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Hornby have announced today that they will be unveiling their new Digital Command and Control system to the public early in 2006, and more than likely this will have a first appearance at the London Toy Fair.

Now bearing in mind that Hornby have been fitting chip modules that comply with international standards to their locomotives for sime time now it is clear that the new Hornby DCC system will be compatible with existing standards.

Earlier in the week Hornby revealed that their new control system will be based on mobile phone technology and Doug has mentioned this in a topic in the Digital section at Model Rail Forum.

Now we can speculate that this suggests a wire free control module that resembles in size a mobile phone which then sends signals to a receiver that converts the message to a control command for the layout.

And we can also speculate that the whole DCC system might be wire free and module based with each module sending and receiving messages through the airwaves. Hornby have some experiance of this with their Scalextric "Challenger" car and their Thomas The Tank Engine radio control set.

This will make for a very quick and simple installation of DCC to any layout.

With the PC computer experiance that Hornby have with their Virtual Railway software it also seems likely that a PC based control set up will be one option that may well be available using bluetooth or some other form of banded signal.

All in all I cannot wait!

If any of you have any thoughts on this subject then you are invited to have a look at Doug's own views in the DCC section and offer your comments and opinions.

And I know that we have a number of friends from the USA at Model Rail Forum and these are the guys that are streets ahead of the UK and Europe in the digital control world so we would be very interested in comments from the folk who are digitally street wise!

Happy modelling
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