Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby... model railroading!

background buildings model trains

Hornby Locos Test

Garth asks:

“I am cleaning Hornby HO locos (DCC) for a friend and want to test them. I have a Digitrax system. On the Hornby box it indicates the power to the loco is DC (direct current). The track power from the Digitrax is AC and I’m concerned this may damage the decoders in the Hornby locos. We live in different towns, so I can’t easily test on his track.”

If you are able to advise Garth, please add your thoughts below.

3 Responses to Hornby Locos Test

  • Dale says:

    If the locos were DC when they were new the DC power from the track was directed to the motor. Assuming that the DCC decoder is properly installed, there shouldn’t be a problem since the track power is now fed to the decoder, not the motor, and the decoder takes care of powering the motor properly. That being said, before applying power I’d check with the friend and see what type of system he (she?) is using. If he (she?) is using DC, then do the cleaning but let them test it.

  • Bruce Woods says:

    DCC is still Direct Current just in modulated square waves. If the locos are DCC as you initially suggested there will be no problem Hornby decoders, if that’s what is fitted, are compatible with the NMRA standard and thus will work with your Digitrax system. You may just have to reassign them to address 3. Your “friend” will just have to re-address them when you give them back

  • Frank B says:

    Hornby has two digital control systems, their own HM700 as well as NMRA DCC: 
     You need to know which is fitted and discover if there is compatibility. 
     All regular DCC locos (i.e. NMRA standard) from any manufacturer will run on any DCC system.
     Many DCC decoders can be configured to run on DC. 
     Digitrax DCC command stations can be configured to run DC locos, check the user manual for how to do this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add a photo or image related to your comment (JPEG only)


Download Your Free Catalog

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video

Model Train DCC HELP

Model Train Help Ebook


FREE Tour Inside Club

Take a FREE tour inside the club.

Scenery Techniques Explained

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Model Railroading Blog Archive