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Are you going to try it in a loco with a heavy load to pull. I'd be interested to see how it goes when it has to do some hard work. The loco you had it in was not pulling anything and the decoder was very hot. It might be worth seeing what happens to with this decoder when the heat really builds up.

Did you think that this decoder might be more suitable for N gauge bearing in mind it's size and current?
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did subject the loco to a 'stress test' that lasted about a minute. I held the wheels firm at full speed. No problem. I think that the auto cut-out was working as the motor seemed to go on and off.

The decoder would work well with N-gauge. Check out the following. Note that the Arnold Digital decoder on the right was developed as a N-gauge decoder.

 

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I have been fitting the hornby decoder in N gauge farish models and as far as running these with a hornby controller, I really don't think anyone can complain at £8-£10 a go.
Obviously there is the ongoing debate about compatibility with non-hornby systems, but for an entry level decoder for an average user of DCC I think these are pretty good - probably unbeatable on price / availabilty?

They are indeed very suitable for N gauge, maybe more so than to 'OO' due to the current rating.
 

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Thanks Doug for that very informative impatial review.

Does seem a shame though to not being able to read CV's & no max top speed - this is probably the only "missing" feature that will stop me (& probably others) from using some (max top speed is important to me as I run DCC under automatice block control) - although I will give a couple a try on some locos that never venture onto the main lines (kof for example).

Have to say thought it does look to be a very good value for money decoder & will certainly sell well.
 

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QUOTE (dualfuel @ 18 Dec 2006, 23:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Obviously there is the ongoing debate about compatibility with non-hornby systems.

The lack of mandatory CVs mean that this decoder will never be NMRA compliant. So long as you accept its other limitations (eg, no CV read back, limited configuration CVs) then there are no real compatibility issues with other systems.

Andrew Crosland
 

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Good review and it confirms my views from my own experience with using this decoder.

All in all it seems to be an excellent decoder for DCC beginners. Ive installed 3 in my locos so far, and I'm very impressed with the smoothness of control for the price/size.

So what was all the talk of these decoders 'blowing up', and causing running problems? A real issue on some units, or another 'DDC myth', put about by those who will always be against anything DCC that's made by Hornby?
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have 4 decoders and I tried to 'blow one up' - just to test the limits. It wouldn't let me do it - Doesn't it have something to do with Asimov's robot law...?

I did notice a couple of glitches when switching the programming between registry mode and paged mode - the loco didn't respond in some cases, but as I was switching so often between modes, it may have just been me getting confused. A simple resetting in CV mode of the address on the programming track and all was well again.
 

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A good, objective review, well done Doug.

I'm not sure if I will be using these in the future, but I'll certainly think about it.

Regards

John
 

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Thanks for a very informative review , which removes a lot of confusion

The slight awkwardness in programming the address is unfortunate but not a serious issue.

The restriction to 1-99 is a little awkward : 4 digit would be nice and as a medium term fudge it would be an improvement if it could support the intended 1-256

Quote"So long as you accept its other limitations (eg, no CV read back, limited configuration CVs) then there are no real compatibility issues with other systems." unquote

Perhaps we can lay the whole emotional "NMRA compatible" debate to rest , and move on to discussing what Hornby's DCC actual properties are, and their usefulness
 

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A very usefull review.

You mentioned (and it can be seen on the foto) that you also got accessory decoders. Did you try them? How did they work?

Thanks a lot.
 

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QUOTE he lack of mandatory CVs mean that this decoder will never be NMRA compliant. So long as you accept its other limitations (eg, no CV read back, limited configuration CVs) then there are no real compatibility issues with other systems.

Once again well done Doug, an excellent and impartial review. This decoder must for the trainset market, and in that sector it's fine, it's non compliant but nobody should care about that. Clearly the price of the product illustrates which sector it's aimed at.

However for the other and larger market sector IE. adult users this decoder will probably be unacceptable. I'm impressed by the size, give this product a higher rating IE. peak amps running amps and decent range of read/write CV's and you have a winner. Function output current is also a bit light as even smoke units pull at least 10% more MA .

 

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A good, interesting review. It certainly cuts through some of the hyperbole that was going round a few weeks ago about these decoders. I don't think this decoder is for me, unless Hornby correct the minor issues about read back and add a couple more CV's.

In terms of size, perhaps a fairer comparison would be made to the 'mini' series of Lenz decoders? I hope that when Hornby design "DCC Ready" locos in future, they dont design them so that their is only space for one of theirs!
 

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QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 20 Dec 2006, 09:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>it's non compliant but nobody should care about that.
On the contrary - EVERYBODY should care about that.
Hornby's apparent willingness to ride roughshod over well established mandatory requirements for mobile decoders indicates that their claim to have designed their system to be NMRA compatible is rather overstating the mark.
If they are allowed to get away with it this time, what is to stop them (and others) producing similarly deficient products just because it suits their own section of the market?
The whole point of having these standards is that anyone who buys a product based on them should be able to predict and rely on their operation and inter-operability. Cherry-picking the best features available in the definition of the DCC system is fair enough, but to omit Baseline mandatory requirements is verging on scandalous in a commercial product.
 

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Nice to see you posting here Gordon, what's happening with your layout ?.
This quote was taken totally out of context. We've been discussing this on this forum for the last three weeks. I have no intention of repeating what's been stated before. We await the launch of the Elite and possible software upgrades. There is no doubt the product was rushed into the market without considering fully the implications.
it's not a product that I would recommend at the moment. I believe Hornby missed a strategic opportunity for short term gain.
 

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>We await the launch of the Elite
I've been coming to the view that we are seeing Hornby's entry level offering. I would hope that the Elite is of a more advanced character and that maybe there will be some decoders with more function. It would be strange if Hornby offered locomotives across a wide price range with associated rising levels of detail but retained a very basic DCC offering.

David
 

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QUOTE If they are allowed to get away with it this time, what is to stop them (and others) producing similarly deficient products just because it suits their own section of the market?Because ultimately it will affect their sales. They may get away with it like Maerklin do in Germany but that remains to be seen. Even Maerklin have to conform and offer conventional NMRA DCC through Trix. If Hornby don't conform they will lose sales to Bachmann who are following the NMRA route.
 

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The only form of "non-compliance" with mandatory standards is that it doesn't have a CV that contains the makers ID code. This apparently is because the NMRA and MOROP haven't got round to allocating one to Hornby yet

In terms of what the decoder will do on a layout , this CV is irrelevant.

Can we please leave the theological debate behind , and focus on what it can and can't do as a piece of kit. Starting with "is the running any good"...

Then it's up to individual users as to whether its capabilities suit their personal needs
 
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