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DT
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I also recently bought a couple of the new Hornby stationary Points decoders.

They are reasonably priced, but it is possible to buy cheaper devices that do the same thing from other brands on eBay.

The Hornby R8216 Points decoder.


To access the screw terminals, remove the plastic covers.


The connections to the point motors and the connection to the track are on the sides.


The underside of the PC board showing the decoder chip on the left.


The top of the PCB showing the discharge capacitors.


Together with the decoder, you get a screwdriver for the terminals, a track connector for programming the decoder and wire to connect the decoder to the programming track. Very cryptic warning message too.


Some points of interest:

The decoder connects to the track for the DCC signal, but also for the power to switch the points motors. I suppose that the capacitors store the energy required to throw the points. Other points decoders that I'm familiar with, use a separate power source to not overload the track's current. I suppose that this is really designed for the train set market.

To program the decoder, you have to connect it to the track - removing all other locos and other points decoders first. Then you allocate it an address. Using the Hornby Select, you can give it an address of say 60 and the 4 points connected to it will then have addresses of 60, 61, 62 and 63.

Programming with the Elite will apparently be much the same, but Hornby advise using addresses starting with 0 (0, 1, 2 & 3).

This system of programming the accessory decoder from the track by assigning a decoder number means that the device can only be used with the Hornby DCC system. Other points decoders (at least the ones that I've seen) are set by holding a button on the decoder whilst assigning a bank of switches on the controller or points keyboard. This then links the decoder to the 4 or 6 or 8 subsequent switches in the bank linked to the decoder.

Update: At first I couldn't access the points decoder using my Lenz system, I couldn't program it, use it. I was using CV mode though.

If you use Register mode (Page mode may also work), you can get through to the decoder.

If you want the first numbered point to be 1, set Register 1 or Page 1 to value 1. If you want the first point to be address 5, set R1 or P1 to be value 2, and so on in increases of 4 to the desired point address and increases of 1 to P1 or R1. (Info found on the Hornby site posted by a user there).

In another way:

Register 1 value of 1, to control:
- Point 1
- Point 2
- Point 3
- Point 4

Register 1 value of 2, to control:
- Point 5
- Point 6
- Point 7
- Point 8

Register 1 value of 3, to control:
- Point 9
- Point 10
- Point 11
- Point 12

Register 1 value of 4, to control:
- Point 13
- Point 14
- Point 15
- Point 16

etc.
 

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The advantages of the use of a capacitor should not be overlooked and I did not appreciate that Hornby included 4 of these in the package. Would you say that it is possible to purchase four devices that do the same thing taking this into account for less money?

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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DT
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I couldn't read from or write to the decoder in Direct, CV mode using the Lenz system.

If Hornby have developed this to work on their system, I doubt that other point decoders will work with the Hornby system. We'll have to test that to confirm though.

Update: You can program it in Register mode - see first post
 

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From my experience the capacitors are absolutely indispensable with peco drives. And in this respect the the only decoder I know which has capacitors is NCE Snap-It
 

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Before shipping your console to a third party Doug, why don't you contact Hornby Customer Service and ask how you can programme the Hornby Accessory Decoders with a Lenz digital console?

If they say that it has been designed for use only with Hornby Digital consoles then you can report this answer back.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 20 Dec 2006, 12:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>To program the decoder, you have to connect it to the track - removing all other locos and other points decoders first. Then you allocate it an address. Using the Hornby Select, you can give it an address of say 60 and the 4 points connected to it will then have addresses of 60, 61, 62 and 63.

If this is the case (& with the H loco decoders ?) would it help to just use a DPDT switch to select DCC power/programming to running track or to "programming area" so you hand effectivly have a programming track ?
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 20 Dec 2006, 15:58) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If this is the case (& with the H loco decoders ?) would it help to just use a DPDT switch to select DCC power/programming to running track or to "programming area" so you hand effectivly have a programming track ?

Yes, if anyone is using this on a fixed layout, this sort of approach would be advisable. Taking the locos off is one thing, but you wouldn't want to have to unplug all the other stationary decoders too.

An isolated programming track is the way to go.
 

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By coincidence Hornby have today published an updated Hornby Select manual which includes a revised design for a programming track. Might this revised design permit Hornby accessory decoders to be programmed before they are incorporated into the main layout?

It does seem slightly odd that Hornby have produced a DCC accessory that is limited by design to use with Hornby Digital consoles only. If this is indeed the case it could be that Hornby feel that the appeal of this accessory would be among Hornby Digital users only.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE I can't access the Hornby points decoder with my Lenz system, I can't program it, I can't use it.

So Doug, you're saying the Hornby points decoder is not compatible with the Lenz system or any other system other than Hornby? Is that correct?


How big size wise is the decoder?


does it do four points?


How much did it cost you?
 

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Of course Doug you have the other option.............you could toss away all your other DCC kit and embrace the new Hornby system wholeheartedly and buy an Elite, maybe then your stationary decoders will work, you may regard this approach as radical !
 

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DT
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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 20 Dec 2006, 22:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>So Doug, you're saying the Hornby points decoder is not compatible with the Lenz system or any other system other than Hornby? Is that correct?


How big size wise is the decoder?


does it do four points?


How much did it cost you?


Update: You can program it in Register mode - see first post. So you should be able to use it with other systems as long as you can program directly to the device in Register mode.

The decoder box is about 100mm x 65mm x 30mm

The decoder switches 4 points

The R8316 points decoder sells in the UK for between £20 and £24
 

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QUOTE The decoder box is about 100mm x 65mm x 30mm

The decoder switches 4 points

The R8316 points decoder sells in the UK for between £20 and £24
It's not really that cheap per point it covers when you think that the Lenz LS 150 point decoder does six points for 38 euros. The Lenz is obviously NMRA compatible too.
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've fixed the last image that wasn't showing with the funny message on the cable.

No, not that cheap. LDT decoders are even cheaper and new unused Arnold S4 decoders can be found on eBay for about 20 euros.
 

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Just curious but what do capacitors cost these days or do the quoted prices include a decoder with a capacitor discharge unit to power the point motor?

The principle of installing alternative decoders seems to be that they are fitted within their own independantly powered elecrical accessory circuit. Hornby get over having to create this additional circuit by using the power from the track to power the point motor. For Hornby digital users using the track as the "bus" this advantage should not be overlooked.

To be brutally honest for those who have their own seperate wiring circuit for the accessory decoders then the Hornby Stationary Decoder unit may not be for you. And it could be that Hornby had this in mind when designing this unit which has been put together to keep it all very simple and track bus orientated for Hornby users.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 21 Dec 2006, 10:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just curious but what do capacitors cost these days or do the quoted prices include a decoder with a capacitor discharge unit to power the point motor?

The principle of installing alternative decoders seems to be that they are fitted within their own independantly powered elecrical accessory circuit. Hornby get over having to create this additional circuit by using the power from the track to power the point motor. For Hornby digital users using the track as the "bus" this advantage should not be overlooked.

To be brutally honest for those who have their own seperate wiring circuit for the accessory decoders then the Hornby Stationary Decoder unit may not be for you. And it could be that Hornby had this in mind when designing this unit which has been put together to keep it all very simple and track bus orientated for Hornby users.

Happy modelling
Gary

Capacitors are relativly cheap. The Hornby stationary decoder does appear to offer a good solution for those requiring CD units to operate their solenoid type point motors. I think there is at least one other staionary decoder that has a built in CDU. A very definate advantage for those using the track as the "bus". I was considering giving this unit a try, but don't know if you could inhibit the CDU itself so that it could operate point motors such as Fleischmann that do not like (or need) CDU's to operate them. I also have a few Fulgurex Slow Action type of the visible part of the layout. So, even if not suitable for me I'll give it a thumbs up !

Personally, I think CDU's are a nasty, horrible way of overcomming the shortcommings of nasty, horrible point motors & mechanisms - but that's another story. (Rushes off to put safety helmet on).

Regarding the comment on the that have their own independant supply I think that what we are now seeing is 2 different & almost separate markets - the "train set" market & the "top end" market & For once Gary & I seem to be in agreement on this point. There is nothing to stop using the track bus for most of these "altenative decoders", but it is generally prefered to wire them separatly as these layouts tend to be more extensive.

BTW - I am not in any way critical of the "train set" market - I used the tems to try to get my POV over.
 
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