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I wonder if this move is a response to this:

QUOTE You have to program the decoder on the main track.please note everone don't try to program the train on the program track of the gauge master prodigy it will knacker your chip,I've gone though 3 up to now!

Taken from the Hornby forum , posting 12/1

Given that neither system has NMRA certification, and the issue has not been reported using systems other than Gaugemaster, it would be premature to speculate which side of the fence responsibility lies here

I'm also puzzled by the comment that Gaugemaster decoders are Digitrax rebadged- ZTC seem to be the people with a licence to rebadge Digitrax , and frankly the Guagemaster decoders are both significantly cheaper than Digitrax/ZTC, and a very much narrower range. I'd have expected Gaugemaster to be offering more than just 2 decoders if they had access to the Digitrax range - especially as ZTC seem to promote the idea that different decoders are required for different locos
 

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I had understood that Gaugemaster had licenced the Prodigy Advance directly from the company that make the units in China , and not from MRC.

If this is the case, Gaugemaster are at liberty to request an adjustment to the units manufacturered for them, without having to ask MRC to do so, and without MRC units being affected. I don't think Hornby decoders are on sale in the US , so there is no reason for MRC to care tuppence (or should that be a dime?) about Hornby - frankly I doubt if many folk at MRC have ever heard of Hornby.

QUOTE Hornby have said, all be it between the lines, that there is a problem with their decoders. Hence the introduction of their new Sapphire decoder!

Given all the adverse comment about the limitation to 2 digit addressing of the current Hornby decoder, especially in the context of Hornby's previously stated intention only to offer new releases as DCC Fitted, the "problem" with the Hornby decoders is that they don't support 4 digit addressing, and don't offer sufficient features to satistfy the majority of existing DCC users. The market is signalling pretty clearly that something more upmarket than the current decoder has to be fitted to DCC Fitted locos if current and future DCC users are going to accept the decoder supplied with the loco. Hence the Sapphire....

I don't think Margate are saying that their current decoder doesn't work - just that most users demand something more up market on a DCC Fitted loco

We now seem to be reaching the point where some conclusions on using the decoders with other systems can be drawn:

- With Hornby Select - works
- With Lenz LH100 and Compact - works.
- With Bachmann E-Z DCC - works
- With Gaugemaster - runs, and can be programmed (I know someone who has done so) , but some issues with Programming. Programming compatibility with existing Gaugemaster units may be a bit marginal - Gaugemaster making adjustments to ensure satisfactory addressing (Neither system NMRA certified, and there are reports of a problem between recent batches of Lenz Silvers and Gaugemaster)

What we don't know:

- Does it work properly with NCE?
- Does it work properly with ZTC?
- Does it work properly with Digitrax?

since as far as I'm aware no-one with first hand experience has commented

We also don't know whether the Hornby decoder works with the Roco Multimaus (or the older Lokmaus) 'cos nobody has commented yet. Given that the decoders are working with other Lenz systems, my guess is that it does , but we don't actually have any first hand confirmation at this stage
 

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Neil:

You could put it the other way - anyone who has a Hornby decoder is unlikely to get their hands on ECos, Zimo, or Veissemann

Hornby's decoder is likely to appeal either to a novice starting out with DCC (or indeed model railways) or someone who's counting the pennies - and at this stage they will definitely be in the UK

In which case if he goes beyond Bachmann E-Z DCC or the Select , the Multimaus, and NCE Powercab come into the frame , and possibly the Digitrax Zephyr (The Elite and Dynamis don't of course exist yet)

Unfortunately we have no postings of first hand experience of the Hornby decoder using these systems yet.

For what it is worth, you could see a pattern of Hornby decoders working better with Xpressnet systems than non Xpressnet systems, which would be logical.

However we don't have sufficient data to draw that conclusion yet
 

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Bachmann Dynamis will be competing with the Hornby Elite not the Select. It will be interesting to see which one is in the shops first , given the very short lead time Bachmann (not exactly noted for such things) were initially indicating .

The Compact is not too clever with DCC Sound either , I believe , as it has only 4 functions, and half of those awkwardly reached through a shift key? With the increasing profile of DCC Sound, another reason why the Compact is obsolete and in urgent need of replacement?

Nevertheless , the broad point is that 2 mid range DCC systems will shortly be available in a large number of local retail outlets across the UK for under £100.

This breaks the "established order " in DCC as it has been understood for almost 20 years , at least in the UK. Goodbye to the expectation that you will have to buy unseen kit from obscure grey market sources thousands of miles away. Goodbye to the £250 price point for a proper system. Goodbye to the massive price premium over other countries.

In a genuinely competitive market, you cannot possibly sustain a 25-30% higher price for your product in one European country against another just by structuring your supply chain arrangements (Let alone adjacent countries). Not when you have to compete against other producers in their home market.

In my industry , we simply cannot sustain a price premium of even 5% for the same product in one European country over another - even when there are significant economic justifications . But we operate in a competitive market

Presumably Dynamis will also be available via Lilliput? (And for Bachmann Spectrum in the US?) . If that is NOT announced at the forthcoming Nuremburg Toy Fair, we might conclude it is not quite so close or so proven as might first appear
 
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