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Old 15-10-2017, 02:27 AM   #1
brb
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Default Controller without a direction switch?

Hi,

I'm considering a basic train set for my son who's 5. Unfortunately I can just see him flicking the direction switch while the train is moving so I wondered if there was one like I used to have as a kid where there was just a rotating knob with the center position as stop. I've seen these on Ebay, but I'd like to buy (at least the controller) new for safety reasons.

Many thanks for any advice,

Andrew.
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Old 15-10-2017, 10:03 AM   #2
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The Hornby basic analogue controller requires you to turn the knob to stop before you can swap directions.

See here

Some controllers have max fwd through stop to max rev on a single knob.



Neither prevents an operator managing to swap direction before the loco has actually stopped if it was going lickety-spit before hand.
Rob
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Old 15-10-2017, 10:20 AM   #3
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Rob I think that Hornby controller does have direction switches. Going by the pattern around the knob I thought it was one way for for one direction and the other the opposite but it appears not to be. The buttons on the right are forward and reverse.
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Old 15-10-2017, 11:44 AM   #4
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I have 8 of the ones Rob illustrated, in order to change direction, you have to turn back to zero, slide change direction switch, and turn knob to accelerate. So on mine, you cant change direction while train is going. These are all at least 5 years old, so cant comment on new ones, but you can pick up from ebay, for a song. john
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Old 15-10-2017, 11:55 AM   #5
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The recent Hornby trainset controller does have a direction switch but it has something internal that prevents one being able to change direction untill the knob is returned to zero, so Rob is correct in this. The only real issue I have with it is the overload cut out. The controller needs switching off at the mains and one has to wait for about 30 seconds before it resets!
For me the returning the knob to zero is annoying, as if it is slightly not quite zero it won't change direction. Having said that, for youngsters it is a good little controller. It is an improvement in design over the previous attempt as the older version my fingers struggled to get to the speed knob! OK, it does not have an output for points etc, but as it is intended as something to start with it does not need it as by the time one moves on to electric points, one would be looking for an upgrade to something more powerful anyway.

To summerize. It will fit the bill for a kiddie as it stops one being able to suddenly change direction. A nice little starter controller for a trainset, but it has been built a bit with being too safe... For example, the overload cutout has no sound or light and when it goes off, it is only apparent when the train stops, and as described above, takes ages to reset.
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Old 15-10-2017, 01:04 PM   #6
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The basic Hornby controller as linked to is mechanically locked with the speed knob so the speed knob has to be at zero speed before a direction change can occur.
Morley controllers all have 12 o clock off position on their speed knob.
Old H&M controllers such as the Duette have 12 o clock off position on their speed/direction knob.
But as Rob has said, regardless of type, if the loco is travelling flat out you can probably reverse it before it actually stops if youre quick.
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Old 15-10-2017, 01:31 PM   #7
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It was great fun when I was a kid to rapidly move the control knob of my H & M Duette from fast forward to reverse and back as quickly as possible to see the locos spinning their wheels as they slid to a halt and then changed direction "on the fly". Maybe that's why one of the Duette's knobs doesn't work properly any more. (The wires of the resistance mat have worn through)
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Old 15-10-2017, 01:34 PM   #8
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Sorry Rob I misread your post so ignore everything after the word Rob.

The design around the knob does, to me, look like STOP is at the 12 o clock position and forward and reverse are either side of that. The marks get larger as you go clockwise or anticlockwise indicating more power. I'll know next time.
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Old 15-10-2017, 02:34 PM   #9
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Yes I agree it does look like that WTD. AFAIK they havent changed the design of late and you have to use the slide switch to allow oposite travel direction of travel and the knob has to be at the 12 o clock position to allow the mechanical interlock to work to slide the switch.

From the Hornby R8250 instruction manual ... . The speed control knob must be set to the zero speed position before using the switch to change direction.
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Old 15-10-2017, 11:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for the very informative responses to my first post. Quite some community you have here!

I was going to go for the Hornby Country Flyer set which is 50 at Toys R Us right now, which seems hard to beat. It has the controller mentioned by Rob.

thanks again,
Andrew.
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