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· Registered
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning all! can I pick someone's brains or tap into their experience.
Have been driven back into my shed from my garden rly to my 00gauge layout by awful weather. Completely ripped it out and decided to go DCC. After much deliberation went for the Hornby Elite. Fitted decoders to my locos, in some cases very old locos and everything works exceeding well. So well in fact that I decided to buy a hornby point decoder and that's where the trouble started. I cannot get it to work. Have read about making sure the capacitor is charged up etc. Have been back to shop and exchanged original but still no joy. Am using admittedly old Peco point motors. Is there something I am missing?

· Ian Wigglesworth
750 Posts
Firstly I would lay everything out on the work bench so you can see whats happening!
You can connect two wires from the Elite program track output directly into the decoder for the addressing, then just swap them to the main track output to test everything is working ok.

Does the motor work when you just put power directly to it?
That will prove the motor is actually working, the Hornby Points decoder has a built in CDU so it should have enough power to throw the point if its working.

Connect a motor to the first ouput and then follow these instructions:-

Elite and the Point Decoder R8216.....................................

The following should be of help…

Please note that the firmware version of the ELITE has no bearing on the following..

The following notes and procedure should help with the process of programming the Hornby point decoder with our ELITE controller.. For those of you who have used a SELECT controller to set up you points and now are experiencing "no response" please refer to the note in red at the end of this email regarding point address numbering translation between the SELECT and ELITE controllers...

ELITE controller.. Point Decoder R8216 Programming Procedure..

1, When the Point Decoder successfully programmes it activates channel 1 of the Point Decoder. This behaviour can be used as an indicator that programming has been successful. Connect a Hornby Point motor to the first channel output of the Point Decoder.

Ensure that you have the point motor correctly connected..

Red = +

Black = C

Green = - *

it is possible that this wire may be Brown or White depending on when your point motor was manufactured.
2, Set the point motor armature is set toward the coil on the motor with the white/green/brown wire. When the point motor activates it will throw the armature towards the coil with the red wire… there will be an audible click as it does this. This procedure is advised; as it will make it easier to tell when the point motor armature has been thrown… thus indicating successful programming.

3, Connect the point motor to the programming track and carry out the programming procedure as directed in the ELITE manual page 39.. ensure that you use "Reg" mode.. For an explanation regarding address ranges available for use with Point Decoder R8216 please see explanations below.

4, It is likely that the point motor will fail to programme on first attempt… (this is normal) after the initial programme cycle has been executed the ELITE display will show the message.. "Address".. Pressing the control knob (knob 1 in the example in the manual) 3 times in succession will repeat the programming cycle… repeat this action until the point motor is activated as described above.


Address Ranges..

The Point Decoder has four output ports that are set in a group of four consecutive addresses. The address range is 1-252.
If you programme the Point Decoder as any number in the range 1-4, e.g. 3, the 4 output ports of the Point Decoder will be allocated as addresses... 1, 2, 3, and 4.

If you programme the Point Decoder as any number in the range 5-8 e.g. 7, the 4 output ports of the Point Decoder will be allocated to addresses 5, 6, 7, and 8.

These batches of 4 addresses are often referred to as Groups. Therefore, Group 1 will be addresses 1-4, Group 2 will be address range 5-8 and so on. Up to a total of 63 groups possible groups.

Please refer to the attached text file for the full group/address range.

Why won't the Point Decoder programme on the first attempt when using my ELITE?

When I used a SELECT to programme the Point Decoders, all worked fine. Now I have an ELITE and it won't programme my Point Decoders.. what's going on?

The Point Decoder R8216 was primarily designed to be used with the Hornby SELECT unit. The SELECT does not have a dedicated programme output like the ELITE. This is a crucial difference when programming the Point Decoder R8216 with the ELITE. The SELECT output has a high current capability while the ELITE utilises a low current dedicated programme track output. In order to programme the Point Decoder the onboard capacitors that make up the point motor control output need to be charged. When a non-charged Point Decoder is connected to the programming track these capacitors will effectively sap all the power until they are charged. Since power is only applied to the programming track during the programming cycle, it may take several "goes" before the capacitors reach charge.. thus allowing successful programming.


1, pre charging the Point Decoder before attempting to programme can cut down the number of programme cycles needed to successfully programme the Point Decoder. To pre charge the Point Decoder, simply connect it temporarily to the main track output of the ELITE for about 7-10 seconds, then disconnect and carry out the programming procedure outlined above.

2, Also, if after pre charging, you temporarily connect a 50ohm 5watt resistor between the + (positive) of output port 4 of the Point Decoder and either of the programme output connections on the ELITE controller you will be able to programme the Point Decoder on the first attempt. The resistor maintains the charge on the internal Point Decoder capacitors as described above.

3, If you have programmed your point address range using a SELECT starting at 60 to 63, you will find that when connecting to an ELITE controller the points will respond to 57-60. i.e. your first point in the group is 57 not 60. This is because, early SELECTs pre firmware 1.1, allowed 60 to be used a the first number within the first point group. Version 1.1 SELECTs start the point numbering for the first point group as 61-64. This corresponds with the normal NMRA practice.. if you examine the attached text file you will see why the described numbering anomaly occurs.

Hopefully that should get you up and working.


· Registered
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for taking time to reply.
1) The motors are old but they work fine. Am assuming its exactly the same wiring to the decoder. i.e. a common return from each solenoid and each solenoid wired separately to the decoder.
2) It makes no difference if I programme the decoder via programme track or main track. The decoder is identified as acc address 0001 and will indicate a change of direction when the control is pressed. I presume therefore the decoder has been programmed and power is going to the decoder. However nothing appears to be going to the point motor.

· Ian Wigglesworth
750 Posts
Reading through that information, it looks like you have to program it on the program track using 'REG' mode.

Make sure you do this otherwise it wont program correctly.

Something seems amiss somewhere, and this is the second new decoder you've tried as well.

I can only recommend you check the wiring from the point motor, all 3 wires....that is if you have wired it like I do, by putting a short length of wire across two of the terminals on one side, this I use a the black common neutral wire.
On the other side you will have another two connections, I use red wire to one side and green wire to the other.

These 3 wires now go back to the accessory decoder into the first output, green and red to + and - terminals and the black wire to the centre common terminal.

Connect the decoder to the program track terminals of the Elite and follow the programming procedure, again making sure you are using the REG mode, keep doing this as described above until the motor moves.

When it asks for an address try putting in the first number of the next group so if the first set of 4 outputs is address 1 to 4 the first output address of the next group will be 5.

Make sure the address you are selecting is the address the point is connected to, obvious, but an easy thing to do!

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