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Its being reported by Rail Express that the latest Hornby Pendolino Digital Train Set has overtaken the Flying Scotsman Train Set as Hornby's best selling set in 2007. This has to be very good news for suppliers of DCC equipment as modellers look to upgrade with the gradual introduction of sound and better specified decoders and has to justify the Hornby stance on producing a model that is suitable for introductory train sets.

That would imply sales of a minimum of 10000 and probably closer to 15000 sets. With Hornby offering two other digital train sets that would suggest there are 20000 to 25000 new UK DCC railway modellers in 2007 plus those who have purchased Bachmann DCC sets plus those who have purchased stand alone consoles and converted to DCC.

The even better news is that with an expanding DCC user base in the UK we can expect both Hornby and Bachmann to make further investments in exciting new DCC goodies!


The Hornby CEO Frank Martin predicted at the start of 2007 that within 3 years there would be 150000 DCC railway modellers in the UK. Many were not convinced that this would happen however it seems Hornby are determined to make it happen!

Hornby now have 3 years of experiance with Scalextric Digital and they will have some idea of the trends based on sales of Scalextric digital v Scalextric analogue car racing sets.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 4 Jan 2008, 06:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Dapolino

Pendolino?
Well it vindicates their decision to replace the HST in sets and their prediction on DCC.
As for the Scotsman set maybe people felt 'dudded' by the reduction in coaches from 4 to 3!
 

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QUOTE Dapolino

Got confused with that manufacturer of Italian N gauge locos. I always do. It was not the first time and won't be the last time!


The first post has been edited just in case you thought you were seeing things!

I was thinking that maybe offering a Railroad version of Flying Scotsman may have affected sales of the set.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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How many Scotsman have Hornby got for sale at this moment in time?

1. NRM edition
2. Australia edition
3. Railroad edition
4. Set edition
5. Thomas edition

Any advances on 5!!

Talk about pushing it a bit far.

No wonder there is Scotsman overload.
 

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QUOTE (darobi @ 3 Jan 2008, 21:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>How many Scotsman have Hornby got for sale at this moment in time?

1. NRM edition
2. Australia edition
3. Railroad edition
4. Set edition
5. Thomas edition

Any advances on 5!!
Yes, 7! Additional to the above is Live steam model, currently single tender, and special edition live steam with two tenders due out later this year.
Regards,
John Webb
 

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I think that what we forget is that while we all like steam trains, kids prefer fast brightly coloured trains. When my son comes out to the gagage to see the trains run he wants the Pendolino, the GNER 225 and the ICE3 rather than the steamers.
 

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I don't really know how to take this news.

1) Its great that the sets are selling so well.
2) Its only natural that kids like big fast modern trains at first (Its only when they mature that they realise there are better things in life, like girls, beer and the LMS)
3) I'm worried by the success of Hornby Digital. (I won't call it DCC despite what the NMRA have said)

I don't want this to be another experienced dcc'er puts people off dcc by making it sound complicated and putting down Hornby. I am one of Hornbys biggest fans, if it wasn't for them I would not be modelling now.

I have spent much of the last two weeks helping a friend who has a fully up to date Hornby Elite that is very happy with Hornby decoders, but hates all my TCS, Lenz and loksound decoders. That is not DCC. I'm worried that Hornby Digital will become more common than DCC and will in fact over complicate the market place and drive the youngsters that the hobby needs away.

I'm off to run for cover....

Rob
 

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QUOTE (80class @ 5 Jan 2008, 11:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm off to run for cover....

No need to run for cover...we'll blast you in the open!

Only joking!
I know squat about DCC but it seems it's still very much evolving and from a DCC exponents point of view no matter what form it takes it's better than nowt and will probably work out in the end.
Les
 

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QUOTE (80class @ 5 Jan 2008, 10:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I don't really know how to take this news.

1) Its great that the sets are selling so well.
2) Its only natural that kids like big fast modern trains at first (Its only when they mature that they realise there are better things in life, like girls, beer and the LMS)
3) I'm worried by the success of Hornby Digital. (I won't call it DCC despite what the NMRA have said)

I don't want this to be another experienced dcc'er puts people off dcc by making it sound complicated and putting down Hornby. I am one of Hornbys biggest fans, if it wasn't for them I would not be modelling now.

I have spent much of the last two weeks helping a friend who has a fully up to date Hornby Elite that is very happy with Hornby decoders, but hates all my TCS, Lenz and loksound decoders. That is not DCC. I'm worried that Hornby Digital will become more common than DCC and will in fact over complicate the market place and drive the youngsters that the hobby needs away.

I'm off to run for cover....

Rob

***Hello Rob

I'm also Hornby positive in general and was pleased to see them leaning towards proper adherence to specs for DCC but this is bad news.

As I am a member of the NMRA Standards Working Group for DCC this concerns me greatly. The samples submitted to the NMRA passed and so those specific units must have been comfortable with the brands mentioned as every other conformant or compatible unit is.

Can you please PM me with more info - if possible including date of purchase of the unit, and serial # or software revision # and a description of the problems?

It is possible that although software is updated the hardware sold initially may have been modified for compliance of future production, or that the unit is out of spec or some other change has happened which has returned the unit to non-compliant status....

Either way, I'd be grateful for more data off-list.

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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QUOTE (80class @ 5 Jan 2008, 01:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm worried that Hornby Digital will become more common than DCC

I have thought about that possibility myself, but although there is just a possibility it would only be in the UK which of course is a Hornby stronghold. It will never happen globally. Many people seem to forget that the Hornby fish is not that big in the world pond.

Who knows, maybe Hornby DCC will eventually go the same way as Zero One, on the other hand the UK market may end up with another quirk (i.e. Hornby Digital) to go with the 4.mm/foot running on 3.5mm/foot track.

Now, if Hornby had looked at Digital for railways before Slotcars would the situation be any different ?
 

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Rob's comments do seem a bit odd. Its the only Elite report on the web of such an occurance with Lenz for example. Why not contact Hornby directly?

And if Richard has any concerns in his NMRA capacity then surely the NMRA should also contact Hornby directly.

Bypassing Hornby is not going to solve anything and as far as relationship building goes between the NMRA and Hornby how would you feel if you were Hornby or Bachmann or any commercial organisation and a member of a voluntary American body acted like a cowboy and took a course of action on their own account. And that cowboy takes the course of action without even owning an example of the equipment relying on second hand information! To me it seems irresponsible and this is my view and mine alone.

That commercial organisation would probably feel ****** off after efforts made to build relationships and I would also guess the NMRA might be a bit cheesed off too as their reputation for doing things by the book and the trust that they have earnt worldwide as a result of doing things by the book would also be in tatters!

I would suggest the best cause of action is to for all parties to contact Hornby directly in whatever capacity they wish to. Customer or NMRA.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 5 Jan 2008, 11:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Rob's comments do seem a bit odd. Its the only Elite report on the web of such an occurance with Lenz for example. Why not contact Hornby directly?

And if Richard has any concerns in his NMRA capacity then surely the NMRA should also contact Hornby directly.

Bypassing Hornby is not going to solve anything and as far as relationship building goes between the NMRA and Hornby how would you feel if you were Hornby or Bachmann or any commercial organisation and a member of a voluntary American body acted like a cowboy and took a course of action on their own account.

That commercial organisation would probably feel ****** off after efforts made to build relationships and I would also guess the NMRA might be a bit cheesed off too as their reputation for doing things by the book and the trust that they have earnt worldwide as a result of doing things by the book would also be in tatters!

Happy modelling
Gary

Hello Gary,

I was afraid of this, which was why it took me two weeks to post about it. Attacking Richard and I will not help the problem. What will help is solving the problem, by any means. I will post more details of the problems and be in touch with Richard when I get home as I have logged everything in a notebook which I don't have with me. It is quite possible that there is a problem with this particular Elite, or there might be a generic problem with the hardware/software design. I have spent a lot of time on this and other similar problems with electronics in both my personel and business life so I have an idea what I'm on about. I will report back when I have everything in front of me.

Rob
 

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QUOTE It is quite possible that there is a problem with this particular Elite

Exactly. So why not simply contact Hornby!

I would have done immediately but that is me and I how approach issues. I contact the manufacturer!

And if the kit is not functioning properly it gets repaired or replaced or I get my money back.

Same as with any consumer product.

Happy modelling
Gary

PS I'm not attacking anybody. I'm simply offering the only logical and correct cause of action for both yourself and others who have have purchased products that are subject to UK consumer laws. Hobby companies do not have special status and are not exempt from these. I have a feeling that your Elite is faulty and the signal is not right as it simply has to work with Lenz and other other conforming decoder!
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 5 Jan 2008, 20:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Rob's comments do seem a bit odd. Its the only Elite report on the web of such an occurance with Lenz for example. Why not contact Hornby directly?

And if Richard has any concerns in his NMRA capacity then surely the NMRA should also contact Hornby directly.

Bypassing Hornby is not going to solve anything and as far as relationship building goes between the NMRA and Hornby how would you feel if you were Hornby or Bachmann or any commercial organisation and a member of a voluntary American body acted like a cowboy and took a course of action on their own account.

That commercial organisation would probably feel ****** off after efforts made to build relationships and I would also guess the NMRA might be a bit cheesed off too as their reputation for doing things by the book and the trust that they have earnt worldwide as a result of doing things by the book would also be in tatters!

***Gary, it really did surprise me too... I hadn't expected to see such issues with Elite.

Re the first paragraph, its of equal concern that it has trouble with lenz, ESU and TCS - as it will certainly also have problems with digitrax and NCE if that is the case... in otherwords more than 60% of the decoders sold world wide AND the most prolific EU based sound decoders..... However until more data is known we do not KNOW anything.

Nobody wishes this to be true and nobody wants to bypass Hornby, let me be very clear on that.

I simply asked for more data so I can somehow understand and better qualify/quantify the problem - for example it may be quite possible for early release (pre-warrant) units to be slightly different hardware-wise to "warranted" production, so even if the unit has had new software a small component difference may be making a difference.

In that case, its important to know that there may be "compliant and non-compliant" product out there so users can be properly advised according to their units provenance, don't you think?

This only fair and IF its a real issue then its probably also fair that H put some form of identification on new production OR let retailers know so they can advise them properly - AND offer some form of quiet "replacement or upgrade" for pre-compliant products.

I have already queried those who need to know in NMRA and also asked / am arranging for a current production unit to be bought in UK so it can be tested. Apart from my off list request I may also ask other known users to paricipate in testing. (BTW, I can't be sure current stock in AU is the latest, hence my request for a UK unit to be bought).

I have NO judgement or comment other than that - Its a commercial issue and a relationship issue for H and the NMRA and everything in between finding out more and a reality check will be off list. My best recommendation is not to judge until the issue can be better quantified and qualified.

I hope and suspect the reality will be that first production and current production are different... (I really do hope this is the result - I am very much on the side of NMRA spec and really want hornby to do well in overcoming original problems).

In this case I feel that rather than say "elite is compliant" I think it reasonable that it be corrected to "current or mark x model Elite is compliant and all previous ones are subject to Mfr upgrade at N/c - but this last paragraph and other comment relating to that line in this email are a personal opinion of "whats right to do" and nothing else.

Checks will happen and a result will come from them.... which I hope is a good one for all. Lets not all start screaming "the sky is falling" just yet please, and perhaps refrain from anything except giving some good useful PRIVATE PM based feedback.

If anyone with an "Elite" could let me know by PM about their experience with any brand of decoder (inc hornby) in a calm and pragmatic fashion (good news is as welcome and helpful as not so good) - and include date of purchase and software revision # in the data, it will be treated in confidence and passed to where it will do the most good.

I am also happy to send the compiled data to Hornby at the same time it goes anywhere else as thats what should happen.

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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I accept what you are saying Richard but this process surely has to be offically agreed with Hornby and with the NMRA.

The consequences for yourself and the responsibilities that go with what you are proposing could have unforseen repercussions.

You seriously need to think this through before you proceed on your own without the agreement of Hornby and the NMRA especially as you no doubt have priviliges that come with being on an NMRA committee and acting as an NMRA representative.

My suggestion for Rob to contact Hornby and get a replacement console if the one he is working with is faulty has to be the simplest solution!

And why the private PM thing. We have a public forum here. Lets have a full and open discusion on any issues relating to any console and not act furtively behind closed doors.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE and include date of purchase and software revision # in the data
Is there a serial number on the Elite? That should be a better guide than purchase date provided that Hornby's manufacturing uses increasing serial numbers for new batches.

I think at this stage all communication regarding this issue should take place "off Forum". There's nothing to be gained from any further open disclosure at this stage. There is no danger of the issue being forgotten; far too many of us know about now and have the memory of an elephant to ask for a progress report in say a few months time.

For my part, I do hope this is a one off. For a certified unit not to work with certified decoders would be a disaster for DCC.

David
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 5 Jan 2008, 21:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I accept what you are saying Richard but this process surely has to be offically agreed with Hornby and with the NMRA.

The consequences for yourself and the responsibilities that go with what you are proposing could have unforseen repercussions.

You seriously need to think this through before you proceed on your own.

My suggestion for Rob to contact Hornby and get a replacement console if the one he is working with is faulty has to be the simplest solution!

And why the private PM thing. We have a public forum here. Lets have a full and open discusion on any issues and not act furtively behind closed doors.

Happy modelling
Gary

Gary, what makes you think I am proceeding on my own? I am not.

There is no negative intent and no illusions about what I do and NO fear of any consequences as the actions are positive. It has nothing to do with Hornby whether its agreed or not. The product is "in market" and not pre-release.

They should and will be be informed of course if there is a general problem and it requires data to do that. There is no point in crying the sky is falling if it is one unit or no big issue. If they are informed it will be via the proper channels and not as a result of an on-list bunfight.

Did you really read my post? I do not think so.

This must not become an on list bull session. Only harm or hurt will come from that.

I politely request that you stay out of it 100% for all the right reasons - Please show some respect for DCC, Hornby and the NMRA and do so... it has nothing to do with you at all Gary, in any way at all.

In case you doubt this I have PM'd already to Doug in relation to this issue.

I asked for off list PMs to me so it won't do harm to anyone - including Hornby. If members wish to do so they will, if not, they won't.

As far as I am concerned, it is NOT a public issue from this point onwards. I will respond to fair questions from list members but will NOT respond to or engage in debate with YOU after this polite request for you to drop out of this discussion totally.

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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The other comment to make of course is that Hornby are not stupid, are fully aware that forums are very popular on the internet, and are very aware of what will happen if every Hornby DCC user encounters the issues that Rob has encountered!

My Elite unit operates with Hornby and Bachmann decoders including Bachmann sound (Esu) and as I have not used any of the decoders listed above by Rob recently then I cannot confirm 100% that it is a faulty unit. I'm not tempted to simply buy a decoder to test something out however if somebody wishes to mail any of the decoders that Rob has listed to me I will give them a go!

The other point to make is that the UK TCS and Lenz distributers are very much on the pulse when it comes to their products and Hornby DCC and a quick call by Rob to either distributer will almost certainly get an answer.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE I'm not tempted to simply buy a decoder to test something out

Given the amount of support you give to Hornby on this Forum, particularly with regard to their DCC, I think you should. Being able to say that "decoders X, Y and Z work with my Elite s/n xxxx and software version 1.x" is a lot more convincing than saying what other people should and should not do to resolve the situation.

David
 

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Gary, I was inviting you to put your money where your mouth is; buy a couple of decoders and show us that they work with the Elite. It will give Rob's unfortunate friend a better chance of having his unit replaced if he can say "Simon's friend Gary has tested his Elite with these decoders and it's OK for him".

Just when we thought it was safe to go into the Hornby DCC waters, this happens. It's not good for anyone.

David
 
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