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Whatever happens in the UK one thing is certain - Hornby will sell a huge amount of Hornby DCC equipment. It never ceases to amaze me when we attend exhibitions the amount of people that think of model railways as "Hornby" & are surprised to learn that there are other manufactures of UK OO model railways.

It may be that, although Hornby are now making the effort to produce DCC equipment that is truely compatable as regards NMRA standards it seems that they are still trying to be a little different (maybe to keep people tied to their equipment) with the gimmicky "fuel & water" feature. IMHO it really is a gimick, but it will almost certainly sell.

I will try out the new Hornby decoder - I'm not interested in the "fuel" feature, but it may be an option where space is tight.

FMZ did not fail as such, more a case that it did not become the market leader in DCC, don't forget that (to Fleischmann's credit) that it is still supported. Most of the people that I meet that use FMZ are "Fleischmann People" in much the same way that those that use Motorola are "Marklin People".

Johns quote of "It is too far into DCC's life cycle, for Hornby to dictate what a DCC system will be like" is very true & one wonders if the intention was to dictate & "lock" people into Hornby, if so, an error of judgement or lack of experience ?

Many people use the number of locomotives in their collection as a reason that DCC is not for them, due to the costs involved. Often people then do some housekeeping & get rid of indifferent runners & others that never get used for various reasons.

IMHO Hornby will only produce locomotives with factory fitted sound when they can do so at the price that will sell to their main market.

When it boils down to it many people who have no experience of DCC will go for the household name. You have to remember too, that there are many model shops out there that sell the household name but have no real knowledge of DCC at all. Is the household name holding any dealer courses ?

The next couple of years should be interesting for the world of DCC.
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 9 Mar 2008, 12:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>what´s with the "fuel and water"?

It's the fuel usage facility - I was not aware that there was NMRA specified CV's for it (thanks David). I can see the play value though now.

Myself, I go through phases with decoders - I started off with the FLM Twin-Decoder (manly because I had just attended the Factory Course), then Lenz, then ESU (but don't like the attitude of the UK importers), then back to Lenz.

I tried a couple of ZTC & did not get on with them.

Strangely, I have tried a couple of TCS & have problems with runaways which I find very odd considering how other people like them.

As I said, I will give the Hornby ones a try when I get round to it.
 

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QUOTE (BromsMods @ 9 Mar 2008, 21:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Were these the new versions with back EMF? If so, I'm suprised as they normally work out of the packet with no tweaking. Did the locos still have their capacitors intact?

Regards

John R
Bromsgrive Models

Hi John,

Yes, they are & there are definatly no caps fitted. Both Roco Loco's a CFL Series 900 Bo Bo Diesel & an SNCB ex DR44 2-10-0. Both would take off either full forward or reverse, sometime full reverse for about a second & then forward full, from the auto loops on SL - since posting I've had the thought that it may be due to the automation which simply powers off & then back on again. Lenz or ESU don't suffer from this.

We are using FLM Twin-Centres on SL.
 

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Thanks for the info' Richard - I'll give it a try.

I thought it may be something like that - too many people praise TCS decoders for it to be just the decoders - once they have "settled down" they are nice & smooth.

I have actually been looking at replacing the FLM Twin-Centres for a while. I very much like the look of the ECoS but two things put me off it ;
1) The need to keep updating it (just something I hate having to do in the world of IT & suchlike).
2) The attitude of the UK importers.

I may very well await to see what the Roco Multimaus Pro is like when it's available or go for a PC based system.
 

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Hi John,

The FLM Twin-Centre is indeed a rebadged Intellibox - they both operate in much the same way but have different protocol variations.

I've had a very quick play with the ECoS & am impressed with the unit, but not with the UK importers, so the latter will probably remove it from the short list - shame really. I can obtain ESU from elseware, of course, but would much rather have a UK contact for support (much in the way MacKay's support Lenz).

For SL I would prefer to use a desk type consul & also have to budget for two units !
 

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QUOTE (alanb @ 11 Mar 2008, 18:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>tonystrains.com in the States is selling it at the moment for $199 - that is £100 at to-days exchange rate on a credit card. Even if you paid the maximum £30 customs duty, you will still be quids in.

Despite what many people think the US version is a little different from the UK one & not just the horrid US power supply.

If you have any problems with the unit it will have to go back to the US - the UK importers only support the UK badged one.

We sell the GM version for a very competative price with full warranty, support & the chance to return the unit to us for a full refund in 7 days if you don't like it. The bottom line is not always everything.
 

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Alan,

As far as what the UK/US units actually do as regards to controlling train there is no difference.

The US power supply does not AFAIK comply with UK safety standards - that's what is horrid about it. I'm not going to start a discussion on electrical safety standards - bin' there, done that before & got flamed fo my troubles - and being a qualified electrical engineer who spends a lot of time on testing/inspection ......

Quote ;
'Isn't the Prodigy set up the one Gaugemaster have put their name to for the U.K. market to avoid having to get off their a**e and develop a system of their own, also typically U.K. twice the price as well.'

I'm temped to answer this, but will not - some of us are privy to information that has to remain confidential.

Quote :
Prices in the U.K. to-day - Gaugemaster £225 - Craven Models £212 - Hattons £199 - On Tracks £180. States £100.50. Need I say more.

If the bottom line is all important not really - but could you return it if you don't like it ? Or phone me in the evening for assistance ?

Brian
 

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Alan,

It's possible that later US versions of the Prodigy have a better/similar/same power supply as the UK one. Certainly, the ones I have seen in the flesh & on fleabay have been different, if it is indeed the case that later units have a CE marked PSU then I apologise.

Yes, there is a difference in prices & the personal preference for the colour of the handset is a factor to some, as is cars. I would be the first to admit that appearance is important - it's one of the reasons I would not consider Digitrax for me - I just don't like the look of it - to me it looks like it was built from a Maplins Kit.

I don't mind competition when the playing field is level, but of course it is not, even without the issue of what is cheaper in the US as far as overheads go. There is the question of evading VAT - take the chance if you want to, but if your goods are caught by the system, by the time you have paid import duty, VAT & the Postal "Service" for processing the paperwork.............. This is exactly one of the reasons why model railway items are cheaper for Australian purchasers direct from Europe than purchasing in Australia - evasion of import duty and/or VAT. Again, people can take their chances here as well as the possible problem is it goes pear shaped.

Now, please give me the courtesy of answering the question I have asked "Can you send it back after a week or so for a full refund (refund, not credit) if you don't like it ?" like we offer - you see Alan bottom line is cost, middle line is service & support.

Brian
 

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Alan,

We could go round in circles for ever bringing up this point & that point. For example I could point out that Tony's may have conditions & we don't, "face to face" sales included. As a trader I am fully aware of our obligations as to the law.

Best we agree to differ I think & leave it at that.

Brian
 
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