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Bachmann / Hornby DCC

7369 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Martin71
Hi all, Names Richard, I am new to model railways I have been building a layout over the past year and run Hornby and Vi Trains Locos. I need some help before I spend more money. I need to know if any of you have run or know if a Bachmann Class 57 "Freightliner Crusader" (Dcc fitted) will work with a Hornby Select unit.

Any help would be great

thanks Richard
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Hi Richard and welcome to the forum!

The simple answer is yes, any DCC fitted loco should run on any DCC controlled layout.

However the Hornby Select is known to have a few problems and although it's OK for starting out in DCC, you may be better saving the money and instead of buying the Class 57 right now, buy a new controller instead. There is a lot of information and reviews in the DCC section of the forums. I personally would recommend the NCE Powercab but there are many options out there.

Hope that helps,

Hi Richard welcome to the forum

I totally agree with 80 class the NCE powercab is a well priced control with all the features you will need to run any DCC equiped loco
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Thanks for the help,

I got the loco as a gift so I put it on the track and I seem to have very little problems so i am happy with it at this stage.

I have another question about 21 pin v 8 pin. First what is the difference? Second All of my locos are 8 pin decoders will I have any problems if I run a 21 pin decoder from a Hornby Select?
I don't have any 21 pin decoders, but they should still work with the Select otherwise the DCC standard has failed. The 21 pin decoders are mostly for 'strange' configurations in terms of motors, tracks etc. They support AC, DC and brushless motor and support a third rail on the track. They have pins for connecting speakers for sound decoders, hall sensors etc etc. So for the most part they will be wasted on a standard track that do not support any of these features, but they will still work in the basic configuration.
You will be best served with the 8 pin versions in your current configuration.
****No, no problem. The "pin" reference is only to the method of interfacing the deoder to the locomotive - As far as numbering, adjustment and control, there is no operational or control function difference between a 21 pin and 8 pin decoder.


Hello Richard and welcome. I will throw my two bob's worth in here too and suggest the Digitrax Zephyr as a great starting DCC system while acknowledging others' prefernces for the NCE system.
Just found a post re NMRA recommendations and it states that as from 1/1/2010 the 21 pin connector will no longer be recommended for new designs. See this link Draft document dated 2006
*** That is correct.

FYI at least two MRF members are also members of the NMRA standards working group and do raise these issues for group info from time to time, but its handy to keep info current for members who joined since the last discussion so re-hashing the info is good..

As we have discussed previously a couple of times, the 21 pin only ever received interim approval as a couple of manufacturers had run ahead of the game and committed several brands to it. It was never approved prior to use and it was not intended to ever approve it originally, as it has a non logical pin layout for all except Marklin... hence it was a "politically palatable" approval for the Mfrs, with the interim status, to give time for change.

The connector that has full overall approval is actually the PLUX22. It actually uses the same connector but reverses male/female and ahs a different blanking pin. It also has logical subsets available - 22 or 26 or 12 or 8 pin can all be used as the pin layout allows for it.

No matter how or when this happens, there will be tears though, as consumers will be stuck with the transitional issues. Long live the 8 pin connector!

an MRF search may possibly dig up the previous discussion which had a lot more detail

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While Richard Johnson is undoubtedly right that there will be transitional problems, I do not agree with his conclusion Long live the 8 pin connector! I think that the gain will be worth the pain. The PluX system seems well thought out and should meet requirements for the foreseeable future, whereas the current 8 pin socket, while it has served us well, has limitations. The main advantage of PluX to my mind ( if I am correct in my assumption that as with the 21 pin system the decoder will plug directly into the socket) is that it will force manufacturers to think more carefully about designing a suitable space into their locos. Some of them think that putting an 8 pin socket in is all they need to do, but it can leave one with great difficulty in finding sufficient space for the decoder. I have also found several times found that when installing a decoder with wires and a plug the wires are either too long or too short.
****Yes, it will of course be direct plug in / no wires. There would be no point to it otherwise. In fact the 8 pin may actually go mid term anyway, and be replaced as well before too long. its a clumsy big thing and there are better options.

I should really have said "long live separate wires"...

While they slowly get better, UK manufacturers haven't been all that clever with accommodating decoders properly - and that does make it hard for some, I do agree. However the very small decoders with integrated 8 pin are now broadly available, and because of the 8 pin, decoder choices also remain wide. A wired decoder is still the only ame in town for kit built loco's etc, so 8 pin or an updated equivalent will not ever really go away... there will alwys be a need for a universally applicable connector.

However, the 22 pin will, like the 21 pin really be little use without a matching decoder... and that is a problem of its own for those who want a little more than the out of the box locos allow. Remember, they would not exist if it didn't make the Mfrs assembly easier, and that is not always to all consumers advantage...

So.. becauseMfrs use the fewest functions they can get away with in lighting etc, to many more hands on people there will be a downside to the integrated 21/22 pin socket combination. They are of course easy and fine fine for out of the box use BUT Mfrs build for economy when it comes to lighting and sound installs and they often make a pigs ear of both, needing much better placement and configuration for best results - also, Mfrs just do not make ANY provision to connect added functions into the sockets their loco's.

However... I have seen the results of the "average modeller" trying to solder to micro sized solder pads and add items to a small PCB and it is not pretty much of the time... So with the advent of 21/22 pin, it will magnify a lot as a problem, because take away the wires and it requires significant soldering skill to be able to add or activate more light functions, change speaker configurations etc...

My own solution is in most cases to remove almost all Mfr wiring and start again anyway... however I do worry for those who have great aspirations but the wrong tools, a non controlled soldering Iron and limited soldering skills.

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Best to give a couple of controllers a try at the shops when you are ready, I have the NCE Dynamis and select and rate them in that order.

I am not looking forward to the 22 pin. Every loco I get my hands on I completely rip out the manufacturers harness PCB board etc. I like the 8 pin because it has wiring coming out of the decoder and I can route it to suit my applications.

In saying that I can see how in some ways it will make plug and play easier, if functions, speakers etc on the PCB board are clearly marked.

I have noticed the new loksounds 3.5 which are currently wired for 8 pin also have the 21 pin under the plastic.

When you fire up your select next see what firmware is installed on it. If it is the original and you have time send it back to hornby for an update.

Can someone confirm Hornby are still doing this?

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