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New Sapphire Decoder from Hornby

10575 Views 64 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Ravenser
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...


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

for more.
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QUOTE (Doug @ 22 Jan 2007, 10:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think it would be a good idea for Lenz to speak to Hornby if they are not doing so already.

I expect there will be a lot more than the usual of toing & froing between some of the stands at Nurnberg this year !
QUOTE (Oakydoke @ 22 Jan 2007, 10:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I still think companies like Lenz have something to worry about if and when mass market companies like Hornby start offering Locos fitted with decoders equivellent to the Silver or Gold.
At the moment Hornby have stumbled in with "dodgy" budget kit, but this will change, as we see better spec items appearing.

IMHO - don't think so, except in the UK or other markets percieved as "Hornby". Don't forget Hornby's main market is the UK. They will have to go some to crack the european (especially German) markets. The european modeller is so totally different from his/her UK counterpart. Why do you think Marklin (stud contact AC) is so strong in europe ?
Yes, Hornby will do well with the Lima/Jouef/Rivarossi brands (no el cheapo decoders there - just the sockets as per the norm in mainland europe).
Even if Lenz/ESU & Zimo (to name 3) "lose" the UK market they won't worry too much - they have the rest of the world to sell to. Hornby may be a big fish in the UK pond, but at the moment are a small fish elseware & the whole Select/compatability/problems issues will have done them no favours at all.

Even though I am a "Lenz Gold/ESU man" I will give the new Hornby decoder a try - once only if I don't like it - I suspect that will go for the majority of the experienced DCC'ers as well.
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QUOTE (Gary @ 22 Jan 2007, 12:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just curious but as niche manufacturers how many production staff do the likes of Lenz and Digitrax and such like typically employ?

What I am saying is that I don't think the niche digital manufacturers are capable of producing in the quantities and at prices that the European train set manufacturers require.

Not a problem at all Gary - ever heard of sub-contracting ? - living in the part of the country like you do (the "workshop of Britain" or regretfully used to be) I'm surprised.

Electronics if so easy - once the pick & place machine has been set up its just sits there day after day turning out PCB's by the 1000 with just a numpty keeping it fed with componants.

Even a very well known UK manufacturer sub-contracts some of its PCB work.
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QUOTE (Oakydoke @ 22 Jan 2007, 19:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm sure they will have a tough job, but I remember all the discussion on German and Austrian manufacturers pricing themselves out of business.
Haven't we seen quite a few companies going bancrupt or near bancrupt in the last year?

Don't forget that H have had their "issues" in the past too !

It will be interesting to see who owns what & how it all pans out in a few years time.
QUOTE (rb277170 @ 22 Jan 2007, 20:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>They thought the current R8215 decoder was good enough (they are only forced into Sapphire because it isn't . If it wasn't a quick forced decision , how come it doesn't appear in the 2007 catalogue. You might wonder is it even designed yet?)

Maybe it's on the top of their "Nurnberg Shopping List" !
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