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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

11858 posts


Or do I have to bring it to someone else's house and use their landline broadband?

 

That has got the best chance of success and has worked for other forum members with similar issues.

 

However, even if you get it activated at someone else's house. There is still a long term communication issue to resolve, the same thing that is causing your activation issue will also prevent RailMaster from invoking the 'auto' application update routine. It won't stop you from updating RailMaster, but the update will have to be downloaded manually and installed manually. That means keeping abreast of the current RailMaster version information stated at the top of the RailMaster section of this forum. Also, when RailMaster starts up, it does an Internet check and can sometimes update the 'Locomotive Database' files silently in the background. This won't work either without the Internet communication issues being fixed permanently. Again, when a new update is released that can be manually installed, the manual update will also include any of the 'Locomotive Database' silent updates that might have been missed.

 

So in conclusion, many users run their version of RailMaster in locations that do not have any Internet access such as outbuildings for example and rely entirely on manually installed updates or even no updates at all, if what they have working totally suits them. The current version at time of writing is version 1.73 ... we know that there are some members still running version 1.69 or even earlier and are not in the least bothered about updating.

 

In my experience, HRMS have always responded to my communications [in my case via the inbuilt 'Help' system] within hours. But I have also seen reports on the forum where some members have taken many days to get a response. I really can't be sure, but it seems to me that HRMS use a filtering process to pick off the easy help requests first, or maybe the requests that are articulated clearly and concisely with well presented information that makes it easier for them to respond. In that because of the quality of the information presented to them they already have a good idea what is wrong. Just a theory on my part, as I have nothing but my own experiences and reading the reports of others on this forum to base it on.

 

But all of this is going to nought, if you cannot get your emails delivered to them in the first place. As I said before, gmail seems to get mentioned a fair bit as a common denominator with lost in transit mails.

 

I do acknowledge, and there have been 100's of similar comments made over the years since I have been on this forum, that RailMaster should just connect over the Internet effortlessly and just work. The issues with RailMaster seem to stem from the fact that it was originally written for Windows XP using the now obsolete Visual Basic 6 and really needs a complete ground up re-write using current Microsoft application writing tools and standards. It is still written in VB6 and has just been tinkered with to make it run on Windows 7 to 10.

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

Chrissaf

11858 posts


The DCC controller arrived today.

 

As you have not said whether your Hornby Select purchase was a 'Brand New' Select or a previously owned one. Knowing the firmware version of the Select may have a bearing on your issue as written.

 

So to help us decide whether the firmware level may or may not be a contributory cause of your issue, can you please tell us the very first number to appear briefly on the Select LCD screen when you power it up. Expect to see a number between 10 & 20.

 

However, regardless of the firmware revision level of the Select, your issue cause might be more basic.

 

You say that the 'Lights are on'. Normally with a DCC fitted loco, the lights won't come on until they are switched on with a DCC F0 command. The fact that they are on, just by placing the loco on the track, infers that the loco might possibly have faulty socket wiring. Ignore this statement if you did actually send the F0 command to switch the lights on. Even if you didn't send an F0 command, send one anyway to see if the lights go off.

 

For the lights to come on or go off with the F0 command, then you must have selected the correct DCC address of the decoder first. If then, the loco is still not moving, then it [or the decoder] is probably faulty.

 

Check this out by reverting the loco back to 'DCC Ready' by removing the Rails decoder and re-instating the 'Blanking Plate' then test the loco on a new fully charged 9 volt battery. If the loco motor still doesn't turn with a battery across its wheels, then the loco is faulty, if the wheels turn then it would seem to indicate that your Rails decoder is either faulty of not compatible with the Select controller. This brings us full circle to the first question regarding the firmware revision level of the Select. Early version firmware Selects may have issues with non Hornby decoders.

 

Even with later firmware revisions, some rogue budget decoders may still have problems. You haven't given much detail about this 'Rails' decoder. Such as what decoder brand is it based upon, I would imagine that Rails of Sheffield will have badge engineered somebody else's decoder or bought in a cheap clone from China. Either way, the solution might be purchasing a better well known branded 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.

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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/

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

Chrissaf

11858 posts


What we are trying to get across, and it seems we are struggling to get ourselves understood. That you might have more success if you use a domestic landline based Broadband connection along with an enabled Laptop Windows defender and enabled Windows firewall, subject to those AV applications having the appropriate settings as have been documented in previous replies.

 

This issue you are experiencing is not uncommon, but it is the most difficult one for forum to diagnose remotely. Once all the normal suggestions have been exhausted [and so far they pretty much are exhausted] and the issue is still present. The final solution usually resorted to for forum members via this forum is for the user to get HRMS to log-on to their Laptop and configure the Key activation manually. However, this is a bit of a 'Catch 22' situation in that you need two way email communication with HRMS in order to request their remote access capability.

 

PS - Please try and avoid using the 'Blue Button' ...  it is not a 'Reply to this post button'. Please just write your reply in the 'Reply Text box' at the bottom of the page and click the Green 'Reply' button.

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

Chrissaf

11858 posts


You wrote and I quote:

I am a college student and I use my college wifi.

 

The references Rob and I made to the College Firewall relates directly to the statement above you made.

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

Chrissaf

11858 posts


Yes, but mobile data isn't landline broadband is it.

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

Chrissaf

11858 posts


As you say the Select 1.1 is very old firmware. There have been many previous reports similar to yours where locos configured on version 1.0 / 1.1 Selects are not recognised by RailMaster / eLink running the latest eLink firmware [version 1.07].

 

The solution is to use RailMaster / eLink to RESET the decoders in the locos [write a value of 8 to CV8], then readdress them with NEW addresses using RailMaster. Performing an 8 to CV8 factory reset will also revert the loco with the 4468 DCC address back to 03, where it can then be readdressed again to something more manageable.

 

I find it odd that you say that many of the locos are still address 03, this seems to infer that you do not seem to appreciate how DCC works and that all the locos should be given separate and unique DCC addresses [anything but 03].

 

You really need to devise a proper DCC addressing scheme. DCC Address 03 should be avoided on your layout so that you can always use DCC Address 03 to test a new loco / decoder purchase. It is prudent and good practice to test all new decoders on the factory address first for correct functionality, before you try to change any settings. That way, if something doesn't work afterwards, you know it is something you have done.

 

If you start at DCC Address 10 and then go 11, 12, 13 etc then 03 is left clear.

 

It seems to me, based upon what you have written in your post that you might be struggling with RailMaster in terms of how to 'Address a loco' and operate it using the software.

 

These tutorial posts of mine might assist in simplifying these basic tasks.

 

Using RM to change the address of an existing Loco

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/cant-change-loco-cv-address/

 

Using RM to read and write CVs

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/problem-with-tts-decoder/?p=1

 

Manually adding a Loco to the RM Database.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/r3459tts-decoder-not-recognized-23469/

 

Full description of the ‘Locomotive Settings’ screen in detail.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/changing-cruise-and-shunt-speeds/?p=1

 

Setting up Flying Scotsman TTS Sound Functions.

http://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/how-to-set-up-default-sound-functions-on-scotsman-r3284tts/?p=1

 

If none of your locos have sound, then just ignore the 'sound' related steps in the tutorials. Look to MY posts in the threads linked above.

 

TIP: As a relatively new 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/

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

Chrissaf

11858 posts


To add to what Rob has said. The College Firewall is probably configured to only allow certain applications such as the TCP ports associated with using a Browser. I would be very suprised indeed if the College Firewall is left open for 'all an sundry' to pass data through it.

 

You can edit your local Laptop firewall as much as you like to place an exception for RailMaster, but if the main College Firewall doesn't also have an exception configured, then nothing originating from RailMaster on your Laptop is going to get through.

 

The internal 'Help' request won't get through either as that is originating from within the RailMaster application too. I would however, expect the College Firewall to be configured to allow standard email TCP 'Ports' to be passed through. From the best of my recollection, users of 'gmail' do seem to have their unfair share of communication issues with the RailMaster email servers. It is known that HRMS do instigate blocks on some mail domains that have had a history of being used for spamming and innocent parties (users) have been caught up in the block.

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

Chrissaf

11858 posts


Can I ask  - how do you get notified of a response to your post?

 

You Don't. There is no auto notification feature on this forum. I suggest when you raise a post that you come back and check each hour for new replies. Note that sometimes additional useful replies are still left days after you think that your question has been answered. So it is useful to come back and check at least once daily for a week to be absolutely sure that your thread has come to a natural ending.

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

Chrissaf

11858 posts


The Bachmann is likely to have a MTC21 decoder interface [21 pin] whereas the TTS from Hornby are NEM652 interface [8 Pin]. Thus an adaptor cable would also be needed. No idea what decoder interface the Heljan has.

 

All the Bachmann's I own are MTC21.

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

Chrissaf

11858 posts


EDIT: Once again, Rob just beat me to it.

 

If you are going to use the 'TRACK' output of the Select to operate points. Then you need to connect 'DCC Accessory Decoders' to the track output of the Select first. The Accessory Decoders then in turn connect to the point operating motors.

 

As to which Accessory Decoders you use, that will depend upon what type of point operating motors you want to use. The Hornby R8247 Accessory Decoder will only operate 'Solenoid' based point operating motors. Each R8247 has four ports [one port per point]. Thus the schematic below can operate eight points directly. Multiple R8247s can be connected in parallel. Only two shown below to keep the schematic simple and tidy.

 

Note also, that with a Select. The Accessory Decoder ports must start at DCC Address 61 and not exceed 99. The factory default for a R8247 starts at DCC Address 01, therefore any R8247 Accessory Decoders you purchase to install will have to have their default factory addresses changed.

 

R8247 number 1 changed to '61 to 64'

R8247 number 2 changed to '65 to 68'

number 3 to '69 to 72' etc

 

Using Hornby R8247 Accessory Decoders with a Select

 

 

The AUX Output, of the Select is not DCC, the AUX output can only be used to operate solenoid point motors using analogue technology and a CDU [Capacitor Discharge Unit] must be used with the Select, as the Select AUX output is not powerful enough to operate points directly without one.

 

Using the Select AUX output via a CDU to operate Solenoid points manually via Analogue control.

 

 

The little red / silver switches are Non-Locking Momentary Action Change-Over switches with a Centre-Off position. Any form of locking switch will not work. The following link is an example of a suitable switch to use.

 

Switch Link

 

CDUs are available form any good railway model retailer and via eBay, just search eBay for CDU.

 

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.

.

Particularly as my reply includes an image, using the 'Blue Button' may result in your reply being held back for image approval, even though it is an existing image.

.

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/

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

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