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NCE PowerPro & Hornby decoders

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:12 pm
by PDW
I am thoroughly happy with my NCE kit. However, it does not seem to like Hornby decoders at all. Seems fine with all others, including Bachmann. Seem to get poor responsiveness from the Hornby chips and I've even had one fried for no apparent reason! Is this a general thing? ie: don't mix NCE & Hornby decoders?

Re: NCE PowerPro & Hornby decoders

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:45 pm
by St. Paddy
Hi mate- in my research, consensus would be they are the decoders to avoid. Many others available, all at differing cost, but they were the ones to avoid :wink:

Re: NCE PowerPro & Hornby decoders

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:10 pm
by Flashbang
Sorry to be the 'Fly in the Ointment', but....
Latest Hornby decoders are to NMRA compliance. They should happily work with any similar NMRA compliant system. This includes the NCE PowerCab or PowerPro.

Yes, I agree they had a very poor start in life several years ago, but the latest R8249 and R8245 Sapphire are fully NMRA compliant. Yes, the R8249 is a very basic decoder with few CVs available. But what else do you expect from a decoder sold for around £9GPB each?? The biggest problem with the R8249 is its low motor control current (500ma).

The Sapphire R8245 decoder is far more 'up market' and on par with many other makes of leading mid priced decoders.

They will do exactly what is on the packet!

If you want a really budget decoder with no motor fine tuning nor many other CV adjustments, then the R8249 will suffice!


Edit to add PowerPro wording.

Re: NCE PowerPro & Hornby decoders

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:52 pm
by Roger (RJ)
I agree with Flashbang. Totally acceptable at the price and no "kangarooing", unlike some other low cost decoders.

Re: NCE PowerPro & Hornby decoders

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:21 am
by Silver Surfer
Sorry guys but I'm firmly in the 'don't buy them at any price' camp.....

Yes they seem to be getting their act together somewhat in relation to NMRA compliance* with this particular decoder but ask yourself "How long have they been making electronics gear and how much of their kit is recommended (by us the end users) as totally reliable, or even 'reliable'?" The answers are probably 'Too long' and 'None of it'

You've got a decent bit of DCC kit in the NCE set up you have so why couple this up with crap decoders - bit like buying a Rolls Royce and putting an Escort engine in it, then expecting it to perform like one with a proper engine.

Mike

*(nb. Compliance only means they (Hornby) say it meets the requirements - it doesn't mean anyone else does. I note they don't appear to have tried to get it 'certified as complying' by the NMRA).

Re: NCE PowerPro & Hornby decoders

Posted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:47 pm
by ERMick
I've used the R8249 a few times and not had a problem. I use them on older locos that don't have any all-singing, all-dancing functions and they're fine.

Also, at the price, I've found them very handy for my first attempts at soldering decoders into non-DCC locos as you're not so paranoid about cocking them up and wasting a load of money (though the ones I've soldered so far have all worked first time).

Re: NCE PowerPro & Hornby decoders

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:39 am
by Silver Surfer
ERMick wrote:as you're not so paranoid about cocking them up and wasting a load of money

Not a problem if you use TCS decoders - they come with a 12 month, no questions asked, 'goof proof' warranty - removes the paranoia and they're excellent decoders to boot....

Mike

Re: NCE PowerPro & Hornby decoders

Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:46 am
by Flashbang
I agree with Silver Surfer (Mike) re the excellent TCS range of decoders and I too use them with great results.
But I also use Hornby R8249 basic decoders with good results too (used within their limitations).

What really needs to be remembered is that the R8249 is 'Bargain basement', while TCS are way above this around middle of the store. Lenz Gold & Zimo being at Penthouse level.
Cost wise individually Hornby R8249 decoders are approx £9 each. Hornby Sapphire R8245 about £20 each. Average TCS price is approx £18 or more.

Ironically the NMRA, according to their list (linked below) have never issued a Warrant for any TCS product! Unless TCS manufacture under another name?
But have issued three to Hornby for their DCC products - Elite at V 1.2. Sapphire R8245 Decoder and the now obsolete R8215 loco decoder at Version 1.3! Which means they met the stringent checks and test carried out by the NMRA themselves.

http://www.nmra.org/standards/candi/pdf ... 010.04.pdf
Or the same list but heading selectable...
http://www.nmra.org/standards/candi/warrants.html

But what is an NMRA Warrant? Answer taken from the NMRA Warrant page......
The NMRA Conformance and Inspection Committee has inspected hundreds of products over the years. NMRA Conformance Warrants are issued to those that meet the necessary criteria.

To obtain these warrants, each product had to adhere to all NMRA Standards, applicable Recommended Practices and Industry Norms. This is not an easy thing to do and it required significant effort on the part of the manufacturer to ensure that these products are in full compliance to NMRA requirements. Each of these manufacturers is to be commended for their efforts in this regard!