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DT
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Hornby are proud to announce the introduction of a new multi function decoder for those Digital enthusiasts who like to customise the control of their locomotives. The Hornby Sapphire will offer many, if not more features, including RailCom® than the Digital enthusiast would expect from a top of the range decoder.

Available in the second quarter this addition to the Hornby Digital range of products is a positive step towards Hornby's commitment to Digital control for model railways.

This is very welcome news indeed. Lets just hope that the decoders are available
soon. I'm secretly hoping that they are actually Lenz Gold decoders with a big
Hornby logo on top and sold for half the price of the normal Lenz...

wink.gif


Also in the News is info about Hornby offering DCC Ready locos - of the
models that were originally only to be releases as DCC Fitted. Se

here
for more.
 

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QUOTE I'm secretly hoping that they are actually Lenz Gold decoders with a big Hornby logo on top and sold for half the price of the normal Lenz... That would be great.

Here's hoping that they fit these in their locos instead of the dodgy ones that we thought they would use.
 

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We may be very lucky and find that they actually work with other DCC systems? Now wouldn't that be unusual for a hornby digital product.

Pete
 

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I have asked the question on the Hornby Forum about what chip will be fitted to the DCC fittd Loco's and the answer is the standard one R8215.

 

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QUOTE (Peter_Harvey @ 18 Jan 2007, 07:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>We may be very lucky and find that they actually work with other DCC systems? Now wouldn't that be unusual for a hornby digital product.
Indeed 'Top of the Range' in their usually very carefully worded parlance could be taken as meaning top of their own range - which wouldn't necessarily be saying much for it given the problems that many people have reported on the decoders they have produced so far. At the moment the general view seems to be that almost anything would be an improvement.
However, I sincerely hope this supposition is not actually the case and that their new version proves to be what everyone expects of a good decoder these days.
 

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>Indeed 'Top of the Range' in their usually very carefully worded parlance could be taken as meaning top of their own range

The positive interpretation is "Digital enthusiast - someone who would buy a Lenz gold, ESU LokPilot, Zimo MX63". Now if they think they can top those for features, then bring it on....

David
 

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Bear in mind Bachmann have there 21-pin DCC socket in the sound 66 (and presume in the 20), so they must have something up there sleave in terms of a decoder to fit into it that has plenty of features.
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 19 Jan 2007, 06:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>>Indeed 'Top of the Range' in their usually very carefully worded parlance could be taken as meaning top of their own range

The positive interpretation is "Digital enthusiast - someone who would buy a Lenz gold, ESU LokPilot, Zimo MX63". Now if they think they can top those for features, then bring it on....

David
In order to acheive this they have a couple of months to go from the bottom of the DCC world to the top. I'm not holding my breath.

QUOTE Bear in mind Bachmann have there 21-pin DCC socket in the sound 66 (and presume in the 20), so they must have something up there sleave in terms of a decoder to fit into it that has plenty of features. Bachmann have adopted this because it is fast becoming standard in DCC worldwide. Brawa and Trix have had 21 pin sockets in all their new locos for the last year and there is speculation that the 21 pin decoder will soon become NMRA standard.
 

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I don't think this is quite the Case, When I queried Bachmann US, the answer was thay wouldn.t be adapting to it in the near future and that seemed to be the case with the other US manufacturers.
And unless Decoder manufacturers provide an adapter FOC to users of the older style DCC ready loco, there's still bound to be some opposition - I've already seen emails opposing the fact that Bachmann UK users will have to fork out £3.50 for an adaptor.
 

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True the US doesn't seem to have adopted the 21 pin yet. But they may well have to. Precision Craft use German ESU decoders and if thats the way it goes in Europe then they will probably follow suit.

If the yanks don't keep up with the latest DCC technology they may well end up in the unfortunate position that the UK is currently in.
 

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I doubt that it is a new decoder design more likely a rebadged one from another manufacturer and since railcom is mentioned I would think that it will be a rebadged lenz gold but I doubt it will be a cheaper alternative to the lenz gold since it will be their top of the range decoder which will sell for a top of the range price no doubt
 

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>but I doubt it will be a cheaper alternative to the lenz gold
For the modeller starting out on DCC, the comfort of buying Hornby will be welcome and they will pay the premium.

If Hornby fit their top of the range "DCC Fitted" locomotives with such a beast, I would happy to buy it and pay a bit extra just so that I don't have to take the loco apart to fit it. (I am a kettle man. The British loading gauge has a lot to answer for. Another example of the disadvantage of being first with the technology?)

David
 

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The DCC fitted loco's this year will have the R8215 decoder fitted. I posted a reply from Hornby earlier in another thread. Unless they have another change of heart we will be swapping decoders still.

Darren
 

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Let us not forget that Hornby will now be offering "DCC Ready" options. No need to swap. You simply go for this option and not the "DCC Fitted" option.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>Hornby will now be offering "DCC Ready" options. No need to swap
I don't think you've been following this argument closely enough Gary. There are some of us with more ambition than the currently available Hornby decoder. For one thing I want Automatic Brake Control - ABC in Lenz terminology. This is such a neat feature I cannot understand why Hornby haven't incorporated from the outset - an isolated rail section, 4 diodes, a switch connection, a couple of CVs in the decoder and you can have your trains stop in front of a red signal. It would make a great accessory for a Hornby layout.

So until Hornby install decoders which in their words "The Hornby Sapphire will offer many, if not more features, including RailCom® than the Digital enthusiast would expect from a top of the range decoder" I would have to pay for a decoder I don't want and replace it.

David
 

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QUOTE I would have to pay for a decoder I don't want and replace it.

Why?

"DCC Ready" has no decoder pre-installed. You can fit any decoder you like including the Hornby Sapphire.

Those who want a loco to operate with a Hornby digital console and who require simple loco movement control functions without having to remove the body can opt for the "DCC Fitted" option.

Hornby are offering both options.

Am I missing something? Help me out here folks.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>"DCC Ready" has no decoder pre-installed
>Am I missing something? Help me out here folks.
It's my fault. I got confused between Ready and Fitted - Sorry


David
 

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With Hornby themselves now offering decoder options it once again underlines why DCC Ready is the way to go and not DCC fitted!

Russell
 

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I suspect the Sapphire will be developed "in-house" (and thoroughly tested before release).

Why on earth would Lenz allow Hornby to rebadge their top of the line decoder and sell it for less than Lenz's own price for the Gold? Whatever Lenz stand for in DCC , it isn't discount prices. Anyway Lenz have ties to Roco and Bachmann

Digitrax are tied up with ZTC (and Gaugemaster????) . ESU are taken by Bachmann. That leaves TCS (who don't do Back EMF decoders and whose decoders may have issues with the Select) , NCE , and now I'm struggling

And anyway I'm still doubtful that any of the existing players in DCC have any interest in seeing a mass market company like Hornby selling anything other than severely crippled and limited DCC equipment

Hornby isn't big by the standards of Ford, Microsoft or Vodaphone but its very big compared to the likes of Lenz, ESU or NCE, and the little fish don't want to see the pike get into their pond

Thew 2 parts of Hornby's announcement seem to go together: the current Hornby decoder isn't sufficent to be accepted by existing DCC users, so they'll keep the DCC Ready option on all locos for another year or two till the Sapphire is ready. DCC Fitted locos will use the decoder they've actually got pro tem
 
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