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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm building this model railway for my two sons, for Christmas. Almost complete now (after many nights spent alone in a cold garage). Anyway I check things regularly by running my sons two presents, a Pendalino and a Eurostar. This is to make sure that these long wheelbase vehicles negotiate all curves, points and that station platforms are aligned correctly.

Well upto Wednesday evening, both DCC trains were running fine. Then last night the Eurostar has developed a "free will". It ignores the settings sent from the Hornby "Select". I don't know what's happened, could the DCC decoder have developed a fault? The Pendalino is running fine.

When I increase the speed from the controller, nothing happens, I have to give the loco a push, then of it goes. When I turn the speed back to zero, it just keeps going but it does slow down and stop after about two minutes. I've tried reprogramming it (several times) and change the acceleration/deceleration settings but nothing helps.

I'm thinking it must be that the decoder's gone a bit loopy. But is this a correct assumption? and what would cause a decoder to malfunction in the first place. I need help I've only got three days (before Christmas) to sort it out.

Fabben
 

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QUOTE (fabben @ 21 Dec 2007, 09:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>When I increase the speed from the controller, nothing happens, I have to give the loco a push, then of it goes. When I turn the speed back to zero, it just keeps going but it does slow down and stop after about two minutes. I've tried reprogramming it (several times) and change the acceleration/deceleration settings but nothing helps.

Fabben

If you set different speeds (& direction) on the controller and then give the loco a push, does it set off at the correct speed & direction? If so, then that shows it is capable of receiving and decoding the commands correctly and it is almost certainly dodgy wiring or dirty pickups/wheels. Once it's going it just carries on at that speed until the decoder times out, although 2 minutes sounds a bit long for decoder timeout.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Andrew,

It might be a minute or slightly less, it seems take ages. Before it stops it does actually slow down, but it takes a few laps of an 8' by 5' circuit before it stops I think that when it does move it settles at the speed set on the controller, but I'll have to check this again tonight.

It could be dirt, I've been building, sawing and sanding and the dust gets everywhere (I should have been more careful). So hows the best way to clean the loco? is there a post somewhere on the forums?

thanks again

Fabben
 

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Extract from my web site which may help with wheel cleaning etc... My Website Remove any deposits of dirt from the tyres of the wheels, that all so easily builds up during running. Do this with the aid of a fibre pen, an old small flat bladed screwdriver or a specialist brass wire brush or even a Lint free cloth (old cotton hankie perhaps?) soaked in a little Meths or Lighter Fluid and rubbed onto the wheels, or use a cotton bud to apply the fluid and wipe off with a clean lint free cloth. Please ensure safety measure are in place when using the fluids previously mentioned - strictly No Smoking and have a well ventilated room.
 

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This might sound awful and I do like Hornby Models but - There DCC chips are completly rubbish - so many people complain about them going wrong etc. I also read somewhere recently of one catching fire as well. Maybe try other chips instead. There are many other systems etc out there...............................
 

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Hi fabben

Sorry to hear about your problems especially just before Christmas. Great to see you getting your boys into it. My kids love it also.

It might be a good idea to have 2 decoders (not hornby ones) Bachmann maybe on hand just in case. For me as a beginner the select was great value and I had hours and hours of fun with it. It generally did what I asked of it.

Unfortunately when I ventured past my door to clubs, new friends etc I quickly realized that the select had a few problems including the hornby decoders. Thats being covered on here already.

The kids love Dynimis, looks like a PS3 controller small, cool looking, and easy to use. A four year old can struggle to press the function + 0 key at the same time to operate lights on the select, where as its a button with a light symbol on it on the dynamis. I doesn't get any easier.

If your boys are still keen consider the upgrade sometime in the new year, I'm sold on it! and with no wires the best part is you can disconnect the bay station (without them seeing you) which does not effect the controller and tell the boys Oh I don't know whats wrong......anyway its bedtime now........ Worked a treat last night!

Happy Christmas and I hope you have hours and hours of fun.

m
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for your replies. I tried reseting the controller, giving the loco a different id number, all to no avail. Today I got a new Hornby decoder put it in and it works.

I did notice that the loco had a capacitor in it an this is a dcc fitted loco when I bought it. But it could have been fitted by the dealer and not by Hornby.

I realise that I've landed myself with a Hornby controller, which might not be the best dcc in the world. But my son choose the Hornby trainset in the shop for his Christmas present and at the time I knew almost nothing about dcc. But I'm learning fast.

I've got two boys, 6 and 4, and if they take a keen interest in their trainset then a replacement for the Hornby select is definitely on the cards.

Once again, thanks and Merry Christmas

Fabben
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (Brian @ 21 Dec 2007, 13:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Extract from my web site which may help with wheel cleaning etc... My Website Remove any deposits of dirt from the tyres of the wheels, that all so easily builds up during running.

Hi Brian, I actually visited your web site in the early days (this is about six weeks ago) and I based my DCC installation on the information you provided there.

I must thank you for taking the time for putting all this information on your site and sharing this info with others like me. It saved me a lot of time and frustration from learning things the hard way.

Fabben
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE (fabben @ 22 Dec 2007, 17:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I did notice that the loco had a capacitor in it an this is a dcc fitted loco when I bought it. But it could have been fitted by the dealer and not by Hornby.

The Eurostar, with it's new decoder, ran fine for a few hours and then started behaving erratically.
Cut the capacitor off and it immediately started behaving itself again.
 
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