Hornby launches mobile phone control for DCC model railways

Hornby has launched a new mobile phone app control system for DCC model railways that operates over Bluetooth.

The new HM7000 allows the power, control, and sound on model railway layouts to be controlled wirelessly from a mobile phone via new Bluetooth-enabled DCC decoders in trains and without needing a DCC controller.

The app, called HM|DCC, is currently available for iPhone with an Android version planned, and will allow users to install a wide range of sound profiles onto decoders for locomotive sound effects and to view and change the settings on a decoder.

For those already using DCC and not wishing to upgrade their locomotives to the new Bluetooth decoders, an adapter can be purchased that connects to an older Hornby DCC controller, allowing the app to control the trains through the existing DCC system. Although intended for Hornby DCC controllers, the adapter connects via the XpressNet socket, potentially making it compatible with other brands of DCC controllers.

The HM7000 builds on the HM6000, a mobile phone control system for analogue trains that Hornby launched in 2021. Both are named after the Hammant and Morgan brand that Hornby acquired in 1985.

I am looking forward to reviewing the HM7000 soon and comparing it with other Bluetooth model railway control systems, such as Bluenami, in due course. Until then here’s one YouTuber’s first impressions.

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Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of modelrailwayengineer.com. He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.

Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.

When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

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