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I am about to commence building my layout which will be completely DCC and have decided to buy some Hornby OO locos whilst they are available.

There seem to be a lot of decoders available. . I have not yet decided on an operating system but from those currently available it will be between EcoS, Lenz and Gaugemaster. I expect to use some sound ands lights but not on all locos.Am I best buying ready fitted decoders from Hornby or purchasing the decoders separately when I'm ready to run, which hopefully will be in about 6 months?

R
 

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QUOTE (randolph @ 9 Apr 2008, 12:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am about to commence building my layout which will be completely DCC and have decided to buy some Hornby OO locos whilst they are available.

There seem to be a lot of decoders available. . I have not yet decided on an operating system but from those currently available it will be between EcoS, Lenz and Gaugemaster. I expect to use some sound ands lights but not on all locos.Am I best buying ready fitted decoders from Hornby or purchasing the decoders separately when I'm ready to run, which hopefully will be in about 6 months?

R
Hi
From bitter personal experience I would avoid the Hornby R8215 decoder. Use any of these - Bachmann 3 function with Bemf, any from the Lenz range are good as too is the TCS range. Never tried a Gaugemaster decoder but I guess its a MRC variant?
Unless you opt for a Hornby Elite console, which will happily work with their own decoders keep away from Hornby's current decoder offering. Shortly they are to release a new decoder, hopefully this will resolve many of the issues?
If you were to buy a Hornby DCC On Board loco and use a non Hornby console system, be warned as they too have the poor performing decoder factory fitted and you may well end up with problems - Avoid if you can and buy a DCC ready loco and fit a quality decoder yourself.
 

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QUOTE (Brian @ 9 Apr 2008, 11:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi
From bitter personal experience I would avoid the Hornby R8215 decoder. Use any of these - Bachmann 3 function with Bemf, any from the Lenz range are good as too is the TCS range. Never tried a Gaugemaster decoder but I guess its a MRC variant?
Unless you opt for a Hornby Elite console, which will happily work with their own decoders keep away from Hornby's current decoder offering. Shortly they are to release a new decoder, hopefully this will resolve many of the issues?
If you were to buy a Hornby DCC On Board loco and use a non Hornby console system, be warned as they too have the poor performing decoder factory fitted and you may well end up with problems - Avoid if you can and buy a DCC ready loco and fit a quality decoder yourself.

Hello Brian.
Are the Hornby DCC fitted loco's hard wired or is it easy to swap the Hornby decoder for something else ?
 

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QUOTE (TonyDaly @ 9 Apr 2008, 14:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hello Brian.
Are the Hornby DCC fitted loco's hard wired or is it easy to swap the Hornby decoder for something else ?

Hi Tony
The only one I've seen used a special four pin plug/socket rather than the standard 8 pin NMRA plug/socket

I've never seen the plug commercially so you either have to carefully unsolder the Hornby decoders wires from the plug or hard wire the new decoder to the wires that go to their socket. This was on a steam outline model. I don't know what their DCC On Board diesels use? Any one know?
 

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QUOTE (Brian @ 9 Apr 2008, 16:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Tony
The only one I've seen used a special four pin plug/socket rather than the standard 8 pin NMRA plug/socket

I've never seen the plug commercially so you either have to carefully unsolder the Hornby decoders wires from the plug or hard wire the new decoder to the wires that go to their socket. This was on a steam outline model. I don't know what their DCC On Board diesels use? Any one know?

Hi Brian.
I bought a couple of their steam outline models but haven't got to use them yet as I am still building my layout. I will be using NCE power pro so I was wondering what kind of rubbish Hornby had put in them.I haven't heard anything good about the Hornby decoders so I was thinking of when I get to run them I would replace them with something which worked.
 

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I have only experienced one Hornby decoder and it was utter rubbish and not fit for the purpose. I can't say that they are all like that but I don't intend to find out at my own expense. I use Lokpilot or Lenz gold and find that spending the extra money is worth it for the good performance.
 

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I have used quite a few different types of decoder over the last few years. One of the new types available are the Bachmann decoders. Basically these are Bachmann branded ESU decoders that are well presented, well documented, cheap, reliable and have great running characteristics on Hornby and Bachmann locos.

Half the price of similar Lenz decoders. I can't find fault with them. I'll be getting more.

The 8-pin version:
Bachmann EZ Command 2 function decoder (36-552) that has a 8-pin NEM 652 (NMRA Medium) plug. This decoder sells for £8.99.



And the 21-pin version:
Bachmann EZ Command 21-Pin 3 Function decoder (36-554) with Back EMF. This decoder sells for £9.75.



 

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Hi Brian,
The decoder fitted in the Hornby Digital Mixed Goods Set locos (Jinty & Class 08) is a 4 pin affair with an in line plug/socket.

As for my experience with hornby decoders :
I had the Mixed Goods Set with the Hornby Select controller & five other locos that I had fitted with the Hornby R8215 decoder.
No problems at all whilst using the Select, but after switching to a Dynamis, I was plagued with decoders defaulting back to address 3. It happened almost on every power up or short circuit.
After contacting Hornby, they replaced all the decoders, including the two in the Class 08 & Jinty. They even sent me several additional ones, which I guess is the least they could do!! Annoying that I had to swap them all out and they really should have got it right at the start.
With the new decoders (which have a red dot on the chip) all is well and I can't fault them.
I bought a Bachmann Class 108 this weekend & fitted two of the replacement Hornby decoders to it. Excellent slow speed running and the directional lighting worked 1st time without any messing of CV values.

Such a shame they got it wrong in the 1st place.
 

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Hi Randolf,

Since you are only starting out, this can be a difficult decesion.

A question asking right at the start is whether you have a desire to have sound in your locomotives?

If the answer is yes, then you are better putting sound chips in now, rather than having to retro fit them later on.

For what its worth, IMHO ESU and Zimo make the best sound decoders.

Cheers

John
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 9 Apr 2008, 23:39) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have used quite a few different types of decoder over the last few years. One of the new types available are the Bachmann decoders. Basically these are Bachmann branded ESU decoders that are well presented, well documented, cheap, reliable and have great running characteristics on Hornby and Bachmann locos.

Half the price of similar Lenz decoders. I can't find fault with them. I'll be getting more.

The 8-pin version:
Bachmann EZ Command 2 function decoder (36-552) that has a 8-pin NEM 652 (NMRA Medium) plug. This decoder sells for £8.99.

And the 21-pin version:

Images removed to save space
I have to agree with Doug. The latest decoders from the Bachmann stable are just great. So far I have used 6 of their 553 and one 554 21 pin plug in version (in my NRM Deltic) and the slow running is superb as is the control offered at speed too.
Excellent work by Bachmann in using a quality manufacturer and selling them as rebadged decoders at a very good price too.
 
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