Hornby Elite DCC - some comments

Perhaps cos no one has told them of a problem, so far its been if you try and use the system incorrectly it wont work. Or perhaps there so many enthusiastic retailers giving extra help to their customers out of the goodness of their hearts that hornby just dont want to interfere. Isnt that nice ?
Simon
Reply to
simon
Loading thread data ...
How would you define an over specified system? In my experience one doesn't know if one will want/need "advanced" features until one tries them or until one moves to new areas of control. I'd agree that things like "ditch lights", "Mars lights" and flashers are all of little use on a pre-grouping shunting loco.
They're all written in German, or Chinese or mock-English! =8^)
My wife got annoyed when I set up the TV she had tried for hours to set up to watch Coronation Street. "I read the instructions and couldn't make any sense of them, how come you did it?" "Easy, you just have to pretend they are in English when you read them - that and already know how to do it".
Regards, Greg.P.
Reply to
Greg Procter
How about when you have a pre-grouping shunting loco and the salesman tries to sell you something that has things like "ditch lights", "Mars lights" and flashers.
Not all suprisingly enough, but even those that do can have a helpful diagram - says he having assembled a variety of lego things.
What can be said its like you should never let a lady open a carriage door, it takes them far too long.
Simon
Reply to
simon
Well, when I got the decoder home I would find (in all probability) that the flash rates etc are reprogramable so I could create a nice flickering firebox door opening and still have two switchable outputs that can be used when I decide to make an engine driver who waves to the kids by the layout and the fireman who shovels another load of coal into the far corner of the lit firebox! See, I didn't even know I was going to model those features when I bought it! =8^&
I had one diagram that had the wire colours listed incorrectly but drawn right!
Reply to
Greg Procter
So every time you go into your local model shop you buy every electric, diesel and steam loco, from all periods and all regions because when you get home you suddenly decide you wish to model everything, everywhere .... Also you have an articulated lorry in your garage that you use when you nip down to the shops and ....
In case you are interested, I know of a wonderful old bridge over the river thames that woud look very nice in your garden.
Simon
Reply to
simon
Hmmm, if all the locos came included in the price of the pre-grouping era shunter kit ... The extra features come with the basic decoder these days.
Hmmm, could be useful on my present property!
Reply to
Greg Procter
Greg Procter said the following on 23/11/2006 00:03:
...and whether brand A black box will work with brand B black box.
Reply to
Paul Boyd
"Chris" wrote
That includes me! What on earth is a packet structure, and for that matter should I need to know, and more to the point should somone need to know who is starting out in this hobby?
John.
Reply to
John Turner
Yep am with you there, so who can test them - got any in your shop John ?
As far as I understand it we want to know if :- a) tcs decoder set to 2 digit address (CV1) in range 1-59 by another system can be read/reset using a select unit.
b) tcs decoder set to factory defaults can be programmed with the Select unit.
Simon
Reply to
simon
I think Chris needs to backtrack on that one esp as this is a general group not a DCC specific one for those who really want to debate the fine details. Perhaps the debate on if a particular system is fullly NMRA compliant is not a useful one. Of more interest is if a particular system does everything claimed for it. Better still does it do everything a purchaser wants taking into account the price vs features - wow the Hornby systems are tops on that idea ...
Simon
Reply to
simon
Surely, If manufacturers do not conform to a national or better still an international standard and provide concise user instructions then the customers should vote with their wallets.
Speaking as a control engineer of long experience, it is not necessary to enter the "black box" and anything which is sold as a tool to a project should be user friendly and not require a Ph.D in button pressing or a facility in gobidigook speak.
That which I need to know to design, is in no way related to the knowlege required by the end user. I often get the impression that there is a group of "modellers" who merely wish to impress us with their savoir malin.
Reply to
Peter Abraham
"simon" wrote
Not yet, or should I say only in trainsets - and people get upset when they purchase new product if it's been previously removed from its packaging.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
"simon" wrote
I'm not quite sure I agree Simon. In theory if a product is fully NMRA compliant then one can say with a fair degree of confidence that product A from manufacturer B will work with product C from manufacturer D.
As an example, I was able to purchase an ESU Mobile (wireless) controller with every confidence that it would work perfectly satisfactorily with my (very basic) Lenz Compact command centre simply by pluggin one into the other, and without any reprogramming.
Can one say the same with the new Hornby DCC range?
That to me is the real issue.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
"Peter Abraham" wrote
Absolutely, but the reality some of the larger manufacturers work on the basis that their name alone will sell the product, and the fact that it may not be fully compatible with industry standards simply means that the customer is locked into that product range.
It's important that people are informed when this becomes an issue, because that 'locking in' can restrict their opportunities of taking full advantage of all the features which DCC can offer.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
No, you don't need to know exactly what "packets" are, but as in all things technical, it helps if you have reasonably accurate mental image of what's going on. In this case, a bit of technical knowledge helps you understand what "NMRA compliant" means, for example. That could save you money.
So here's a technical explanation.
All data used by computers are formatted according to strict rules. For example, every JPEG image file has a header that contains certain information in a strict order. This enables a the image viewer program to use the correct procedure for converting the data in the image file into data that can be used by the video card that displays the image on your computer's screen. Note that these image files are "platform neutral" -- that is, they will work on any computer, regardless of hardware or operating system, as long as the image viewer program knows how to decode the data. DVD players too can display them on your TV, if they have JPEG image decoder software built in.
A DCC decoder is a small computer. The data that it decodes comes in small chunks called "packets." NMRA realised early one that if the format of these packets were standardised, then manufacturers were free to make any hardware they wanted to make. So NMRA specified the data packet format. It also recommended colour codes for the wires used to hook up the decoder to the locomotive. This recommendation has become a de facto standard. (NMRA == National Model Railroad Association, founded and headquartered in the USA, and an entirely volunteer _consumer_ organisation, not an industry one.)
Any hardware that can handle NMRA standard packets is NMRA compliant. Any hardware wired with the NMRA colour coded wires will work with any other hardware so wired. There are variations in the add-on function available with different hardware offered by different manufacturers. These variations determine what you can do with any given loco - hardware combination, but all such combinations will control the locomotive's speed and direction.
The last couple of years, some manufacturers have made hardware that does not comply with NMRA standards or recommended practices. IMO you should avoid such products. The NMRA standard is more than adequate to enable a host of cool hardware. For example, a fully radio-controlled DCC system with an on-board rechargeable battery is feasible. The radio would transmit the control signals. The batteries would supply uninterrupted decoder power. The rails would supply power for the locomotive's motor and for keeping the decoder battery charged. Existing hardware, available from Radio Shack et al, can be used to build such a system.
Just for the record: in case no one has yet proposed or patented this obvious concept, I hereby claim originator's rights. If some patent-jumper wants to make a fuss, this post is proof of "prior art". Hah!
HTH
Reply to
Wolf K
"Peter Abraham" wrote
Yup, but in today's commercial world 'forever' has been effectively displaced by 'short term-ism', so idealised by Thather's Conservative government.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
This is very nice for the electronically literate but! I have been acutely aware of how quickly people can curl up at the edges when faced with this kind of explanation. A properly presented and marketed product should need none of this. People want to play trains and DCC was an attempt to remove the difficulties involved in the analogue control of a sophisticated layout. This very discussion should convince the most ardent DCCite that somewhere along the line this objective has been lost.
Reply to
Peter Abraham

Site Timeline

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.