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DT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hornby have updated their DCC information on their website here.

They answer some of the outstanding questions regarding their Select and Elite products. We have updated our comparison chart here.

The R8215 Loco Decoder was anounced at the begining of the year as being: 4 Function 13 x 13 x 5mm. Well it is now a more realistic 10 x 17 x 3.5mm. Somewhere inbetween a Lenz Gold Mini and Gold Normal.
 

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Hey Doug,

Just looking at your chart, for the Digitrax Super Chief the max current is 8amps, and the speed control is by knobs and buttons.

Thought you might want to update.

Thanks for the link to Hornby's page ;D
 

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A new update has appeared on the Hornby website this evening - Hornby DCC update - Those of a nervous disposition need to place their orders by end of May. The announcement contains extra features which means extra pennies from June 1st.

David
 

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DT
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QUOTE Since the announcement at the International Toy & Hobby Fairs in January, Hornby have during Sales Previews and Roadshows been extremely keen in listening and taking note of both current and potential Digital users requirements and although both the Select and Elite already offered a great number of benefits over other less equipped systems on the market, more was demanded. Hornby have listened and taken positive action to enhance significantly the features offered, by dramatically changing the software of both the Select and Elite to cater for these additional requirements. This action coupled with the increased high level component specifications has led inevitably to an increase in the overall cost of both units

I don't see anything different indicated in these specs compared to what was mentioned before - sure not all the specs were mentioned before, but it does seem a little strange. Look at our DCC Systems chart and Lisa's chart to see that what we said months ago still stands today. The software was never demonstrated because the demo models were mock-ups. London and Nürnberg.

The only diferences that I see are that now the Elite can support 13 functions on the loco. So sound, smoke and all the bells and whistles should work. But it turns out that it is not a 4 amp device. It has a 3 amp output to the track and another 1 amp is used for the accessory power outlet.

It is not difficult to determine basic controller funtionality when designing a unit. The Hornby-owned Arnold systems work fine. Lenz is fine other competitiors are fine. How could their devices need new features before initial release? All Hornby had to do was to look around at the competition to see how to make a DCC controller.

Their prices were very low to start and there is the posibility that this was an intentional marketing move to get people to order early. Either that or their pricing was wrong and they are now fixing it.

So pre-orders placed before the end of May will be at the old price and pre-orders placed after June will be at the new price. That's 15 days... It gives the impression that the products will be here shortley - like before the Summer, but as they have now been redevleoped, they might only get here next year.

All a bit odd.

Whilst I'm on my rant, Hornby keep on with their "Can programme locomotives with up to 255 levels of acceleration / deceleration." What is the point of this? Firstly this is decoder dependant. Secondly CV3 (Acceleration or Starting Delay) and CV4 (Braking Delay) don't need 255 levels... Most default settings are about 4 and 6 on the scale. Who wants a braking delay set at 250... or am I missing something? Does setting the Starting delay to 255 allow the 1/72 firman to light the fire and have a cuppa before setting off?
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 15 May 2006, 21:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does setting the Starting delay to 255 allow the 1/72 fireman to light the fire and have a cuppa before setting off?
Heh

"Hey George, the signals clear."
"Yeh alright, put the kettle on would yer."

When the first lot of specs were announced Hornby said the Elite could run 90 loco's, now its only 10... so the spec's for the system have gone down while the price has gone up.
 

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Something I have to add after thinking about this:

At London and Nürnberg Hornby was adamant that their system would be extremely simple. Their message was to "keep it simple". Not to confuse the market with technological hyperbole.

What do they say now:QUOTE ...taking note of both current and potential Digital users requirements and although both the Select and Elite already offered a great number of benefits over other less equipped systems on the market, more was demanded. Hornby have listened and taken positive action to enhance significantly the features offered, by dramatically changing the software of both the Select and Elite to cater for these additional requirements...
So now they are adding features. They are also doing it in a way that would bamboozle those that don't understand DCC. Cover up the news with specs and jargon.

The Select price is going up from £50 to £70 and the Elite from £100 to £140 (40% price increases). At the end of the day they are still cheap. I'm sure they will be good for the hobby and good for DCC fans everywhere.
 

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QUOTE When the first lot of specs were announced Hornby said the Elite could run 90 loco's, now its only 10

Hornby have always said that you can control up to 10 trains. By this they mean have 10 trains in operation at any one time. You can have 90 locos chipped and on the layout with 80 parked.

What percentage of modellers at home will be running more than 10 trains at a time?

A low percentage I would suggest.

It could be that Hornby have decided to extend the appeal of Hornby Digital beyond the home user and produce something that will have a significant appeal for clubs. What could be better than your local club adopting the same digital system that you have at home!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 16 May 2006, 07:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You can have 90 locos chipped and on the layout with 80 parked.
You can keep 256 loco's on the layout with the Elite - 60 with the Select. That's assuming you have enough boosters to supply the power. What's the point of having 256 loco's on the layout when you can only run 10 at a time though?

What percentage of modellers at home will be running more than 10 trains at a time?

0 if they use the Hornby systems!

To my mind Hornby's Elite makes a reasonable entry level system, having similar features to the other entry level systems. The Select is over priced at £70 for what it does, but neither system comes close to other mid range or high level systems.
 

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Since Hornby have risen the prices on the DCC select unit this actually makes the sets seem very cheap now for what you get.
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE (Jennings @ 16 May 2006, 11:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Since Hornby have risen the prices on the DCC select unit this actually makes the sets seem very cheap now for what you get.
Yes, the mixed goods with 2 locos (decoders fitted) and a Select unit is an absolute bargain.

Bought individually (pre 1st june prices):
Select: £50
08 loco: £46
Jinty: £42
2 decoders: £20
4 wagons: £20
Bonus: a bit of set track and mat
Total: £178
Set price: £105
Saving: £73
 

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I'm getting rather tempted to actually get the Pendolino set as long that doesn't increase in price. The train pack alone costs about £110 (Judging by internet prices as no rrp seems to exist in the price list) and for an extra £50 you get the Select unit, large amount of track, 2 decoders and whatever else Hornby adds in as well.
 

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QUOTE Bonus: a bit of set track and mat

The track mat if purchased seperately is about £7. The track if purchased seperately is about £14.

Nice bonus!


What are the odds on Hornby only selling digital sets in 5 years time?


Even money?

Analogue TV is being phased out in the UK and there will only be digital TV from 2012. UK Primeminister David Cameron will be enjoying a revenue windfall from the sale of the analogue spectrum. Hornby-Marklin PLC will have introduced DCCCC (Digital Computerised Cyber Command Control) and created a new world standard.

The word "analogue" will go the way of the dodo by 2020.

Of course there will always be a bunch of dedicated diehards lobbying for a return to the good old days! There is in every hobby. We are called collectors!


Happy modelling
Gary

PS accepting that these may not be fully detailed locomotives and may be based on the older moulds Doug is only valuing the Select unit at £50 so swings and roundabouts.

Really it is digital heaven and anybody who claims otherwise should visit their GP for a medical opinion!


PPS Doug - register www.dcccc.com now! Its future value will be assured!


Good heavens! Its already been registered!!!
 

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Jeff, thanks, it's done.

re: Gary's post above; do you think in 10 years time we'll have articles in mags by some minority group about how to REMOVE decoders from RTR models?
 

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I would make one caveat about the "all inclusive" digital sets. Make sure that Hornby have not followed the same path they use for Scalextric which is to "strip out" the features of set cars compared to their "standalone" counterparts. There is a possibility that they could strip out lights and other features like that to save themselves money.

David
 

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According to the catalouge the Pendolino in the DCC set will have directional working lights which can be switched on and off from the select controller.
 

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QUOTE It could be that Hornby have decided to extend the appeal of Hornby Digital beyond the home user and produce something that will have a significant appeal for clubs. What could be better than your local club adopting the same digital system that you have at home!

I think it's unlikely that any club would consider using a basic system such as Hornby have come up with. They are far more likely to use an advanced system such as Lenz, Digitrax or even the new system by ESU
which looks pretty good.
Hornby are only really dipping their toes in the water with these controllers and DCC products. They still have huge advances to make to catch up with US and Continental manufacturers in terms of DCC technology. The UK market may not even want these extras as many contributors to this forum state that cost is their overriding concern rather than build quality or digital features. If that is the case we may not see digital sound take off. It will be interesting to see how the Bachmann digital sound diesels sell?
It's a real shame they didn't do steam engines as these may have been more popular.
 

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Hornby's (and Bachmann's) sets tend to be good value, whether DCC or not. Shame about the price increases on the kit. I'm undecided on the DCC debate, perhaps Bachmann's sound decoders in a Deltic will tempt me! It's not the cost, just the total agony of dismantling 200+ locos and fitting chips ...

It's great news that Hornby are coming into this market. What distinguishes them from their competitor is first rate customer service. Shame they don't have the same level of control over their costs - Hornby stuff generally is getting expensive, watch out for big RRP increases next year on everything ...
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
dwilson9, do you run your 200+ locos on your regular DC layout?

There must be quite a few that don't get run for whatever reason.

What most people do is add decoders to their favorite locos and work on from there. There is also the cost involved and it is possible to install cheaper decoders to those locos that are not being run on a regular basis. You don't need 4-function decoders in steam trains with no lights etc.
 

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I don't think sound is everything. I have over 20 loco's with sound, and my preference is to run a layout without sound. I still have a few more to install as the decoders are waiting in a drawer for me to be enthusiastic enough to install them. I strongly agree with Doug, buy a few decoders and get 1/2 a dozen loco's running under DCC, get to understand decoder chartacteristics CV's and how to get the best out of them, and then do a few more and so on. You must have a large layout dWilson9, my last had 900ft of track with three locosheds, and I only had 70 odd loco's on the layout. I think quality rather than quanity when it comes to running is most important. Poor runners under DC will get worse or not improve with DCC. For me DCC is the freedom to run your trains and locomotives realistically anywhere on the layout that has power. No more section switches, detailed mimic boards just freedom to run my railway the way I want.
 
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