New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Discuss Hornby Model Railway products and related topics here. This includes (Lima, Rivarossi, Jouef, Electrotren).
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Alexander Court
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New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Alexander Court » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:32 am

I have written a complaint to hornby via their website to complain about being given an electric shock by their new controller. This horrible silver piece of cheap feeling new fangled hornby rubbish has annoyed me since day one but I never thought it would cause me to complain past the styling.

While trying out the new trackplan for my layout i had the new controller with me so i could test all the points were working, and they were. The controller was plugged in and switched on at the wall and running normally and i had just finished a move with my 45xx and i turned the knob til it was as far in the off position as it would go and leaned over to pick up something and as i did so my index finger on my left hand near the knuckle made contact with one of the rails and gave me a rather painful electric shock. Being rather annoyed and confused i could find no fault with the track or how the power was connected, through one of hornbys newer powertrack pieces. Just to make sure it wasn't so mistake i touched the rail again cautiously and received another shock, but not enough to leave a red mark like the first time.

Any ideas why I would have got a shock, i presumed you could not get a shock like this, i never have done before. I wrote a complaint to hornby, although it was more of a worried note about if it could happen with their controllers in other sets like the ones some children might have got for christmas.

I'm more perplexed than angry, but i still haven't found a fault with the layout yet, the locos run on it fine.

Alex.

"I love the way you call it Art, When you never even use your Heart, and I just wanna tear you Apart"

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Jim S-W
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Jim S-W » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:51 am

Is this a DC controller or a DCC one? If its DCC then touching both rails will give you a shock as theres always power on (this is the case with any DCC system)

If its DC and the power is off (or rather the control knob is telling you the power is off) do any locos move or 'sing'? Singing is a humming noise. If they move then there is a DC current present, if they sing there is an AC current present (and after a while your locos will die)

I know I havent suggested a solution just for more info

Cheers

Jim

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Alexander Court
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Alexander Court » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:55 am

It's a DC controller from the blue rapier set and it had the knob in the full off position and thus the train was not moving and i could hear no sound from the track, i have a HM2000 which i normally use but that is in place elsewhere for the moment so i resorted to the new controller, which seems to have been a mistake :(

Alex.

"I love the way you call it Art, When you never even use your Heart, and I just wanna tear you Apart"

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Zunnan
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Zunnan » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:59 am

What you experienced was probably nothing to do with the controller itself, rather from the track feed. You say 'newer powertrack', so I assume is an R8206 rather than the DCC version and these have a capacitor in them. It was by touching the rails that you most likely discharged energy stored in the capacitor and got what is best described as a strong static shock. The fact that you recieved a second, weaker, shock bears this out as if it were under a DC supply you would have got exactly the same level of shock as the first. The first contact partially discharged whatever storage device (capacitor) was connected to the rails but did not fully discharge it, meaning that subsequent contact was met with a weaker discharge.

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Alexander Court
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Alexander Court » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:48 am

That sounds like you might have a explanation, but how many times would i need to touch it to discharge all of the static electricity because if i keep touching it i keep getting a shock now. Why is there a build up in the capacitor, and why do my fingers keep having to be shocked?

Is there anyway to stop this from occurring?

thanks, Alex.

"I love the way you call it Art, When you never even use your Heart, and I just wanna tear you Apart"

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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Essex2Visuvesi » Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:49 am

Alexander Court wrote:and why do my fingers keep having to be shocked?

thanks, Alex.


It's your punishment for buying the Blue Rapier set lol ;)

Just kidding,

If you remove the power track and connect the controller to the track with a power clip or some other means does the problem go away?
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby kennyGWSR » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:53 pm

We have had three of those damn Christmas Cracker toy like controllers returned in the first few days of 2012! Never have we had a problem with the older black box with red dial on it. Bad decision by Hornby.
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Jonny
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Jonny » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:21 pm

See, I'm not a fan of the new silver controllers either, but the fact is they actually work compared to my old black box controller which kept overheating. So I'm stuck until I convert to DCC.

Quite worried about the AC comment though. I have a cheap silver controller, and generally I have to turn the dial halfway before the locos will move. As I'm turning the dial the locos will make a sort of electric humming sound. Is this normal? If the dial is turned completely off there's no sound whatsoever from the locos.

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poliss
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby poliss » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:37 pm

I suspect it's nothing to do with the controller at all, but more to do with your carpet. Is it man made fibre or wool? You are probably getting charged with static electricity from the carpet and when you touch the rail it is being discharged. If you have the lights off you'll probably see a spark going from your finger when you touch the track.

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Free_at_last
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Free_at_last » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:47 pm

Did your skeleton light up, if not it doesn't count.
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby vikingsmb » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:27 pm

Get rid of it and get Gaugemaster. much better than hornby (and more powerful)

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Alexander Court
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Alexander Court » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:36 pm

I will have to test it with a normal power clip, however the newer style controllers have a big black thing with both the power prongs together so that they fit into power track and when i try and plug this into a power clip it just pushes them back out again.

Its currently on a basboard i have made out of a cheap argos paste table, instead of the floor as the new place we are in has carpet. i think its ply topped,whatever it is i don't think it has much to do with the shock i keep getting. I have two of these silver things and one works ok and one has a problem with the directional switch. Hornbys newer trainset leaflet thing for the controller says that humming is normal with these new controllers :S

Just got some cork tiles to cut up and glue down and maybe that will help.

Thanks, Alex.

"I love the way you call it Art, When you never even use your Heart, and I just wanna tear you Apart"

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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby D306Whistler » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:11 pm

Ah the cheapo under powered piece of crap that Hornby replaced the good old R965 controller with. I hate that controller with a passion as it trips out quite a lot with most of my older model trains hence that the older motors tend to draw more current than what the controller can deliver. If anything from my Triang, Heljan or even Lima models stall out on the track, this heap cuts out :roll:. I just gave up with it and chucked it in the bin after replacing it with a Gaugemaster which those controllers are built like tanks and won't throw a wobbly unlike that thing Hornby call a train controller than replaced the R965 :).

I would recommend getting a Gaugemaster, yes they cost a bit more than the Hornby ones, but they can handle almost any OO gauge train that uses 12 volts DC and they come with a lifetime guarantee so if you get one and if anything goes wrong with it at a later date. They will repair or replace it free of charge ;). Though I have not had any problems with mine in the last two years I have used it. I have the Model D dual track controller.
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Essex2Visuvesi
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Essex2Visuvesi » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:54 pm

Look on ebay and get yourself an old H&M duette or clipper, built to the same specifications as a Sherman Tank

Image
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Alexander Court
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Re: New Silver Hornby Controller Gave Me An Electric Shock

Postby Alexander Court » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:10 pm

Luckily enough when i went back to the uk in october i was able to dig out my HM2000 from the rafters of the garage at my dads but i am currently using it on an oval layout i set up on the spare bed :P

Whilst testing track this evening on the layout I am building before going to pin the track i again received another shock, is there really nothing i can do to get this controller working without it zapping my fingers?

alex

"I love the way you call it Art, When you never even use your Heart, and I just wanna tear you Apart"


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