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How good are Hornby type 7 motors?

10284 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  DS239
Now that I have a few points, I would like a small tank engine to act as a station pilot or similar and I don't feel like waiting until the Bachmann Jinty comes out. Hornby have several ex LMS / LNER tank engines but I have no experience of the type 7 motor. My requirements are DCC compatible - I am on the point of taking the plunge - and excellent low speed control. The trackwork is all live frog Peco code 75 and I have got power droppers on every separate piece of rail; I am serious about low speed work.

So is the type 7 a 5 pole motor and is it any good?

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I thought the bachmann jinty was out in the middle of last year. It might be sold out by now but has to be better motorwise than the type 7. Just to clarify the type 7 is a small motor used in such things as the class 58, the old tri-ang hornby b12 and the pacer dmu. Probably best described as being long in the tooth.
Oh I wouldnt count on the type7 being DCC compatible either. The hornby jinty is going to be offered in a dcc set so I may be wrong or they might be remotoring it.
To be honest, I know the type 7 is an old, cheapy motor, but it performs admirably in my class 58 (running standard DC). From my experience, it has excellent slow speed control, compared to my other Hornby models with 5 pole ringfields in (e.g class 47).
Surely at the end of the day its all down to pick up and gearing and would I be right in saying it is better to question this rather than the motor?.

If you want slow running then appropriate pick up and gearing are essential. Manufacturers must be aware of this. And wheels also are critical if you are running on code 75. You are probably going to have to change the proprietory wheels as they may not work on Peco Streamline points and then the workmanship is down to you and not the manufacturer as you will be tampering with pick up and possibly gearing if the wheels fitted are of a different diameter.

And the quality of the track laying is a key factor when operating locomotives. Too many people jump up and down and blame the running qualities of the loco on the manufacturer when it may well be down to the track.

Even so called poor motors mentioned here seem to run perfectly well when using my old H & M Duette controller which has a variable resistance switch and a current wave switch. No motor is poor (in my view). It is the contoller that is poor and a good one with plenty of adjustments for resistance (helping with fine control) and wave cycles (pulse to stop motor stalling) is all that you need. The issue here is that DCC does not appear to be able to replicate these features and you cannot operate electrical track cleaners with DCC suggesting DCC will never be able to replicate these features that are a big benefit of analogue control. I don't buy this "motor is critical" type discussion. If anything older motors are probably better engineered. And the old Hornby 0-6-0 chassis complete with central traction tyres introduced in the 1980's had such a good pick up due to its design that Hornby patented the design and the design is still in use to this day. Now for some reason Hornby did not use this patented design in the Class 08 and I blame the rivet counting mob for that. Notwithstanding this retro (money saving?) move by Hornby the little Class 08 shunter is a very good DCC runner and never stalls.

To answer the question about the Class 58 the gearing may be a little high for slow running with DCC however the motor and pick up are sound. You may need to change the wheels though for running on code 75 track and this may affect pick and performance as you might be forced to abandon the traction tyres (another DCC horror) which will impact pulling performance. However plenty of room to add weight.

So how would you adjust the gearing and what about the wheels?

Happy modelling
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Thanks for the comprehensive reply Gary.

The current situation is that I have laid a running length of about 12 feet either side of a pair of large radius points. Another path includes a scissors crossover. In so far as I can get a loco up to full speed and back to a halt before running out of line, my 6 coach Northumbrian train pack has so far behaved perfectly, forwards and reverse - there's nothing quite like reversing a 6 coach train at full speed for finding faults. I can propel a current generation Hornby Pullman and Bachmann Thompson through the scissors without mishap. The A4 continues to run until the last two wheels of the tender leave the wired area.

Of my older stock only the Lima Mk1s are definitely not going to work, I can hear and feel them running on the chairs. There is a hint of impedance with a Wrenn class 08 shunter through the frogs, probably because of tight back to back clearances. My original 1966 Britannia and short Pullman coaches don't appear to be objecting, but the wheels are wee bit dirty and there are few pickups.

Like you, my current controller is a Duette, but I want the freedom of control that DCC provides.

I think I will hold out of the type 7 motors and check again in the Bachmann 3F in non-DCC on board form; or maybe a Hornby Fowler tank.

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I have a couple of 58's that have the type 7 and i've DCC chipped them no problem. The motor sits aloft the chassis and has 2 tabs with the connecting wires soldered on. To chip simply solder grey and orange to these tabs, and black and red to the removed pickup wires.

The thing with the 7 is it's a small relativley low torque motor. As such Hornby have geared it right down so it spins like crazy even at low speed. This gives it quite good low speed control. It's also relativley quiet and, mostly due to the gearing, reasonably powerful.
The only problem i have is limited traction of the 58's chassis, and you can't open it up properly to put more weight in.
I have to admit the only thing I have with a type 7 (2 actually) is a class 142 nodding donkey. The other thing I have seen with it fitted apart from the class 58 is the networker and that looke like it drove one axle of one bogie as well. Does the class 58 do that as well or does it drive 2 axles?
The Hornby Cl.58 drives on 2 axles on 1 bogie.
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