TTS Sound locomotives won’t work with Hornby Select controller (v1.4 and below)

We have received an enquiry about a possible fault with a Hornby TTS Sound Mallard (R3395TTS) locomotive.  Initially the locomotive appeared to be ‘dead’ out of the box but it has been established that it isn’t actually faulty at all.

On investigation and with the help of the customer, it was established that the latest-generation of Hornby TTS Sound locomotives do not work with early versions of their controller firmware.  This seems to affect the Hornby Select and Elite controllers before v1.5 of their firmware, so v.14 down.

 

Why doesn’t it work?

Essentially the software does not appear to support the pre-fitted decoder chip.  Hornby have not confirmed any specific reason but they are not backwards compatible.  This is frustrating for those of you with older layouts, or who have purchased controllers with older firmware.  At the time of writing we did find Select controllers available on a well-known auction site listed as ‘new’ but with older software.

 

What can I do with my controller?

The good news is that Hornby Technical will upgrade the firmware on your controller but for a small fee.  You would need to contact Hornby as they will only perform this service directly, and the fee is subject to change.  They can arrange collection and return to you though via their own courier.

How do I hard wire Hornby DCC decoders into a locomotive?

A lot of people ask us how to hard wire a DCC or TTS Sound decoder into a locomotive.  It could be that the locomotive pre-dates the ‘DCC ready’ plug and socket system, or that it was never fitted.  This can be quite common with 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 type trains.

Before you start, remember this guide is for Hornby DCC decoders including the R8249, and TTS Sound range.  So if you’re using a different manufacturers chip – please contact them for help first.

 


 

Step-by-step guide & wiring diagram

A simple wiring diagram has been provided by Hornby to help you make the connections in your locomotive.  It’s important to remember that you should take your time in doing this to avoid damage to the locomotive electrics, body and chassis.

 

Hornby DCC decoder wiring guide
Hornby DCC decoder wiring guide

 

We’ve also provided a brief step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Remove the plug from the decoder chip.
  2. Locate the wires from the pick ups and remove from motor using a soldering iron.
  3. Solder the Black & Red wires from chip, one to each pick up wire.
  4. Solder the Grey & Orange wires to the motor contacts.
  5. Locate a suitable decoder position.
  6. Make sure all excess wires are bundled up so not to interfere with wheels, gears & valve gears.
  7. Test and programme loco to unit.
Important note: There should be no other connections from the pick ups to the motor and any bare wires need to be isolated to prevent short circuits.  Also, if the locomotive has lights, follow the colour diagram shown.

 


 

Troubleshooting

Quite often people experience issues running their train once they have fitted a DCC decoder.  Ensure you refer to the configuration information provided with both the decoder and your controller to get them talking to each other, and always use a section of ‘programming’ track.

Remember also that the DCC element may be more sensitive to dirty track and poor connections than when it was DC powered.  Ensure that the tracks, wheels and pickup points on your locomotive are as clean as possible.

Hornby Class 67 TTS Sound Decoder installation manual (R8105)

Download the instruction manual

 


 

Before you start fitting your TTS Sound decoder from Hornby, you should follow the general advice notes on fitting.

Also contains more detailed information including correct operation, CV addresses and settings, as well as notes on fitting to locos as well as alternative speaker options.

Please note, this information is also provided with each TTS Sound decoder (at time of publication) and is intended as a replacement of that manual only.

 

View TTS Sound decoders

 


 

Download the instruction manual

Hornby TTS Sound Decoder fitting information

Hornby TTS Sound Decoder: Crosti Class 9F

Download the instruction manual

 


 

Before you start fitting your TTS Sound decoder from Hornby, you should follow the general advice notes on fitting.

Contains information on Hornby RailRoad and more detailed model locomotive information, as well as notes on fitting to locos as well as alternative speaker options.

Please note, this information is also provided with each TTS Sound decoder (at time of publication) and is intended as a replacement of that notice only.

 

View TTS Sound decoders

 


 

Download the instruction manual