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Hello all,

 

On Monday I bought myself the Hornby R3632 early BR Merchant Navy (original) loco.  I also bought the R8115 TTS sound decoder designed for it.  On Monday evening I went to fit the decoder but discovered I couldn’t remove the loco to tender plug and so on Tuesday I bought the special Hornby tool.  That evening, I found that I didn’t have a jewellers screwdriver to remove the screws securing the tender body to the tender chassis.  I bought a set of screwdrivers today and this evening set about fitting the sound decoder.  I watched several YouTube videos prior but none were for the loco I was converting and the tenders chassis were all different.

 

The instructions supplied with the loco and the decoder are abysmal!  No illustrated step by step guide to fitting the items. Given that Hornby also own Airfix, you would have thought that a set of illustrated instructions would be their forte.  After removing the tender body, I realised that the plastic housings for the speaker do not fit into the space under the weight.  Why do these have screw holes yet they don’t align with any screw holes either in the chassis or in the weight?  There is also a small bag of screws but no mention in the instructions about what these are for.  After wrapping some cellotape around the decoder and securing the speaker and decoder within the tender body and fitting the decoder plug in its socket, I set about resecuring the tender body to its chassis.

 

This is where I experienced the worst problem which has halted progress.  It is so fiddly trying to refit the body to the chassis because at the front there is a brake pipe that needs to secure into a tiny hole in the tender chassis.  Similarly, at the back of the tender, the feet of the ladders need to be fitted into four tiny holes in the chassis!  Everything is so fiddly and whilst trying to line up the holes and fit the tender body onto the chassis, at the same time as trying not to dislodge the decoder, speaker or both if very frustrating.  
 

I will have to buy a pair of reading glasses so that I can magnify the area and get a better light than the one on my iPhone that needs me to hold it whilst trying to perform all the actions described above.  Ordinarily, I would have access to all my tools but due to a house move, they are all in storage.  
 

Does anyone have any tips on how to refit all the fiddly bits whilst trying to keep light on the area and juggling the tender body to get it refitted onto the chassis?  If I want to use the thinner speaker housing to fit into the speaker housing under the weight, do I just cut off the securing lugs and make it a friction fit?

 

Here is a photo of where I have got to - please note I have refitted the decoder blanking plate.

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

B201A3D7-A93D-40F6-972D-2094621CA077.jpeg

Edited by 6029 King Stephen
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My wife paints for a hobby and she has a very bright lamp that I use for this kind of work.

 

You are right about instruction sheets, nothing is prepared for the inexperienced user (not suggesting you are that Steve just making a general point) who has not seen the item or carried out the process previously. This comment applies to product manuals too.

 

Suppliers have got lazy, relying on their customer base to supply the instructions via utube

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YouChoos have plenty of fitting guides too, including speaker recommendations. The speakers included with TTS decoders don't do the sound files justice.

 

Manufacturers are often revising models to make them better for things like sound fitment. Bachmann's Ivatt 4MT was a massive failure in this respect: there was only ever space for a blanking plug. A small direct plug decoder is bigger & would not fit. Their early DCC Ready Crab was similar except that the socket was suspended over a bit of space. Why???

Hornby's 87 has a small pocket for a decoder, but only some will fit. There is a space for a speaker but it can only be about 2-3mm thick (including the driver) before it fouls the cardan shaft..No speaker is this thin, especially not one which sounds any good.

 

Regarding light, my layout room has a double fluorescent light with daylight tubes. They give out a nice, bright neutral light with little shadow.

I find it awkward to work elsewhere, lit by 1 tungsten bulb!

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16 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

 

I find it awkward to work elsewhere, lit by 1 tungsten bulb!

There is not a single tungsten bulb left in my house, more than 50% are LEDs the rest are various fluorescents.

I like bright lights!

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56 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

double fluorescent light with daylight tubes

Hmm, I have long since banished fluorescent tubes and replaced the lot with LEDs. The flicker and hum associated with fluorescents always annoyed me. The first time I saw a demo of an LED strip replacement tube I was hooked - no flicker, no hum and a choice of colours. The daylight ones are exceptionally good. They are more expensive than fluorescents but worth every penny.

 

41 minutes ago, melmerby said:

I like bright lights!

Yay to that! Especially for aging eyes like mine...

 

Yours, Mike.

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2 minutes ago, KingEdwardII said:

I have long since banished fluorescent tubes and replaced the lot with LEDs. The flicker and hum associated with fluorescents always annoyed me.

 

Take a look at HF Florescent Fittings.

 

Benefits of High Frequency Fittings.

Flicker free and silent operation.

‘Instant’ starting.

Detects failed lamps, no more flashing on and off.

Cold starting in sub-zero temperature.

No stroboscopic effects.

20-30% saving in running costs.

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https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/daylight-floor-table-led-magnificent-lamp/591281-1000?query=magnifying-lamp

I use one of these which I share with wifey who does cross-stitching. This model can be used as floor standing or desk top.

Re the fitting issue I would always ensure the components & wiring are secured & I strongly recommend Black Tac for that. Incidentally what's the purpose of the sellotape? I don't know a simple answer to dealing with all the fiddly parts. If possible try to secure the chassis down so that it won't move about - a few lumps of the Black Tac will do it. That leaves both hands free to manipulate the top back on and line up the various bits using tweezers etc. Hope some of this waffle helps!

 

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15 hours ago, 6029 King Stephen said:

Hello all,

 

On Monday I bought myself the Hornby R3632 early BR Merchant Navy (original) loco.  I also bought the R8115 TTS sound decoder designed for it.  On Monday evening I went to fit the decoder but discovered I couldn’t remove the loco to tender plug and so on Tuesday I bought the special Hornby tool.  That evening, I found that I didn’t have a jewellers screwdriver to remove the screws securing the tender body to the tender chassis.  I bought a set of screwdrivers today and this evening set about fitting the sound decoder.  I watched several YouTube videos prior but none were for the loco I was converting and the tenders chassis were all different.

 

The instructions supplied with the loco and the decoder are abysmal!  No illustrated step by step guide to fitting the items. Given that Hornby also own Airfix, you would have thought that a set of illustrated instructions would be their forte.  After removing the tender body, I realised that the plastic housings for the speaker do not fit into the space under the weight.  Why do these have screw holes yet they don’t align with any screw holes either in the chassis or in the weight?  There is also a small bag of screws but no mention in the instructions about what these are for.  After wrapping some cellotape around the decoder and securing the speaker and decoder within the tender body and fitting the decoder plug in its socket, I set about resecuring the tender body to its chassis.

 

This is where I experienced the worst problem which has halted progress.  It is so fiddly trying to refit the body to the chassis because at the front there is a brake pipe that needs to secure into a tiny hole in the tender chassis.  Similarly, at the back of the tender, the feet of the ladders need to be fitted into four tiny holes in the chassis!  Everything is so fiddly and whilst trying to line up the holes and fit the tender body onto the chassis, at the same time as trying not to dislodge the decoder, speaker or both if very frustrating.  
 

I will have to buy a pair of reading glasses so that I can magnify the area and get a better light than the one on my iPhone that needs me to hold it whilst trying to perform all the actions described above.  Ordinarily, I would have access to all my tools but due to a house move, they are all in storage.  
 

Does anyone have any tips on how to refit all the fiddly bits whilst trying to keep light on the area and juggling the tender body to get it refitted onto the chassis?  If I want to use the thinner speaker housing to fit into the speaker housing under the weight, do I just cut off the securing lugs and make it a friction fit?

 

Here is a photo of where I have got to - please note I have refitted the decoder blanking plate.

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

B201A3D7-A93D-40F6-972D-2094621CA077.jpeg

 

Partly down to modern modellers demanding higher standards, that's fine but back in the day Hornby Dublo and Tri-ang made models that were simple to fix and durable. Somewhere along the line there occurred a cross-over point where the designers forget that some practicality is needed, that using standard fittings across a range means there are spares available. 

 

That is not a rant, but I do fail to see why the older methods of fitting bodies like two lugs under the cab and a screw down the chimney can't still be adopted or adapted either all or in part. I have just bought a OO Dapol B4 and relevant chip, I have seen a video on how it comes to bits to fit the chip - fully concur with you the method is very (overly) complicated. 

 

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33 minutes ago, john new said:

 

Partly down to modern modellers demanding higher standards, that's fine but back in the day Hornby Dublo and Tri-ang made models that were simple to fix and durable. Somewhere along the line there occurred a cross-over point where the designers forget that some practicality is needed, that using standard fittings across a range means there are spares available. 

 

That is not a rant, but I do fail to see why the older methods of fitting bodies like two lugs under the cab and a screw down the chimney can't still be adopted or adapted either all or in part. I have just bought a OO Dapol B4 and relevant chip, I have seen a video on how it comes to bits to fit the chip - fully concur with you the method is very (overly) complicated. 

 

The demand from modellers for more realistic models with greater detail but made down to a price has pushed us to where we are now.

 

It has meant models containing fewer discrete parts and more subassemblies where the plastic is heat welded together or clip fitted together instead of using nuts & bolts or screws and securing lugs. Take securing the body to the chassis. it's cheaper to clip fit them together using  recessess in the body and lugs on the chassis. It  saves the cost of the screw, and as it's quicker to clip the body on than insert and tighten a screw, the labour cost is lower.

 

Also as there's fewer user repairable parts under the body and lubrication points there's less need for owners to have to remove the body at all. So ease of removal of the bodyshell matters much less than it used to back in the Hornby Dublo and Triang Railways days.

 

On some DCC Ready models fitting the decoder is as easy as opening a flap underneath the model to get access to the decoder socket and blanking plug.

Edited by GoingUnderground
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16 hours ago, 6029 King Stephen said:

After wrapping some cellotape around the decoder and securing the speaker and decoder within the tender body and fitting the decoder plug in its socket, I set about resecuring the tender body to its chassis.

 

To avoid any future problems you might want to use something a little better than bog-standard sellotape. It degrades over time, loosing its sticky and becoming brittle. Best to have a role of Kapton tape for such usage - it'll stay stuck for longer and will cope with any heat generated by the decoder much better than sellotape or insulation tape.

 

Steven B.

 

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5 hours ago, KingEdwardII said:

Hmm, I have long since banished fluorescent tubes and replaced the lot with LEDs. The flicker and hum associated with fluorescents always annoyed me. .

 

Yours, Mike.

Are there many low freq fluorescents left? HF ones have been pretty well standard for some years.

Apart from the cheapo strips in the garage, I thing nearly all mine are HF.*

*All CFLs are by nature HF.

 

 

 

Edited by melmerby
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Thanks for all your replies.  Yesterday I bought a pair of +3.00 reading glasses and had another look to work out why the tender was not fitting back on.  It seemed obvious (but not yesterday!) that I had been trying to fit the speaker in the wrong place, i.e. above the decoder socket where space was tight.  By moving it to the other end, I was able to refit the body without any issues.

 

Having reassembled the loco, I was eager to hear the sound, this being my first foray into digital sound.  I set up my Roco Z21 (also a new addition, having previously had the Gaugemaster Prodigy Squared system) and had to watch a couple of YouTube videos about how to do that too.  Eventually, managed to get it set up and use my iPad to control movement of the loco along my length of flexi.  I was so pleased with it, I called my wife and her friend in to have a look but they didn’t seem quite as impressed.  Now I have to start trying to add functions and work out how to switch the sound off and on again.

 

I think I shall try the Digitrains or YouChoos sound option for my Streamlined Princess Coronation loco.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

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Hi,

 

Make sure that you download the latest Z21 app for your iPad. (Z21 on a black background)

The older app (Red Loco), is no longer being updated.

 

Regards,

 

John P

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On 26/03/2021 at 12:14, john new said:

 

Partly down to modern modellers demanding higher standards

 

Do they?

Or is it companies that have innovated so now what is expected as "the norm" has shifted.

 

A bit like cars.

I'm not sure you can buy a (new) car that doesn't have reverse sensors or electric windows as standard these days. I wouldn't say that's the buyers demanding it, just that technology has moved on.

 

It's okay to feel left behind.

Tech moves so quick in some things, blink and you're out of date.

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On 27/03/2021 at 08:26, 6029 King Stephen said:

Thanks for all your replies.  Yesterday I bought a pair of +3.00 reading glasses and had another look to work out why the tender was not fitting back on.  It seemed obvious (but not yesterday!) that I had been trying to fit the speaker in the wrong place, i.e. above the decoder socket where space was tight.  By moving it to the other end, I was able to refit the body without any issues.

 

 

The old "leave it and come back another day" trick.

One of the hardest things to do as everyone wants to complete the job they set out to do.

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2 hours ago, Sir TophamHatt said:

I wouldn't say that's the buyers demanding it,

Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't, I think.

 

I experienced the joys of a reversing camera on a hire car in the USA (first time I'd ever seen one). It instantly became a "must have" for my next new car - a deal breaker. And when I bought a new car about a year later, that gizmo was indeed pretty well top of the list - and one salesman who tried selling me a model that didn't have one got some pithy input from me (he'd already been told I wanted one).

 

I suspect that for some technology, enough customer pressure like this gradually makes some optional extras into standard features.

 

I am sure that DCC for locos progressed through this sort of pressure - a certain percentage of modellers wanted DCC for their locos (note: by no means everyone, even today) and would buy models at least easy to convert to DCC in preference to others that were hard to convert. So over time, locos all became at least "DCC ready", even though that required redesign & retooling from the vendors.

 

Yours, Mike.

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22 hours ago, jpendle said:

Reversing camera's are mandatory on new cars in the US. They are seen as an essential safety feature.

 

Regards,

 

John P

 

That is because so many of them can't turn their head and body around to look out of the back window ;) 

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For those of us who have grown apace with DCC over the years, the term “DCC Ready” is straightforward in its meaning. We have grown accustomed to the vagaries of the installation process and fully appreciate that the provision of a DCC socket is by no means an indication of a relatively simplistic operation. Indeed, with some smaller tank locomotives that are equipped with an 8 pin socket, it can be far easier to dispense with same and solder the decoder direct. Some instructions quote the removal of metal weights to give additional space; not an ideal solution for a lightweight model.

 

Instructions should go into far more detail for those who are either starting out or unused to taking their models apart. The instruction sheets supplied with the latest Bachmann and Dapol locomotives are to a standard that all manufactures would do well to emulate. These models are, to me (and many others) an expensive outlay and as such are fostered great care in handling; wrenching and twisting delicate plastic mouldings in order to gain access does not. come naturally!
 

I feel for the OP and others in a similar situation and can only advise to take things slowly and gently, utilising the internet where applicable.

Posting here is a good start; it won’t be long before someone comes along who has had the same issue and has achieved a successful result.

 

 

 

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On 30/03/2021 at 12:29, WIMorrison said:

 

That is because so many of them can't turn their head and body around to look out of the back window ;) 

Laugh if you will, but as you get older you will find out that what was once no problem, now is! 

Also, our trains seem to be getting smaller and smaller while the floor is further down which is another indication and they begin to look fuzzy.  Which is why I changed to O gauge!:lol:

     Brian.

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We're definitely some way from plug-and-play with many DCC setups. I have both DCC and analogue functionality on my layout, the former is really just for a few special items with sound and/or good lighting functions as I am quite happy with DC for most of the time - I prefer the direct feel of driving a train on DC in many cases. But my son has a DCC set up and quite often he has badgered me to to installs for TTS decoders etc with very similar experiences:

 

- Exasperation at the paucity of official instructions and the need to trawl RMWeb/YouTube etc to work out the pitfalls

- Things like mounting points and screws that don't match up with a supposedly compatible decoder

- Quite a bit of cursing as I try and work it all out

- Pleasure at finally getting it sorted........! 

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Had a frustrating evening yesterday with a TCS Wowsound decoder, and was reminded of this thread. Still not sorted the issue, and a full factory reset didn't resolve it either; tried following the 'Audio Assist' instructions, but got nowhere. WHY is setting up a decoder beyond the basics so difficult???!!!???

The point of a hobby is supposed to be to help you relax & unwind. Sometimes DCC makes me just want to give it all up and sell the whole flamin' lot. :shout: :mad_mini:

 

Not a happy bunny. 

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