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DT
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Q: How many digital technologies do Hornby possess?

Q: Do you think that they will design a new system from the ground-up or reuse some of their existing technology?

Q: Will they produce a new system themselves or will they do so in collaboration with and existing DCC manufacturer?

Q: What are the possibilities that they may or may not produce a NMRA compatible system?

Q: Will DCC finally become a mass market commodity (amongst hobbyists) with Hornby producing components and decoders - thereby bringing the price down?
 

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DT
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4,794 Posts
I'll answer the first.

Hornby have 3 digital systems.

The first, Zero One, was the first digital system available. Proprietary to Hornby, gitchy and clunky. It was not a good system. At least they should learn from that mistake

The second is the Scalextric Sport Digital slot car system. There are some similarities but also some big differences. SSD is roughly based on DCC but is much simplified as it only needs to control 6 cars and no accessories. The encoding system is the same and the pulse widths for 1 & 0 are the same. However after that SSD sets it's own standards. There is a preamble followed by a continuous repeating stream using a single address for all six cars with the data being the throttle position for each car. There is then a simple checksum for this complete block of data. With the building blocks of this system developed by Generics of Cambridge, they could build a new DCC system from the ground-up.

The third, is the Arnold Digital System. A mid-market system, bought by Hornby as part of the Lima acquisition in 2004. Arnold was made part of the Lima group in 2001. More info in the Arnold system here. This system uses two buss systems: IIC-BUS which are compatible with some older Märklin Interfaces, and the XBUS which is basically an XPressNet connection (developed by Lenz).

I think if they had looked hard at the Arnold system, it could be a great foundation to any new and modern DCC system. It has everything that a modern system requires: good functionality, expandability, features, compatibility and is relatively economical.
 

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DT
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4,794 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Gary, where do you get the figure of '5 times' and how do you define 'mature'.

I think that plenty of Americans may use DCC, but that does not mean that they know all the answers. Their locos are big and square. Easy to take apart and to chip. So easy in fact that sound decoder chipping is a no-brainer.

The size of our European locos mean that we have to struggle a bit harder and use other methods to get things to work.
 
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