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DT
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Click here for the review.

Some interesting issues are raised with this model. Are we asking too much of model companies? Can detail and complexity increase? What is the future of DCC Ready? Check out the review.

A few videos of the loco:


The first is a test before installing the DCC decoder. Click here for the 1st video. Notice the sound of the DC loco running on the DCC track.


The second is of the loco under DCC control. It starts off at speed step 1 then goes up tpo speed step 9 (I wasn't driving smoothly... I pressed the big button that takes it up 8 speed steps in one go). Finally it goes by at the maximum programmed speed. Click here for the 2nd video
 

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Doug following up on a previous posting about the pulling pwer of White Knight.
Whats the pulling power of the Brit ? could you keep adding coaches until it refuses to pull away to give us some ideal of it's capacity.
BTW it looks a little jerky on your video clip perhaps you need to run it in a little on your rolling road.
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is quite smooth. I did run it a bit, but as you say it needs running in more. After running a few flywheeld Bachmans recently, you notice the jerky movement of a new loco. I'll be doing that this week and adding some details as to it's pulling power.
 

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Good review Doug, you've raised a few valid points that have been discussed recently.

QUOTE I had read that there were some damaged examples around and this is an issue that Hornby needs to address if it is going to produce more detailed models in the future.
Fine detailing is good but it needs to be practical. If it is so fragile it shakes of in the box then it isn't really a goer

QUOTE Hornby also need to give better instructions about installing a decoder. I don't see why they cant test a few standard decoders and then give a few guidelines to the guys who wish to install a decoder themselves. Not everyone is going to send their locos in to get a decoder installed.
I think it's about liability. If they don't give advice they have no liability for anything which occurs as a consequence of their advice. (Got my Insurance hat on) Bearing in mind the expertise of the average Hornby modeller, they are unlikely to fare as well as Doug has in installing decoders and there is a strong possibility of damaging the loco in the process. Something Hornbys lawyers will have brought to their attention.

QUOTE This leads to the issue of DCC ready and DCC onboard. I would buy DCC onboard locos so as to prevent all this wasted time, bust fiddly bits and frustration... but only if the decoder was a good one. I am not interested in a bottom of the range decoder in a model like this. I have a selection of decoders and I will put an older one or one with fewer functions in one of my kid's Thomas locos, but I am getting used to the nice features of the Lenz Gold and I wouldn't expect anything less in a model such as this. I do not want to have to remove a low-end decoder so that I can fit a better one myself.
From what I've seen of your experiences with the A3 and this Britannia and my efforts with the White Knight I am reluctant to to go down this path again. I may wait till the day that they start to produce locos with decent chips already installed. At the moment it's too hard. By comparison I have a Roco S3/6 which is DCC ready and to install a chip I lift of the tender cover and plug in the chip, then I put the cover back on and it's ready to start programming.

QUOTE I'll add some more info to this review over the next few days. I'll test it's pulling power and see about getting that coal loaded.
This, I'm very interested in as I find this an area that Hornbys locos are lacking in.

It looks like a great loco. Fantastic detail, but I'm reluctant to buy a model which is no good for running on a layout. I don't really need any more display models.
 

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A nice, informative review. And I don't even collect 00. I wish I could find stuff like that for all the German, Prussian, Austrian and Swiss stuff on the market today.

Keep up the good work.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 17 Oct 2006, 23:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>By comparison I have a Roco S3/6 which is DCC ready and to install a chip I lift of the tender cover and plug in the chip, then I put the cover back on and it's ready to start programming.
This, I'm very interested in as I find this an area that Hornbys locos are lacking in.

Yet again, the UK trade lags behind mainland europe. Apart from some Fleischman loks that use the 6-pin decoder socket nearly all FM, Roco, Trix, Piko ect are very easy simple installations.

best regards
Brian
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here we have a little short of the Britannia pulling 15 coaches. As I don't have 15 of any one type, they are a mix of Pullmans, Teaks, Maroon and Blood & Custards.


The loco had no problem pulling the 15 coaches on the straight and on the flat. It will struggle on bends and inclines of course. Any more coaches prevent the loco from starting off at a slow pace, you have to get it going flat out to get it moving.
 

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Hey Doug nice of you to give us all a wave at the end!

Thats more pulling power than the the girls at Blackpool have!

And even when compared to the old Triang Brit even with the famous magnatraction. Warley MRC had an old Triang Class 31 pulling 10 coaches last night (just).

I do like those videos!


The proof is in the eating and in this case the skin has been well and truely been pulled of the rice pudding!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Trouble is that I can't put my video camera in a position that shows all the coaches going by in one shot. I need to finish the layout to have enough room for 30 coaches on the track for that.
 

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DT
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As you see, I'm testing my video editing skills.

I'm using Microsoft Movie Maker. The reason for all the funky transitions is that each segment pauses for a split second at the start. The transitions cover this pause, but ifanyone can tell me how to get rid of the pause, then please do. I'm not a fan of too many special effects that detract from the content. The pause is not a few still frames - I've tried deleting the first few frames from the clips, it just pauses the following frames.

v2 of the Britannia Pull test:


Please comment on the videos. Do you prefer a download of a better quality video, or does the YouTube streamed version work alright?

My other YouTube videos (here). A couple of cool Slotcar films there too.
 

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It is incredibly conveniant to simply click on a picture and watch the video instantly. If it makes a point then quality is less of an issue.

Utube over downloads every time. For reviews if you want to check out detail then really you cannot beat a still image. To see something actually running though takes the whole thing to the next level and this is something the paper based mags simply are not able to offer.

Imagine showing folk in a video how to install a chip!


If there was flicker at cuts was it that obvious?

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>If there was flicker at cuts was it that obvious?
I could see it, but my download speed is only 450kbs at present.

David
 

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My connect speed is back up to 3.5Mbps, so the video played very smoothly. I liked the curve in the track.

I think you need a warning to people to turn down their sub woofers. My desk was vibratiing... it wouldn't have been my choice of music, but that's just my opinion.

David
 

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I do like the videos.


How about a 4 hour video showing us how to fit a decoder?


Thats tough. It has to be easier surely?


There are big issues here if British manufacturers are serious about promoting DCC.

Fantastic model however decoder installation is worrying me more and more with the iminant arrival of Hornby Digital.

There has to be compromise with future model development else DCC will become nightmarish for many as new models get destroyed in vain attempts to remove and replace loco bodies and detail with care. Its impossible to remove a Class 08 body without damaging paintwork on the fine detail.

The only alternative is to fit decoders as standard and if it takes 4 hours to fit one then I would be happy to pay the extra £10 to have it factory fitted.

Unless manufacturers provide very clear and precise instructions complete with big decent sized images at least as good as those provided by Doug in his review then quite frankly Hornby and Bachmann are having a laugh!


I apologise for the strength of my views on this but I am not about to destroy any of my mint locomotives however I do want to enjoy the advantages of DCC so at this time I have very mixed feelings. I may simply stick with fitting decoders into old locomotives (not DCC ready though) with no detail that can be damaged but is this what Hornby and Bachmann want?


And I do accept that modern outline D+E kit is going to be easier to work on however I am not that way inclined and prefer the steam era which possibly represents the largest market for Hornby and Bachmann anyway.

There are one or two locos that I have that I have given up on with any attempt to remove the body.

Doug. Why don't you contact Hornby and Bachmann and suggest to them that you become their official decoder installer instructor. If they don't offer you the job then they are in big trouble with this as for one reason or another they will not be able to offer anything like the practical advice that you can offer. Their customer service departments will be overwelmed with enquiries for more instructions and replacement spare parts and they had better believe it because it will happen!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I'd missed the video's earlier well done Doug, the haulage power of this Brit is impressive. The reported poor pulling power of White Knight just dosn't make sence. It must be due some other reason.

I must add here that I've not experience this problem and never had a problem with the pulling power of the new Hornby 5 pole motor (first installed in the MN). We await the King Arthur and the Rebuilt WC/BB. I would think that lot should satisfy most southern enthusiasts.

 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Please note: It doesn't normally take 4 hours to install a decoder. Most times, it's about 20 minutes.

This 4 hours was me looking at options, testing, taking a few snaps. It didn't fit where I though that it would and where most other locos have a bit of space.

Each time I tried a different placement, I made it neat and tidy so that it would look good when photographed.

Of course, using a smaller decoder would probably solve this problem too.

Then there were these lubricators on either side that kept on popping out - that slowed down the process quite a bit.
 

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Ok that does go someway to explaining the time taken and thank you for making that clear Doug.


20 minutes is very acceptable and if Hornby and Bachmann and Dapol seriously believe that when they introduce a new model then this is the amount of time it should take to fit an decoder without damaging any of the detail, then body and detail removal and reassembly is not an issue.

Maybe this 20 minute target and no damage is a challenge that Simon Kohler and Dennis Lovett and George Smith will personally take up?


Like many I am a person that simply likes to take a new model home, stick it on the track straight out of the box and have it running. I never fit the detail parts. Anything with more than a simple "undo two screws and off the body comes" is extremely daunting.

Happy modelling
Gary
 
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