are doing when all Hornby users want to do is get their Hornby system that they have bought running smoothly. Most of the users do appear to be in the junior age group and stockists do seem hopeless at answering questions.

There is a lot of confusion between "DCC Ready" and DCC Fitted" so this is the level that the forum is at.

Best to keep it totally simple on the Hornby forum and not use any jargon whatsoever. I do have a suspicion that capacitors are a contributory factor in a number of cases.

Those Model Rail Forum members from outside the UK really had no appreciation how DCC backward the UK really is. Maybe now they do!

Happy modelling

PS Bachmann will no doubt be taking a sneeky peek with trepidation and may have some concerns as to whether they have a big enough level of customer support in the UK to cope with any mass market digital offering. They may well prefer the low key approach with sales to mature modellers only from a limited number of outlets.
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