Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

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NEvans
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Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby NEvans » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:29 pm

Reading reviews elsewhere they say that the Hornby controllers are very basic aimed more at the "toy" market.

The Select being very cheap and basic, it might well attract modellers into the DCC realm but it seems very much a "toy train" controller both in build quality and limited functionality- it might well attract young modellers into the hobby, especially as it is supplied as part of train sets, but there is a risk that anyone wanting to do more than the very basic tasks with a DCC system will soon become frustrated with the Select.

The Elite DCC controller is also a relatively cheap system that has greater functionality than the Select. It has the ability to update the installed software by downloading software upgrades from the Internet and then using a computer to install the upgrade via the inbuilt USB port. There are still elements of the design that mark it out as a "toy" rather than a system for the serious modeller.

Is this general oppionion? I had been considering an Elite as a "first" DCC, is there anything better out there for the money?

Thanks

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Flashbang
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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby Flashbang » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:02 pm

Hi
The Select is very much a basic starter train set system. It has very limited functionality.
The Elite is actually not such a cheap system as you hint at! Hornby RRP is £199.99 that's far from cheap! Of course it can be obtained for less via internet and larger suppliers.

If you're looking for a starter system that is first class and can be expanded, then take a close look at the NCE PowerCab. Costs less than the Elite and is IMO is by far better!
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DJH584
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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby DJH584 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:49 pm

As flashbang has said, by all means look at the NCE but if you are looking for cheap prices also consider the Bachmann Dynamis.

But your best bet is to go down to your local model shop - if you have one - and ask the staff to demonstrate the systems to you AND allow you to try them.
Then you can find out what system will suit you best - after all they should be after getting a sale from you.

If you don't have a model shop locally that is prepared to do this, then check your local exhibitions or model railway club. See what you can find there and who will let you try hands on.
Ater all this is YOUR money we are talking about here, NOT ours!!!

On our layout we have the Bachmann Dynamis which suits what we want. I think that the basic set up is about £89.00 now But check somewhere like Hattons for the best prices

Whatever you do, DON'T go down the eBay route UNLESS you know what you are doing. You want something that works straight out of the box, first time every time and with a proper guarantee.

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Martin71
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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby Martin71 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:02 am

Hi

Hornby build wonderful highly detailed locos coaches and I consider their gear top notch. Take a look at some of the locos that have come out in the last couple of years, just outstanding. So now that they are pushing 100 GBP some 200 GBP it is worth spending the money on a good DCC controller who specializes in DCC controllers.

Have a red here some great info and straight to the point. I would seriously consider the NCE.

http://www.dccconcepts.com/index_files/ ... isions.htm

To me this sums up the select...

This is not just my opinion - “Model Eisenbahn” who are one of Europe’s most highly respected professional model railway magazines reviewed this product in early 2008. The comprehensive review was in German of course, but there was no mistaking its conclusion, as it was entitled in plain English “Return to Sender”

Hopefully it’ll be dropped and replaced.



Dont get me wrong plenty of select/Elite users out there that are happy.

Best of luck.

Martin

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Silver Surfer
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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby Silver Surfer » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:07 am

I think the majority answer would be YES.

The general advice/opinion is if you are serious about DCC then stay away from any controller which is or can be supplied in a boxed train set, the reasoning behind this is that such controllers are usually sufficient to run the contents of the box but very little else.

As I say, if you are serious about it, then look toward manufacturers who only make dcc kit as their survival in a competitive market depends upon them producing reliable gear - if they don't, they go under.

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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby sishades » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:19 am

Yes, I would say that they are more toy controllers than the"real thing". I would go as far as saying that the Dynamis just about falls into that bracket too, with the the NCE, Lenz, Digitrax and Ecos systems being for the serious user.
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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby Roger (RJ) » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:57 am

The Select is a "train set" controller, the Elite is a far better controller, definitely not a toy. The only problems with the Elite are the clunkiness of operation and poor function control.

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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby Bufferstop » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:59 am

Silver Surfer wrote:The general advice/opinion is if you are serious about DCC then stay away from any controller which is or can be supplied in a boxed train set.


Advice that has long been just as valid for DC control :!:
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ste234
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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby ste234 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:00 am

The NCE is well worth it in my opinion, I previously had a Gaugemaster DC, and with a change to DCC on the cards at the time, the Powercab seemed like the perfect set to start out in DCC with.
I had a look at a select and elite at a show once, and they did feel plasticy (is that a word?) and toyish, but I did like the dual controls on the elite.
Ste :)
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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby Dad-1 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:03 pm

Depend what you want ..... or do you know what you want ?
I have no doubt that a NCE powercab is better than anything Hornby market.

Having said that I run 2 x Selects linked , one each end of a 15' layout with 2 operators.
The 4 amp power pack is an essential for running , or even having over 6 locomotives 'live'
There is much said about altering CV's ..... but so far I've only come across a couple of
locomotives that have needed more alteration to the CVs that a Select can set.
I can set speed steps
accelleration
decelleration
direction of travel
run simple consists (double heading)
Operate my 14 point motors
and exchange a single locomotive between two drivers while in motion.

Because I've got to understand it's quirks I have no real problems although there is no way
you can alter a pre-set 4 digit address, not even take back to default 03 through a Select.
It simply will not recognise 4 digits. But I'm quite happy with mine although the number of
functions is limited and as more sound locos come in with more sounds there will no doubt
be a problem. I run 2 Bachmann sound locos though and currently I can work them O.K.

Geoff T.
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Terrier

Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby Terrier » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:46 pm

any controller is only as good and well applied to a layout or trainset as the person using it, same with cameras, cars, bicycles, microwave ovens etc etc.

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NEvans
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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby NEvans » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:29 pm

Dad-1 wrote:Depend what you want ..... or do you know what you want ?
I have no doubt that a NCE powercab is better than anything Hornby market.
Geoff T.


I am [currently] planning a small and basic layout. 8x6 with central operating well. Single continous track with through and bay platform on one side. This includes small Goods and Engine Sheds. The other side will be the shunting yard and coach sidings. It will have a maximum of 5/6 engines with only two really in motion at one time. Something running while I'm shunting.

Initial thoughts are something like the Elite or similar seems plenty enough. No powered points or other extras to start with. The only thing I do like is hand held controllers while shunting.
First foray into N Gauge: SimpleTown 4'x2'

Dad-1
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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby Dad-1 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:49 pm

If you want a 'hand held' then perhaps NCE is your best cost effective option.
A Select or Elite are not exactly of the hand held type !
I'll still keep using my Select it was cheap and does what I want.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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Hammy
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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby Hammy » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:52 pm

I 've read that the select had limited functions meaning that you can't use all the sound on dcc sound locos.

Have You come across this Geoff?

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Re: Are the Hornby Select and Elite seen as "toy" controllers?

Postby ChrisWV10 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:39 am

The Select can only use functions 0 thru 9 so any sound functions 10 or over will be inaccessible but it depends on the particular loco.

Eg I have the Hornby sound fitted black 5 which only goes up to 9 so no problem, all functions accessible.

but!

The Hornby 56 has 14 functions, so you wouldn't have access to
F10 Ventilator
F11 Short horn1
F12 Short horn2
F13 brakes
F14 conductor signal

C. :)


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