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Thanks for the review (so far) Doug - BTW - it does not actually matter if the red & black (track) wires are reversed - just annoying that it's wrong !

We have had the same problem with weathered locos, hence we always run them well in on analogue DC.
 

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I've had the tender apart, it's a nice piece of engineering. I'll have to do a bit of relocation of weights to contemplate getting sound in this tender. One thing I would like to see Hornby drop all together (general suggestion) is the loco to tender coupling, it's very weak and flimsy. I thought the plug on the Britannia a much better idea. Like most others I like the appearance of this loco. When I'm less busy I'll test the DCC plug on mine, I haven't even bothered to take the loco out of the packaging, just the tender !
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 10 Apr 2007, 23:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm hoping that the mixed up wheel wires is a one-off and not an attempt to remedy the faults of the R8215 decoder (remember ashleyh's M7 problems with loco going backwards).

Don't think so Doug - unless it's a double mistake !

Only if the grey & orange motor wires are crossed it will cause the reverse running - normally only really a problem when lights are fitted.
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 10 Apr 2007, 23:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm hoping that the mixed up wheel wires is a one-off and not an attempt to remedy the faults of the R8215 decoder (remember ashleyh's M7 problems with loco going backwards).

Sadly, this does not seem to be an isolated incident. My dealer has reported a number of recent Hornby's with the DCC socket wired backwards. Couple this with the fact that the Elite seems to have it's running direction arrows reversed, and you begin to wonder if this is a deliberate non-standard move by Hornby
Remember, that with my 'DCC Fitted' M7, backwards would have been forwards on the Elite.

The other alternative is that Hornby are just being incredibly inept with DCC in general


As an aside, I've just opened up my Hornby A4 Silver Fox, which is one of the loco driven variety, expecting to find a DCC socket, but no, the mounting point is on the chassis, but the pickups just go directly to the motor. Maybe this is a good thing after all, as at least I can get the wiring right!

AshleyH
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 11 Apr 2007, 09:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If the track wires are reversed too it causes revered running. Remember that DCC is AC with DC characteristics.

The loco does go backwards when it should be going forwards...

Doug - that seems very strange - I've just actually reversed the track wires only without changing anything else on a FLM Twin Centre & a Lenz LH100 & it makes no difference at all - forwards is still forwards & the lights still operate correctly.

IMHO if the track wires only are reversed & the motor wires are correct on the decoder socket the locomotive will stiil operate in the correct direction !
 

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Dear All,

My first DCC decoder was fitted to a Hornby Q1 (with socket) in December 2004. This was the easiest fitting ever and it's been downhill ever since! I was sucked into the idea that decoder fitting was a 10 minute job for each loco.

The 2nd decoder was fitted to a Hornby MN (with socket) in January 2005. The first attempt produced a beep on the programming track which indicated a problem. After a bit of testing, I found out the socket was physically the wrong way round with pin 1 towards the back of the loco, when I had assumed it was at the front. In those days the board was not marked, so you had no idea where pin 1 was. This must have caused huge problems for the D+E guys, but for an old steam man like myself
, the front of the loco is obvious. Anway, I reversed the plug in the socket and then it worked, but now backwards! So I added 1 to CV29 and all was well again. I wonder how many ways you can get it wrong?

I have always assumed that pin 1 should be at the front of the loco, but is this really a standard? Of course, pin 1 should really be marked, but will this marking be in correct place, when you are not sure about the way it has been wired anyway? It's a good job that I am using Zimo decoders that have built-in protection, otherwise I would have blown the decoder.

So this is not a new problem for Hornby.
 

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QUOTE (John @ 11 Apr 2007, 17:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have always assumed that pin 1 should be at the front of the loco, but is this really a standard? Of course, pin 1 should really be marked, but will this marking be in correct place, when you are not sure about the way it has been wired anyway? It's a good job that I am using Zimo decoders that have built-in protection, otherwise I would have blown the decoder.

So this is not a new problem for Hornby.

Pin 1 is the orange that goes to the motor regardless of the orientation of the plug & socket to the chassis. Pint 1 is sometimes marked with either a "1". "l" or "*".

Hope this helps.
 

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Good job Doug! Doesn't real sunshine enhance photos! The weathering certainly highlights the sub-footplate detail and I think the level of fine detail is spot on.

"You can see the cab is very well made. The designer who produced that must be very happy with the level of detail in a Slartibartfast kind of way"

Personally I preferred his fjords and has no idea he'd helped Urie and Maunsell....
Douglas Adams, what a loss to literature and the Apple community, sigh..... I assume you have read "The Salmon of Doubt"?

The thing that impresses me most about the loco is the solid, weighty feel it conveys - getting things in proportion is so key to the overall impression and Hornby are to be congratulated on that (even if the wiring was fubar).

60134
 

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It's hard to resist such an excellent looking model as this, but I will persevere. Thanks for tempting me though, with the review.

On the decoder side, it might be possible to get the small Zimo MX620R into the firebox space. Unfortunately mine is now in my Bachmann 9F and I don't really want to open it up to measure it but if memory serves correctly it is the size advertised in the spec sheet.

Whenever I have the chance, I take a photo of locomotive footplates when I come across them in steam. All the ones I've seen appear to have red regulators. The cab photo doesn't show a red regulator. Is the red colouring a recent requirement or just something the Southern Railway didn't do?

David
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 12 Apr 2007, 04:22) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have updated the review with some more photos. Check it out here.
Doug are those all model trees in your photos? There are some of them whose foliage looks a bit too real. If they are models who makes them?

These Hornby reviews are appreciated. I have been tempted to buy a few of these but when I see the DCC antics in some of these along with my Hornby DCC Pendelino experience I do think it is worth hanging off for a bit until they get things under control. It seems that you can't win either way, if you get a Hornby decoder the performance sucks and if you get DCC ready you have problems installing it. It's such a shame as they are making such good looking models.

I will be putting a Lenz Gold into a Trix Croc this afternoon and I am fairly confident that I wont have any of these problems.
 

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A nice review and what wonderful photographs, thank you Doug. I must be lucky but so far I have not come across any of my loco's with a mis-wired socket but what does concern me is the lack of space in some of these so called DCC ready loco's. This often means that I have to remove the socket (and plug on the decoder) altogether and hardwire it in just to get the body to go back on. I cannot immagine what it must be like for the N gauge DCC modeller.

I have puchased this loco recently and could only just get the smaller Gaugemaster decoder to fit into the smokebox cavity but I can assure you that any fullsized one will not fit in this loco.

Regards, Sid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Neil, The trees are Heki. Premium Large Beech trees x 2 - 18cm high (HK1712).

I'm going to venture into Zimo decoders to look for a little one that matches the size of the Hornby one.

Hornby are obviously trying to prevent the use of any larger decoder. In all of their recent steam locos, there has been no extra space available. Models from 3 or 4 years back (before they thought of DCC) were fine with plenty of space inside.

For a model of this quality, it is such a shame to fit such an awful decoder. What address do I set it? loco #4? I tried that and it reset to#3 on a set of faulty points when it shorted. Now I have 3 locos at address #3. You guessed it, all with Hornby decoders.
 

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my approach Doug is to whip out the DCC plug and fittings, remove any threaded sections using a dremel with a cut off wheel is always leaves enough space for a decoder, and I can depend on my own wiring. I've seen a lot of faulty decoder plugs. My approach is if I ever sell the loco it will be sold with it's decoder. Prices have dropped considerably and there will be an even larger swing to DCC in the next few years.
 

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A really useful review and some fantastic photos! What a great looking model - but not a fan of the all one colour spray weathering. In real life it's a bit more subtle with differing colours and intensities around the loco & tender.
 

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Excellent review Doug,

The Arthurs have always been one of my favourite locos, and this one is certainly a beaut. I may seriously have to get one just for display purposes.

Regards

John
 

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Here is another shot that was not used in the review. May as well profit from the good weather that we're having right now.




And another showing detail of the loco. I don't think that photos of just the loco do the machine justice. It needs the tender in the shot to show the engine as it is.

 
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