Friday, February 22, 2019

Hornby R9060 radio control unit

With my love of Hornby operating accessories, the R9060 radio control unit has long been on my list for the collection.

Introduced in 2001 (I think), the set comprises an American style cabin into which is plugged the transformer and also provides screw outputs for track power. Inside this is the speaker for train sounds.

The handset has 4 buttons, faster, slower, stop and sound. It's a plastic box containing a 9V PP3 battery.

I picked my set up for £12 second hand - they still command reasonable money but I'm far too stingy for this, even if I do have a real use in mind.

For this sort of cash, there were a few issues. The battery connector in the handset failed almost immediately, but a replacement was easy to fit even with soldering required.

Inside the hut, the aerial screws needed to be tightened up.

Wired up to a H&M rolling road, I tried it out with a Bachmann Junior loco that we must never say looks a lot like Thomas.

The results were disappointing. The range for the 26mHz system seems to be measured in inches - about 3, possibly 6 with a fresh PP3.

The loco runs in one direction only and takes an age to wind up speed.

The sound is quite fun though. I don't think the DCC guys are going to be worried about this! Looking on-line, there are 2 versions of this set. The one I have was sold as a separate unit for finescale modellers, there is also a Thomas version that plays the TV theme tune.

I'll admit that some of the issues might be related to this being a second-hand unit and not working properly - surely the range should be better and we ought to get reverse?

Never mind, it's a bit of fun - and that's what this sort of thing is all about.


matt scrutton said...

Afraid you have a duff one Phil. I had one experimentally attached to my old On30 layout so I could drive trains from anywhere in the room. To my surprise the control was (with good quality mechanisms at least) very fine, and you got both directions. I found that it was actually quite realistic in operation. You don't get a physical indication of power setting so you are inclined to drive more like on a real loco. Unless that is you just press the stop button all the time!

MikeB said...

My suggestion would be to find a friend who plays with electronics and get them to check out the electrolytic capacitors for you - the largish things in aluminium cans with plastic shrink on the outsides. These dry out over time and their values change or they give up completely. It needs a capacitor meter that also measures 'ESR' to tell you if they are really duff. This is something an electronics repair person would usually have. If one or more of those capacitors have expired in the transmitter section then it could be producing only a fraction of the power it should be. If you are ever near Blackpool I can check it out for you for nothing :-)

Phil Parker said...

Mike - I think I have someone in mind who might be willing to have a look for me.

At least I know I'm right and this isn't working properly. Thanks everyone.