New controller

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Spike
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New controller

Postby Spike » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:53 pm

Hi Still doing my research before I start my first set up but run into a problem before I even get going.

My era for the set up is going to be 1870's wild west so whilst in USA this year for my holidays I bought second hand loco from that era as I got a good bargain. I seen it running in the shop with sound etc so all was good

Anyway when I got it home I tried to put it on my track with my Hornby select controller and it will just not recognise the Bachmann loco so after a little digging this is a known problem with the select controller (it has the latest firmware in it too) not recognising certain makes of locos.

So looks like seeing as most of my locos will be from the Bachmann range (great selection of 1870 trains and accessories) I need to invest in a new controller or second hand one.

So what controllers are people using and are you using these with Bachmann locos.

Thanks

heda
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Re: New controller

Postby heda » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:53 pm

I'm guessing here but isn't it the chip that the controller doesn't recognize rather than the actual loco, in which case couldn't you just replace the chip.
Looking forward to seeing your layout it sounds quite interesting.
Dave

Spike
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Re: New controller

Postby Spike » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:32 pm

Hi Dave

Trouble is though it’s around 100 for a new chip. Now say I buy 4 new loco and have to replace the chip every time it is going to get expensive.

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End2end
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Re: New controller

Postby End2end » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:23 pm

What about trying a quick test with a non sound chip to make sure it's not the actual loco?
I'd be inclined to argee with Heda that it's the chip not the loco. (along with the Select controllers limitations)
In any case I'd like to see what controller you decide on if going that route as your using the advanced features of DCC. Something I haven't got my teeth into yet.
Thanks
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Gordon H
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Re: New controller

Postby Gordon H » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:46 pm

The Controller doesn't recognise anything. It simply outputs a waveform to the rails.

Two possible situations:
If the timing of the waveform the Controller generates is not to the NMRA spec, the decoder will (or should) ignore it.
If the waveform decoding timing within the decoder is not to the NMRA spec, the Controller will (or should) be ignored.

The NMRA spec deliberately allocates a wider tolerance to the receiving decoder timing than it does to the Controller generation timing, so they should always work together.
To go any further with the situation described it would be necessary to establish which of the timings are incorrect.

Spike
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Re: New controller

Postby Spike » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:24 pm

Errm I think I uderstand what your saying Gordon H, so how do i go about doing what you have said

Dad-1
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Re: New controller

Postby Dad-1 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:26 am

Sadly the Select is not a universally compatible system.
We could go into all sorts of miss-matches that have and will
continue to raise their heads within the DCC operating systems.

Your best bet might be to think new controller and I'd suggest a
Digitrax Zephyr Express ...... around the £200 level in the U.K.
It is an American system and for it's price is probably the most
expandable and comprehensive you'll find. It is their starter set,
but IMO is a cut above others in the same price range.

I know Selects very well and have 5, they work well within their
design limitations. I've not used everything, but have used Lenz,
Dynamis, Gaugemaster, Digitrax, and bought Digitrax for the club
as being the best set available for the price !!

Geoff T.
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Gordon H
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Re: New controller

Postby Gordon H » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:31 pm

Spike wrote:Errm I think I uderstand what your saying Gordon H, so how do i go about doing what you have said

An oscilloscope is the simplest way to confirm waveform timings of the Controller - but of course most modellers probably don't have access to one.
Rather more difficult to assess Decoder operation.

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Flashbang
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Re: New controller

Postby Flashbang » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:09 pm

Hi
Firstly is it at the 'latest' Hornby Select software? Which is V1.6. V1.6 was released a month or so ago. The software version number shows on the Select display screen on power up as for example 16 30 03 16 being the software version number of 1.6. If yours shows anything less than 16 e.g. 11 to 15 then it needs to be upgraded by Hornby. This can only be carried out by returning it to Hornby. V1.6 allows all CVs to be accessed plus other improvements

Next, what address is the loco at currently? Remember the Select can only work within address numbers 1 to 59.
I would reset the decoder back to its default setting including address to 3. But this can't be done with the Select unless it is at V1.6. So you may need to find someone with a more up market DCC system to do this for you - Friend, Model Club or model shop are all possibilities.

Finally, remove the sound decoder and as suggested replace it with a standard non sound one if that is at all possible, as that will prove one way or the other its the decoder or the Select.
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Spike
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Re: New controller

Postby Spike » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:17 pm

Flashbang wrote:Hi
Firstly is it at the 'latest' Hornby Select software? Which is V1.6. V1.6 was released a month or so ago. The software version number shows on the Select display screen on power up as for example 16 30 03 16 being the software version number of 1.6. If yours shows anything less than 16 e.g. 11 to 15 then it needs to be upgraded by Hornby. This can only be carried out by returning it to Hornby. V1.6 allows all CVs to be accessed plus other improvements

Next, what address is the loco at currently? Remember the Select can only work within address numbers 1 to 59.
I would reset the decoder back to its default setting including address to 3. But this can't be done with the Select unless it is at V1.6. So you may need to find someone with a more up market DCC system to do this for you - Friend, Model Club or model shop are all possibilities.

Finally, remove the sound decoder and as suggested replace it with a standard non sound one if that is at all possible, as that will prove one way or the other its the decoder or the Select.



My select is reading 15 so looks like it needs updating. I will look into sending it off to Hornby. This will be the cheapest option first.
Hopefully that will sort it.
Thanks.

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Flashbang
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Re: New controller

Postby Flashbang » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:59 pm

Hi
You must contact Hornby first and arrange for a return. See for details... https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/returns
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mjb1961
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Re: New controller

Postby mjb1961 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:42 pm

Hi spike,,,do you remember what controller they used in the shop,my guess would be an American one ,NCE,MRC ,if you don't perhaps you could email them ,if you can find out what controller it is then you know which one should work ,,just a thought mjb

Bigmet
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Re: New controller

Postby Bigmet » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:54 pm

Spike wrote:Hi Still doing my research before I start my first set up but run into a problem before I even get going.

My era for the set up is going to be 1870's wild west so whilst in USA this year for my holidays I bought second hand loco from that era as I got a good bargain. I seen it running in the shop with sound etc so all was good...

'All was good'. Yes, but that was as seen in the shop with the system it was demonstrated on.

But here's stuff we don't know that is potentially significant:
What make of decoder is installed? (Keep in mind too that as s/h it may not have the original decoder on board.)
Is it an NMRA conforming DCC decoder? Digital control in the USA isn't all NMRA standard, there are significant non-conforming products such as DCS. Nothing wrong with these products, just that they don't necessarily play perfectly with each other.

...Anyway when I got it home I tried to put it on my track with my Hornby select controller and it will just not recognise the Bachmann loco so after a little digging this is a known problem with the select controller (it has the latest firmware in it too) not recognising certain makes of locos...

It could be an address problem. Have you tried to give the decoder an address using the Select?

Spike
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Re: New controller

Postby Spike » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:19 pm

Well after a lot of digging and searching I have bit the bullet as they say and bought a new controller, It turns out that the Hornby one is not NMRA compatible and seeing as nearly all the trains I will be buying will be from America then it made sense to buy a controller compatible with the said train.

I have everything else now to make a start on my layout so it will not be long before I am up and running.

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RAF96
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Re: New controller

Postby RAF96 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:08 am

Spike wrote:Well after a lot of digging and searching .... It turns out that the Hornby one (Select controller) is not NMRA compatible ...


Incorrect.
The Select is NMRA compatible but not NMRA warranted. One reason for this is it doesn’t have a separate programming output, as it programs on the main. The other reason is ringing off the DCC signal when off load. Easily fixed by putting a few locos on track, no need to run them, just give the controller a track load. Not every manufacturer lays out the cost of having their kit NMRA warranted, instead they state that is it designed to be compatible.

It has been shown that some decoders (especially some USA units which are not NMRA warranted) if programmed on one controller may not react to another controller, not just the Hornby Select. The answer is to reset the decoder from the controller in use and reprogram to a chosen address within any limitations of the controller, such as 1-59 for Select locos.
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