Which Hornby controller

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heda
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Which Hornby controller

Postby heda » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:14 pm

My layout (still under construction) consists of an oval and a small sidings so I can run two trains independently. I'm currently using a pair of R965's which work fine. However I also have a pair of the newer R8250's which I haven't tried yet.
I am thinking of selling them all and buying a HM2000.
So my question is which of the three options would be best in terms of reliability and speed control.
I'm not wanting to splash out on a Gaugemaster unit and may upgrade to digital in the future although analogue is very adequate.
Dave

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stuartp
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby stuartp » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:38 pm

The R965 is bomb proof and I wish it was still available. The R8250 trips out at the slightest provocation but doesn't indicate that it has done so, you just have to wait for the thermal widget to reset itself. As a controller it doesnt even make a good paperweight, its too light.

I would fork out the extra 40 quid for a Gaugemaster, but only because I've found them to be utterly reliable, my HH has just needed replacing after 35 years service. No experience with H&M.
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Bigmet
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby Bigmet » Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:54 pm

heda wrote:...may upgrade to digital in the future ...

Keep the best 'plain DC' controller that you own when you do. It is invaluable for test running a mechanism before decoder fitting to ensure it is a good runner without the help a DCC decoder will provide, and for any troubleshooting should a loco fitted with a DCC decoder subsequently develop a running problem. I have lost count of the number of online questions I have read where an owner is trying to guess whether the problem is with the mechanism or with the decoder / DCC system. The mechanism is always a 12V DC unit first, DCC is an 'overlay'; being able to separate the two makes the problem solving that much simpler, as you can then confidently go to work on the right element.

heda
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby heda » Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:38 pm

Good advice, I shall sell the R8250's, although they look neater I have read some bad reviews about them and they do seem pretty flimsy. As suggested I will keep one of the R8250's both as a spare and for testing DCC loco's prior to chipping if I decide to go digital.
So now its whether to stick with two R8250's or one HM2000 which certainly looks neater but how does it perform ?
Dave

Bigmet
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby Bigmet » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:38 pm

heda wrote:... how does it perform ?

I'll give you a hint of my opinion: will never match the result from a good decoder operated by a DCC system. And that's before the layout wiring reductions and array of operational flexibility that DCC delivers is taken into consideration.

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GeoFF03
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby GeoFF03 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:43 pm

So now its whether to stick with two R8250's or one HM2000 which certainly looks neater but how does it perform ?
Dave


I've had my HM2000 since I got into model railways over 15 years ago. It has never given me any trouble and I find the speed control is OK.

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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby mahoganydog » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:52 pm

Gaugemaster first time every time. British made with a lifetime warranty. You only get one year with Hornby!
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby 4472 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:35 pm

Even if you buy a secondhand Gaugemaster the guarantee is still valid
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DAVID S.
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby DAVID S. » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:06 am

Gaugemaster allday.Would really like the Q model but at close on £200 thats a big save up time for me having just been made redundant.Have the D model and find it faultless.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:14 am

stuartp wrote:. No experience with H&M.


H&M were bought up by Hornby many years ago, it was as an employee of H&M that Simon K came to work for Hornby. The HM series of Hornby controllers are allegedly the successor to them, no way!
Gaugemaster's products are the nearest replacement for H&M. H&M controllers were designed and built rather like military gear. They were solid, heavy and unburstable. I have one that's cracking on for 50yrs old, it looks like it, but it is still capable of running the old heavyweight motors from Triang and H-D, and present day low current motors without having to think about it. If you get one of their earlier designs with the sloping front panel they were fitted with a electromagnetic overload device. They weren't phased by the minor short circuits caused by wheel backs touching point blades, but in a derailment or a coupling hook coming off and falling across the track they cut out with a bang that left you in no doubt as to what had happened.
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Flashbang
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby Flashbang » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:54 am

IMO the two best UK manufactured DC controllers are Gaugemaster and Morley.

Hornby products are in the main for toy train set use. Even the HM2000 is very low powered, offering just 550 milliamp per track output maximum. Most better quality DC controllers are at least 1.0Amp (1000 milliamp).
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heda
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby heda » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:31 am

Thanks to all for the input. The R8250's are on ebay so that's one issue sorted.
I do appreciate digital control is superior to analogue and it is something I may well consider in the future. I've wired the track so that it can be converted by simply soldering a couple of wires under the board.
Sticking to analogue for now I'll consider the advice, also bearing in mind my layout is really just a landscaped train set and at my age a lifetime guarantee is not so important, two factors that balance the equation with more expensive controllers.
Dave

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GeraldH
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby GeraldH » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:07 pm

Another vote for Gaugemaster. They repaired my 20 year old Model D for free without any quibbles. Excellent controllers and exceptional service. Worth every penny :) .
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Bufferstop
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:43 pm

I bought a secondhand Gaugemaster handheld feed back controller as spares or repair at a swapmeet. I decided that my conscience wouldn't let me send it in for repair it had definitely been abused and tampered with. Needing a spare controller I bought a cheapo motor speed controller from Ebay, rescued the case, switch and LED from the dead one and re assembled it. Makes a darned good controller. Smoother than I remember the Gaugemaster type being. From the dimensions given on the website I thought I would have to put a 1-2mm thick gasket between the halves of the case to get it in, but when it arrived it was a good 2mm less than they said and it went together perfectly.
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heda
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Re: Which Hornby controller

Postby heda » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:02 pm

That's very interesting bufferstop. I'm tempted to buy a couple and make up a controller, initially for use as a back up but if it's as smotth as you say I might use it instead of a commercial unit.
Another little project..
Dave


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