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DCC Poroblems?

1828 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Makemineadouble
With many postings/threads about problems arising with Hornby locos already fitted with decoders & in some cases sounding like " a bag of spanners". I am wondering if these problems have been presented to Hornby either direct or via their forum. Highlighting problems amongst ourselves is one thing but to get "proper" answers from Hornby would be of interest to all.

Now I do not know if the manufacturers read these forums but they do read MREMag so perhaps a letter to Pat Hammond may get published on the Net for Hornby, etc to read & they may reply that way.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Now you may say, what don't I do it?
I enjoy reading the many & varied topics ( & sometimes put my oar in) but in this case, DCC is not my operating mode & while I do operate on other layouts using DCC, the method I & my operating crew have developed over a few years on my layout, DCC, while OK for some, would not improve the operation that much compared to the cost of converting.

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Hornby are aware of the problems but they build their locos to a budget and resultantly there are limiting factors. If you have a ceiling of, say, 100 quid a loco or train pack then to keep it under this threshold compromises have to be made somewhere. Now while price may not be at the top of most British modellers list it most likely will be 2nd, 3rd or 4th so it is a major factor.

There has been much discussion on this forum about the cost of UK outline as some of us expressed a preference for more expensive models which would be of the quality of Maerklin or Fleischmann and contain sound decoders, lights and the such but it was vigourosly argued by some that the majority of British modellers would not pay for this. Hornby know well who the majority of their customers are (train sets) and it is this market that is targeted. As you are probably aware most of the modellers on this forum are more skilled and familiar with DCC than the average Hornby customer. The average Hornby customer would have nothing to compare the performance with and so would not have as many gripes as we hear here. Bachmann have not had these issues as they have bought their DCC equipment from established German DCC suppliers such as Lenz and ESU. They have brought in digital sound to the UK and it has sold despite the arguements of the people who said it would never sell. Even these individuals have admitted buying them and liking them so I think their cost arguement goes down the can.

The only way to improve the quality is to increase cost. This isn't on Hornby's agenda currently. To look at it in a postive way Hornby digital offers a cheap chance to try out digital and see what it does. Remember that Hornby's expertise is model trains not digital equipment.

I bought the Pendelino and it's ok for the money. If I had paid more for it I wouldn't be happy but for 100 quid what do you expect? It looks good and runs ok at speed. I don't feel cheated or ripped off, I'm quite happy with it. It isn't meant to run at slow speed so I shouldn't encounter these problems. The problem is with this same decoder being installed in slow speed locos.
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QUOTE (Sol @ 30 Mar 2007, 00:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Now I do not know if the manufacturers read these forums

Talking to a number of manufacures regarding forums & e-groups (on my last visit to Nurnberg) most of them admitted to "trawling around" the net looking for discussions about their products. The general comment made was that "we don't take part in the blah, blah". A futher couple hinted that they had an anonomous presence to put their points of view over.....................
I certainly would not expect them to take part in the "blah, blah" but at least have a look at the discussions/comments & take them on board to investigate. Then after any investigation, etc, then perhaps feed it to the Moderator who can put it on the forum/e-mags.
Would it be wrong to assume that for any loco returned to the manufacturer by the retailer due to noisy motor, etc, that it would be tested out & rectified? Or dumped?

The Pendolino should run good at any speed - yes it may run OK at high speed but they have to start slowly at first & if the motor sounds NBG at starting speed, I would be hesitant to speed it up just in case.

Hornby do read these pages like other manufacturers, but you are not going to get a reply from them online when you post a complaint here and a bunch of other guys all chirp in with their version of what is going on.

If you want a reply from Hornby, write a polite letter to their services department. They will probable request that you send the model in question in to be looked at. You can also write to Simon Kohler if you thing there are issues that go beyond your particular model. He is very approachable and will reply back.
I do sincerely hope that Hornby/Bachmann and others cast their eyes over these and other forums. Particularly in regard to Hornby's three step into DCC. So far they may have managed to confuse a segment of the market that was contemplating DCC, pity as they were the next batch of potential customers. We are all accustomed to delays in the procurement of new models, in Bachmanns case they have this down to a fine art, so delays in the Elite have been accepted by the punters as the norm for the industry. Manufacturers if you reading this my message is: lovely standard of loco's : truly poor packaging designed to damage the product, and removing the product unscathed a nightmare : delivery dates in the same class as fairy stories : subject matter selection - could be better - who actually gets to determine what the next model will be. Some open and honest customer input here would be appreciated : Hidden third party poles adjudicated by a third party are not acceptable and really cheese me off. Make this a feature of your company web sites and encourage more traffic: Bachmann you really are the pits when it comes to stock control. Your having a push/promotion on Woodlands sceenics, but where's the stock there hardly an item of sub terrain available particularly the risers - I'll tell you where there are good supplies outside of the USA --- in South Africa, I was at your dealers there two weeks ago, please try harder or find smeone who can co-ordinate stock control and promotions !
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