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Chrissaf

Signature: Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Bio: Retired, but spent my career working in IT and Electronics. So using a PC to control things is what rocks my boat.

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Chrissaf

12029 posts


TIP: As a newbie poster on the forum, just be aware that the 'Blue Button with the White Arrow' is not a 'Reply to this post' button. If you want to reply to any of the posts, scroll down and write your reply in the reply text box at the bottom of the page and click the Green 'Reply' button.

 

See also – further TIPs on how to get the best user experience from this forum.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/tips-on-using-the-forum/

 

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Chrissaf

12029 posts


'How to post an image' is TIP 8 in my TIPs page ... see below:

 

From your soldering statement, it sounds like you are using a soldering iron that is physically far too big. Soldering is all about having the right 'tools' for the job in hand. Some guidance on 'How to Solder for Model Railways' is given in this existing thread.

 

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/faq-how-to-solder-for-model-railways/

 

TIP: As a newbie poster on the forum, just be aware that the 'Blue Button with the White Arrow' is not a 'Reply to this post' button. If you want to reply to any of the posts, scroll down and write your reply in the reply text box at the bottom of the page and click the Green 'Reply' button.

 

See also – further TIPs on how to get the best user experience from this forum.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/tips-on-using-the-forum/

 

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Chrissaf

12029 posts


@Duffman 18

Your post has now been moved to a dedicated thread of your own. Your question wasn't really the same as the question in this one.

 

You can find your moved post here:

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/whats-best-elite-or-select/

 

This post will be removed after giving you time to see this relocation message.

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Chrissaf

12029 posts


Both controllers can be firmware upgraded to current features. The Select will have more advantages if upgraded as lots of very useful features were added in the last two 1.5 and 1.6 upgrades.

 

The Elite is the better controller all round, but the Select in its very latest firmware version is a close second.

 

If the proposed Select is second-hand, then it could very well have a very early firmware installed and going for the firmware upgrade should be considered as being the mandatory thing to do.

 

Select Firmware Info.

The current installed firmware is displayed as the very first number to briefly appear on the Select screen as it is being powered up. Expect to see a number between 10 and 20. At the time of writing, the latest version is 1.6 [16] or 2.0 [20] - both the same. These latest versions completely transform the user experience of the Select controller and add the ability to write (not read) all CVs up to CV255. As well as access to the full F0 - F28 range of functions.

 

The upgrade charge is typically £15 plus your sending postage costs. You need to get a 'returns number' from Hornby Customer Services - see 'Contact Us' link at the very bottom of the page.

 

If you do arrange to get your Select firmware upgraded, then you will need both the Select version 1.5 full manual and the version 1.6 addendum manual. As the operation of your Select (how to use it) will be completely different in certain areas of operation compared to your current firmware version.

 

You can download these two manual PDFs from here:

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/downloads/view/index/cat/12/

 

If nothing appears to happen, check your nominated browser download folder for the files as they can download silently in the background.

 

What does the Elite have / do that the Select doesn't?

 

  1. A bigger screen so that more useful information can be displayed.
  2. Two speed knobs so that two locos can be assigned for control at a time. Note that control for two locos is not concurrently, the speed knob that is active needs to be selected first. Think of it a bit like the 'Pre-select gearbox' that used to be common in Routemaster buses [if you are old enough to remember them].
  3. A separate 'PROGRAMMING' output which reduces the risk of programming errors occurring i.e configuring the wrong DCC device.
  4. A 4 amp power supply, but the Select 1 amp power supply can be upgraded to 4 amps.
  5. The ability to READ CVs. The Select can only write to CVs but only with version 1.6 firmware.
  6. The ability to write to CVs between CV1 and CV1024. The Select V1.6 / V2.0 can only write CV1 to CV255
  7. Support for the full range of DCC Addresses [Locos 0001 to 9999 and Accessories 0001 to 2048]. The Select supported DCC Addresses are extremely restricted by comparison [Locos 01 to 59 and Accessories 61 to 99].
  8. The ability to upgrade the firmware at Home DIY via download of a firmware update file. The Select has to be returned to Hornby for an upgrade.
  9. Multiple selectable programming modes [Direct Mode, Operate Mode, Register Mode and Paged Mode]. Having the support for these alternative modes means that some difficult to configure decoders may be able to be successfully configured using one of the other modes. The Select only has one 'take it or leave it' mode.
  10. A USB port which means that it is compatible with RailMaster railway control software. Point and click control of your layout. The Select is not compatible with RailMaster.

 

For a review of RailMaster capability ... click this link.

 

[Note that the 'Select-a-Link' cable described in the above review was never launched onto the market and was cancelled by Hornby].

 

......and I have bought a rail track job lot on eBay

 

I am concerned when a ‘user’ says that they intend to save some money by buying ‘second-hand’ track. This is not so much of an issue if that second-hand track is the more modern ‘Nickle Silver’. But most second-hand track on the likes of eBay is likely to be the old plated steel variety and at worst pitted with surface corrosion.

 

Many eBayers really do try it on and sell second-hand steel based track that is fit only as scrap. Particularly the points, second-hand steel points are particularly prone to being sold as worn out ‘not fit for purpose’ scrap items.

 

Pitted corrosion will kill a DCC signal and give nothing but grief.

 

Your eBay job lot purchase has the potential to be a 'false economy' purchase when considering a DCC controlled 'Digital' layout. The digital data signal sent to track by a DCC control system needs a spotlessly clean track, else data can be lost or corrupted by the rail corrosion and the meaning of the digital signal command being sent is lost to the decoder.

 

TIP: As a newbie poster on the forum, just be aware that the 'Blue Button with the White Arrow' is not a 'Reply to this post' button. If you want to reply to any of the posts, scroll down and write your reply in the reply text box at the bottom of the page and click the Green 'Reply' button.

 

See also – further TIPs on how to get the best user experience from this forum.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/tips-on-using-the-forum/

 

 

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Chrissaf

12029 posts


  • The Select cannot be updated DIY via the Internet. It can only be updated by 'return to Hornby'.
  • The Elite can be updated DIY via download of a file.

 

As to how frequently. Well that depends upon Hornby. Some updates are released years apart. Updates are only released when there is a need to. Such as adding a new feature. There is no fixed schedule. Updates for just 'BUG' fixes are rare, as BUGs are reasonably few and far between and are usually identified just after a new feature update and the BUG is specific to that new feature release update.

 

For example, the Elite version 1.41 firmware was a feature update that proved to have a BUG, it was quickly followed within weeks by version 1.42 to fix it. There was then a gap of several years before 1.43 was released which turned out to be a BUG free feature update. The current version is 1.45 and contains a long outstanding BUG fix from a much earlier version relating to the Hornby Sapphire decoder fuel simulation that Hornby have only just got round to fixing [rather odd as the fix coincides with Hornby making the Sapphire decoder obsolete].

 

With regard the Select, the most recent releases have been version 1.5 followed by 1.6. Both of these firmware updates were both extensive feature updates [not BUG fixes] and again were a couple of years apart. Select firmware version 2.0 is dedicated only to the new Mark II Select hardware controller. The firmware [software] features of version 2.0 are exactly the same as the Select Mark I version 1.6.

 

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Chrissaf

12029 posts


... would you recommend I did the same for DC

 

No. Not necessarily.

 

A DC layout needs to have the ability to electrically isolate different parts of the track and sidings. If there is no electrical isolation then any and all locos on the layout will move in sync to the controller operation.

 

However that said. If you are very selective and section the layout into different DC Analogue controller domains. Then applying a wired BUS approach for each of those individual controller domains can result in providing greater power reliability.

 

For example, let's assume that you have two loops, an inner loop and an outer loop. The inner loop has an inner set of sidings and the outer loop as a further set of outer sidings and that both the inner and outer loop are connected by two sets of cross-over points.

 

Let's further assume that the inner loop connects to DC Analogue controller 1 and the outer loop connects to DC Analogue controller 2.

 

In that scenario, you could use a wired BUS for the track pieces on the inner loop connected to controller 1 and a completely separate wired BUS for the track pieces on the outer loop connected to controller 2.

 

The key thing is that only the loops themselves have the wired BUSs. The sidings are not connected to their respective loop BUSs as they need to be able to be electrically isolated when the point is switched to route away from the siding. Hornby points are self isolating and act as electrical switches.

 

Further isolation is provided by deploying 'Insulated Rail Joiners' on the points that face each other at the two loop cross-over locations. Thus the result is that there is no direct electrical contact between the outputs of controller 1 & 2.

 

Although BUS style track wiring is used, the wiring is not all connected together across the whole layout the same way it would be on a DCC layout. The layout is designed as a number of individual circuits that can be powered selectively when required.

 

There are other ways of wiring a DC Analogue layout. Some might suggest wiring something called 'cab' wiring where even the loops are sectioned into smaller power domains individually switched via an electrical switch. But these alternative wiring schemes tend to be used on much larger or more complicated design layouts.

 

You may benefit from reading Chapter 5 of my downloadable 'Getting Started' PDF guide. The guide can be downloaded from the 2nd sticky post down located at the top of the 'General Discussion' forum index.

 

TIP: As a newbie poster on the forum, just be aware that the 'Blue Button with the White Arrow' is not a 'Reply to this post' button. If you want to reply to any of the posts, scroll down and write your reply in the reply text box at the bottom of the page and click the Green 'Reply' button.

 

See also – further TIPs on how to get the best user experience from this forum.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/tips-on-using-the-forum/

 

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Chrissaf

12029 posts


.....but I guess it is one of the cheap ones you warned against.

 

No not necessarily. It depends upon which firmware revision the Select has got loaded in it

 

As Rog says, the 'Mixed Traffic' set contains a Hornby Select DCC controller. Subject to how long the set has been sitting on the seller's shelves. It may or may not have the latest firmware. I will tell you how to tell the firmware version in a minute. But the key thing is that the Select controller supports 'return to base' firmware upgrades [not all non Hornby branded controllers do].

 

If the set is very new, it will likely have the latest Select Mark II controller loaded with version 2.0 firmware. If it is a little older or very old then it may have firmware between version 1.0 and 1.6.

 

If it is less than version 1.6 then I recommend that it is upgraded to version 1.6 ... if it is less than version 1.5, then I would definitely arrange to have it upgraded.

 

  • Version 1.5 added full support for Hornby TTS sound decoders F0 - F28
  • Version 1.6 added support to write all CVs from CV1 to CV255

 

The current installed firmware is displayed as the very first number to briefly appear on the Select screen as it is being powered up. Expect to see a number between 10 and 20. At the time of writing, the latest version is 1.6 [16] or 2.0 [20] - both the same. These latest versions completely transform the user experience of the Select controller and add the ability to write (not read) all CVs up to CV255. As well as access to the full F0 - F28 range of functions. These later versions also improve compatibility with a wider range of non Hornby branded decoders.

 

The upgrade charge is typically £15 plus your sending postage costs. You need to get a 'returns number' from Hornby Customer Services - see 'Contact Us' link at the very bottom of the page.

 

If you do arrange to get your Select firmware upgraded, then you will need both the Select version 1.5 full manual and the version 1.6 addendum manual. As the operation of your Select (how to use it) will be completely different in certain areas of operation compared to your current firmware version.

 

You can download these two manual PDFs from here:

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/downloads/view/index/cat/12/

 

If nothing appears to happen, check your nominated browser download folder for the files as they can download silently in the background.

 

Note that the Digital Set should have a R8241 DCC friendly power track in it. This should be the one you use on the layout to attach power. Remove any and all previous DC Analogue power connection tracks and clips as these will distort and corrupt the DCC digital signal if left installed on the layout. The Digital set will (should) also include some R8232 DCC Point Clips in it, but you may need to buy more. They come in packs of 20.

 

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Chrissaf

12029 posts


I agree, the R7229 should be avoided for this old set. It has already been raised as having issues with old locos in previous posts on this forum.

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Chrissaf

12029 posts


Well said Howard !!

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

Chrissaf

12029 posts


Now that you have explained the registration process with this non Hornby controller. The probability is that the issue is with the new TTS decoder purchase, as your previous TTS purchases have not had issues.

 

One last thing guys, do all the TTS decoders have the same max current?

 

Yes.... 500mA

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

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