Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Model Rail 32 Page Hornby Digital Magazine has just dropped through the door.

Hornby keep it relatively simple with the whole presentation built around connecting the controller to the track with a simple Hornby R602 track power clip.

There is a 2 page article on "Select" or "Elite"

Then a 4 page article on operating with Hornby Digital. It refers to the hours spent carefully wiring up an analogue layout and scabbling about on the floor trying to sort wiring problems. Hornby say that with Hornby Digital these wiring horrors are a distant memory.

There is a good 4 page article on installing chips into small locomotives (overtechnical though?).

And a 4 page article on how to configure a Hornby Class 50 to run with DCC (again filled with jargon).

And in the mag there is a two page article on installing lights into a Hornby HST operating with DCC.

The Hornby bit is nice a simple with presentation that even I can understand. The small loco and Class 50 articles are a bit technical. Hornby may need to improve on this else they will loose their audience however this section should satisfy DCC incumbants.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
DT
Joined
·
4,794 Posts
Looking forward to seeing this.

Hornby's attitude towards DCC will be a factor determining the future of the model railway hobby over the next decade or two.

I hope that they drive it on and get young kids involved as well as trying to coax the older gents who are more set in their ways to look toward new technology to improve the running of their layouts in a far more protypical manner by using DCC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I started using DCC about five years ago with a 00 layout. I have had a short break to build model boats and have returned to the hobby to build an N gauge layout once again using DCC.

In my experience the main hurdle in going over to DCC is that the vast majority of local dealers are not only totaly ignorant of the subject but also they simply do not want to learn about it and given half the chance they will have nothing to do with it. As a result they disseminate completely false stories about the drawbacks of DCC and prevent a lot of people who would otherwise convert from doing so.

I have just put four DCC chipped 00 locos for sale on Ebay as my local dealer would not accept them in part ex against Farrish N gauge stock simply because they have been fitted with DCC chips and he does not know anything about it. I would stress that I have been a customer of this particular shop for the best part of twenty years and have never had any problem in part exing before as the shop invariably get the better of the deal, which I have not minded as it saved me the hassle of selling them myself.

But perhaps it is now time to change my allegiance as I have found that I am able to get ready chipped locos from a shop a couple of hundred miles away for the cost of a telephone call and postage that are probably cheaper than the petrol money to my local shop in the first place.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
QUOTE And in the mag there is a two page article on installing lights into a Hornby HST operating with DCC.

The Hornby bit is nice a simple with presentation that even I can understand. The small loco and Class 50 articles are a bit technical. Hornby may need to improve on this else they will loose their audience however this section should satisfy DCC incumbants.

I will have to get this as I am intending to do a conversion on one of these at some point. Trouble is we don't get the mags till two months after thay came out in the UK.

So Gary, do you think you might be convinced to try DCC?


You might be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to use.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE I have just put four DCC chipped 00 locos for sale on Ebay as my local dealer would not accept them in part ex against Farrish N gauge stock simply because they have been fitted with DCC chips and he does not know anything about it.

So true. If you are selling a loco with a chip fitted to a dealer then take £10 off the value! Currently it will sit on the dealers shelf gathering dust as customers looking at it will pass.

QUOTE So Gary, do you think you might be convinced to try DCC?

I already have the Bachmann E-Z Command set up and that has convinced me from an operational viewpoint. Even the kids liked playing with trains when they can run several trains at a time so this has to be good from a family view point if my experience is anything to go by.

So no need to convince me as long as the price is right!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Its really a nice little booklet with plenty of ideas and information for beginner and those starting out in DCC too.

I was amazed to open the booklet and see on the first inside page a full page advert of Fleishmann!

The picture on the front cover is cover with the added steam and smoke trails from the parked locos. Bout oh dear looks like a serious incident is about to occur! The signal is showing a green but a diesel hauled train is heading to opposite way and lookout the diesel shunter is foul of the line too Aghhhhh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
Having read it, seemed like a useful booklet. One strength was that it was by no means a "only one brand" exercise - the articles on fitting decoders mentioned several brands, not including Hornby

Someone already in the hobby with no previous contact with DCC could at least get some idea of what is involved and the products , players and prices (if only from the wide range of adverts)

Interstingly the Hornby decoder is said to feature Back EMF and 4 digit addressing. At the price they are indicating , this could make it very attractive to those under financial constraints
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,592 Posts
I agree with this but Hornby have subsequently stated this decoder will using a 2-3 digit range. I think this is avoid removing sales from the more expencive range of decoders available from Lenz. What ever for the money it remains a good product and suitable for many smaller DCC layouts.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
QUOTE I agree with this but Hornby have subsequently stated this decoder will using a 2-3 digit range

Where have Hornby said this?

I refer to this latest Hornby press release:-

http://www.hornby.com/pages/nws_det_press....?NewsItemID=541

If Hornby are having discussions "off piste" then I am very surprised as this is not normally their way.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
The MR booklet states that the Hornby decoder is said to feature Back EMF and 4 on/off function outputs with 2 being dedicated to the direction of lights front and rear.

Exactly as described in the Hornby spec:-

QUOTE as well as a 4 function loco decoder measuring 10mm x 17mm x 3.5mm to retail for under £10

also

QUOTE The Elite Unit supports up to thirteen functions per locomotive if available

This is contrary to the 9 quoted elsewhere in another topic.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
QUOTE I have just put four DCC chipped 00 locos for sale on Ebay as my local dealer would not accept them in part ex against Farrish N gauge stock simply because they have been fitted with DCC chips and he does not know anything about it.

QUOTE (Gary @ 10 Sep 2006, 11:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>So true. If you are selling a loco with a chip fitted to a dealer then take £10 off the value! Currently it will sit on the dealers shelf gathering dust as customers looking at it will pass.

That will all change in the future. As DCC gradually becomes mainstream, there will be a market for used loco's fitted with decoders (provided it's a decent one).

Who knows, in a few years time dealers might not touch anything without a decoder or socket?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,592 Posts
returning to CV1 on the new Hornby decoder as I understand it, it will be 2 or 3 digit addressing and NOT four.
If you look at the spec of the Elite which is published in their DCC promo in Model Rail I think I saw it in there. I'll have another wizz through it tonight to check on this. Not that it makes any difference to me.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
QUOTE The Elite Unit supports up to thirteen functions per locomotive if available

This is contrary to the 9 quoted elsewhere in another topic.
I have copied and pasted directly from the Hornby website below.
The relevant section is in red.

QUOTE The Hornby Digital System is based on the XpressNet protocol and therefore other XpressNet devices produced by alternative manufacturers maybe suitable for use with the Hornby "Select" Unit.

The Hornby "Elite" Digital Controller is more than capable of answering the needs of most railway layouts - twin control with press dial function, 17 button alpha numeric keyboard, wide function LCD screen, four amp power, as well as having the capabilities of registering 254 locomotive addresses as well as 255 solenoid powered accessory addresses (including point control), plus a USB portal for linking to a Personal Computer.

The Hornby "Elite" unit is an ideal way for the enthusiast to take their train control to a new and advanced level.

The following are just some of the many features and benefits that the Hornby "Elite" Digital Control has to offer:

Controls up to 10 trains simultaneously, provided the necessary power is available.
The 4 amp power supply included allows for up to nine locomotives (providing power is available) to be running at any one time.
The four amp power supply allows for 3 amps to the track with 1 amp to the accessory outlet.
Incorporates 128 speed steps for smooth control of locomotives.
Can programme locomotives with up to 99 levels of acceleration / deceleration.
The "Elite" Unit supports up to nine functions per locomotive if required.
Able to programme up to 254* locomotives or other items containing a locomotive decoder and 255 points or other items that rely on a solenoid for operation. Eg. Electrically operated signals, electrically operated uncouplers and point motors.
The "Elite" accommodates decoders that incorporate a functioning feed back system.
Supports XpressNet protocol.
A PC interface socket allows for the upload of new firmware and the use of third party applications.
Uncontrolled 15V DC analogue accessory outlet.
An LCD screen supports alpha numeric information input.
External boosters can be supported through the XpressNet port or by direct connection to the booster outputs. A standard RJ12 six-way cable can be used to connect the Select to a booster which has an RJ12 socket).
Up to 8 "Select" units can be connected to the "Elite" for individual control of 9 locomotives providing power is available.
The "Select" can be used as a Walkabout Unit when connected to the Hornby "Elite" Digital Unit.
The "Elite" unit is Railcom® Lenz Syztems enabled. This communication (occupancy detection) method between a locomotive and controller will not function until the necessary software becomes available. This exciting development enables messages to be sent back to a PC via the XpressNet port. Railcom allows communication from the locomotive to the controller. Occupancy detection and the relaying of location information to a controller and from a controller to a PC will require occupancy detection hardware and a change to the specification of XpressNet and Railcom.
Separate Programming Track Outlet
The "Elite" is capable of speed profiling locomotives for "double heading".
* 254 fitted with a decoder plus 1 without (analogue)"
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
It does say 13 in the MR Hornby Digital Magazine.


I have noted that the Elite provides the "name" feature for locomotives. The image of the lcd display in the magazine shows "Silver Streak" in an abreviated form. On the evidence the name feature permits up to 8 large characters maximum as this would fit the full width of the lcd screen on the Elite.

The Select offers the more traditional method of picking a number between 1 and 60. The lcd displsy on the Select is smaller in size.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

·
DT
Joined
·
4,794 Posts
Thanks for that Gary.

I still personally haven't seen any written statement on how locos will be addressed so talking about alpha numeric displays is one thing, seeing it in action is another.

Has Hornby 2, 3, 4 or more units per loco for it's address or ID code whatever you may like to call it.

If I have my Lenz controller on the Xpressnet BUS linked to the Hornby Elite, what number do I use to call up the loco that I want?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,592 Posts
QUOTE agree with this but Hornby have subsequently stated this decoder will using a 2-3 digit range. I think this is avoid removing sales from the more expencive range of decoders available from Lenz. Whatever for the money it remains a good product and suitable for many smaller DCC layouts.

Gary
QUOTE Where have Hornby said this?

I refer to this latest Hornby press release:-

Sorry for the delay: To quote Hornby, The elite can register 254 locomotive addresses IE 1-254 thats two and three digit's and that quite simply is what Hornby have stated and what their BEMF decoder will store as CV1. There's been quite a bit of mail regarding this on DCC.UK .
I don't have a problem with this at all, The elite has quite a lot of features and will cater for most users. Where this becomes a problem for me is I'm planning a layout in my Studio, and a large shunting plank in my study. My main layout will utilise the Digitrax kit I already have and my layouts have always had four digit addressing. So to step down to an Elite for me would be a problem. I would'nt be able to move stock between Layouts....as I know I would want to.
There are plenty of starter sets on the market that only have two digit addressing, and very limited programing so for most folks the Elite is a stepup in power and features. It will most certainly do what it says on the box, however I have a few reservations about the presentation on the Hornby Litrature. I think the importance of a bus and regular track feeds has been glossed over. What Hornby state is fine for a track matt layout, but anything else could have continuity problems. In summary this is a major stepup for any manufacturer. It represents quite a financial investment. I hope it will be a sucess for Hornby. But for one or two small features I might have bought an Elite. It represents excellent value for money, if I was just starting in DCC I most certainly would buy one.

For experienced users will possibly avoid factory fitted decoders, until Hornby and Bachmann change their setup to accept four digit addressing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
There are two seperate issues here:

- What addressing the Elite unit can handle

- What addressing the Hornby decoder can support

If the Elite can only handle 254 loco addresses , this seems to imply 4 digit addressing , since as far as I know loco addressing comes only in 2 or 4 digit formats - 256 addresses exceeds 128 (the maximum possible with 2 digit addressing)

However this does not mean the Hornby decoder can't support addresses above 256.

To take a parallel example , the Bachmann EZ system will only handle single digit addresses, Lenz Lokmaus and Hornby Select will only handle 2 digit addressing. But all Lenz decoders handle 4 digit addresses - including the ones rebadged and sold by Bachmann.

So the address capacity of the system does not imply anything about that of the decoder...

(Not an academic question for me - I've recently blown a Macoder in a 20, and although the loco won't see much action until the club project is finished, I'm attracted to the idea of sticking a back EMF decoder in it for less than a tenner. But it does need 4 digit addressing as that's what the club system will use (Lenz equipt)

So Bachmann's new decoder is out , and I await details of the Hornby unit
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top