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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone

I'm kinda surprised I seem to be the first to ask whether anyone has figured out how to remove the body from the new Hornby M7. After doing that carefully, chipping it would appear to be quite simple as the service diagram on the Hornby website shows it is DCC ready. However, first things first, does anyone know how to remove the body without destroying all the fine detail
)

Thanks
Norm
 

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According to a chap I know there is not a lot of room in the M7. Answer courtesy of Hornby is that under one of the tank filler caps is a screw which holds the ballast weight in the tank in place. The weight drops out and gives plenty of space for the decoder. Well kept Hornby secret!!!!!!! As for getting the top of that is in the instructions surely????
Phil
 

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Thats great info in that link. The images are a bit dark. Any chance of making them brighter as I can't see the detail in the images. Or is it me?


I do think my monitor settings on the whole are sound as images on the BBC website and other websites are OK from a brightness point of view.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I think they could with a bit more brightness as well.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
John

Thank you so much for the link and very informative page. Here in the States, the smallest decoder I can easily lay my hands on is the Digitrax DZ123 or DZ123PS is the version with the plug. Do you happen to know how that compares in size with the Zimo decoder you used??

Thanks again! Answered all my questions


Norm
 

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OK guys - have tried to increase the brightness of some of the larger photos (3,4,8 and 9) - let me know if that is better for you.

Norm - sorry have no data on Digitrax - the TCS M1 would fit as would NCE Z14SR.

Regards

John R
 

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Its better John although could be better still!

When it comes to DCC all websites are very guilty of providing images that are too dark including Model Rail Forum (
) so please don't take it personally.

The lcd monitors that a lot of us use these days with our PC's and laptops are not very good with contrast within dark areas and the fine detail that you need to examine in the images to work things out is lost. If you are using an old CRT monitor to prepare the images for publication they will be poo when viewed in an lcd monitor as they will be too dark.

Unfortunately most if not all loco running gear is black!


So a plea to the whole model railway online media providers.

Please brighten up your act!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>The lcd monitors that a lot of us use these days with our PC's
I'm still using an Iiyama Vision Master Pro400 which was a rather good 17" CRT in its day.

I can see a marked improvement in the full size images - there is plenty of detail there. The thumbnails are still a bit on the dark side.

David
 

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When viewing with a cathode ray tube monitor its not too bad as you can turn the brightness and contrast right up to levels that you simply cannot achieve with a flat screen monitor. Its the newer flat screen monitors that have the issue with contrast that require a brighter image. This is based on my personal experiences with both types of monitor.

With in excess of 50% of current PC sales being laptops and nearly all new desktop PC's sold having a flat screen, websites with old dark images will be next to useless in the near future.

If you are plonking images on a website using CRT monitors and you believe they are bright enough then find a PC with a flat screen and have a look for yourself!

If you turn the contrast setting and brightness setting down several knotches on your CRT monitor then you will see how the images look to us poor sods who have invested in the latest technology!


When it comes to DCC I do want to see right close up at the detail and at this time I simply cannot on any website!


Here is a perfect example of how it should be from Model Rail Forum:-



I can see this and its one of my images. Fantastic!


Dougs Class 20 DCC conversion review at MRF also has pretty bright images.


Here is the Hornby M7 example that I cannot see from John's site and this is one of the improved images:-



I can see the wiring and the chip but nothing else as its all a black mass. Maybe I don't need to see anything else however I cannot answer that question because I cannot see it! I cannot see where that red wire goes for example and there are some black wires that merge into nothingness.

I think John is using a flash and that may contribute to the issue. You need a good set of photographic spot lights matey if you are going to use macro settings.

This example should make the difference easy peasy for all to see.

You have a great resource there John and anybody who is converting a new Hornby M7 should drop by even so.


And the fact is the professionals are rubbish at this sort of photograhy aswell. DCC wiring images in Model Rail and other rag mags are equally useless!


I think its all a big conspiracy by DCC experts to not give too many secrets away!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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On a more pertinent note, I am wondering "What is that capacitor is connected to?" That's the M7 picture and for those impoverished LCD owners, it's the orange disk thing hiding under the wires to the left.

David
 

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While it is true that no LCD/TFT is yet as good as even a half decent CRT, it is very unwise to tar them all with the same brush. They are not all the same, not by a long way! For instance I have NO problem whatever in viewing the photos posted above on my rather pleasing LG Flatron screen, but a lot of bother with one of my lap tops.

I am not aware of any flat screen that doesn't possess similar brightness and contrast controls to a CRT - they are adjustable - well at least all mine are.
However, Contrast Ratios vary considerably between different models and this makes a big difference to your visual experience. You really need to peersonally check out LCDs, using whatever applications you intend to use them for, before actually purchasing. If you don't or can't, you are taking something of a chance in laying out the lolly.
 

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QUOTE If you turn the contrast setting and brightness setting down several knotches on your CRT monitor then you will see how the images look to us poor sods who have invested in the latest technology!

I'm using a 17" flat screen monitor and the image from our site looks exactly as it does "in the flesh" - yes the chassis is a black blob. The brightness and contrast on my screen is exactly right. The problem with increasing the brightness of an image is that you run the risk of making definition less distinct, as illustrated in your own image, Gary, which to me is over exposed and suffers from glare, which on my monitor detracts from sharpness and what it is trying to show.

Now this thread was supposed to be about putting a decoder into a Hornby M7 loco so, getting back to the topic, you can see where the capacitor is attached if you look at another photo on the relevant page of our site.

Why you should want to know where the red wire goes (which red wire BTW - there are two?) is beyond me as it is simply an illustration of installing a ready made-up harness into a decoder socket. If there was any modification required to the wiring this would have had attention drawn to it in the commentary. In any case, if you've got this far you've hopefully got the loco in front of you, in which case you'll be able to see for yourself!

Regards

John R
 

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The thing is John there are modellers who are put off DCC by the thought of opening up loco bodies and putting chips in. Anything that anybody can do to show these potential wanabee DCCers that its not so difficult might encourage a few more to move into DCC. From this perspective a bright overexposed image seems better (to me anyway) than an image which leaves the viewer scratching ones head. It would be wrong to assume that people looking in already have the model. They might be looking in for a whole number of other reasons.

If you use photographic lighting as well as, or as a substitute for, a flash you might get a better balanced image as a result.

I would work on the basis that the person looking is is an absolute beginer with absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of DCC and somebody who has not got the model. This is the lowest denominator and if this audience are satisfied then everybody will be.

Think about all those newcomers who will be operating Hornby and Bachmann digital systems next year looking in at that time.

Am I right or wrong?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I think having seen the last photo of the M7 conversion which reminds you to reconnect those two teeny weeny copper coloured pipes, a lot of people are going to opt for the "DCC on board" version of other models.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just to finish this discussion off (perhaps), I got around to fitting the Digitrax DZ123 to my M7, thanks to John's excellent photos. I ended up doing a bit of re-wiring but retaining the 8 pin socket - just making as much room as possible, by shortening existing wires, as well as removing the capacitor. The actual decoder (I used the DZ123PS version with 8 pin plug), then plugged right in, and I placed it just about where John's pictures shows - actually right where the existing piece of black tape is that holds the wires. I removed this, put the decoder under it, and replaced the tape

I didn't have to file down the band on the underside of the boiler and was able to (just) get the body back on without any interference from the decoder.

It runs very well with the Digitrax decoder, which is supposed to be able to handle 1 amp of power, and is priced under $20 US

All the best, and thanks again for the photos John

Norm
 

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Thanks Norm - glad you got it finished.

It's nice to be appreciated and that we could be of service.

Regards

John R
Bromsgrove Models
 
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