How Good is It

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sparkhill
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How Good is It

Postby sparkhill » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:23 pm

I wonder just how good is the Hornby Select Controller ?, I get the feeling that when modellers discuss this controller they associate it with Hornby decoders and Hornby DCC fitted locos but how good are they when used with American and Continental DCC fitted engines ?, I rather like this controller because I find it easy to use but I have been thinking of building a second layout using American DCC locos, has anyone had any experience using the Select with other than Hornby products, the reason I ask this is bcause on the Hattons website they say the Select is suitable for Bachmann, Hornby and ESU Locksond decoders which I find a little misleading.
Regards
Nobby

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Roger (RJ)
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Re: How Good is It

Postby Roger (RJ) » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:27 pm

It's not a controller that I would try to use with anything but Hornby's basic R8249 decoders due to its lack of CV programming abilities. Even the basic Bachmann decoders can need CV changes that the Select can't do. You really, really need to get something better. I started with the Select and quite quickly upgraded to the Elite and used the Select as a walkabout. I've had an NCE Powercab for a while now but still like the Elite, despite its clunkiness.
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RFS
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Re: How Good is It

Postby RFS » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:28 pm

If you're looking for a new DCC system don't waste your money on the Select. It is not fully NMRA-compliant for a start. Just do a search on this and other forums to see what people say. You can't change CVs, for example, which means you lose a lot of basic DCC functionality.

If you're after a good, entry-level system then have a look at the NCE Powercab. Around £150 compared to £98 (at Hatton's) for the Select, but the extra cost is worth every penny.
Robert Smith

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sparkhill
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Re: How Good is It

Postby sparkhill » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:59 pm

Thank you for your replies, I already have this controller which is a Firmware 1.5 version I was really trying to find out if other locos such as American Atlas, Walthers or Kato will work using the Select controller, I guess the best way to find out is to buy an American DCC loco if it doesn't work I could save the day by fitting a Hornby decoder.
Regards
Nobby

RFS
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Re: How Good is It

Postby RFS » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:25 pm

Hornby R8249 decoders only have 500ma of power and emit blue smoke if you overload them. US locos are often power-hungry and the Hornby decoder therefore might not be suitable. It also comes only in 8-pin version.
Robert Smith

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RAFHAAA96
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Re: How Good is It

Postby RAFHAAA96 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:47 am

There is no reason why your locos won’t work with the v1.5 Select.

This Select fails NMRA compliancy testing statement Is based on ringing on the DCC signal seen when the Select is off load. Stick a few DCC locos on track and the ringing damps out. You can buy a choked cable on eBay which claims to cure the problem anyhow.

Several other DCC controllers are not NMRA warranted either as it seems manufacturers won’t bear the cost of formal testing for the NMRA Warrant, so they just design for NMRA compliancy instead. The proof of the product is in its use in your scenario i.e. does it do what you want it to.

I use a Select as a Walkabout controller hanging off my Elite and its only niggle is it is limited to loco addresses 1-59. I use the Elite to change CVs so this Select limitation doesn’t really effect me.

Rob
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sparkhill
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Re: How Good is It

Postby sparkhill » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:03 pm

Thanks for the heads up on the Select Rob, I am quite happy with what this controller does including borrowing a Bachmann US DCC Diesel F7 that worked perfectly on the Select.
Regards
Nobby

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RAFHAAA96
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Re: How Good is It

Postby RAFHAAA96 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:45 am

sparkhill wrote:Thanks for the heads up on the Select Rob, I am quite happy with what this controller does including borrowing a Bachmann US DCC Diesel F7 that worked perfectly on the Select.



Glad to hear it is OK Nobby
Rob
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Dad-1
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Re: How Good is It

Postby Dad-1 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:06 am

I use Selects for most of my DCC running and find it no more clunky to use than say the clubs
base Gaugemaster system. The frustration is it's inability to change CV's and some locomotive
and decoder combinations must have changes to get running at all !!

Too many people throw the non-NMRA fact about, but then many decoders are not 'certified'.
What you're often left with is a will it - won't it scenario ? Not good when you spend real money !

If you already have your select then you should be able to continue using, but you may find the
occasional decoder that won't work, I used to use TCS, but then they changed the chips architecture
and they wouldn't respond at all to any Select firmware. That means the worst would be the need to
change a decoder, best to have a good buddy who has all the top stuff. My buddy Ron has several
thousand pounds worth of radio controlled Digitrax, but prefers CV changing on his old ZTC system !!
Life can be funny like that !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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End2end
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Re: How Good is It

Postby End2end » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:40 am

"Digital doorstop" as we used to say. :lol:
Thanks
End2end
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sparkhill
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Re: How Good is It

Postby sparkhill » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:08 pm

I had a Select about three years ago and found it did what I wanted back then Firmware 1.2 was all the go, since then I have been modelling American DC but decided to return to British DCC about one year ago, last week I purchased a Mixed Freight set and found out the new Select had Firmware 1.5, ok I was interested to find out a bit about the latest firmware so I started this thread.
To be honest seeing as last time a Select did what I wanted I decided to get another, I am a basic kind of bloke that doesn't need all the bells and whistles I drive a 98 Ford Ute that still has a cassette player that still works and I am happy, the select makes all locomotives on my 10ft x 5ft layout move and I am just as happy with that as I would be with a top line DCC System, I find mucking about with complicated electrical stuff does nothing for me wow I still have a 1970s HiFi system and refuse to buy a seven speaker surround sound system because I only have two ears, to each their own I say.
Regards
Nobby

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RAFHAAA96
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Re: How Good is It

Postby RAFHAAA96 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:20 am

For anyone who is interested you can find the various firmware revision changes for the Select and Elite listed here ...

http://www.halton96th.org.uk/modelrailwayfiles.html

Rob
RAF Halton Brat - 96th Entry
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sishades
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Re: How Good is It

Postby sishades » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:15 pm

My advice would be to go and buy the very best system that you can afford, after all it is the heartbeat of a layout. I would avoid the trainset type controllers and go for somethng more "grown up". There are some good starter sets like the NCE powercab (so many exhibitors use these), the Digitrax Zephyr and so forth. Yes they look a bit pricey but in the long run they will be worth the investment. I purchased a Digitrax super chief over 7 years ago after messing about with hornby controllers, bachman dynamis etc,.
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sparkhill
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Re: How Good is It

Postby sparkhill » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:44 pm

As stated earlier I am happy with the Select controller "it does what I want it to do" :D after 60 years as a model train fanatic I need something fancy like I need a hole in the head :lol: my money would be better spent on locos and rolling stock, I have two layouts at the moment one in a shed that is DC only, the Select is being used on a 6ft x 2ft end to end shunting layout in the house.
Regards
Nobby

triuph1050
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Re: How Good is It

Postby triuph1050 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:32 am

Hi people
I have come back to the hobby and gone the DCC route by buying the mixed goods train set that comes with the Select. All well and good if you stick with the locos supplied but of course I started to build my layout which has a double lines and sidings and buy the bigger sound fitted locos. Now the firmware is the latest so I'm happy to report it works with Dapol's Class 68 no problem and my Bachmann and Hornby engines. It's now that I find the Select short comings in as much as I can only run one loco with all its whistle and bells on at a time, due to the 1 Amp output power supply. So by replacing the power unit with the 4 Amp transformer will this allow me to run more than one engine with all sounds on. Just need a heads up before I risk my locos
Cheers
Peter


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