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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I'm tempted but haven't read many opinions about the unit. It all seems fairly low key. No big announcement from Hornby, no reviews in the mags (surely they would have been the first to get review samples), not many postings about them.

Is this becasue everyone who's bought one is happy, or is everyone holding off (like me) to compare it with the forthcoming Bachmann Dynamis ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Seen that - but it was done in the early days and I thought we might get some feedback from satisfied (or not) owners now they've had a chance to play with them.

I don't need the wireless capability of the forthcoming Dynamis, nor do I like the look of its thumb controller. I'd like to say I'm a knob man, but that might not come across well on here...............
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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I know what you mean!

I prefer the console type layout and like having the two control knobs.

For the price I think it's a very good controller, yes there are a few quirks, but it's still very useable and basically does what it says it's going to do.

IMHO it would be difficult to compare it to the Dynamis, you can only compare functions available and can it program decoders, and yes both have functions and both can program decoders.
Dynamis looks like it has more functions but then what do YOU need out of a controller?
I think both will have a market place, and everyone will have their own opinions on which is better, which is probably the wrong term to use.......which one they prefer would be better.

Wireless handheld function with joystick control, against console type layout with twin control knobs is operator preference and I wouldn't knock either of them for that.

Ian
 

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Simon Kohler of Hornby pointed Pat Hammond's MRE Mag readers in the direction of the Model Rail Forum review. It is a practical review designed to encourage and I know, talking to Simon, that these are the type of reviews Simon favours as all too often reviewers start going on about tech stuff that potential digital converts find a little scary and offputting and Hornby Digital has been designed to be user friendly with a large clear menu driven interface:-

Model Rail Forum Hornby Elite Review

Hornby's own forum has a lot of Elite info and feedback from users including a user who has hooked up a Lenz console to it. There has been comment on the function side of things in the Hornby forum and even suggestions as to how Hornby could upgrade their software to improve the user experience with this.

wiggy's comment about personal preferences above is valid and there is definitely a market for both the Elite and Dynamis and the two cannot really be compared but no doubt will be!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (dieselweasel @ 5 May 2007, 19:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well, I'm tempted but haven't read many opinions about the unit. It all seems fairly low key. No big announcement from Hornby, no reviews in the mags (surely they would have been the first to get review samples), not many postings about them.

Is this becasue everyone who's bought one is happy, or is everyone holding off (like me) to compare it with the forthcoming Bachmann Dynamis ?

We have obtained one for the purposes of developing a software driver for it for our SSI software: http://www.gppsoftware.com/ssi

Immediate observations/comments:

- It is about A5 size in footprint - smaller than I thought it was
- It's like using the H&M 'Duette' of DCC
- Simple and easy to use
- Rotary throttles are continuous which I think is good and enables easy passover over locos from one throttle to another
- Works fine with ESU decoders
- Can't seem to get TCS decoders to work
- Doesn't have feedback
- Control seems to be good
- Direction indicator points the wrong way (Simon Kohler advises this will be fixed in an upcoming firmware update)
- Easy to follow displays

All round, I'd say it is a pretty good mid-rangeish system.

Graham Plowman
 

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Thanks chaps. Gary - I've read the review, but this came out about a month ago and there seemed to be some "issues" that merited further investigation. And as this review states, its "first impressions".

We've got some confusion with the review too. It states early in the review that the software was upgraded to version 1.1, but at the end it says "18th April 2007 Update - Since the Hornby Elite review was prepared Hornby have released a firmware update (ver 1.1). Following the download of new software, CV values are now read back accurately. For visitors who wishes to update their Elite drivers there is a link to the Hornby firmware update in the review."

I have a friend who got the Select - which despite its shortcomings, still does what he wants it too. But for full compatibility should a visitor bring a loco, I want 2 and 4 digit addressing, the ability to write and read CV's, and the ability to use lenz, hornby and bachmann decoders (as these seem to be the most readily available, plus Loksound ones if I want to use SWD 's offerings, without any compatibility problems.

In this regard, i feel the Elite and the Dynamis both share these attributes, so they;re neck and neck on the features I want. I will compare price when they're both in the shops.

So, if anyone has a months worht of feedback, I'd be interested in hearing that ! And reading the above link, does this mean v1.2 is on its way ?
 

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nickb
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All,

I have had my Elite for a couple of weeks. I had previously migrated from Zero 1 to the Select, so my DCC transition was well under way once the Elite arrived.
Key points for me are as follows:
- very easy to use
- great being able to add the names of trains
- 3 amps delivers noticeable improvement in performance of locos and lights are brighter
- still getting used to the knobly feel of the rotary controls - prefer the smooth ones of the Select
- menu systems with the buttons and knobs are excellent
- I only have Hornby Decoders and two different Bachmann types - no issues whatsoever
- Am having some issues when assigning locos to control 1 or 2 - often have to enter twice as the unit reverts to last one used, or controller 2 picks up the loco on Controller 1 and then you have one loco on both controls - seems to me to be a software bug, unless I am moving the knob too quickly
- does not connect to the Selects using straight RJ12 cable/plugs, but there is a solution posted on this site for that which I am exploring
- when sitting next my Zero 1 Master of 1980 which could amzingly control 16 locos, this unit is so small, button feel is really nice, and can do so much more
- have had 8 locos including 2 power hungry Heljans running at the same time - no issue
- Sum up, for around £100 I think it's a winner
 

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In addition to the Elite manual now being online there are instructions for DCC conversions of a number of Hornby accessories including the turntable, conveyor belt and tipper.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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QUOTE (dieselweasel @ 6 May 2007, 17:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks chaps. Gary - I've read the review, but this came out about a month ago and there seemed to be some "issues" that merited further investigation. And as this review states, its "first impressions".

We've got some confusion with the review too. It states early in the review that the software was upgraded to version 1.1, but at the end it says "18th April 2007 Update - Since the Hornby Elite review was prepared Hornby have released a firmware update (ver 1.1). Following the download of new software, CV values are now read back accurately. For visitors who wishes to update their Elite drivers there is a link to the Hornby firmware update in the review."

I have a friend who got the Select - which despite its shortcomings, still does what he wants it too. But for full compatibility should a visitor bring a loco, I want 2 and 4 digit addressing, the ability to write and read CV's, and the ability to use lenz, hornby and bachmann decoders (as these seem to be the most readily available, plus Loksound ones if I want to use SWD 's offerings, without any compatibility problems.

In this regard, i feel the Elite and the Dynamis both share these attributes, so they;re neck and neck on the features I want. I will compare price when they're both in the shops.

So, if anyone has a months worht of feedback, I'd be interested in hearing that ! And reading the above link, does this mean v1.2 is on its way ?

I don't know about v1.2 being on it's way!!

I have sent an Email off to Hornby DCC help, just waiting for the reply, they just wanted more information on the issues I was having, they did take on board the functions issue though(bit long winded to operate functions, works as described but would make it excellent to have them a little quicker/easier to operate)
I also asked if it could be possible to program which functions could be a momentary action or switched on/off, I was told it would be looked into.

I don't have a months worth of feedback for you, is there anything specific you wanted to know? Maybe I could try some things out if you want.
I'm away in Germany for the rest of the week but will be back Friday.

Ian
 

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Unpacked my Elite today and as a first time DCC user I can confirm that it's more fun than a barrell of monkeys.But seriously, I found basic programming easy and things happen just the way the instructions say they will.
I have 3 locos DCC fitted so far, 2 of Bachmanns "on board" types and a Rivarossi 4-6-4 fitted with one of Hornby's tiny decoders, all now programmed with appropriate addresses. I also managed to muck around with acceleration & start voltage settings, just out of curiosity.
One thing you can't appreciate until you see it is the performance improvement that DCC seems to provide. My Bachmann 4MT Tank was a bit of a dog when running on DC but under the Elite's control it performs faultlessly, the obvious tight spot when running on DC has vanished and I can now make it crawl along smoothly, the Rivarossi 4-6-4 has been similarly revitalised.
Apparantly you can have 10 loco's on the go at once with this system, all I can say is good luck, I had 3 moving at once and the Elite may have been happy but I was a bit nervous, 2 loco's under control is fine but the 3rd is running around doing it's own thing until you call it up & tell it otherwise, it'll take a bit of getting used to.
The two types of decoder I have so far seem to have their pros & cons. The Bachmann decoders are able to accept a 4 digit address and appear to be a bit more advanced in the programming department, the Hornby decoder will only accept a 3-digit address and doesn't seem to do some of the tricks the Bachmann chip can.
On the other hand the motor output from the Hornby decoder seems to be a lot quieter than Bachmann's, I'm not sure if it's the Rivarossi motor helping Hornby's cause but the Bachmann locos emit quite a hum at low speed, it's not awful but it's there.
One thing, the Elite unit makes a fair bit of noise as well, I think it may be coming from the AC inverter, if your familiar with those 12v DC to 110/230v AC inverters used for powertools and so on ,you'll know the noise I on about. It may be just a DCC thing, or it could be Budget unit specific, Maybe someone with a more upmarket unit could shed some light on that point.
So, in sumary, if your thinking of going DCC, stop thinking and go and buy one. A couple of years ago I was a sceptic, now after only a few hours of playing with my new toy I'm wholeheartedly converted, it's better than I imagined it would be.
 

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hi,ihave the elite had it from day one, converted from zero1 after 23yrs,i can really recomend it, i use it with hornby,lenz,backmanand nce,or is that nec? anyway it handles them all no probs, im 71 and thick as aplank,but even i can programe cvs with it.
 
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