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QUOTE I think the important observation is Folks are more confused about DCC than before and this is really sad. Here was the golden opportunity and it's been stuffed by inept opportunism. Hornby simply have to correct these failings and get folks on board with a workable DCC system that is seen to be reliable, compatible and workable. Also decoders that are programmable,and compatible with other systems.
This has been my advice all along. Stick with a tried and trusted system.
There's plenty to choose from.
 

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In an e-mail I had sent to Hornby re fitting decoders, etc & having options of DCC ready & DCC fitted, I also asked them about Compliance & Comformance which are two aspects of the NMRA standards/recommended practices & their reply was

"Please also advise that the Hornby decoders are compatible with NMRA standards but not compliant. Ie no certificate."

So no compliance or conformance certificates.


Ron
 

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This will not go away will it? There is so much assumption written on these threads but often not facts. If one is prepared to do a bit of research you can find out the fact's like, at no time has the Prodigy unit been withdrawn here in the UK. However because of the unaceptable band width of the Hornby system Gaugemaster has had the lastest batch of the units supplied from MRC altered to make them compatitble with Hornby. This I dont see as a climbdown by Gaugemaster but more of a responsible action of a company that cares for its customers and understands the UK market. Gary is absurd to think that manufactures dont have to do this, to ignore this would be commercial suicide.

MRC do not make the decoders that Gaugemaster supply, they are as already suggested, versions of the Digitrax decoder.

There is no such thing as German DCC. There is DCC and there is not, its that simple.

(None of the above is guesswork or conjecture, but facts that can easily found out if one wishes to bother.)

Now to move on, before Christmas I stated that I had problems with a Hornby decoder and a friend who had a problems with his Select. An old school pal who has a phd in electronics asked if he could look at the Select unit as I had told him about the non-compatibility issues. He was quite shocked to find such an erratic signal coming out of the unit and said that it often peaked at around 30 volts. Showing him the spec of some of the decoders I have used in the past he said that there could well be an issue with heat build up on the decoders and felt in his opinion that their long term life may well be serverly shortened.

Now this begs the issue, is Hornby's non-compatibility of its system going to harm any or all other makes of DCC decoders if one uses them with the Select unit? I would be pretty suprised if some of the DCC manufacturers are not already looking into to this issue as we speak.
 

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Hi guys,
I got this back from MRC reference their conformity....
Quote
From: [email protected]
Date: Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:59 pm
Subject: Re: Prodigy Advnce and Hornby Decoders mrcrrtech
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Sales of the Prodigy Advance and Express are continuing well here in the
U.S....So well in fact that we are sold out at the manufacturers level.
There is no plan to discontinue sales or pull the systems off of Dealers
shelves, in fact we are highly anticipating the release of the new Prodigy
Advance Squared.
Even though we do not have the NMRA conformance seal, our DCC systems and
decoders comply with all the NMRA's existing R.P.'s and Standards, and are
compatible with all other NMRA compatible systems and decoders.
At this point in time, I do not know what the situation is that is going on
in the U.K. with Hornby decoders.
Frank Verrico
Product Manager-MRC
Unquote

That would seem to one side of the equation out the window - back to Hornby!
 

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QUOTE Why back to Hornby ?
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!

I use a MRC Prodigy Advance with no problems what so ever with all sorts of manufactures decoders, which seems to me to point out that there is an underlying issue with the current Hornby decoders!
 

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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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QUOTE 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 You could add ESU Zimo and Veissmann to that list.
 

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QUOTE 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 You could add ESU, Zimo and Veissmann to that list.

Trouble is we wont find out as anyone with any of these systems is extremely unlikely to be considering using a Hornby decoder.
 

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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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A Digitrax representative has said this in the Digitrax faq section:-

QUOTE In general, DCC compatible decoders can be programmed from any DCC compatible command station. Programming compatibility problems do occur from time to time and for the most part, there are work-arounds available. These problems were caused because several different programming strategies are allowed by the NMRA RP's and not all of the strategies are supported by all systems. The RP's call for paged mode, direct mode and physical register mode. Digitrax uses paged mode as the preferred programming method so be sure decoders that you purchase support this method. If you experience programming problems, contact the DCC company for assistance.

The representative confirms that NMRA recommended practices are not compulsory and that it is the lack of support for recommended practices by systems that can lead to compatibility issues. It does seem slightly odd that the NMRA permit a choice of programming strategies.

Any reason for this?

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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The choice of programmimg methods may be due to two reasons:
1) evolution of the standard. As more CVs became desireable, better methods of programming were required.
2) documenting existing practice by manufacturers.

See for example the issue with 21 pin decoders. The NMRA haven't yet got around to issuing a standard for high pin count decoders, but there is already product out there.
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 20 Jan 2007, 14:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The representative confirms that NMRA recommended practices are not compulsory and that it is the lack of support for recommended practices by systems that can lead to compatibility issues. It does seem slightly odd that the NMRA permit a choice of programming strategies.
RP are recommended but, crucially, if you implement any part of an RP, you must implement the RP in full to be compliant, so there is a level of compulsion. Obviously, you do not need to implement parts of RPs that are optional.

The choice pf programming strategies is to allow backwards compatibility to old decoder that had very few CVs, some only supported changing the address, hence "address only" programming mode. To avoid obsoleting old decoders (a very good thing) the programming RP contains REQUIREMENTS for which programming modes are supported by decoders and programmers. This guarantees interoperability by always providing a fallback to a more basic programming mode (even if it's address only). Rather than list them here, I refer you to http://www.nmra.org/standards/DCC/standards_rps/rp923.html section F.

Andrew Crosland
 

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QUOTE (Brian @ 18 Jan 2007, 20:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I use a MRC Prodigy Advance with no problems what so ever with all sorts of manufactures decoders, which seems to me to point out that there is an underlying issue with the current Hornby decoders!

Yes. Assuming this so-called 'bandwidth' problem is one of waveform timing, the NMRA specifications are quite clear on it. The tolerances for the timings a command station produces are deliberately tighter than those specified for decoders trying to read it. Looking at it the other way round, a decoder must (note must) accept waveforms up to three microseconds either side of that which any command station is allowed to generate. The details are in NMRA Standard S-9.1.
On principle, it should be Hornby making the changes if their decoder is not currently capable of this, not the command station manufacturer having to compromise their designs to compensate for it.
 

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Do you have a feeling that Hornby are victims of their own success?

Far from Hornby launching a system that nearly everybody here said would be limited in its use to Hornby customers it does seem that everybody in the wider DCC community is using Hornby product.

Has this take up taken Hornby by surprise I wonder?

If there is only one issue with one console (and it is yet to be determined where the issue lies) then you have to say that given that Hornby are the latest entrant to the world of DCC they have actually done pretty well!

No other company in the UK has stirred up DCC like Hornby and everybody is now talking DCC. Formerly it was a backwater subject among a small band of dedicated followers in the UK and now it is almost mainstream.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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The Lord Haw Haw of Hornby DCC has spoken. Do you really believe your own waffle ?.

On Saturday I was speaking to a major retailer who has four retail outlets and a significant mail order / internet business. Hornby DCC came into the conversation, he said he had a large pile of Hornby Selects and they were being returned. He stated they will not be stocking Hornby DCC until the problems were resolved.
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 23 Jan 2007, 16:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...Far from Hornby launching a system that nearly everybody here said would be limited in its use to Hornby customers it does seem that everybody in the wider DCC community is using Hornby product.

I'm not and I could be considered to be in the wider DCC community. In fact I've yet to meet one DCCer that does use it. (and no I am not having a dig at Hornby!!)

Regards

John
 

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Gary - you are absolutely priceless !

Do you have a feeling that Hornby are victims of their own success?
If success means retailers returning new stock pehaps the word success has been redifined !


Far from Hornby launching a system that nearly everybody here said would be limited in its use to Hornby customers it does seem that everybody in the wider DCC community is using Hornby product.
Well, I know many, many people personally & via the internet who are most definatly in the "DCC Commuity" & apart from a few people her, including yourself don't know anyone using Hornby DCC kit in any shape or form.


Has this take up taken Hornby by surprise I wonder?
Are we talking about "take up" or "return" here ?

If there is only one issue with one console (and it is yet to be determined where the issue lies) then you have to say that given that Hornby are the latest entrant to the world of DCC they have actually done pretty well!
Up until Hornby DCC became available there was the odd issue here & there with compatability, now there seem to be many compatabilities, the main common denominator being Hornby !


No other company in the UK has stirred up DCC like Hornby and everybody is now talking DCC. Formerly it was a backwater subject among a small band of dedicated followers in the UK and now it is almost mainstream.
This is probably the only correct statement in the whole post !
 

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Gary i find it hard to believe that in your opinion hornby dcc has been a great sucess ,just look at hornby forum faults, local dealer will not sell anymore till hornby sort out the problems, they have had the same problems,as on the forums all a dealer wants to do is sell a system which works when unboxed ,yes they have put dcc on the map for all the wrong reasons as i have stated before if hornby select had been my first experence of dcc it would have put me off .
 

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QUOTE The Lord Haw Haw of Hornby DCC has spoken. Do you really believe your own waffle ?.

I was thinking George Bush and Iraq.

I really don't know what to say. It's like a message from a parallel universe where the Select was a success rather than a bomb.

All Hornby have succeeded in is raising discussion of DCC in a negative sense.

Oh and I don't have any Hornby DCC product either and I'm not likely to until it gets itself sorted out.
 
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