Hornby Select

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GWR_fan
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Hornby Select

Postby GWR_fan » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:22 am

I purchased a lightly used Hornby GWR Pullman digital set and intend onselling the Select controller and included point motor decoder controller. The set was sold a couple of years ago but was released back in around 2007. I assume the controller is still at the software version that it was originally released with. Is the Select software user upgradeable and if so, how is it accomplished please?

Edit: found this on the Hornby site (plus located a recent thread on this site as regards upgrading a select).

http://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/aussi ... dates/?p=1

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Flashbang
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby Flashbang » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:28 pm

The very latest Hornby Select software version is V1.5.
This can only be installed by sending the Select back to Hornby for upgrading, which I understand is free.
You must contact Hornby first and obtain a returns number though.
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GWR_fan
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby GWR_fan » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:44 pm

Many thanks. Unit will remain at its current software version as return round the world shipping is not really a viable alternative (it would cost more than any financial return on the unit).

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Re: Hornby Select

Postby mjb1961 » Fri May 01, 2015 6:53 pm

You may already know this but anyway ,switch on your select and see what software is installed then I think you may be able to look online and find what the upgrades were upto the current version ,,,,,

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Flashbang
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby Flashbang » Fri May 01, 2015 7:49 pm

AFAIK there is very scant information about the Select and its software / Firmware upgrades.
Hornby don't seem to publish anything, as of course it means a considerable work load for them if all Select owners returned their units for upgrading!

At the end of the day, even at software upgrade V1.5, it's still not NMRA compliant!
This YouTube video is an example, but a very basic NMRA compliant Bachmann EZ Command works fine and this is with a Hornby TTS loco!.... https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=5x5P3_5GTOA
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themillwalk
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby themillwalk » Sat May 02, 2015 6:11 am

I have 3 Hornby Select controllers 2 with firmware v1.2 and 1 with Firmware v1.1, it takes a better man than me to tell the difference as they all seem to work and do the same thing.

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Re: Hornby Select

Postby GWR_fan » Sat May 02, 2015 8:47 am

I decided to try out this to see if it enables the Select to be more NMRA friendly.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/251917482409 ... EBIDX%3AIT

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RAF96
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby RAF96 » Sat May 02, 2015 12:38 pm

I've tried contacting the vendor GWR-Fan to ask him how this can possibly work as it looks just like a current sensor that needs a wire passing through it to sense from, but Ebay says vendor cannot be contact through the sales page questions area.

I would be keen to find out :
A) if you buy one does it work and how do you know that.
B) theories from the forum on as to how it could possibly work to provide compliancy.

Also you could make one for next to nothing using presumably an iron former and some stripped out copper wire, but the 'it makes the Select NMRA compliant' logic defeats me.
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Bigmet
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby Bigmet » Sat May 02, 2015 2:08 pm

The non-compliance of the Select's DCC output as launched - don't know about it since then with later upgrades - was 'ringing' on the square wave corners. Now an inductor will limit that somewhat, as it impedes current as frequency rises. But its effect isn't limited to the aspect that needs to be fixed, it will act to 'round off' what should be 'corners' on the specified square wave. That may give some decoder designs trouble in detecting the signal, but possibly different decoders from the ones that didn't like the original non-compliant version.

It needs a storage 'scope and the DCC waveform spec to readily assess what happens. The first may be available as an app by now, the NMRA can provide the spec...

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Re: Hornby Select

Postby GWR_fan » Sat May 02, 2015 11:10 pm

From what I have read the Select has performance issues with some NMRA compliant decoders from American manufacturers. As I have several 'American' sourced decoders then I can try with and without the inductor installed. Both the Select and inductor are currently intransit from their respective sellers so I will need to await a week or two before conducting any tests. One could probably source a similar inductor for a dollar or two from an electrical store.

As I will be selling the Select then I want to make sure it can reliably work with decoders other than just Hornby models. I do not want a potential buyer complaining that the item will not work with his particular type of decoder. From memory, the Select has issues with TCS model decoders and some from Bachmann.

EDIT: if one searches inductance on Wikipedia then you will be both enthralled and confused as to the effect an inductor has on a circuit. Maybe adding the inductor to the Select wiring is pure snake oil medicine but it may have a positive effect, but will need to await and see.

Edit 2: Read this on a site, ".......The modulation is used to encode a digital signal to be received and read (decoded) by the decoder. Putting an inductor into the circuit would interfere with the signal and should confuse the decoder. I say should because I am speaking theoretically because I have never put an inductor in the circuit, nor would I want to." Many Bachmann locomotives have small inductors in the motor input leads, inline between the decoder and the motor terminals. I will be interested to see a result or is placing the inductor in the positive input to the decoder just mirrors and strings hogwash?

GWR_fan
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby GWR_fan » Sun May 03, 2015 8:59 am

A search on another site thought that adding an inductor was hogwash but a reference was made to the inductors used.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-10pcs-Tor ... ents_Suppl ies_ET&hash=item2c8af9c12c

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Re: Hornby Select

Postby GWR_fan » Wed May 06, 2015 7:24 am

I believe the inductor to be snake oil medicine. The Hornby Select arrived and was version 1.0. Makes no difference as the controller is basically inoperative. It will run a loco on address '3' but will not change addresses and is very hit and miss regarding calling up functions. Not worth fixing so will give it to God.

I believe the problem is that it has not been used for a very long time and the contacts under the touchpad may have oxidised. I will need to source a Tri-wing security screwdriver bit to open the case and see if it can be repaired.

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Re: Hornby Select

Postby GWR_fan » Thu May 07, 2015 1:04 am

Some success to report. I read on the Hornby forum that the unit may be restored to factory settings, page 19 in the manual. Carried out with success. Apart from an 'iffy' Select button (requires several presses when readdressing a loco), the unit seems to run OK.

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RAF96
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby RAF96 » Thu May 07, 2015 11:02 am

If you can't find a tri-wing bit then a simple hex key will work, a hex being effectively 2 triangles superimposed 180 degrees and the 6 points removed.
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sparkhill
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby sparkhill » Fri May 08, 2015 9:58 pm

GWR_fan wrote:Some success to report. I read on the Hornby forum that the unit may be restored to factory settings, page 19 in the manual. Carried out with success. Apart from an 'iffy' Select button (requires several presses when readdressing a loco), the unit seems to run OK.


The problem with buttons must be contagious as one of my three Select controllers had a faulty direction button that I had to keep pressing to get it to work, I pulled to Select apart and had a bit of a fiddle but nothing worked. in the finish I cut the button out of the rubber sheet, carved a wooden button the same size and shape, painted the top black with a white arrow and slid it into the hole, it works a treat and you have to look twice to see if its rubber or not.

As for converting the Select to NMRA standads through an inductance coil, it seems like a whole lot of trouble to go to to sell a $5 electronic gadget with free postage when here in Brisbane where the eBay seller is selling from you can walk into a Jaycar shop and buy the same thing for $3.75, surely he must have some proof that this works as there is no money to be made :?:

No point in me trying it as all my Hornby and Bachmann locos work OK with the Select.
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