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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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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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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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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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