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Perhaps it would be most constructive at this point to find out who has managed to program a Hornby decoder, and with what system(s), rather than argue further about second hand reports about what it does or does not do with Gaugemaster/MRC kit.

I've not seen any comments about whether it can or can't be programmed with Lenz derived systems (or for that matter with ZTC, Digitrax, or - potentially more immediate concern to me - NCE, especially the PowerCab)

Doug : look forward to your tests. As far as I'm aware , there have been no reports about the Hornby Accessory Decoder, and as the number of accessory decoders on the market is pretty limited it could potentially be a useful new product

What system do you have?

It is starting to look as if Hornby have provided restricted functionality in order to hit the very low price points they have targeted. I've a nasty suspicion 4 CVs may indeed be all the decoder supports , and there does seem to be a suggestion it doesn't support read back of a value (as I think the Select doesn't?)

I would certainly be nervous of putting a Hornby decoder in something big with lights that had to pull heavy loads (eg a 60), and it would clearly be toast in anything from Heljan. However the current limitation might well be perfectly acceptable in a DMU without lights like the 156 or forthcoming 101, (both applications that could be of interest to me) or in the M7.

It would certainly be perfectly acceptable in N , and given its small size and the high cost of conventional micro decoders, could find a role there as well, so long as it can be programmed.

In short Hornby's DCC as we know it, but cut to the bare bones.
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