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Hornby R3188 N2 review - Everything Hornby. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2015 07:54 pm
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g0ibi
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Bought from Hatton's last week, this N2 was very noisy to start with, after 2 hours on the rolling road getting run-in it has quietened down considerably!


The 2 main points picked out in previous reviews still persist! The moulding line on top of the boiler and the motor housing showing in the cab. They are as bad as ever but with some weathering and a 'suitable' crew I can live with them!





I have fitted a 3 function Bachmann decoder to try the loco out and was pleased with the way it ran, here with 2 sub coaches and a light goods on test.





Not the best loco in my small collection but a class I wanted represented so I will work on it till I'm happy!
Any comments would be welcome?

Cheers
Ron



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 Posted: Fri Jan 9th, 2015 12:05 pm
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Bob K
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Hi Ron, the general shape looks right, I saw one recently running on the North Norfolk Railway, and the distant shots above look OK to me. The NEM small couplings help a lot. I am sure I saw an article in one of the monthly magazines on how to fit sound to one of these, it looked like a fairly straight forward operation.

Bob

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 Posted: Fri Jan 9th, 2015 02:10 pm
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Petermac
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I like the loco Ron but it's a pity Hornby haven't responded to earlier critisisms regarding their modelling of it - but then that's Hornby for you ...............:roll::roll::roll:

I suppose mould lines have much to do with the quality of the mould and it could be that they're still using the old ones.  Having the motor so visible in the cab on a loco of that size is just not good enough.  Maybe Hornby have decided to go down the "toy train" route and leave others to make the top notch stuff.  Their Railroad Range is, IMHO, a good move in marketing terms and that's perhaps the level they should be aiming at.  We forget that, 10 or 15 years ago, the Railroad Range was the best available.

Your quick review has done nothing to change my decision to only buy Bachmann locos - although, out of interest, I may just have to try one of their TTL sound locos in the future.  ;-)

edit - Don't know where I got "TTRC" form ........now corrected. :oops:;-)



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 Posted: Fri Jan 9th, 2015 02:26 pm
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g0ibi
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In total agreement with you there Peter, Bachmann from now on I think! I'll do some mods on it and weather it a bit, but lesson learned!
I have the DOG with the TTL sound and am impressed with it especially compared to the N2!

Cheers
Ron



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 Posted: Fri Jan 9th, 2015 03:05 pm
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Well, I generally agree that Bachmann are the better of the two.  However, one of the best locos I have is Hornby's sound on board Black 5.  I've said before that Hornby CAN do it, it's just that so often they choose not to.  I suppose they must believe that the toy train market is bigger, and more profitable, than the model train market.

It's easier for me to choose Bachmann because Hornby seem to focus a lot lately on anything but LMS.

John



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 Posted: Fri Jan 9th, 2015 03:46 pm
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Petermac
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I've  heard their Black Five is a cracker John and I too know Hornby can do it - you only need to look at some of their coaches.

As you say, they probably think (and maybe rightly so) that the "model trains" market is bigger and more profitable than the "model railway" market.

As far as choice is concerned, I need a small-ish tank loco but there's nothing currently available in LNER or BR - that's why I pricked my ears up at Ron's N2.  I don't want another Class 3 nor Fairburn so I'm a bit stuck................:cry:



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 Posted: Fri Jan 9th, 2015 03:53 pm
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Hmmmm :hmm  The Fairburn is 4P so that makes it pretty large.  There is the Bachmann BR Std 3MT 2-6-2T, a very good model, but it's Cl 3.

Going smaller, there's the 0-6-0T 1F half cab in BR livery.

I like the N2 lines and if I were into LNER, there are quite a lot of interesting models either out or coming.

John



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 Posted: Fri Jan 9th, 2015 05:57 pm
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A good old chunky steamer Ron.I think Hornby Doublo had a model of the class way back in the 1950,s a diecast beast that would pull a great load.
I guess Peter in some ways Hornby are reverting back to Triang days and going for less in the detail model market.
Of course they are not so strong in the cash department these days.?.
Anyway With a bit of TLC from Ron it should turn out all right.
Regards,
Derek.

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 Posted: Fri Jan 9th, 2015 06:06 pm
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Perhaps Hornby see the model market being saturated by Bachmann, Dapol, Heljan and, more recently, DJM and Oxford Rail and want to stake out the "neglected" toy niche for themselves.

John



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 Posted: Fri Jan 9th, 2015 07:56 pm
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Petermac
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I think you're probably right about the "quality" market being close to saturated John.  Unless one wants to build kits (which seem to be making a bit of a comeback), the demand is fairly well covered, if not the classes people want.

We all know of the strange situation where Hornby found themselves relying on the owners of their largest competitor to produce their range in China so, the more I think about it, the more I'm sure they are making the right decision to go for quantity rather than quality.  I just hope, for all our sakes, that the quantity is out there for them ..................:roll::roll:   It would be such a tragedy if the Hornby name found itself staring into the financial abyss - it's such a fantastic brand known to probably every male in Britain. 

Regarding my own requirements, I agree the Fairburn is a sizeable loco but I need something for "branchline" type operations rather than shunting.  I try to steer clear of 0-6-0 configuration because I sometimes wonder if my trackwork is good enough.  Certainly I have problems with my errant pannier.

I already have a Std Class 3 - including a wonderful sound chip fitted by Max - and also, a Jinty and J39 both awaiting chipping but both 0-6-0. :cry::cry:

It's a pity about the N2, but I think I'll wait and see what comes out elsewhere over the next few months.




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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2015 08:42 am
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Bob K
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Petermac wrote: I think you're probably right about the "quality" market being close to saturated John.  Unless one wants to build kits (which seem to be making a bit of a comeback), the demand is fairly well covered, if not the classes people want.



We all know of the strange situation where Hornby found themselves relying on the owners of their largest competitor to produce their range in China so, the more I think about it, the more I'm sure they are making the right decision to go for quantity rather than quality.  I just hope, for all our sakes, that the quantity is out there for them ..................:roll::roll:   It would be such a tragedy if the Hornby name found itself staring into the financial abyss - it's such a fantastic brand known to probably every male in Britain. 



Regarding my own requirements, I agree the Fairburn is a sizeable loco but I need something for "branchline" type operations rather than shunting.  I try to steer clear of 0-6-0 configuration because I sometimes wonder if my trackwork is good enough.  Certainly I have problems with my errant pannier.



I already have a Std Class 3 - including a wonderful sound chip fitted by Max - and also, a Jinty and J39 both awaiting chipping but both 0-6-0. :cry::cry:



It's a pity about the N2, but I think I'll wait and see what comes out elsewhere over the next few months.



Hi Peter, have you tried Stay alive decoders for any of your smaller locos - might be an answer

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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2015 10:22 am
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I have some DCC stay-alives in stock Bob - they came with the Hattons decoders I bought.  My only 0-6-0- at present is the pannier.  It has a Lenz chip in it and, even allowing for the possibility that both wheels and track are not 100% clean, it's not a good performer.

John Dew gave me some ideas,  which I have yet to check out, but fitting one of the stay-alives might be worth a go.  I have read some adverse reports on them suggesting they do a bit more than "stay alive".  I've heard they can completely take over the running for a few seconds and also, can give a big kick to a stalling loco when they cut in.  Still, even those problems might be better than a stationary loco on a point frog .............:roll::roll::roll:

I might change the chip in the pannier and add the stay-alive.  I don't want to risk damaging a Lenz chip so will experiment on something  more "disposable". :thumbs



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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2015 01:29 pm
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Petermac wrote: I have some DCC stay-alives in stock Bob - they came with the Hattons decoders I bought.  My only 0-6-0- at present is the pannier.  It has a Lenz chip in it and, even allowing for the possibility that both wheels and track are not 100% clean, it's not a good performer.



John Dew gave me some ideas,  which I have yet to check out, but fitting one of the stay-alives might be worth a go.  I have read some adverse reports on them suggesting they do a bit more than "stay alive".  I've heard they can completely take over the running for a few seconds and also, can give a big kick to a stalling loco when they cut in.  Still, even those problems might be better than a stationary loco on a point frog .............:roll::roll::roll:



I might change the chip in the pannier and add the stay-alive.  I don't want to risk damaging a Lenz chip so will experiment on something  more "disposable". :thumbs


I have just bought a DCC Concepts "Zen" 8 pin decoder with stay alive, which I intend to put into a little Hornby 0-4-0 loco. The decoder cost more than the loco, but I need something small for my little oil distribution point. Next time I am home I will fit it and let you know how I get on.
 
Bob

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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2015 08:03 pm
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I have 2 040 loco`s plus 4 060 `s all run over my insulfrog points without stalling and that includes 7points in a row,all Idid was fit hornby point clips for electric continuity
:thumbs;-):cool:



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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2015 08:38 pm
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I'll look forward to your findings with the "Zen" decoder setup Bob. :thumbs

Excuse my ignorance Owen but what's a Hornby "point clip" ..............? :roll::roll::roll:  If it allows an 0-4-0 to crawl over an insulfrog point, then it'll do me.  I do like slow running over pointwork in the station throat and fiddle yards.  The longer wheelbase stuff does it brilliantly but it usually defeats the pannier ..........:cry:



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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2015 08:41 pm
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Like Peter, I also usually give Hornby a wide berth.  It's Bachmann for me.  However, full marks for the Hornby L&Y 0-4-0 Pug.  I have two and they run beautifully. On the other hand, the model was originally made by Dapol so I'm not sure if Hornby really deserve the credit.  Unfortunately, the motor is in the cab, but this is blocked from view by a panel as seen in the photo.  However, the other side of the cab does not have the said panel and the motor and wiring are in full view.  I can't understand why Hornby haven't put the panel on both sides.  I fitted the same using black styrene sheet.  This is the loco I am talking about...



Terry

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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2015 08:53 pm
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Peter, I think this is what Owen is referring to : http://www.hornby.com/hornby-digital-electric-point-clips.html

I believe I read in a thread somewhere on YMR about these becoming dislodged and doing wonderful things to the dcc system... :twisted:

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2015 09:07 pm
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Thanks Gary. :thumbs

They appear to do the same job as the "DCC friendly" bridging system on Peco electrofrog points where I remove the tiny links between frog and switch rails then bond the switch rail to the stock rail, the wire doing so also forming my droppers.

I had hoped that, in some clever way, they'd overcome the dead frog..............:roll:

I can imagine the fun and games if they came loose .................:shock:



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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2015 09:17 pm
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Nice idea with that panel on the Pug Terry.
Hi Peter,Dead frogs, Need dropper wires on the V outlet rails beond the isolating gaps.Railjoiners alone can be iffy things and result in a power drop on turnouts.
Just a thought.
Derek.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2015 09:47 pm
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You're right Derek. :thumbs

Currently, all the motorised points on Maxmill are electrofrog, using tortoise motors.  When, and if, I decide to motorise the dead frogs rather than swap them for electros, I'll have to add frog switching if I have droppers from the frogs, I think. :hmm At present, I do rely on rail joiners for connectivity on dead frog pointwork.

 I've had some shorting problems on an insulfrog diamond crossing in the past - solved by a daub of nail varnish - but, in spite of the "dead" frog, those V rails are very close together and, without switching, I'm sure they'd short on some wheels ............:roll::roll:

That's a lovely little pug Terry.  :thumbs  Your trackwork is obviously far better than mine if it runs well - only 4 coupled and with those tiny wheels.  It would probably fall over trying to cross some of the huge gaps on older Peco points .............:???:



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