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· Registered
702 Posts
I don't know if it's been mentioned elsewhere, but Pat Hammond on MRE has reported that Hornby have a new budget decoder coming out next month (August).

The cat. no. is R8249 and the price is given as around £9.99.

It looks as if this is a complete replacement for the limited and troublesome R8215 (itself having been updated twice).

There's no word yet on the Sapphire and Mini Sapphire.

· Registered
55 Posts
Hi all. I was just reading the comments on Hornby decoders & I am now a bit worried about the remark made by Oakydoke on the R8215 being a bit troublesome. I have 7 of them to fit to RTR steamers using a Dynamis control system. Could anyone please let me know what nasties await me

· Just another modeller
9,967 Posts
QUOTE (shep @ 12 Jul 2008, 02:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi all. I was just reading the comments on Hornby decoders & I am now a bit worried about the remark made by Oakydoke on the R8215 being a bit troublesome. I have 7 of them to fit to RTR steamers using a Dynamis control system. Could anyone please let me know what nasties await me

***If they are very new production they will probably be OK....

However the first production was nortoriously unreliable and would randomly reset address - they also very often died soon after installation.

Subsequent modifications have improved this decoder somewhat and are marked by a small coloured dot on the chip itself.

Its biggest ongoing drawback is the limited addresses it offers and the very limited adjustability which makes it impossible to properly tune your locomotives....

I have little info on the new decoder except that it will be NMRA compliant and 4 function..... I sincerely hope it now implelments most of the NMRA RPs to make it a flexible and usable product.

I am in two minds about this new decoder - I applaud Hornby for changing their stance and accepting that NMRA compliance and compatibility are important - I think that that was a very positive thing.

But... I do worry about the thousands of original decoders that are to be gentle about it "not good" but have been sold by unknowing retailers to unaware consumers and are now out there in the hands of those like yourself!



· Registered
264 Posts
In reply to Shep,

I sent six of the old R8215's back to Hornby recently asking if I could have a couple of the new Sapphires. They replied that the Sapphires were not available, and sent me six of the new 'red dot' ones.
They are packed so the the red dots are clearly visible through the packaging. However, you would have to know about the 'red dot' upgrade to look out for it when purchasing.
Why did Hornby produce three versions all with the same number. If someone is advertising R8215's for sale, they could be any one of three versions.

Now the best bit. The recent R8215 has an NMRA warrant, and therefore should work with any controller that is NMRA compliant. (not necessarily warranted).

I have a Prodigy Advance 2 controller which works perfectly well with three types of decoders. One has a warrant, the other two do not. They work perfectly.

I installed one of the 'red dot' decoders into a Vi-Train 37, which had been running perfectly on a Lenz decoder.

I connected one of the new improved Hornby Select controllers to my layout, and the decoder worked perfectly on all functions.

I re-connected my Prodigy, and the engine went forward o.k, it then reversed o.k. I then tried forward again, and it crawled when set to top speed. I had to reverse and then forward again to get top speed. On changing direction whilst it was in motion, it refused to respond. It had to be stopped to reverse direction. The emergency stop failed to work at all.
When I removed power from the track (not the controller) and put it back on, the engine ran at full speed totally out of control.

Shep, I suggest you try out one of your decoders on an engine that is easy to get into. If it does not work, send them all back to Hornby and ask for the new R8249 in replacement. This is what I shall be doing.


· Registered
133 Posts
QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 11 Jul 2008, 17:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

A picture paints a thousand words. Never in the field of humaninity has such precision been applied to the subject.

By the way, the reason for price rises on the model railway front has just dawned on me, through listening to another business program....if you cut the prices and sell less you lose out altogether, but, if you raise the price and still sell less, you lose less............

Ho Hum

· Registered
642 Posts
I must admit I had hornby decoders in my farish hst's and also have 1 currently in my farish freightliner 66952 and also 2 of my class 60's

And even when I did have some problems with them. I just sent them back to hornby and they replaced all 6 of them. It did take about 5 weeks to get the replacements but at least they did replace them.

I do admit though when speaking to a local model shop they fitted one in a farish eddie the engine 66 and when he tested the loco he turned away for a second and when he turned back round the body had slightly melted under the roof grille. I looked at what he had done and it was all correct but it seems the chip just failed and went into meltdown.

Since then I have not fitted anymore hornby decoders in any of my locos just in case the same happens to me and I end up in tears. I have since been converted to the tcs M1 decoder which is smaller and as I have found is more reliable as well.
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