Hornby Select

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby Bigglesof266 » Sat May 09, 2015 1:34 am

Tim I have two Selects, which without checking again I can't remember the firmware revisions of now offhand.

Although relatively early manufacture (stamped on the bottom of the unit late 2007 and 2008) I think they are both post intial release v1.2 firmware which avoided a lot of the intial version bugs if although not overcoming the waveform issues and other charateristic unit limitations. Like the only analogue controller I own (Hornby) which still serves well as an initial DC test and run in controller, both were pretty much gratis purchases in early 2009 included with train sets during the intial re-entry to the hobby and learning curve. In a perfect world they would be too, but in all honesty, I can't complain. Those Selects served me well enough at a very amenable price. I think any adult realises without too much research that they are introductory entry level units which they will outgrow fast if deciding to develop a more serious interest in the hobby. Is there any model rail shop expecting repeat business which would seriously push-sell a Select to anybody as a DCC controller over an entry level Gaugemaster (MRC) or NCE or -insert other preferred brand here- intro offering?

In testing a fairly wide range of decoders over a period of time comapring the select and NEC PowerCab, the Select's shortfalls immediately become apparent. Select falls into the same category as Hornbys R8249 and original R8215 loco decoders. But does it function as a basic train set controller with R8249 and R8215s. IME, yes.

What I can figure out is why a brand with the market presence and clout of Hornby can't for the life of them produce a cheap decent decoder or basic inexpensive DCC controller which absolutely dominates the OO gauge marketplace?!!! Bachmann were far smarter in rebranding ESU's basic superseded model 7 and 21 pin Lokpilots as their basic unit, which whilst no Lenz, were affordable, reasonable performing and generally reliable. What truly surprised me is why Bachmann didn't just go to market with either a wired Lenz rebranding or ESU wi-fi controllers instead of their infra red Dynamis at the time?!

GWR_fan
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby GWR_fan » Sat May 09, 2015 6:17 am

Keiron,
the Dynamis is a dumbed down (base unit required the Pro-box to to useful) ESU controller. It even looks the same. Soon to be replaced by another ESU controller (hence the sellout on current Dynamis controllers).

Nobby,
one of my inityial problems was not being able to get the direction light to follow the button selection. The factory reset procedure (Page 19 in the manual) fixed that problem, plus many others.

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby Bigglesof266 » Sat May 09, 2015 7:49 am

I downloaded the latest (June) BRM this morning Tim. It has an article on Bachmann's latest wifi Dynamis by ESU. Being out of the intensely focussed on everything model railway loop until then, I hadn't known Bachmann had since taken that obvious smart step in the right direction.

When we look at it, the original Hornby Select is now getting pretty long in the tooth literally and technically by any realistic measure of contemporary technology. Like the original infrared wireless Dynamis, it's technical half-life has long since expired and Hornby really should either fix it and rebadge it or retire it IMO.

GWR_fan
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby GWR_fan » Sat May 09, 2015 8:06 am

Keiron,
the Select, like the basic EZ-Command from Bachmann are mere learning steps before one learns to run. It makes DCC 'simple' for the learner although the simplicity can be perplexing.

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby Bigglesof266 » Sat May 09, 2015 11:11 am

Well understood Tim. Like I said, I have two and as a ex and current instructor, I well understand why we used to teach people in a C-152/CT-4A and not a 737-400 or F/A-18.

My point is, even though a train set intro to DCC controller, time has moved on. A decade ago we didn't have smartphones or tablets. Now they are mainstream.

Nothing wrong with KISS. I'm all for it. But the original select was buggy and flawed in technical design as has been pointed out. Given the advances since, implementing a segment replacement with superior hardware design shouldn't really present either a design, technical or cost challenge to a company with the profile of Hornby's. And really, providing anything not flash upgradeable to address programming bugs these days no matter how low in the segment is just ....inane.

As you've pointed out, the pragmatic reality of sending ours back to the UK for firmware upgrade just triages an economic inanity.

I got valued use out of mine years ago as I've already said. But it would have been much better if it didn't have the waveform issues it does creating problems with decoders that one just doesn't experience with say an a basic and inexpensive NCE PowerCab or ProCab controller.

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RAF96
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby RAF96 » Mon May 11, 2015 12:57 pm

Re the Select 'snake oil' NMRA fix - either buy the choke from Oz at 6 dollars plus postage and customs tax, etc or you could buy it from RS components for less than 2 quid using the part number given on the eBay pitch, or you could put a bus terminator on your layout and get the same sort of effect. Still won't make it NMRA compliant though.
RAF Halton Brat - 96th Entry
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BananaRepublic
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Re: Hornby Select

Postby BananaRepublic » Mon May 11, 2015 1:23 pm

Bigglesof266 wrote:I downloaded the latest (June) BRM this morning Tim. It has an article on Bachmann's latest wifi Dynamis by ESU. Being out of the intensely focussed on everything model railway loop until then, I hadn't known Bachmann had since taken that obvious smart step in the right direction......


There is no "latest wifi Dynamis".
The new Dynamis Ultima, that has replaced the Dynamis and add-on Pro Box, is still based on Infra-Red and does not have any radio communication or WiFi whatsoever.






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