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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm failing miserably at configuring a Hornby Surface Mounted Point Motor via a Hornby Point Decoder and a Hornby Elite Controller.

Can I firstly check that I am trying to set this up correctly. I've got a length of track setup as the Programming Track and the Elite Unit is conected to the track via the "Prog" connectors on the Elite Unit. The Point Decoder is then connected to the track via another (DCC) track connecter. The point motor is then connected into Port 1 on the Point Decoder (Red = + / Black = C / Green = -). The motor eventually appears to programme OK after a few attempts - you can see and hear the solonoid operate. However when you change over to the live track and try to operate the point motor, nothing happens.

Can anyone tell me if this sounds like I've got a faulty component or is this something to do with the motor not getting enough power from the track?

Thanks in anticipation.
 

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Take a look at this youtube video from Dave who was having big probs with the surface mounted point motors and eventually got them to work with the elite.

 

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hi paul - im not familiar with the hornby points decoder - i am familiar with fleischmann and lenz decoders and they all work on a similiar principal.

on the german decoders, it is possible to adjust the length of the time the electrical pulse to the motor lasts for - does the instructions for the hornby decoder mention anything about this? some motors seem to need a longer pulse of energy than others - i dont know why, but if your pulse or on time is adjustable, id set it to a longer "on" or pulse. enough time for the motor coils to be energized and have the power to throw the magnet inside and the attached levers and point linkage so it switches your point.

can i also suggest you also try just operating the motor on its own without it attached to the point (ie - with no load on it) and with the decoder plugged into the main running rails to pick up power and dcc signals. if the motor operates/switches/moves without a load, it suggests that

1/ either the motor isnt getting enough power or a long enough pulse to also operate the point.
2/ the motor itself maybe faulty - not making enough power to throw the point - try another motor.
3/ check that the point isnt tight/sticky/stiff and stopping the motor from throwing it.
4/ the pulse time from the decoder isnt long enough and needs to be adjusted.
5/ try plugging the motor into a different outlet on the decoder in case one outlet isnt providing sufficient energy to drive the motor and point.
6/ check that the part of the main track where your decoder is plugged into is energised and live permanently and not being isolated by a point! esp the point u are trying to switch. use the live point clips that hornby supply or another method to make sure all tracks are live around your layout as hornby points as supplied out the box are self-isolating.

good luck and hope u stumble on something. - dont give up on it - im sure its something straightforward and next time it happens ull have the answer to hand!

let us know how u get on!.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your post DB Ice 3.

There's nothing in the instructions with regards to CV Settings and I can't see anything on the WWW so am unsure whcih CV I can alter if any.

At the moment I've got a couple of straight track pieces with the DCC connection to the Elite Unit and a DCC Track Conncector connecting the Point Decoder to the track. I haven't got the Motor connected to any points yet.

When programming the motor it will only do anything if you start with the arm sticking out of the motor. During proramming the solonoid willmove the arm into the motor housing. It won't do it in reverse.

Whilst connected to the live track it won't pull the arm in or push it out, nor does it make any noise.

As I'm just starting up with DCC and indeed Model Railways I've only got one Point Motor and one decoder whilst I try them out and plan what I'm going to do. I'm loathe to buy any more motors if this si thr trouble that they are going to cause. However, I guess a second motor will be the only way that I can confirm what if anything is at fault.

I saw something on the web about setting CV8 to 8 to do a factory reset. Not sure if this is just appropriate for a Loco Decoder or if it should work on both. However, I've tried this and it didn't make any difference. The value it was initially set to was 255 so I guess you can't alter CV's.
 

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hi again paul ...

dont despair with this - its all fixable but just needs a little time and a process of elimination to find where things are going wrong.

dcc is great, this is all part of the learnign process and next time u get hit with an issue like this, ull know how to fix it and maybe even help others - it may not seem that way right now whilst yr trying to get your point motor working tho.

the problem i think lies either with

1/ the accessory decoder itself - it cud be faulty.
2/ the accessory decoder is not correctly programmed.
3/ the point motor could be faulty.

id imagine the most likely issue is no2. or no1. point motors are very simple devices really esp the hornby ones and least likely to be the prblem here altho it cant be ruled out.

do you have access to a model shop selling hornby digital reasonably nearby that you cud take the decoder and the motor to and have them check them both out?

something i didnt ask you to check earlier - is the setting for the accessory decoder on the output that the point motor is connected to ... is that output programmed to operate a point motor (ie just a burst of power) and not programmed to operate a colour light signal? (ie a continous flow of power in one direction? - that wud explain the motor only operating in 1 direction) and if you v had it set this way for some time trying to solve the problem, it cud have burnt out one of the coils in the motor by supplying it with continous power - explaining why it will only work in one direction!.

the outputs on accessory decoders can operate (but need to be programmed) to supply either a burst of current or continous supply depending on what is plugged into them. supplying the point motor with continous power will burn out the coils if connected this wy for any length of time - even as short as 10 mins cud burn out a point motor!
 

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Are you using Hornby points or another brand. I have found that neither Hornby point motors not Peco point motors can activate Peco points (unless you have at least 20V/6A power available). Hornby point motors work fine with Hornby points, provided you have enough power. I use a Lenz LS150 decoderwith a TR100 transformer(16V 45 VA = 3 amps) and that just throws the points. The Hornby decoder takes its power from the track and unless you have at least a 3 amp transformer connected to your Elite, it will battle to recharge the CDU after the points are thrown and might even reset the Elite. This is a common problem with the Select controller(elsewhere on the WEB), but should not happen with the Elite, but just bear it in mind.

The point motors have different impedeance in different directions; so in one direction it needs more or less power than in the other direction. If your supply is marginal, then it might work in one direction, but not the other. Also ensure you use wire that can carry the amps and does not have too much resistance and keep as short as possible.

I have given up on using DCC controlled points and use a seperate hardwired system with CDU to the points. The decoder route is too complex for my grandson on his Dynamis controller. Now has has a bank of switches, each controlling a set of points.

When connection the decoder to the track, make sure it is on the same live section of the track as the Elite and when installing on the main track, make sure you have installed point wires on all points to make all points 'live'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi DB Ice 3

If I understand correctly what you are asking, the accessory decoder is connected to the track which is inturn connected to either the Prog or Track Outlets on the Elite Unit.

I can't see any setings about continuous or burts of power, but I'm guessing that it's fixed at bursts of power.

To try and narrow things down I ordered another Point Motor last night which should be with me in the next few days. Hopefully that will point me on to the next course of action. I think at this stage it's looking more and more like the point motor is faulty. Hopefully the second point motor will prove that.

Thanks.
 

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Got the second Point Motor and guess what It did exactly the same as the first. I've tried everything suggested in this forum and the Hornby DCC Forum, all to no avail.

I've logged a call with Hornby Tech Support to see what they've got to say. If I get no joy there I think I'll return the whole lot for a refund.

Whilst looking at this problem I have come across a few other people with exactly the same symptoms, so I wonder if there is some inherrent incompatibility between the Elite Controller, R8216 Decoder and R8243 Motor. Is anyone else out there running this combination successfully?
 

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Hi had the same proplem but useing Bachmans decoder so I went down the Master switch route see Richard Johnson pages it is I think manly a power proplem as said by others looking to use a seperate power supply may cure your proplem try a ex laptop supply which put out about anything from 3amps to 4.5 .

regards and the best of Luck Noel
Code:
 

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Hello Paul, I have 15 Peco surface mount point motors & 4 Hornby R8216 Decoders but I am using a Dynamis controller.
On some of the web sites & also Hornbys there is something about there being 2 types of R8216 which are set up at the factory differntly,so that may be the cause of your problems.
How many Decoders have you? When you are trying to set up the decoders you must only have 1 Decoder connected at a time,all others must be disconnected (thats the 2 power leads).

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Alan
I've only got one decoder and I don't really want to buy another one if none of them are going to work.

I'll see what I can find out about the two different types of R8216.

Thanks.
 

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Paul, I think I may have misled you a bit,I couldn't remember exactly what it was about the R8216 but just had a look at the Hornby site & it was to do with the R8216 & the R8247 which are similar decoders,in fact I can't see why they have the 2.

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It would appear that the R8247 is similar to the R8216, but the four outputs of the R8247 are factory set for the operation of solenoid (point) motors, however, by adjusting the CV settings of each output a graduation of varying "bursts" of current up to a constant current (turntable motor operation, lighting, etc.) can be obtained for each individual output.
 

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*** Hello Paul

I've watched this thread in the hope that one of the members who've experienced and fixed the same problem would come in...

The problem is really simple.... but it also means that the hornby recommendation to attach a point decoder to the rails to gain its point throw power is a flawed concept I am afraid. I would return the items purchased so far and re-think the whole point control thing first.

1/The point motor is very current hungry. It actually needs more than the Elite can actually deliver comfortably. With each coil at a little less than 4 ohms impedance. using ohms law and presuming about 16v rail voltage which is typical of the hornby Elite, that means that the point motor needs 4 amps to throw properly.

2/The point motor itself isn't all that efficient mechanically. It really needs a wee bit of lubrication. Plain old vaseline does the job well, applied to the slug that moves.

3/The mounting of the motor is critical - it must be mounted at exactly the right relative angle to the blades to allow equal throw pressure to apply left and right.

4/ Heavy wire is needed for ALL power carrying connections. Forget the wimpy stuff that model shops usuallysell - when it comes to this sort of application most have no idea of reality at all I am afraid.

Take a look at the twin wire that probably connects your 240 volt bedside lamp to the mains plug. Wire should be NO lighter than this, preferably a bit heavier in fact.

This wire weight has nothing to do with current carrying ability and everything to do with preventing voltage drop.... because when a wire carries an instant high current, especially as a pulse as per the outut of the point decoder, then its internal resistance comes into play much more heavily than when carrying a low load and voltage drop will always happen. With fine-sh wire (say 16/.02) of anything more than a metre, it becomes quite significant. Over a couple of metres it will be 15~20% or more.

To avoid voltage drop when power is needed you therefore need heavy wire.

So: Conclusions.... The Hornby concept is flawed, both because points should never leach power from a DCC track bus and because there is not really enough capacity there anyway.

I have some summary comments:

1/ Be sure you really WANT to operate points with DCC - its a very different thing having to press 3 or 4 buttons on a controller to just flicking a switch on a panel

2/ If you do want to use DCC for points, then choose the Peco PL10W motor as its higher impedance and needs less power, and use an accessory decoder that connects to the track ONLY for the DCC signal... and takes its power totally separately for the point throw.

3/ If your points still have trouble, or you want a method that will give easy control, panel lights to show which way they are thrown etc, plus very positive point throw, then read these threads.

http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...?showtopic=8164

http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...?showtopic=6074

Regards

Richard
 

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hi again paul,

iv been away and sorry to read your continuing to have problems with your points control. dont give up on dcc if you like the idea, there are lots of successful running layouts using dcc to control points and signals and other accessories - but it sounds like hornbys system (they are new to the dcc game) might not be the best - you shudnt be having this much trouble from the start.

id take the items back to the shop you bought it from and ask them to set it up in front of you - working and ready to go - decooder programmed and u can see the point swtiching. if they wont or cant do this, it might be an idea to ask for a refund and start again!.

viessman and some other german companies make some very good and reliable accessory decoders that connect to the track to pick up the dcc information and have a separate input for electrical power - an excellent idea given the amount of energy needed to drive points. (as richard mentions in his response about power requirments). the fleischmann and marklin controllers can switch automatically not just one point, but a whole route of points at once and they do work!.

good luck with this, let us now how you get on!.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hornby DCC Support got back to me and other than connecting the decoder directly to the PROG and TRACK ports they couldn't suggest anything else that could be wrong. They therefore gave me a Freepost address to send it back to them for checking / replacement. The Decoder is therefore in the post to them now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Heres a copy of a post on the Hornby Forum

PROBLEM SOLVED! From 14,000 km across the world. I got a response from Hornby Tech. In brief here it is. The R8216 was designed for the Select, not the Elite! (The R8247 is designed for the Elite). The Select programs at a higher voltage than the Elite (in program mode). A capacitor within the 8216 needs several programing 'pulses' to charge up (in programming mode power is only applied during programming). Connect everthing up as described and program as on page 39 of the manual. If the point motor does not kick (and it will not!) press the control wheel 3 times (this will run the programming mode again) Eventually the capacitor will charge up (it took me 7 shots of pressing the contgrol wheel 3 times) but it worked and is now working perfectly. If anyone wants the full Hornby email, email me at [email protected] and I will forward it. Why on earth Hornby do not put this on their web site I do not know. Aussie Pete
 
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