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Mountain Goat
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27 Sep 2022, 7:42 am

Anyone else have any H&M controllers? Which ones do you have?



Last edited by Cornflake on 28 Sep 2022, 6:25 am, edited 2 times in total.: Clarified the title

magz
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27 Sep 2022, 8:40 am

What are H&M controllers?

The only H&M I know is a clothing brand.


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Mountain Goat
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27 Sep 2022, 9:20 am

Model train controllers of course! :D Hehe. Don't worry Magz. Is a train thing! :D

Ah. Clothing brand... Is why I keep getting people in clothes when I type in H&M.

H&M stands for Hammant And Morgan which have been around for a good 70 or more years, though Hornby bought them out somewhere in the 1990's I believe so the latest genuine H&M products were the H&M3000, the H&M5000 and the H&M Walkabout not to mention a few accessories such as the H&M Relco etc.
The brand name now belongs to Hornby which they carry on in the form of the new H&M6000 which is a tablet or mobile phone controlled device.
I don't actually know how the clothing brand is allowed to trade under the same name because H&M have been around since at least just after WW2 if not before that time, and the clothing brand is certainly not the same company.

Here is a link to many of their products from the past.

https://www.binnsroad.co.uk/railways/handm/index.html

The H&M2000 and the H&M4000 (Along with the H&M6000) are all Hornby products using the H&M brand name they bought when they took over H&M in the past. The rest are genuine H&M products before Hornby took them over.

H&M were always one of the leading brands in train control and very advanced in their day in whatever timeperiod one picks. They started off with resistance controllers and went from there, to progress into variable transformer control which had superior slow speed control (Resistance control is limited in that if one adds more resistance for slower speed the amperage drops with it which motors tend to stall rather then creep along slowly, but taking a wiper direct to the secondary output windings of the transformer one can reduce the voltage without dropping the amperage so trains can creep along nicely (Or that is the theory and it does work). Controllers like the H&M Powermaster operated via the variable transformer principle which were pretty expensive in their day!
Then came transistorized control which H&M was again ahead of their game with models such as the H&M Electran and terminating in the excellent H&M3000 which was deemed the ultimate in transistorized train control, but not just that... When microchips came along, H&M was again able to take advantage of them and use the "Commodore 64 style technology" in their H&M5000 series command control controllers, which Hornby was also developing. Hornby back in those days quickly realized when developing their own Zero1 system the difficulties of having many manufacturers using different electrical communicating methods to communicate with the locomotive decoders neccessary to be used in the locomotives for a command control system to work, and therefore freely tried to share the information. It came too late for Airfix who also were already in advanced development and Sylmosa who were in a similar position but only H&M decided to work with Hornby, and so from then on, both Hornby and H&M worked together promoting each others products and both H&M decoders and Zero1 decoders could run from each others systems. They obviously were a happy co-operation as Hornby eventually decided to buy out H&M.
After Hornby bought them out they decided to disscontinue the H&M3000 and the H&M5000 but they still kept making Zero1 decoders for at least a decade later after they stopped making both the Zero1 and the H&M5000.
Only the H&M5000 out of H&M products and its H&M5500 slave controller worked on the command control principle up to that point so all other H&M products during that time and before operated on DC control.
DCC later came in but that is another story and was after Hornby took over the brand.
Hornby made a nice DC twin controller (With the option of left and right hand slave controllers) which was not that powerful and was a bit plasticky but did have a nice feel to their speed knobs giving nice control and this was called the H&M2000. Hornby then went onto making the H&M4000 and now have developed the H&M6000 which is a bit too involved in modern smart devices for my own personal liking as I want a train controller to me a train controller and not involve smart phones and apps and things like that, but young people tend to like that stuff these days.
I hope this makes sense?
Transistorized train control of DC got interesting as it opened up a whole new method of modifying waveforms to find that ultimate motor control wave which allowed for great slow speed running, and this evolved into taking advantage of this in the form of PWM controllers which stands foe pulse width modulation, which instead of having 0 to 12v DC, these PWM controllers sent out 12vDC but reduced the frequency of the pulses as the train speed reduced. In other words, is like a guy havving full 12vDC so the motor goes top speed if he holds the wire direct to the motor terminals, but instead he very quickly taps on and off the electric supply so the motor is not able to keep up its full speed. Think of this in principle. This is how PWM works as the voltage does not drop, but the amount of voltage applied in pulses drops to reduce the operating speed of the motor as required. This in turn allows the motor to tick over at very slow speeds without a loss of current. The only downsides are motor overheating and for motors with delicate motor windings such as some coreless motors, they can burn out. But with the average motor, this method does give great control of speed and power especially noticable at lower motor speeds.
PWM controllers are also known as "Feedback" controllers. Such controllers give the most noticable control whith trains on gradients going up or down as they keep the constant speed so trains are less likely to slow down going uphill or run away when going downhill. Am told that variable transformer controllers have this same effect as well and it is to do with the back EMF of a motor.
I have a H&M Powrrmaster controller but I have not tried it yet after changing its old power lead for electrical safety reasons. This controller as built in the 1960's so is better to be safe just incase as old mains power leads can start to break down with age. The rest of the design is said to be bullet proof.
I don't know a lot about the technical side of electronics as what I know is about the train control side of things, and about basic safety and what to look for in regards to train controllers.
Did you know that the only known recorded death due to electrocution happened with a H&M controller (They sold more controllers than any other brand so is not just this brand it could have happened with) and what happened was the rubber grommet that holds the wire where it goes into the metal case had deteriated, and the mains electrical wire casing had rubbed with time on the metal case and caused the case to become live. (Older H&M controllers were earthed, but from the very late 1960's they became doubly isolated instead so the earth cable was no longer used so if he had an older version and was in the UK where we use 3 pin plugs maybe he would not have had such a fate?)
Was sad but from the time I heard that onwards, I always carefully check the condition of the rubber grommets and the main wire and is good to do this even on todays plastic cased controllers, and even on the low current output side of any plug type transformers as their ocerload protection is in the controller and not in their transformers! So always check ones leads for their condition especially where they go into the cases and where they join the plastic or rubber supports. Does not matter what make. Is worth a check for safety and do not use if any of the wire is damaged.

H&M also sold controllers to other countries especially the USA. Note that USA and UK H&M controllers designed to operate from mains voltages will be different in that your mains is set to a different voltage and frequency as ours is set to. Whilst one can simply get a converter plug with also varies the voltage (Make sure that it does!) certain controllers are designed specifically to be used with certain mains frequencies, which is why certain controllers sold to other countries at a later date as a private sale may not work effectively (E.g. I heard of an American exported Hornby Zero1 not work in the UK because though the voltage was corrected, the frequency was different and the command control systems needed the correct frequency. Maybe someone knows more about this but I was told it caused problems).
There is also a potential safety issue to those who are not from the UK that if one buys an older controller that is designed with an earth cable as some countries do not have the earth trip facility that we do, so do jot use such controllers unless ones mains system is built with this in mind as if there is a direct short to the metal case your system may not cut the electrical power like ours is designed to do. I do not know a whole lot about this, but what I would say is to only buy controllers designed specifically for your own country to use as you then know that this side ofnit is safe and you can then go to the usual checks of the grommets and cable and plug/fuse etc. (Our plugs need a 3 amp fuse for most of the H&M controllers and a few more powerful controllers will need a 5 amp fuse fitted into the mains plug. Do not use the more common 13 amp fuses).



Mona Pereth
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27 Sep 2022, 7:09 pm

Why is this in "Politics, Philosophy, and Religion"? Perhaps you might want to ask the moderators to move it to a more relevant section?


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Mountain Goat
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27 Sep 2022, 7:37 pm

Isn't philosophy thinking about things? We do not have a relevent section.



AngelRho
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28 Sep 2022, 5:36 am

Random topic is random.



Mountain Goat
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28 Sep 2022, 7:22 am

Has been moved to this section instead. Was not sure which section it fit in.

Cornflake moved it for me. Thanks Cornflake.

Have heard that some countries do not use fused plugs or earth leads. What happens if something goes wrong? Is there a way of automatically shutting off the power? I only really know the UK things where if the trip switch senses any electric in the earth wire it will (Or should!) automatically trip and therefore shut off the mains power. We also have fuses in the plugs as back up, and (On older systems) fuse wire on every mains circuit. This these days has been replaced by RCD's which instead of the fuse wires blowing, they will kick in and trip to cut power for each individual circuit if needed. The plug fuses, one selects the most appropiate fuse and the usual choices are 3, 5 and 13 amp fuses. There also is a 1 amp fuse in shaver plugs which some foreigners in Britain assume that these are adapter plugs and wonder why the fuses in them blow when they try using them on anything higher power than a shaver!



rowan_nichol
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05 Oct 2022, 1:35 pm

Brother and I had the "Clipper" unit and a little later it paired with the "Circuit Controller" then a few years on replaced by an electronic one I had built



Mountain Goat
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05 Oct 2022, 1:52 pm

rowan_nichol wrote:
Brother and I had the "Clipper" unit and a little later it paired with the "Circuit Controller" then a few years on replaced by an electronic one I had built


Nice. I have a Clipper.



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08 Oct 2022, 11:36 am

I suspect there is a box at brother's house housing that now venerable Clipper unit.

All long superceded by DCC on his large attic layout.



Mountain Goat
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08 Oct 2022, 12:09 pm

rowan_nichol wrote:
I suspect there is a box at brother's house housing that now venerable Clipper unit.

All long superceded by DCC on his large attic layout.


I invested heavily into DCC from the year 2000 on, but I have to say that though DCC is great, I missed DC so much that I have turned back to DC and I have hardly touched my DCC since.