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I have a Prodigy Advance 2 that I purchased from America 9 months ago.

Previous attempts to get a Hornby R8215 decoder to work failed miserably, and the tendancy has been to blame the Prodigy.

Yesterday I tried one of the 'red dot' decoders in a Hornby steamer from the 'Bournemouth Belle' set, and although it was better than the previous issue, it still gave problems in its operation. When fitted into a Vi-Train class 37, it was even worse. (perhaps because of the electronic board.)

So, when my purchase of the new R8249 arrived this morning, I was not too hopefull.

I have to report that whatever I threw at it, it passed with flying colours in both the Steamer, and the 37.

I normally use Lenz decoders, as I have installed BM1's for use with the ABC function. I found that the 'creep' speed was identical to the Lenz silver, and extremely smooth.
On 28 speed steps, the engines crept forward on number 1. - selecting reverse on the move, it stopped and crept back perfectly.
On 128 speed steps, the engines started to creep forward on 6/7.

The other major thing that I noticed was that the normal top speed of the engines were not affected at all. On the R8215 versions, the top speed was reduced by up to a third (which has been reported a large number of times.) This particularly affected the Vi-Train, as its top speed is not that good anyway.

The decoder is identical in size and chip layout to the R8215's except that it has a blue dot on the large chip.

It can be programmed on the main, and the eight CV's can be read on the programme track. A word of warning though - select only the CV's that are listed. If you try to read other numbers, it will error and not read anything, so you have to reset and start again. But that is not a fault, just me trying things out.

So, well done to Hornby - a decoder that does the job.

AlanB
 

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Alan, thanks so much for posting that information. As anyone who has read the press release for the R8249 on the Hornby site, or seen the news item in the current issue of Hornby magazine, will know, the NMRA certification is the big news along with the quote from Simon Kohler thanking the NMRA and Didrik Voss in particular. Your post shows just how much that certificate means to the average modeller - something that "just works" with other kit. Maybe now people will understand why some of us have been banging on about certification being so important and why Hornby were unwise not to go down that route in the first place. Still they have now, so kudos to them for getting on board the NMRA train


David
 

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QUOTE (kiwitrains @ 20 Aug 2008, 15:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Tried to read the CV`s on the R8249 with a Powercab but it doesnt read I thought they (Hornby) had sorted this one out


***They say they have - however I still see the same failure problems with them far too often.... most I see have already given off their "smoke signals" when they come in, so I haven't played with them too much recently....

Did you reading it in programming track mode (press: Programme, 4, enter, 1)?

Richard
 

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Yes Richard I did, I know I should not have got it but I thought another go and they would have put them right but it looks like a c*** up again unless of course I am doing something wrong
 

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QUOTE (kiwitrains @ 20 Aug 2008, 16:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yes Richard I did, I know I should not have got it but I thought another go and they would have put them right but it looks like a c*** up again unless of course I am doing something wrong

*** It was worth a try, although I still think without CV's 5 and 6 being programmable it'll never be more than very little value as a decoder.

No, you will not be doing anything wrong - I suspect that its still a little quirky as the basic decoder hasn't really changed much... NCE is tested and compliant and the Powercab is without any doubt at all the best "programming handset" on the market for difficult decoders by far due to its quite high programming track current abilities - it handles even the most troublesome decoders with little problem, so I know where I would be looking for fault.

Mind you there;s not much worth reading on the H decoder anyway - Start voltage and momentum are visible effects so should be able to be programmed on the fly using POM, and there's nothing else worth worrying about in the decoders CV's other than address and CV29 configuration. CV29 should default to 6 for short address and 38 for long, and you have it covered....

Richard
 

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Do Hornby decoders self combust when using Hornby control equipment, or is just when they are used in well developed and compliant brands?

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·


It is interesting to see that some people are still having problems with the new decoder.

As you can see above (for those who haven't bought one yet) that Hornby claims it is compliant with all NMRA standards.

I checked a second one to-day on my Prodigy 2, and it performed perfectly, unlike all versions of the R8215.

It read all CV's on the programme track, and programmed the CV's on both the main and programme track. Cannot fault it.

AlanB
 

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Hi Guys

Have to agree with AlanB, I had a miserable time with the original decoders but they did run my loco's very smoothly using my Lenz 100 system.(when they worked of course)
I thought I would give the latest version a try due to the small size and low price, lo and behold i could read the cv's and it ran a small Bachmann jinty really well, as good as a Lenz Silver. Lets hope it continues especially in view of the fact that Lenz decoders seem hard to come by and are quite expensive in comparison.

Mike
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 16 Aug 2008, 20:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Maybe now people will understand why some of us have been banging on about certification being so important and why Hornby were unwise not to go down that route in the first place.
David
Certification or not, Hornby's most unwise decision was to release a decoder that didn't work correctly into a market they didn't understand.

Andrew
 

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Having read your positive comments about this version I have bought one and for money I would recommend it. There is a little noise but nothing compared to a Bachmann I unfortunately bought. I can get the loco to crawl as well as my locos fitted with TCS and it does appear to give really smooth acceleration/deceleration.
 

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QUOTE (Chirkwood @ 21 Aug 2008, 19:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>There is a little noise but nothing compared to a Bachmann
You can adjust the frequency on some chips using CVs to optimise noise and motor response, but as I dont have my CV crib sheet handy I cant tell you which one.
Rob
 

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QUOTE (RAFHAAA96 @ 22 Aug 2008, 20:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You can adjust the frequency on some chips using CVs to optimise noise and motor response, but as I dont have my CV crib sheet handy I cant tell you which one.
Rob

***You cannot adjust anything useful on this chip Rob - only CV1, 2, 3, 4 and 29 (CV29 in part only)!

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Having looked at other Forums (rmweb.co.uk) it appears that people are having mixed fortunes with the Lenz systems.

RM web have one person where it does not work, another person has had success both on his personal system, and the club system, and another who says his is fine, and he can read all the CV's o.k.
On this post, there is one o.k, and one who is not.

I make that 4-2 for success.

Perhaps it is something to do with versions of the system?

There was that problem with the Prodigy, when the earlier version was not compliant with NMRA rules.

AlanB
 

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Hi Alan,

Interesting that you are willing to "forgive" Hornby for producing a decoder that doesn't always work with non Hornby NRMA compliant DCC control equipment when every other manufacturers chips do. I would consider on your stats a 66% successrate to be unacceptable.

Personally at this stage of the game, I would have expected Hornby to be producing bullet proof chips that comply, not chips that would appear to have only slightly better odds that Vegas casino's

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi, John.

Nowhere in my posts have I said I 'forgive' Hornby. I say right now that I do not. They made my life a misery when I tried to get one of the original DCC Goods Set to work with a Select controller and the original R8215's

Their early foray into DCC nearly put me off DCC for life. Luckily, after 3 months recuperation, I decided to try again, and bought a Prodigy 2.

I then used Lenz chips, and never looked back.

However, like a lot of people at the beginning, we trusted Hornby and bought a lot of decoders which are now redundant. (R8215's), although a large number of Select and Elite users are quite happy with them, as can be read on many Forums.

As my post heading states, I was only testing for the Prodigy, and was more than pleased that the R8249's worked mainly because it exonerated the Prodigy which had been blamed in the past by a lot of people, and other reports have confirmed the success of the R8249 with a Prodigy.
With the R8215's there were no reports from users of Prodigy's that it worked - so it was universal.

With the Lenz, it seems to be hit and miss which does bring one to think that there are different variations out there. I do not know, as I do not have one. But I do read about people upgrading the software on them.

AlanB
 
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