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QUOTE How true and also sad that is

Huh! Its whatever floats your boat at the end of the day.

How does this type of talk do anything to enhance the image of railway modelling as a hobby?

My teenage kids say I am "sad" however they quickly change their tune when it comes to "lending" them money! I then claim that they are "sad" when they advise me how their newfound wealth is going to be spent!

Its a bit weird though hearing it from a fellow hobbyist.

Be honest. Smelly diesel or smelly steam?
(Not sure that electric has a smell?)

Which has more appeal to all generations?

The real point here is that railway modelling is the most diverse hobby in the world requiring participants to have an infinite collection of skills. There is absolutely nothing wrong in modelling 21st centuary German or 20th centuary British or 19th centuary American. And there is absolutely nothing wrong in using DC or DCC control. Nobody should feel obligated to model a certain theme using certain control systems simply becuase to do otherwise is not cool.

To be honest Neil I am surprised at your view as you always strike me as being very level headed on matters.

Have you been on the old Aussie nectar!


QUOTE In a few years most train-sets will end up as DCC, and every Hornby dealer will have Select and Elite systems for sale.
The new entrants will have DCC before they even hear of Peco, Gaugemaster, EM gauge or DJH etc.

Now we are beginning to understand. Its a generation shift and Hornby and Bachmann have to move with the times to encourage the parents of the games console fanatics to look at alternative pastimes. Hence the thinking behind the new Hornby Pendo.

If by chance the old breed of modeller set in their ways takes an interest in the new budget DCC kit then that is a bonus.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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[quote name='Gary' date='7 Sep 2006, 09:26' post='11779']
I was at the Warley Model Railway Club this week and the concensus was that the British railway modeller broadly does not need DCC as Brit layouts at home generally are small. There are hardly any British exhibition layouts operating with DCC according to the boys at Warley.

Not so - they need to look further than their annual overpriced, overcrowded, cannot be bothered to answer enquiries from prospective traders NEC show.

best regards
Brian.
 

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Re: Warley

I do not represent Warley but I did chat with them about this very subject. My mission was to do with something else altogether. The answers are my own based on personal experience and my little chat.

QUOTE overpriced

The exceptional trade offers more than make up for the £2 or so extra entry fee and the NEC do charge an arm and a leg for the 3 days (1 day setting up). Shows 25% the size charge £6 so really Warley has to be good value on a pro rata basis.

QUOTE overcrowded

Those who don't like crowds can always turn up on the Sunday however the traders exceptional trade offers are usually all gone by Saturday night so if your aim is to get a good deal on something then really it does have to be Saturday.

QUOTE cannot be bothered to answer enquiries from prospective traders

Unless traders drop out they seem fully booked until 2009. Warley do say on their website that traders are allowed in by "invitation only" and generally it seems that existing traders get first refusal and no one ever refuses!

I think Warley gives those traders present a chance to clear the shelves of slow selling lines to make way for the 2007 goodies.

I wonder what discounts there will be on Bachmann and Hornby Digital at the 2007 Warley Show!


Only joking folks! There won't be any available as it will all be sold out!

Will MRF cope with 100,000 members all discussing Hornby and Bachmann digital?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I might well get a few of these decoders. I currently have LE1000 in some of son's locos such as Thomas and Percy where better slow speed running would be welcome. Obviously the 2 digit limit isn't a problem in cases such as these! I was also under the impression that a command station capable of 4 digit addressing was supposed to be able to operate with both 2 and 4 digit decoders at the same time. Where does 'incompatibility' come into it?
 

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QUOTE Ermm! Digitrax, isn't that going for the "tied arrangement"?

Sorry for the delayed reply we've been away

No as I have a large investment in Digitrax kit anyway. I'm very happy with my Digitrax kit and it's given me five years plus of trouble free running. So how large is large:
DCS100 command station
DB150 booster
DT400 x 4 hand controllers
UT4 x 2 hand controllers for visitors
UP5 x 7 Panel Sockets
2 x 5 amp transformers
BDL16 occupancy detector
and various other bit and bobs
so I'd say I have an investment in Digitrax and their kit.
 

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QUOTE (Ryan @ 7 Sep 2006, 20:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just a question:
What does 'Back EMF' means?
A motor also acts as a generator, BEMF refers to the voltage produced by the motor. A decoder using BEMF measures this voltage, which is proportional to the speed the motor is actually turning, and uses it to regulate the speed of the motor. If the BEMF drops, as when going up hill, the decoder will increase the power until the BEMF is restored to its previous value.

The DCC standard specifies both 2 byte and 4 byte addresses for selecting which decoder is the intended recipient of a message. Low end systems only support the 2 byte address form (and usually further restrict this to 1 to 99 to save on LED/LCD display digits).
 

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[quote name='Gary' date='7 Sep 2006, 19:43' post='11865']
Re: Warley

I do not represent Warley but I did chat with them about this very subject. My mission was to do with something else altogether. The answers are my own based on personal experience and my little chat.
The exceptional trade offers more than make up for the £2 or so extra entry fee and the NEC do charge an arm and a leg for the 3 days (1 day setting up). Shows 25% the size charge £6 so really Warley has to be good value on a pro rata basis.
Those who don't like crowds can always turn up on the Sunday however the traders exceptional trade offers are usually all gone by Saturday night so if your aim is to get a good deal on something then really it does have to be Saturday.

Personally, I am not interested in "special offers" - I go to see the layouts - it's the overall prices (including the catering) & the overcrowding I object to, and I can rarely go on a Sunday.

Unless traders drop out they seem fully booked until 2009. Warley do say on their website that traders are allowed in by "invitation only" and generally it seems that existing traders get first refusal and no one ever refuses!

Warley could still be decent enough to reply to e-mails, letters & phone calls !

best regards
Brian
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 7 Sep 2006, 21:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Huh! Its whatever floats your boat at the end of the day.

How does this type of talk do anything to enhance the image of railway modelling as a hobby?

My teenage kids say I am "sad" however they quickly change their tune when it comes to "lending" them money! I then claim that they are "sad" when they advise me how their newfound wealth is going to be spent!

Its a bit weird though hearing it from a fellow hobbyist.

Be honest. Smelly diesel or smelly steam?
(Not sure that electric has a smell?)

Which has more appeal to all generations?

The real point here is that railway modelling is the most diverse hobby in the world requiring participants to have an infinite collection of skills. There is absolutely nothing wrong in modelling 21st centuary German or 20th centuary British or 19th centuary American. And there is absolutely nothing wrong in using DC or DCC control. Nobody should feel obligated to model a certain theme using certain control systems simply becuase to do otherwise is not cool.

To be honest Neil I am surprised at your view as you always strike me as being very level headed on matters.

Have you been on the old Aussie nectar!

Now we are beginning to understand. Its a generation shift and Hornby and Bachmann have to move with the times to encourage the parents of the games console fanatics to look at alternative pastimes. Hence the thinking behind the new Hornby Pendo.

If by chance the old breed of modeller set in their ways takes an interest in the new budget DCC kit then that is a bonus.

Happy modelling
Gary

Gary what I said was sad was the reluctance to take on board new methods, materials and new technology which leaves British outline way behind it's US and German counterparts. I haven't said every body should change to any one particular system what I am saying is the option would be nice to have something other than antiquated product. While you seem to have spent the rest of your post having a bit of a rant against me, most of what you have written I would actually agree with. To be honest, I am astonished you said this given your previous posts. There should be choice available.


Before you start accusing people of having had to much to drink please review some of your recent posts re American layouts and Americans and have a good think their content and impact on others.
 

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Hmm.

I think the Hornby Select is aimed at people who aren't even in DCC at present, not an experiencd user like MMD. It's Hornby's answer to the Roco/Lenz Lokmaus - the Elite seems to be aimed at the more experienced user

As far as take up of DCC is concerned, we seem to be at a bit of a tipping point, where it's taking off. Thus far the big killer has been cost - if you tell people it's going to cost £25-£100 a loco ($40-$180) plus £400-500 for control equipment, they won't even consider it. There are quite a lot of people with 100+ locos out there - on Dennis' figures , that means spending $10,000 just to chip the locos. (I assume you're actually talking about sound decoders here , not ordinary decoders? DCC sound is still rare in the UK)

It's easy to underestimate the number of DCC exhibition layouts out there, because they don'tr shout "DCC!" at you. Looking around at various shows it seems to be around 5-10% these days and rising fast . But it's concentrated in certain areas , mainly modern image and overseas prototype. To take a concrete example Shipley next weekend has 2 DCC layouts out of 16 (Bradford City Rd and Flyde North - both modern image.)

I'm not sure I'd call 1 in 8 "hardly any", but if the Warley boys concerned model British steam I can understand why they might feel that way

As for Warley show - well the point about Warley is that for better and for worse , the world and his dog are there, and there is simply no way of holding a show that big in any other venue than an expensive professional exhibition venue with all the costs that that entails. When you are getting 70+ layouts and 100+ traders for your entry fee, the "price per layout/trader" is pretty reasonable

The lack of interest in serious operations is the flip side of the domination of the hobby in the UK by the exhibition circuit. You only have to mention the idea of replicating prototype operations and the protests start flooding in about how people have paid good money to see layouts that work , and little Johnny will be lost to the hobby if he doesn't see the trains go round and all layouts should be big tail chasers etc. etc

Whereas serious operation is something that takes place on a big permanent private layout amongst a skilled team of consenting adults . It's never never never going to happen in an exhibition hall (And I agree we have too few big perminant home layouts and too little interst in operations in the UK. "Space" is useually cited as the reason. Another possible avanue for the module thread - serious operation?)

And since it is the big (or bigger) layouts where the big benefits of DCC cut in , and since DCC equipment has traditionally been 25-50% more expensive, like for like, than in the US , DCC in the UK is in a double squeez.

Clive Greedus ?


For my own part I was quite interested in this new Bachmann decoder as I need to fit a decoder to a diesel for the new club project and a Back EMF decoder for under a tenner seemed a great bargain. Unfortuately I don't really want to be stuck with 2 digit addressing on a layout where everything else will be 4 digit , so I suspect I will end up with a Lenz Silver.

I don't use DCC at home (the layout I have is too small for it to be worth splashing out on a system though the NCE Powercab looks nice)

But if you've got a modest branchline at home , a Hornby Select and this new Bachmann decoder will be perfectly adequete and you could go DCC for perhaps £150
 

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Having modelled in 4MM, 7MM, 3.5MM and 2MM in American, British and Continental I can say it's not the model but the period you model. Certain models, take US brass for instance, cost a lot. I spent about $10,000 on two locos. I can hear you all saying it he's mad got more money than sense but if you model a particular railway, in the this case the Chesapeake and Ohio in steam days, the only models available were brass. No plastic ready to run came close at the time to H-8 or an H-7. Now I'm back in British 4mm and I have 68 steam locos and 8 powered boxcars . All of them are fitted for DCC, some with sound, all use the 4 digit address because if I used a two digit address I would quickly run out of addresses. A Hornby Elite or a Bachmann Ez DCC is a base line starter set. They have limited functionality to keep the cost down and with a basic decoder fitted to a loco they'll work just fine. If the modeller changes his interest and decides to step up to say a larger layout say 36'x20' in custom built train room then he may want to buy more locos to fill up his empire. It's then he'll say "well the old set served it's purpose and it's been a good learning curve but it's past it's best time to get a full function system". That's when the big decision will have to be made! Which system to get? You get what you feel comfortable with not based on cost. I've always said this is an expensive hobby and if you have to quibble over the price take up butterfly catching. So you might have to save up a bit of cash and you won't be able to buy the new XYZ super cruiser decoders yet but you can still use you old decoders till you can buy the new ones but you'll have no problems when it comes to using that factory sound equipped Bachmann Deltic that you didn't tell the missus about. So the moral is use the two low end systems and learn first then if you really want move up to a full function system. Remember this Lenz have sold more decoders than Hornby have made locos.

Ozzie21
 

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QUOTE I did it for about 60 quid with the Roco Lokmaus.

The Roco Lokmaus offers 2 digit addressing, is not readily available in the UK, and seems even more basic than the Bachmann EZ-Command. The Bachmann chip seems ideal for this system!

I do wish the DCC experts would encourage and nurture the new interest in DCC and support the efforts of Bachmann and Hornby whose budget value systems have encouraged modellers to think aboiut the move to DCC.

What we do get from the experts it appears is constant criticsm of the efforts of Hornby and Bachmann and comment that the system that the experts own is the best. For them it may be.

So what if I have 100 locomotives?


I am only going to run a few at a time on a small layout with maybe 4 or 5 points. I will never run all 100 and don't need mega systems. As a Brit I simply do not have the space and why should I spend mega money on a mega system when many of the features I am paying for are totally redundant and will never be used!

I believe Bachmann and Hornby understand this and are offering value products designed with the Brits in mind.

Whatever, as a DCC newbee living in the UK its the budget products from Bachmann and Hornby that interest me and I suspect there are many like me who feel the same way.

Happy modelling
Gary

PS Neil, sorry about the missunderstanding about the ""sad" comment however you did link it to your running 21st Centuary German kit so you will appreciate why I took it the way I did. In saying that if the Brits wish to continue modelling using traditional methods then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 8 Sep 2006, 17:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Roco Lokmaus offers 2 digit addressing, is not readily available in the UK, and seems even more basic than the Bachmann EZ-Command. The Bachmann chip seems ideal for this system!

I do wish the DCC experts would encourage and nurture the new interest in DCC and support the efforts of Bachmann and Hornby whose budget value systems have encouraged modellers to think aboiut the move to DCC.

What we do get from the experts it appears is constant criticsm of the efforts of Hornby and Bachmann and comment that the system that the experts own is the best. For them it may be.

Whatever, as a DCC newbee living in the UK its the budget products from Bachmann and Hornby that interest me and I suspect there are many like me who feel the same way.

Happy modelling
Gary
The Lokmaus 2 is probably getting on a bit now but it was based on the Lenz system which it is fully compatible with. However the new Multimaus is on the shelves and it has up to 20 available functions, four digit loco addressing, up to 9999 loco addresses,you can program the loco name, CV programmable to CV 255, 1024 turnout addresses plus numerous other features all for the sum of 99 euros. And thats if you buy it within the EC. I'm paying 75 Euros for mine from Modelbahn Kramm. This looks more advanced than the Bachmann and Hornby systems.

I do appreciate what you are saying about Hornby and Bachmann developing DCC in Britain and for most people it's the easiest path. They make the most models for domestic consumption. You get support in your own language and you can buy it from a shop that you can go back to if you have any questions. It is a bit of a hassle dealing with shops overseas but if you live here you don't have a choice!


My main criticism of Hornby is that they are reactive to what Bachmann do and don't take the lead in striding forward with new ideas but then again maybe this is good business sense and why they are doing well economically?


It is only natural that people plug their own system as it's the one they are most familiar with. Everybodies criteria is different. I tend to like loads of functions as I have a lot of sound locos. 2 or 4 address digit addressing is probably on the way out now too as some of the recent ones you can put the name in like the Multimaus.

I am unlikely to ever own hundreds of locos. My wife would kill me before I got to that point.

I was disappointed that Hornby didn't move further ahead with their DCC plans. I had really hoped they would they would cover what Bachmann had done and go further forward. In retrospect this was probably unrealistic. I am still chomping at the bit for an A4 or a streamlined Duchess with digital sound.
 

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The Hornby Select will cost about £70 for the system (undiscounted - what certain box shifters will actually sell it for, I don't know)

To that I'd added 10 loco decoders at £8 a time - ie £150 would be the all up cost of converting an existing branchline terminus with 10 locos to DCC

The Roco Lokmaus 2 is certainly much better than the current Bachmann EZ system (99 addresses not 10, moderate programming , and control of 4 functions not one ). But as Gary points out you can't walk into a shop and buy a Lokmaus - Roco only ever sold it as part of a set , so you've got to start buying on ebay from Germany to get one as a system.

The Select promises to be comparable or better ( 60-odd addresses , but also 40 accessory decoder addresses - something the Lokmaus doesn't have)

Then there's the possible Pendolino effect. I'd expect that in the first instance the Hornby Pendolino will only be available in the format of the DCC trainset to get it into the shops for Christmas - Hornby having said it's primarily aimed at the trainset market.

I can see retailers breaking sets and selling train and Select separately, I can see the set appealing to modern image modellers as a conversion pack- "buy a Pendolino and get a cheap DCC system as a bonus", and I can see Selects appearing on the second hand market from sets

Its also worth pointing out that until recently DCC was almost an underground movement in the UK , with very little advertising beyond "we sell Lenz" "we offer Digitrax", and very few retailers actually stocking the stuff. Now the likes of Bachmann, Hornby and Gaugemaster are involved you can walk into almost any model shop and find some DCC - increasingly more than one company's DCC products
 

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QUOTE (Mark Thornton @ 8 Sep 2006, 00:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>A motor also acts as a generator, BEMF refers to the voltage produced by the motor. A decoder using BEMF measures this voltage, which is proportional to the speed the motor is actually turning, and uses it to regulate the speed of the motor. If the BEMF drops, as when going up hill, the decoder will increase the power until the BEMF is restored to its previous value.

The DCC standard specifies both 2 byte and 4 byte addresses for selecting which decoder is the intended recipient of a message. Low end systems only support the 2 byte address form (and usually further restrict this to 1 to 99 to save on LED/LCD display digits).

Thanks!
My Roco lokMause uses a 2 digit adress system, with a maximum of 99 loco's/unit's with decoders.
That would be enough for me...I'll haven't got lots of space to park 99 loco's on.
 

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>It's easy to underestimate the number of DCC exhibition layouts out there, because they don'tr shout "DCC!" at you
Indeed. At Railex 2006, there were at least 4 DCC layouts - 3 are noted as such in the programme and I know the fourth was because I could see the controller. For the record the layouts and their details were:-

"Grangetown" 4mm EM gauge - period: 1996 EWS.
"Clutton" 4mm 18.83 P4 - period: post 1948 BR WR.
"Borth-y-guest" 4mm 7.83mm gauge P4 - period: 1888.
"Charlotte Road" 4mm 18.83 P4 - period: BR southern region the last days of steam 1967.

"Charlotte Road" was the largest of these layouts being owned and operated by Wirral Finescale Group. This was an all singing all dancing DCC effort with one member acting as signalman with a laptop on the outside of the layout. At least one driver got "told off" for not watching the signals.

None of the other 3 layouts are large and would fit in most domestic situations. In the programme notes, the owner of "Clutton" states - "Setting aside the 'gimmicks' of double heading, banking etc, what DCC brings for me is route setting in the fiddle yard. At last it is possible to sit down to operate the layout. I can also substantially increase the capacity of the fiddle yard and its flexibility in operation".

"Borth-y-guest" is the one layout which did not state in the programme that it was DCC. I was really taken by this layout as anyone who has read my post on Railex 2006 will know.

So what does this tell us? Not a lot probably, but it does indicate that serious scale modelling and DCC are not mutually exclusive. It may be that the additional operational opportunities offered by DCC are just the ticket for many of these modellers. It will be interesting to see if the proportion of DCC controlled finescale layouts increases over the next few years.

Operation:
>The lack of interest in serious operations is the flip side of the domination of the hobby in the UK by the exhibition circuit. You only have to mention the idea of replicating prototype operations and the protests start flooding in about how people have paid good money to see layouts that work , and little Johnny will be lost to the hobby if he doesn't see the trains go round and all layouts should be big tail chasers etc. etc

Maybe it is the way the operation is presented? I for one will not stay long at a layout if nothing moves and there is no explanation of what is going to happen next. This always brings me back to the Oxford club's Rewlew Road where they ran a commentary for the duration of the session. I stayed for the whole 20 minutes back in the 70s at York and believe I would do so again.

David
 

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I think a lot of the newer layouts arriving on the exhibition circuit are DCC and we will reach the stage in the not too far distant future of up to 50% of layouts at some exhibitions being DCC with much use of computers to operate them. in fact i wonder if it will be so far away when a layout operator goes off for lunch leaving the computer in charge and a minder just to make sure nothing is pinched
 
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