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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When you get the new issue of Model Rail - have a good read of Model Rail extra - the two extensive comments one by an official of NMRA ( Didrik Voss ) and Richard Johnson of DCCUK about Hornby digital are well worth the price of the mag . I was surprised to read the critique in Model Rail who to their credit have published it - well done Model Rail and Chris Leigh I salute you for not favouring advertisers..

It would appear that all our comments re: Hornby Digital have been justified.
 

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QUOTE It would appear that all our comments re: Hornby Digital have been justified.

Do you mean the 4 or 5 vocal forum members who, whilst not having tried Hornby Digital, continue to comment?

Well I haven't yet read the article however if it makes tech heads and MR DCC types jump up and down with glee then it is probably an article, if read, that will set DCC back 10 years in the UK.
So it should satisfy the DC advocates.
When will tech heads and Mr DCC types realise that it is their ilk and their ways of communicating that is most off putting to the ordinary guy in the street.

Think of Hi-Fi. There are a very very small percentage who go into a specialist Hi-Fi shop and talk of tweeters and woofers. And there is the rest of the population who go into Currys or Comet simply to buy audio equipment. I suspect the two experts who have offered comment in Model Rail are living on a different planet to the ordinary guy in the street.

The article will be read in due course with interest.

Hornby Digital is incredible value, is widely available, is fully compliant with European legislation, and comes with the backing of the UK's largest model railway company. It allows several trains at a time to run on the same track in different directions without complex wiring. There will be pressure groups within the hobby who would like to preserve the status quo pre Hornby Digital. It is a challenge that Hornby no doubt are aware of.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I have found Richard Johnson to be very helpful when I have had dealings with him on other forums and he has provided both expert and beginner knowledge depending on the people he was replying to in equal measure.

At the end of day its Hornby's decision to go against current standards that have got them into this pickle and I believe hurt the DCC beginner more then "experts" coming out and speaking up against it.

DCC and Model railways are a global hobby and Hornby might not like not being number1 worldwide but they should do as the rest do and conform to standards that are set down and agreed upon.

Going their own way will long term backfire I feel.

Darren
 

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QUOTE DCC and Model railways are a global hobby and Hornby might not like not being number 1 worldwide but they should do as the rest do and conform to American standards that are set down and agreed upon.

I have added the word American.

Does this mean that Americans can ignore European standards?

Only a very tiny percentage of all DCC equipment offered worldwide conforms to NMRA standards anyway and Simon Kohler made this point in his interview in Model Rail. It seems entirely wrong in these circumstances that Model Rail should give a soap box to those whose anly aim is to take a pop at Hornby.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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MMaD,

Out of interest, does the review also slate the Elite controller?

It will be interesting to see if they have actually made the HUGE difference between the Select and the Elite just for once!

Most articles I've read dont make that difference which I feel is wrong!

Hey ho, I know Hornby are aware of all the comments that are being said on what seems like a daily basis about their DCC system, it might be nice to give them a chance to put things right though.

Completely happy with the Elite, so doesn't really make any difference to me what's been written.

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE Well I haven't yet read the article however

Then before making any comments Gary I strongly suggest you read the article. It's interesting and fair and Model Rail are to commended for the publication. BTW Wiggy I did read comments yours as well "ditto" re buying the magazine.

 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 15 Jul 2007, 14:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does this mean that Americans can ignore European standards?
Happy modelling
Gary

Who exactly said they could ?

& if you mean NMRA standards, who without them we really would have a hotch potch of different systems that would all work together, at least, until the saint came along with their own system - just because it's American does not mean we should ignore it - or is it the island mentallity ?

So how come Lenz, Flesichmann, Uhlenbrook, ESU, Roco & Zimo to name just some can manage to comply with all the relevent european standards & NMRA standards ?

Gary - answer this if you can "What American DCC kit does not comply with European Standards ?"

BTW - Richard Johnson is very knowledgeable regarding DCC, but he is also impartial & fair - I just wish he was on this forum.
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 15 Jul 2007, 14:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does this mean that Americans can ignore European standards?

Happy modelling
Gary

Question for Gary ;

If Lenz, Uhlenbrook, Fleischmann, ESU & Zimo (to name a few) can produce DCC equipment that complies with European and NMRA standards why cannot Hornby ?

Whenever Hornby DCC is gets any flak you always trot out the same "European Standards" argument.
 

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I get the impression this DCC debate is going along the same lines as the 'scale, fragile models of quality' one.

One of the points SK made in the Hornby interview was, basically, there is a world of difference in size, between the scale model fraternity[ and collector], and the ordinary buyer of 'hornby' trains.

He made the point that the market for the basic 'railroader' Hornby range is vastly more in terms of quantity, and hence income, than the market for 'scale' models.

He also made the point that the basic DCC range is actually very popular, with defect returns not being anything like the 'forummer's would have us believe.

therefore, despite the techno critics, there must be an awful lot of satisfied customers out there....customers whose trainsets perhaps don't aspire beyond the trakmat stage?

those same customers who are quite content with a basic Pendolino?

As for the 'smaller', more specialised manufacturers?

Perhaps their compliance with NMRA standards (whatever they are?) is more to do with the fact that their particular market might well encompass the huge US one?

I wont entertain DCC

I don't need it or want it.

same with my PC...I don't NEED all-singing all dancing stuff....and I don't care if its a sod to upgrade.....

perhaps there are thousands out there with trainsets who don't need the technology?

In these arguments, I sense this market factor is conveniently forgotten?
 

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QUOTE Gary - answer this if you can "What American DCC kit does not comply with European Standards ?"

QUOTE Question for Gary ;

If Lenz, Uhlenbrook, Fleischmann, ESU & Zimo (to name a few) can produce DCC equipment that complies with European and NMRA standards why cannot Hornby ?

MMaD has indicated that the article should be read and I would like to read the Model Rail article before responding to the question. There is simple logic that time after time seems to be overlooked and it may have been overlooked on this occasion.

Hornby said in their own interview that they make products for their customers, not the NMRA, and when chatting with fellow manufacturers about their attitudes in this regard the feedback that Hornby were given by this group was very similar.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 15 Jul 2007, 13:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Think of Hi-Fi. There are a very very small percentage who go into a specialist Hi-Fi shop and talk of tweeters and woofers. And there is the rest of the population who go into Currys or Comet simply to buy audio equipment. I suspect the two experts who have offered comment in Model Rail are living on a different planet to the ordinary guy in the street.
Happy modelling
Gary

Come on Gary, it really is time to stop allowing your "irrational response mechanism" to automatically kick in when ever there's any Hornby criticism.
Are you really daft enough to believe your Hi-Fi analogy


1) Wake up
2) Read the article
3) Do your homework on the two experts quoted
4) Then make some sensible comment

Then perhaps any criticism you have will be taken seriously!

 

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Hello Gentlemen

Actually I am on this forum but generally just watch. (Thanks for the nice comments by the way - I do try to be balanced and fair).

First to address some recent emails, then to comment: I really DO think you should all read the letters re the hornby DCC article in MR though.

so....

To those who think that very few brands actually follow the standards: You are wrong - Hornby are almost alone in not following the basic standards.. All others certainly "Make DCC for their customers not the NMRA" but know that to follow the standard is to serve their customers properly with quality product. Hornby have, in a very real sense, and probably by accident, failed their loyal client base a LOT with their mistakes.

By the way: In the real world of DCC and model railways, Hornby are far from the world leaders - sorry! (and yes, I am a happy Hornby customer and a UK modeller... I respect the company but NOT their less than auspicious start to DCC)

To those who commented that there is a trend to take the DCC subject the same way as trending models to finescale:
No, this is NOT the case. Those who have actually tried to be positive to H only want the system to do what a basic system should do properly. The select cannot do that and therefore we criticise it fairly. There is nothing in the NMRA spec that demands complication - exactly the reverse in fact, as the mandatory specs cover only the most basic issues - and only because they are ritical to good consistent performance!

To those who think that the Hornby problem is realted to CE or European emissions or similar standards:
No, that is not true. The NMRA specification specifically addresses these issues, other brands all are Ok with it and work properly/have a correct DCC waveform. The Hornby unit does NOT, it has an extreme ringing that will predjudice decoder life and it is therefore in my opinion not fit for market in a very real sense.

Both the above issues were made as "reasons and excuses" by Hornby. However, sad to say that neither these nor many of the other commenst have any base in fact - they are simply just smoke and mirrors that sail very close to being untruths - certainly they were not "informed or factual" comments in that sadly, they twist and mis-interpret the facts somewhat.

To be positive, I choose to believe that they simply misunderstand the subject. Nobody is criticising Hornby gratuitously: everyone wants them to do it well, but to remain silent when they are failing to do so or making mis-statements is simply irresponsible.

I was pleased to have MR confirm they would print (part of) my letter alongside that of Didrik (NMRA), as I really did feel that the Hornby interview was not good journalism: Answers that were clearly incorrect from Hornby were simply printed without comment or question, therefore giving validation to fundamentally wrong answers to simple questions.... and tacit approval to what was effectively smoke and mirrors - and therefore doing consumers a dis-service.

I chose to write it as it was evident from aspects of the Hornby comment that they did not really understand the standards at all.

Examples:

(1) Had they read them, they would have known that not only does the DCC standard from NMRA insist on compliance with European standards, it states that the wave form of any DCC digital system needs to be clean enough that when a DCC controller is attached to a large layout the layout as a whole will not radiate in excess of EU or FCC requirements... a far tougher approach than just the unit passing C-tick and similar specs..

(2) As to the Hornby comment "We like to get our hands dirty and not look at oscilliscope pictures" .. Well, if they had simply looked at a scope they would have seen the cause of much of their problem and saved themselves a lot of grief. (Actually, I don't for one minute think that the system was designed without aid of essential test gear, but I DO think the Hornby comment was simply not the truth, and really ius just a bad example of corporate "spin")

Kind regards

Richard Johnson
DCCconcepts
 

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Hi Richard,

Welcome to the forum !

I look forward to seeing more input from you (I did suspect you were here though !).

Good concise post & I'm sure can be understood by even the less technical people.
 

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Firstly welcome to the forum and thankyou very much for your post.

QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 16 Jul 2007, 06:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>To those who think that the Hornby problem is realted to CE or European emissions or similar standards:
No, that is not true. The NMRA specification specifically addresses these issues, other brands all are Ok with it and work properly/have a correct DCC waveform. The Hornby unit does NOT, it has an extreme ringing that will predjudice decoder life and it is therefore in my opinion not fit for market in a very real sense.

I really feel i must commend you on saying that publically. I have wanted to for some time. I have a backround in microelectronics and was aware of this but not being a DCC man I didnt feel i had the clout nor the guts to put this into writing.

Peter
 

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Hello Richard. Welcome to Model Rail Forum.

I'll read what you have to say in Model Rail and then pose a few questions. There is one question though that could be asked on the back of your comment.

QUOTE To those who think that the Hornby problem is realted to CE or European emissions or similar standards:
No, that is not true. The NMRA specification specifically addresses these issues, other brands all are Ok with it

I am aware of the relevant clause in the NMRA standard. There is no obligation for manufacturers who provide equipement for conformance inspection to comply with CE emission standards at the time of the examination. How, in your opinion, does the NMRA address this issue, and do you believe a square digital wave when transmitted through model railway track at say 5 amps satisfies European CE signal noise emission standards?


I know we can speculate but I would like to hear Richard's answer.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I actually dont understand this part.

"I am aware of the relevant clause in the NMRA standard. There is no obligation for manufacturers who provide equipement for conformance inspection to comply with CE emission standards at the time of the examination."

If it dosent conform at the time of the examination then whats the point?

Let me turn that around.

how can the other manufacturers manage it and Hornby dont?

The hornby unit must be very concerning for the other manufacturers. if you were (just for the sake of discussion) Lenz, would you now design your decoders to cope with the extreams of the hornby unit? Or would you stick to the recognised DCC standard?

If you were lenz, would you honour a warrenty if your decoder was used with the Hornby unit? Does Placing a decoder on a track controlled by the Hornby unit automatically void a warrenty?

Gary these are questions in the realm of osciloscope watchers that have a direct effect on people like you.

Peter
 
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