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This should make it clear what is possible.

This was set up with 3 non isolating points. I had to manufacture some Hornby DCC point clips. All points are Hornby. Both trains had independent control across the entire track from the one power connection on the "wrong side" of the point from a DC perspective. Never before have I had this type of experience without complex DC wiring and switching arrangements:-



It definitely takes railway modelling and track planning to an entirely new level!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Look closely at the position setting of the non isolating point spades in the picture above.

If these points were standard insulating or electrofrog then you would not be able to control the loco in the top left corner under DCC without some additional wiring.

Non isolating points enable this control to happen and with no extra wiring.

Happy modelling
Gary

PS why does every garden layout make me feel like taking up gardening!
 

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Isn't this though one of the big issues with DCC in the UK?


It hasn't been explained at all well over the last 10 years. Visit any digital exhibition stand and start speaking to the sale reps....

.....and then start scratching your head!

Why can't they simply show people with well prepared images what is possible without any wiring?


The average UK modeller is not keen on wiring and avoids it. It is a massive step to electrify a point for most UK modellers.

DCC has been an exclusive club for a few as a result. OK wiring will bring additional benefits but why introduce it right at the start?


A single image like the one below which shows just one controller connection (same as DC) and thats it should do a lot more to encourage the masses to think about DCC than 1000 words contained within a tech heavy document or words from a jargon heavy commentator or sales rep.



Let us not forget who Hornby are aiming their digital systems at.

People like me who like it simple!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I was pleased to see how well an analogue loco (on setting"0") ran simultaneously with the DCC equipped locos. However, the usual "buzzing" problem is present with the loco stopped.

The only small query is the time one holds the button down - sometimes it needs holding, for other settings a quick dab is all that is needed!

60134
 

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>The average UK modeller is not keen on wiring and avoids it.
whereas many layouts at exhibitions appear to have at least one member with a "wiring fetish" judging by some of the monstrous panels mounted at the rear of the layout.

David
 

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QUOTE whereas many layouts at exhibitions appear to have at least one member with a "wiring fetish" judging by some of the monstrous panels mounted at the rear of the layout.

When you are a member of a club you see it from the club/exhibitor perspective. Warley MRC have a wiring team that turn up every friday night (YES FRIDAY NIGHT!) and do nothing but baseboard wiring! If they can think of something to wire then they do it! If I meet any of you at the Warley Show we can talk further about this. I don't know what I am on the rota to do yet however they know I am a customer facing sort of person and not one to hide behind the barriers controlling the layout so I might be collecting your tickets at the door or encouraging you to buy a programme!


We digress from the almost wire free Hornby Digital!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Mark Thornton @ 5 Nov 2006, 19:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Non isolating points are undoubtedly convenient. Effectively the same as the practice of adding local wiring around each point (which also works with electro frog points).

I noticed the other day that hornby are showing these little clips on their website (although they appear to not actually be available as spares...)

I've got a bachman digital starter set here ready for sprog1 for Christmas - any idea if these are normal isolating points (certainly the old spare ones I've got will be). I'd have a look but SWMBO has wrapped it so I'm not tempted to play ;-)

Would be good to be able to convert them all to non isolating easily. Anyone selling a bag of these "clips"?

Darren
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 5 Nov 2006, 11:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>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.

Doh!

Somehow, I missed this while reading the thread :-/ Sorry.

No to find someone local stocking the things!

Darren
 

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QUOTE (dmchapman @ 6 Nov 2006, 20:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I noticed the other day that hornby are showing these little clips on their website.
Darren

Fleischmann have been doing this for around 25 years now - it would be nice to see a UK manufacturer getting ahead of the europeans sometime !

best regards
Brian
 

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QUOTE (ashleyh @ 4 Nov 2006, 22:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>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.
The AC from a power supply is a very different frequency to the AC used for the DCC signal. There is no correspondence between the two.

QUOTE Certainly my ZTC will only take an AC input, but I am aware of other systems that wil take either.
Your ZTC system, and almost anything else that takes low voltage AC, will almost certainly (99.9%) work just fine on DC. The only things that would not work are those that have an internal transformer (unlikely for a DCC system when you're using an external one) and require AC or those that require the AC as a source of timing pulses (again unlikely these days).

ALL command stations that take AC have an internal rectifier to give DC to power the electronics. This DC is then chopped up to form the DCC track signal.

It doesn't work the other way around, a command station that requires DC will not work on AC.

Andrew
 

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QUOTE (ashleyh @ 4 Nov 2006, 13:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>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 must admit I was certainly going towards the route of the hornby select unit until I read this, if track power is not cut then how do the locos manage to stop? Can one ever create dead track for programming decoders and how do you know that the track is live?
 

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QUOTE (Nick @ 7 Nov 2006, 19:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I must admit I was certainly going towards the route of the hornby select unit until I read this, if track power is not cut then how do the locos manage to stop? Can one ever create dead track for programming decoders and how do you know that the track is live?

A simple switch perhaps. You could probably use a resistor to limit the current on a 'programming' track.
 

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I think, though I stand to be corrected, that the locos come to a halt when the stop button is pressed because the speed control for all locos is effectively set to zero.

The reason that I believe the track is still live, is that I can still hear the high frequency noise from the decoders in the Hornby locos. With the ZTC, for example, pressing the red 'All Stop' button once brings all locos to a halt, pressing it again cuts the power to the track.

I would not want my observations to put off anybody buying the Hornby system, as it has genuinly impressed me, and If I was being perfectly honest, it would be suitable for controlling my entire 2 rail layout (with the 4 amp transformer though). It is quite simple to (1) install a switch inline with the track output to cut the power, and (2) as suggested by ZTC, wire in indicator lamps to clearly show when the track is live.

It is possible that there is a solution to this, does anybody else who has used the Select have anything to add?

Thanks also to Andrew (SPROGman) for clarifying my understanding on how DCC works. It does also confirm my fears that none of my existing higher output transformaers are suitable for use with the Hornby Select, as they all output AC, and it would appear that the Select does not therefore contain a rectifier, if I have followed Andrew's explanation correctly.
 

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Thanks for the response, have you actually tested the track with a voltmeter when the stop button has been triggered?

As long as the system seems to bring all the locos to a stop then that'll do.
 

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The Select manual states that when pressing the "Stop" button all activity on the layout will cease.

You then turn the control knob fully anticlockwise to zero.

The manual then states that you press "Stop" again to QUOTE restore power to the layout All locomotives remain stationary when this happens. To recommence movement you select each loco individually to control.

I would agree that there is a very small almost imperceptable buzz from the locos when the "Stop" button is pressed.

Maybe some clarification is required from Hornby.

Happy modelling
Gary
 
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