As someone who is considering whether the Hornby Elite might be a possible option for the future, I've read all this and don't feel the discussion has reached a satisfactory point
To say that a new DCC system doesn't meet NMRA standards and therefore isn't compatible witrh the rest of DCC is about as serious a criticism as can be offered. A number of people have been speculatingthat the Hornby system won't work with other DCC , at least on here, for several months , well in advance of the system being available and therefore without any hard evidence to support the speculation.
There now appears to be an attempt to give as much publicity as possible, on various forums, to the Adrian Hall email suggestion that the Hornby Select is somehow not compatible with DCC . This seems to be on an "unspecified third parties have said " basis , but the people making the statement haven't actually seen a Hornby Select or decoder for themselves - "QUOTE Please if anybody has any experience with the Select unit I would welcome feedback and comments on the above.
I don't see this discussion can go anywhere meaningful until we have some first hand reports from people who have actually used the Hornby Select , and/or the new Hornby decoder , telling us exactly what they have and haven't been able to do
In the case of the email MMD has reposted, the statement that "we have been notified" TCS decoders woould not be recognised by the Select is contradicted by IKB47484's first hand statement that he has got TCS (and Lenz) decoders to work with the Select . Of course we don't know which TCS decoders were involved in each case. Adrian Hall's leap from "someone tells me there are problems recognising TCS decoders" to "the Hornby Select will only work with Hornby decoders " (ie "it isn't DCC at all , it's an incompatible proprietary digital system like Marklin/Motorola") seems not to be based on any particular evidence or reasoning. There do now seem to be a numberr of first hand reports here and Elsewhere that Lenz decoders specifically are recognised (though with one report of an inferior slow speed performance on a Macoder using the Select )
In reading Adrian Halls's 2nd hand comments about the Hornby decoders , it is only fair to recall that he is agent for a rival range , which has just been undercut on price by Hornby , and the Hornby product claims to offer a feature (Back EMF) which the product he sells doesn't hyave . He does have a commercial interest here
In offering a DCC system at about 25% of the accepted price of DCC systems in the UK, Hornby are potentially putting the cat amongst the pidgeons, and it is not surprising if this puts a few noses out of joint , especially where there is a heavy investment in rival much more expensive systems.
I disagree very strongly with the "railway modelling should be a very expensive hobby / cost should be irrelevent when buying DCC" line of argument - it seems to have caused a steep decline of the hobby in Germany , where the product has priced itself out of the market. DC analogue control is a fraction of the price of DCC control (say a third to a quarter of the price for the average layout). DCC will only become mass market when that DCC premium is 50% not 300% (Supermarket DVD players anyone?)
However the Select is simply a train set controller . The real Hornby product for the modeller is the Elite, which we won't see for several months
But if anyone is saying the Hornby digital system is not DCC compatible/compliant - ie that it is not DCC, because it will not work with DCC eqipment - I do think they need to be quite explicit in saying what is not compatible about it, and in what way
Personally I'm suspending judgement till hard evidence in the form of detailed first hand reports of use of the Hornby equipment are available [And no this is not an academic issue personally- I have stock fitted with TCS decoders for a club project and more will be so fitted - I also need a couple of decoders for applications where I don't think 0.5A continous will be exceeded, and Back EMF is desirable. And I could well be in the market for a DCC system at around £100 fairly soon]