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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am lucky enough to get a tip off from Santa that he will be delivering a new Hornby Elite on Christmas Day. This I am hoping to use with my select as a walk about controller. Does anybody know whether standard American spec telephone leads will work as Xpress Net leads? If not, are there any other alternatives to purchasing the Hornby Originals.

Merry Christmas
 

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DT
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The Hornby Xpressnet connections use RJ11 connectors, but require twisted pairs of cables. Unfortunately most telephone cables don't have twisted pairs of cable.

What we have found to work is Cat5 Ethernet cable (which has the right type of twisted pair wires) with RJ11 or RJ12 connectors.

You can cut the telephone connectors off with about 5cm of cable and splice the wires to the Cat5 Ethernet cable.

Looking at the diagram below, the L&M wires need to be twisted together and the A&B wires need to be twisted together.



Have Hornby released their cables and 2-in-to1 Y-connectors that were promised earlier in the year?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks like a cut and shut job may be in order to while away the Christmas Holidays. I am sure I can find both in a box of computer bits somewhere.

Thanks Doug

Merry Christmas
 

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QUOTE (Bill Bells @ 19 Dec 2007, 22:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Looks like a cut and shut job may be in order to while away the Christmas Holidays. I am sure I can find both in a box of computer bits somewhere.

Thanks Doug

Merry Christmas
Is it worth it to save a fiver?
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 20 Dec 2007, 06:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Hornby Xpressnet connections use RJ11 connectors, but require twisted pairs of cables. Unfortunately most telephone cables don't have twisted pairs of cable.

What we have found to work is Cat5 Ethernet cable (which has the right type of twisted pair wires) with RJ11 or RJ12 connectors.

You can cut the telephone connectors off with about 5cm of cable and splice the wires to the Cat5 Ethernet cable.

Looking at the diagram below, the L&M wires need to be twisted together and the A&B wires need to be twisted together.



Have Hornby released their cables and 2-in-to1 Y-connectors that were promised earlier in the year?

***Doug, I'm sorry to contradict you but it is NOT necessary to use twisted pair cable with XpressNet unless you are making an absolutely HUGE layout with a but well in excess of 300 feet.

Standard phone cables are quite adequate. I have never seen a layout that has needed to go to the extreme of twisted pairs.

to quote from the Lenz Manual (As Lenz are the "creators and specifiers" of the net configuration, Hornby should be exactly the same)
Quote #1: You may use Module plugs instead of DIN plugs for wiring your XpressNet or any combination of Din and Module plugs. If you use module plugs you can use either 4 or 6 wire plugs.
Quote #2:For reasons of physics the maximum length of the XpressNet depends on the kind and size of the wires used for the XpressNet.With normal telephone wire the length should not exceed 300 ft. If you install a twin-core, twisted cable for the signal lines of the XpressNet you can increase the length to up to 3000 ft. without problems.
Kind regards
Richard Johnson
DCCconcepts
 

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DT
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Richard, you are right. XpressNet does not need twisted pairs of cables... but the Hornby system does need them. Perhaps indicating that there is an XBUS type system used and not a true XpressNet system.

We have tested a connection between the Hornby Select and Elite with plain telephone wires and it doesn't work. With the Cat5 Ethernet cable it does work.

I use standard 4-wire phone cables to connect the CAB stations on my Lenz XpressNet layout.
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 20 Dec 2007, 17:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Richard, you are right. XpressNet does not need twisted pairs of cables... but the Hornby system does need them. Perhaps indicating that there is an XBUS type system used and not a true XpressNet system.

We have tested a connection between the Hornby Select and Elite with plain telephone wires and it doesn't work. With the Cat5 Ethernet cable it does work.

I use standard 4-wire phone cables to connect the CAB stations on my Lenz XpressNet layout.

***Thats new info for me - thanks Doug:

Oh Why am I not surprised... Oh well. Berndt Lenz must be happy - the XpressNet thats clearly not really to the XpressNet specifications.... Again something promoted as something it is not. I suspect the line level is low and it'd possibly work with a +12v added to the signal wires, but I don't have one to test it with.

Another Hornby negative - just what is not needed (and a complication most Elite users won't understand as its a bugger to splice RJ connectors properly).

Richard
 

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nickb
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All, buy the Hornby cables for £5 and you will not have any hassles at all. The normal Xpressnet cables offered by Litchfield station in the US and phone cables do not work.
Do not buy the Hornby double adaptor - for some reason, this causes the Elite to crash. Hornby are working on this issue. I have two Hornby cables each plugged into the ports on the Elite and connected to two Selects. Works a treat.
 

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QUOTE I have two Hornby cables each plugged into the ports on the Elite and connected to two Selects. Works a treat.

So the Elite is driving the track and you use the Selects as additional controllers plugged into the Elite?

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 22 Dec 2007, 10:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>So the Elite is driving the track and you use the Selects as additional controllers plugged into the Elite?

David
Hi Nick, Just wondering how the select addressing works...I have an Elite and select waiting under the tree for my son (dad might get a go, hence the extra controller!) And i would like to address as 4 digit or names on the Elite...How do you call up locos with the select? Would i be better to get another Elite (Can they connect to each other?)

Mike.
 

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This is a reply from Hornby Hobbies DCC Support to a question about using the Select as a walkabout and using the accessory addresses reserved on the Select:-

QUOTE Using the SELECT in conjunction with an ELITE controller...

The SELECT controller has limitations when used as walkabout for the ELITE. The display etc on the SELECT controller is limited re the number of digits displayable for addresses. Also, there is an issue in the selection of accessory/loco addressing numbers as the SELECT is fixed to the range 60-99 for accessories and 1-59 for locos, while the ELITE has a wider range of address numbers available for both types of decoder.

I suggest that you reprogramme your points back to within the address range 60-99. You should now be able to control them from both the SELECT and ELITE. Note: On the ELITE you press the "ACC" button before selecting a accessory decoder address.. on the SELECT you do not have the equivalent control button as the SELECT already "knows" that any address between 60-99 is an accessory.. i.e. this behaviour is hardwired into it's "brain." .

Loco address ranges will have to miss out the range address 60-99 in order for the SELECT to be useable for controlling locos. Also, if you wish to control all locos from either the SELECT and the ELITE you will be limited to an address range from 1-59 due to the two digit display on the SELECT.

If you wish to use only the ELITE for controlling locos you should be able to use any address between 1-9999.

SELECT WALKABOUT..

The forthcoming "SELECT WALKABOUT" will be a device allowing full addressing capability.

Hope this clarify the situation..

Kenn

HH DCC Support

So any locos you control exclusively with the Select have to have the addresses in the range 1-59. You are not prevented from controlling locos with the Elite using a 4 digit addrsss when the Select is used in walkabout mode as a third controller (the Elite offering controllers one and two).

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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nickb
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Hi all, Not much need to add comments about the Select working as a hand controller for the Elite after the above comments; all of which are 100% correct.

I am finding I am using the Select as the driver of the trains more than the Elite console, as I prefer the smooth knob feel on the Select, the simple loco number/enter, but most of all, I have the unit hand held and can be away from the central point where my Elite is stationed.

When the 'real' walkabout comes out and allows usage of the addresses greater than 60, I will put my two current Selects back next to my Elite ( a la Zero One days) and get a couple of walkabouts which will be stationed around the periphery of my 8 x 5 m layout.

At this time, I will renumber my accessory decoders - starting with 60 is not what I really wanted to do.

Hey all, Have a Merry Xmas.

regards

Nick
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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QUOTE The SELECT controller has limitations when used as walkabout for the ELITE. The display etc on the SELECT controller is limited re the number of digits displayable for addresses. Also, there is an issue in the selection of accessory/loco addressing numbers as the SELECT is fixed to the range 60-99 for accessories and 1-59 for locos, while the ELITE has a wider range of address numbers available for both types of decoder.
The forthcoming "SELECT WALKABOUT" will be a device allowing full addressing capability.

Mmm this is very strange, just seen the 'Select Walkabout' available from Hattons and it just shows what looks like a 'Select' but with no power supply but with the correct XpressNet cable.

Select Walkabout

If this is the case how can it work with the Elite?
The LCD is still only 2 digits, so the above reply from Hornby seems a bit odd...yes I had the same reply when I asked this very question!!

Ok they could have changed the software in the Select so it's not fixed 1-59 for loco addresses and 60-99 for accessories, but it doesn't look like they have put a larger display in to read back 4 digits!

Anybody got one yet to confirm how/if this actually works?

Ian
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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Well the new Hornby 2008 catalogue has answered the above point!!

QUOTE The forthcoming "SELECT WALKABOUT" will be a device allowing full addressing capability.

That statement isn't actually correct then is it, nice one Kenn, at Hornby support who told me that!

The 'Select Walkabout' is just a Select with no power supply, so it can't access all the functions of the Elite!!

What you will actually need is the new ACCESS 1 infra red controller, which will probably cost the same as the Elite!
(or just buy a Dynamis, for the ease of function operations alone!)



From the Hornby web site this will not be available until the 4th quarter....so maybe next year


I think that Hornby have now completely blown it though, I asked for easier function operation ages ago....didn't happen, it still only works with RR&CO which is too expensive.
They said the Select-Walkabout would have FULL ADRESSING CAPABILITY is doesn't, now have to wait for Access 1, I wonder what other excuse they will come up with?

The Dynamis is out and appears to be a very good system, it has route functions, programmable function switches and will be even better with the Pro box!
With Hornby you need to buy the Elite then the Acces 1 IR controller to be near equal...all of that will cost way more than the Dynamis with pro box....good old Hornby lets FOLLOW the competition.

Ian
 

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Richard,

From your diagram i see i can use a standard 8conductor cat5 cable and only crimp the centre 4 conductors.....Making sure the centre 2 are a twisted pair and the next 2 out from them as a pair too?

I have had issues with no successful control......my elite just crashes, however i crimped 6 wires, kept it STRAIGHT through but ignored the twist......Could this be my problem?

Michael
 

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QUOTE The Dynamis is out and appears to be a very good system, it has route functions, programmable function switches and will be even better with the Pro box!
With Hornby you need to buy the Elite then the Acces 1 IR controller to be near equal...all of that will cost way more than the Dynamis with pro box....good old Hornby lets FOLLOW the competition.

Happy New Year Ian

Does Dynamis have route functions? It has an accessory hot key function permiting up to 10 accessory CV's to be programmed with hotkeys. There is no mention anywhere of route functions. You cannot combine 10 accessories into one hotkey. We also have to bear in mind that Hornby DCC can be used by the 3+ age group and this could have some influence on its design and the design of Access 1 including the design of function keys. I have a feeling that a key has to be a certain minimum size to get a 3+ rating and to have a large number of function keys of that minimum size on a console would make the console overlarge. By having a menu system I would guess Hornby could always provide more function capacity with a simple firmware upgrade if they felt it necessary.

What we do not yet know is the cost of the Pro box or the Access 1 controller. What we do know is that the Elite does offer more functionality and ampage in its basic package. And one offers joystick control and the other twin knob control.

Hornby should offer the stand alone Select type walkabout unit with 4 function addressing as stated when Hornby responded to questions about using the Select as a walkabout unit. I personally cannot see the point of offering the lead enabled Walkabout with just 2 digit addressing and at the same time offering IR Access 1 but maybe Hornby know something we don't. Maybe simple 2 digit adressing is that most commonly used by Hornby customers!

We have to remember the Select type Walkabout can be used with the Select as a walkabout as well as the Elite and the Select has a far larger user base.

I would guess that Access 1 will be of interest more to "Elite type" DCC users than "Select type" DCC users and who is to say that Access 1 as an accessory will be limited to use just with Hornby kit!!! We don't know yet.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (miksterr @ 2 Jan 2008, 19:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Richard,

From your diagram i see i can use a standard 8conductor cat5 cable and only crimp the centre 4 conductors.....Making sure the centre 2 are a twisted pair and the next 2 out from them as a pair too?

I have had issues with no successful control......my elite just crashes, however i crimped 6 wires, kept it STRAIGHT through but ignored the twist......Could this be my problem?

Michael

*** Hi Michael

The (original lenz manual) xpressnet diagramme is actually using standard old phone cable which is what lenz designed it to work with and what every competent implementation of xpressnet requires, however Hornby have again gone their own way and as per earlier posts, it seems they have such an unstable implementation of xpressnet that it needs the assistance of twisted cables.

Or... the connection between the two isn't really xpressnet at all.

Yes, you could probably get away with cat 5 used as you suggest, worth a try indeed but if it gives problems it may just be easier to use the original hornby cable as suggested... having systems crash takes far too much pleasure away from playing trains.

Regards

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 2 Jan 2008, 20:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does Dynamis have route functions? It has an accessory hot key function permiting up to 10 accessory CV's to be programmed with hotkeys. There is no mention anywhere of route functions. You cannot combine 10 accessories into one hotkey. We also have to bear in mind that Hornby DCC can be used by the 3+ age group and this could have some influence on its design and the design of Access 1 including the design of function keys. I have a feeling that a key has to be a certain minimum size to get a 3+ rating and to have a large number of function keys of that minimum size on a console would make the console overlarge. By having a menu system I would guess Hornby could always provide more function capacity with a simple firmware upgrade if they felt it necessary.

***Gary, you are waffling on in irrelevancies once more.

There is nothing "age related" in the way that the two units operate functions.

The elite does some things nicely but function acces isn't one of them

Hornby for some strange arcane reason chose to need two to three button pushes to operate many simple functions, two or three more to turn them off. Almost all other products including the Bachmann need only one to turn it on, one to turn it off.

How does complicating an action make it better for 3 year olds? and what on earth has a 3 year old to do with a sensible DCC discussion other than absolutely nothing? (as is usual with your DCC comments)

Its clear from the above and other comments U made that you don't really understand the reality of most things DCC...

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What a hot bed of worms on xpressnet ideas.

I finally got round to trying out the Select as a walkabout yesterday, and with the assistance of 2 standard PC modem cables (note 4 wires connected), and a standard BT socket doubler used as a connector in the midle, was able to use the Select effectively as a walk about controller. This suggests to me that the benefits of twisted piar (namely noise reduction) is not always required - I was running about 6 metres of cable. Is it possible that the signal strength from the elite is variable? or do some of us use colied up cables - perfect antenna for picking up the neighbours hoover or washing machine?
It worked in my case, but if in doubt, buy the proper lead and if it still doesn't work, complain to Hornby.
 
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