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DT
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Gary has produced a fine review of the Hornby Digital Mixed Goods Train Set.

These are probably the first images of Hornby's Digital Select system that are not pre-production mock-ups or computer generated graphic images. I'm looking forward to testing this myself in a few weeks.



Click here for the review
 

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That power clip may be unsightly but it looks like it could be much more reliable than the clip they used in previous sets. Parents will appreciate the change.
 

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Thanks for the review. Quite interesting although I have no intention of going 'DCC' at the moment.

By coincidence a catalogue from 'the Entertainer' chain of shops was put through the letterbox yesterday and features this set amongst three others. Unfortunately it describes it as 'DDC'
and it's all of 5p cheaper than Hornby's list price.

Regarding the power clip: Hornby now do the power track R8206, originally supplied with the live steam sets, as a separate item and which is a much more discrete connection to the track. Looks a bit like an extra-large 'hot-box' detector, perhaps? Can Gary tell us if the RFI suppression capacitor has been left out of the power clip?

Regards,
John Webb
 

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This clip has R8210 on the bottom and is soldered to the track. There is no visible suppression unless it is in the clip box which cannot be opened. The set locomotives each have suppresion.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Thanks for that. It sounds like this is a development of the R8206 track - this has a suppressor capacitor across the track in between the rails covered by a little plastic cover moulded to look a bit like a short wooden walkway.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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QUOTE It sounds like this is a development of the R8206 track - this has a suppressor capacitor across the track in between the rails covered by a little plastic cover moulded to look a bit like a short wooden walkway.

It has the moulded walkway but no suppression under.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I bought one of these sets at Weymouth Model Railway Exhibition last weekend. I couldn't resist as Buffers of Axminster were doing them as a show special for £99.

Although I am already a DCC user (ZTC 505), and use Marklin Digital (The MFX Central Station), I have to confess to being a bit of a Hornby fan, and I wanted to have a look at the new system.

Gary's review is excellent. I have just a couple of points to add:-
I've noticed that the locos both emit a high pitched noise when stationery on the track, even before being addressd. I'm a litle concerned that this may be a feature of the Hornby Decoder. I've yet to try the locos with the ZTC. I'm hoping that the Hornby Decoders are silent when not in use, in which case with back EMF I would consider using them, particularly as Buffers will be selling them for just £7.50 each.

The second point is that there doesn't appear to be any obvious way of cutting power to the track other than by unplugging the unit. Pressing the red stop button stops all the locos, but the track is still live. Bit worrying this, as I like to use the safe practice of cutting the power before adding or removing locos from the track. To be fair, this could be remedied by installing a DPDT switch in the power lead.

I know there has been some negative comment about this set elsewhere on the forum, but I have to say that I rate it as excellent value for money. The Select unit alone has an SRP of £70, I rate the Jinty as an OK model with a nice paint finish, the wagons again are nicely finished, the track with point is always useful, and the 08 is quite suitable for driving lessons for our 5 year old!

For many people 59 locos and 40 points or accessories is going to be ample. Making the Select suitable for quite large layouts, when paired with an uprated 4 amp transformer. Once you get used to it, the operating logic is quite easy to remember as well. Thought it was interesting that the transformer output is 15 V DC, so the Select is converting DC to AC!
 

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It is interesting to note the changes Hornby have made to accommodate DCC, though I note the fitting of flanges to the centre drivers of the Jinty is not one of them


There is one point I think should be clarified - the point which comes with the set is not an electrofrog point. The point frog like a certain well known "Norwegian Blue" parrot is definitely dead. I have spent some time reviewing Allan Gartner's wiring for DCC page to see if I could find a more appropriate term and have discovered that it is not "power routing" either.

On reflection, I think the best description for these points once they have had those little spring clip thingies installed is "Non-isolating".

David
 

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QUOTE (ashleyh @ 4 Nov 2006, 13:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thought it was interesting that the transformer output is 15 V DC, so the Select is converting DC to AC!
I think all DCC systems work that way --- given the difference in frequency this is inevitable. Although my Compact takes an AC input, it will be rectifying and filtering that to produce DC from which it creates the DCC signal. Several systems document that they will accept either DC or AC input.
 

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It's my understanding that the DCC signal is piggybacked on to an AC output, so it just seemed odd that Hornby are using a DC transformer as input. Certainly my ZTC will only take an AC input, but I am aware of other systems that wil take either.

But it was just an observation, and is unimportant, other than it means that I do not have a meatier 4 amp PSU to try it with, as all mine are AC.
 

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QUOTE the point which comes with the set is not an electrofrog point

Good point. Electrofrog points work differently to the non isolating points in that current must always be fed to the toe end of the point. This is not the case with the Hornby non isolating point and power can come from any direction. This is how Hornby manage to electrify a whole layout from one power terminal and for the beginner seems to simplify things considerably!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>for the beginner seems to simplify things considerably!
Indeed! I spent several minutes wondering whether there were crossover configurations where a non-isolating point could produce a short but didn't think of any.

>Electrofrog points work differently to the non isolating points in that current must always be fed to the toe end of the point
That's because the two rails of the "non turnout direction" (I can't think of a better term) are both at the same polarity - i.e. they are shorted together. Allan Gartner's "wiring for DCC" website has plenty of detail on wiring electrofrog points and covers most of the main brands. You can find a link in the DCC - Links section of this forum.

David
 

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QUOTE Indeed! I spent several minutes wondering whether there were crossover configurations where a non-isolating point could produce a short but didn't think of any.

Thats nice to know. I wonder how long Hornby spent doing this?

It does seem like somebody in the white coated "Q Branch" boffin room at Hornby had a moment of genius with this idea.

The clips are available as an accessory R8232 Hornby DCC Electric Point Clips in packs of 20 for about £2.50 and can be inserted in to any Hornby point. I have a sneeky feeling they will also fit Peco points aswell. They are to convert Hornby points for use with Hornby DCC.

It solves the age old issue of requiring two seperate isolated controllers to control the inner and outer tracks on an oval that are linked with a pair of standard Hornby insulating points. This for me is a massive Hornby Digital selling point and I am suprised Hornby don't make more of this.

For the Hornby customer new to DCC it does seem to make putting Hornby DCC layouts together so simple so well done Hornby!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>It solves the age old issue of requiring two seperate isolated controllers to control the inner and outer tracks on an oval that are linked with a pair of standard Hornby insulating points. This for me is a massive Hornby Digital selling point and I am suprised Hornby don't make more of this.

I agree. A short video demonstration showing how a few trains can travel over the same tracks through a station without masses of wires and switches would be powerful. I would think that even hardened DCC sceptics might think again when they realise the operational possibilities.

David
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm missing the point of this 'discovery', but I maybe glazed due to solving this with DCC quite a few years back?

What was the DC problem?

With DCC this is a no-brainer, but if the inner circuit is wired with reverse polarity (because of a reversing loop perhaps), it could cause a problem. A reversing module soon fixes it though.
 

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QUOTE What was the DC problem?

The DC issue is that you need a seperate power clip per oval so those using R1, R2 and R3 ovals would need 3 power clips with each clip linked to its own controller. If you set both DC controllers live when switching a train over from R2 to R3 then you get a short circuit.

Those using the Hornby Digital system with the non isolating points no longer have to worry about any of this.

Techies should remember that Hornby users like things to be very simple and they are extremely unlikely to install a seperate wired bus. This solution literally means that only one power connection is required across the entire layout even on those sections such as reverse sidings. This is a big big selling point!

Its a fantastic solution to an age old DC wiring and control arrangement.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>I'm missing the point of this 'discovery', but I maybe glazed due to solving this with DCC quite a few years back?

That is the point. Not every one "gets" the DCC thing without a demo.

David
 

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Looking at that layout design you have a figure of 8 situation on the inside radius circuit.

That is a layout design which would require some form of isolation between the outer and inner radius IF you connect both parts of the figure of 8 to the outside radius on the same side.

And you would need to incorporate a reverse loop module it seems to prevent a short circuit.

Figure of 8 layouts are shown in the Hornby Track Plan book.

It will be VERY interesting to see what plans are in the next Hornby Track Plan book which promises to embrace digital layout design.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I am going to have a play and make some weird and wonderful shunting track formations that I have never made before because of the DC complications. Lets see how I get on. Pictures here later.

Happy modelling
Gary
 
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