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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

12051 posts


You'll have to ask Rob [RAF96] that question. He is the one that has practical physical experience of the suggested relay board sold via eBay. Rob gave a link to his website, in a previous post. I duplicate it below. The board is wired as per Fig 4 on his web page. Unfortunately, the image quality is rather poor. Maybe Rob can reproduce Fig 4 again in this thread at a higher resolution. I will ask him.

 

EDIT: Rob has responded to my email and says he will look at this tomorrow.

 

http://www.halton96th.org.uk/relay-module.html

 

It's not made 'crystal clear' on the web page, but the board needs to be powered by a +5 volts DC power supply, else it won't work. This power supply is a separate one from the power supply used for the CDU and it definitely cannot be fed by DCC voltage.

 

Note also Rob's note in the supporting text on his website regarding power 'link' positions on the board. The positive output of the R8247 [C terminal] needs to be isolated from the positive supply rail [VCC] on the relay board. This is the link function his text note relates to.

 

Note also that that only one R8247 C terminal needs to be wired to the relay board. All the C terminals are common within the R8247 decoder so don't need to be individually extended to the relay board. Thus only the four port + & - terminals of the the R8247 plus one C terminal are wired to the Relay board.

 

My own board was built by me to my own design, so won't be applicable to the eBay board.

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

Chrissaf

12051 posts


You must generate a new .INI file using the instructions I gave you and follow them exactly as written in my post timed at 17:39 on Page 1 of this thread.

 

From what you wrote previously, I think you are going wrong by starting up RailMaster after deleting the .INI file.

 

Once you have deleted the .INI file [do not have RailMaster running when you delete the .INI file] ... you do not restart RailMaster.

 

Instead, you run the downloaded installer [from the link at the top of the RailMaster forum] to generate the new .INI file and then and only then re-start RailMaster. To run the installer, you must 'right click' the downloaded and saved installer file and chose 'Run as administrator'.

 

When restarting RailMaster you then ignore any error messages and cancel them to go straight into the .INI file editor to make the .INI changes I recommended. Once the .INI amendments [if any] are saved, then close down RailMaster and restart it again.

 

The above is the abridged version of the full details in my linked posts.

 

If after the final re-start you still get Elite communication error messages, this can sometimes be quite normal. You just have to open 'Windows Device Manager' to check which COMM port has been assigned by Windows to the Elite. Armed with that information, you open the RailMaster 'System Settings' screen, then make sure that 'Controller A' has the same COMM port number selected. Then close and re-open RailMaster once more.

 

Once you have got a stable controller connection then ensure that you keep on using the same USB port for the Elite to connect to. Changing the USB port will likely loose communication between RailMaster and the Elite and you will have to manually sync the allocated COMM port again. RailMaster was written for Windows XP and the COMM port allocations are not automatically maintained in sync. You have to do it yourself, hence the guidance to keep using the same USB port. A PC/Laptop USB 2.0 port is also more reliable than a USB 3.0 port as well.

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

Chrissaf

12051 posts


What a load of questions in one shotgun blast. Will try to answer in blocks of similar topics if I can.

 

Old Loco Conversions.

 

Within reason, any loco can be converted to DCC. But the older the loco is, the more potential issues will arise.

 

For one thing, older locos tend to have motors that draw far more current than more modern locos, particularly if they have worn weak magnets. It is not unheard of for some motors with weak magnets to draw up to 1 amp of current.

 

This raises the first issue of conversion. Hornby R8249 and TTS Sound decoders are limited to 500mA [0.5 amp] supported current.

 

Thus older locos can burn out Hornby decoders including TTS sound ones.

 

Any DCC conversion should be preceded by performing a 'Stall Test'. A stall test will identify the maximum current that the loco will draw and therefore the decoder current specification that needs to be sourced. If over 500mA, then a wider net needs to be cast outside the Hornby portfolio and this could preclude TTS as a viable option to consider.

 

This YouTube video elegantly shows the effect of weak motor magnets on motor current draw.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyyPKCHa0gQ&t=0s

 

The second issue of conversion. Loco chassis and motor suitability. In order to install a DCC decoder it is necessary to electrically isolate both sides of the motor from the wheels and pickups. Some older locos use the metal chassis of the loco for one side of the electrical path. Thus making electrical isolation a little more difficult. Some much older locos use a 'split chassis' where both sides of the chassis [insulated from each other] provide the electrical path to each side of the motor. Thus older locos can really throw the spanner in the works when it comes to conversion methodologies. Then there is motor type. Hornby / Triang X03/04 motors are easy to convert, but Hornby / Triang Ringfield motors come in different variants and each have their own conversion quirks to overcome. This web page gives guidance on Ringfield conversion, scroll down the page that opens to the 'Ringfield' section.

 

Tender Driven Locos.

 

Tender driven locos tend to typically have one side of the tender motor connected to the tender chassis to pick up power from one side of the rails. The other side of the rails gets the power picked up from the wheels of the loco itself on the opposite loco side to the tender and passed back to the tender via an electrical coupling. These have their own conversion issues too, due to the potential difficulty isolating the motor.

 

Elite and Elite firmware.

 

There is no Version 3 or 4.5 firmware. I think you probably mean version 1.3 and version 1.45 firmware.

 

Firstly you need a Windows PC to update the firmware yourself. The firmware updater is not supported on an Apple IOS [Macintosh] platform. You first connect the Elite to the PC and let Windows [version 7, 8 or 10] load the driver, once the driver is successfully installed and the Elite recognised in Windows 'Device Manager' then you can start the firmware update process. All explained in the link below:

 

Updating Elite firmware [written for Ver1.43 but still the same for current version]

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/updating-firmware-on-the-elite

 

Alternative Elite firmware update method if documented method fails [see reply by Peter Rowney – 2nd post up from the bottom of the page].

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/elite-bricked/?p=2/#post-264669

 

Most users update the firmware without issue. It is usually only the 'users' for which it does not go smoothly who raise posts about it in this forum. I suggest, that it is more likely to go smoothly if following the documentation in the links above rather than Hornby's own 'How To' documentation, which quite frankly is poorly written.

 

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

12051 posts


I suggest that it is time for you to upgrade the Select 1 amp power supply to the Hornby P9300 4 amp power supply.

 

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

12051 posts


Not 9 feet, but 6.75 feet from 27mm divided by 4mm = 6.75 feet [4mm to the foot 1:76 scale].

 

The base of the figure seems quite thick which would account for some of the height. At HO scale 3.5mm to the foot, they would be 7.7 feet. Yes a little on the large size, agreed. But these are 'Steam Punk' and not IMO true scenic figure models. So some leeway I feel can be given.

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

Chrissaf

12051 posts


@Chrissaf

Web page error indicated above about scale has been reported to Hornby admin. I would expect the web page to be corrected during next week. Obviously a 10cm figure is not compatible with OO HO scale.

 

Took a bit longer than a week, but the website has been corrected and the reference to HO/00 scale compatibility is now removed.

 

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

Chrissaf

12051 posts


What thickness are the bared wires. To make contact, they need to be at least as thick (diameter) as the terminal pins on the commercial Hornby connector.

 

Hornby sell X8011 terminals [Pack of 50] for those who want to make their own connection wires. The X8011 can either be crimped or soldered to the ends of the wires before being inserted into the power track connectors.

 

eBay listings for X8011 in smaller quantities than 50.

 

Just for additional information in case it is relevant. The Select is DCC. So make sure that you use DCC friendly power track clip products and not the Hornby DC Analogue versions. The DCC friendly variety are R8241 and R8242. Do not use R602, R8206 or R8201 Hornby parts on a DCC powered layout.

 

With regard the Select version 1.1 ... as Rob says, this really needs to be updated to version 1.6 .... why?

 

Because: 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 later version also improves compatibility with a greater range of non Hornby branded DCC 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.

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

Chrissaf

12051 posts


This forum has no features or functionality to support buying & selling. Therefore it is not allowed.

 

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

12051 posts


There are a couple more clues in your original question text.

 

Your text infers that you installed the RailMaster software first, then connected the eLink controller [presumably to then install the driver for it].

 

The RailMaster installation and set up is less problematic if you connect the eLink and install the driver first, then install the RailMaster software with the eLink still connected and powered up. This way the RailMaster installer knows what controller to configure the software for.

 

You may have an incorrect 'railmaster.ini' file as a result.

 

To fix this:

 

Open the 'railmaster.INI' file using the RailMaster .INI file editor [bluish COG icon in the bottom left corner of the RailMaster 'Help Screen']. If the file has less than 10 lines in it, then it needs to be regenerated with a fresh one.

 

This previous thread describes the 'regeneration process'. Written for an Elite, but the eLink process is identical. Just substitute Elite with eLink in the descriptive text.

 

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/railmasterelite-interface/?p=1/#post-200252

 

Whether you regenerate the .INI file or not, follow the suggestions below anyway:

 

Note the eLink baud rate is 115200. Also as you have an eLink make 'Check controller' and 'Alternative comms' both =1

 

You also mentioned 'loosing communication' with the eLink. See this previous thread.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/railmastere-link-problems/?p=1

 

The above link was written pre-version 1.7x RailMaster software. So in addition to the .INI file values suggested in the link above, also ensure that the entry below is checked and amended if necessary.

 

Reset eLink on start=0 [if this entry is listed it will probably be =1, change it to =0].

 

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

Chrissaf

12051 posts


What a pickle you seem to have got yourself into Peter.

 

It is best not to use the CD it is far better to use the downloaded installer from the link at the top of the Hornby RailMaster forum ... see image below for link location.

 

Also, when installing the 'drivers'. The 'drivers' on the CD are historical and only for Windows XP and Vista. The CD drivers are not used on Windows 7, 8 or 10

 

 

These forum resources may possibly help.

 

Installing Windows 7 to 10 eLink / Elite drivers is typically [but not always] a two stage process. Some users fail to complete stage 2 when it is required. The links below explain the full installation process.

 

Installing eLink with RM for the 1st time issues.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/installing-elink-with-rm-for-the-1st-time-issues/?p=1/#post-313903

 

Installing Windows 10 Drivers.

eLink

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/forum/unable-to-install-elink-driver-on-new-windows-10-laptop-please-help/?p=7/#post-263375

 

 

RailMaster Help Site:

https://octaviancs.com/railmaster/rm.php

 

When the page above opens, look to the navigation tabs highlighted in the green box.

 

 

When reading the various site pages. If you see any icon like the one below. These are clickable and will open an image usually containing screen shots of what the text is describing.

 

 

If you did by any chance successfully activate the RM Key and then went and uninstalled RM without deactivating the key first then you may very well be up the proverbial creek without a paddle. But follow the guidance above first before trying to cross that creek bridge.

 

As well as not using the drivers on the CD for Windows 7, 8 and 10. You must also 'right click' the installer and choose 'Run as administrator'. Plus ANY pop messages that refer to security, you must choose the 'allow' option.

 

With regard the strange screen colours and screen image rendering you are reporting. This is possibly a bad interaction between RailMaster and your PC graphic card and/or graphic drivers. They might be old and outdated if they haven't been updated. I have a vague recollection of a post in the long distant past relating to screen rendering. The fix, if I recall correctly, was to choose a different colour theme from within RailMaster. See Page 30 & 31 of the RailMaster manual on themes. The selection is made on the 'Loco Detection' tab within the 'System Settings' screen.

 

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

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