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Hornby HM | DC – iOS & Android App

The Project

Hornby is a beloved brand and leader in the model railway industry, known for their high-quality 00 gauge models and accessories. As they celebrate their 100th year in business, they approached Bryter Digital to design and build a cross-platform app that integrates with a new power controller being developed in-house. Leveraging the latest technology, including Bluetooth low energy (BLE), Hornby wanted to create the next generation of DC layout controllers that would work with both new and legacy analogue train layouts.

In addition to the app, Hornby was also developing new hardware to control powered accessories such as point motors, signals, and turntables. Our task was to collaborate with their hardware developers in Hong Kong to prototype, build, and deliver HM DC, an app that allows model railway enthusiasts to control their entire layout from the convenience of their mobile device.

The Solution

Launched in April 2021, the HM DC app is a cross-platform solution built using React Native as the application framework. It includes custom-built, integrated libraries that enable Bluetooth Mesh control of Hornby’s DC layouts using their new HM 6000 and HM 6010 analogue controllers. Whether you’re a seasoned model railway enthusiast or just starting out, the HM DC app makes it easy to control your layout and accessories from the palm of your hand.

The HM DC app features:

  • Ability to control up to 8 separate circuits
  • Ability to operate locomotives, points & accessories
  • Locomotive sounds including whistles, steam sounds & more
  • Individual acceleration and deceleration controls
  • iOS and Android app software
  • ‘Track Builder’ layout planning function

Connecting to the HM DC device is straightforward and follows the standard Bluetooth pairing protocol. In addition to basic control functions, the app also includes a user-friendly “Track Builder” feature that allows users to construct and operate their own layouts and accessories directly from the app.

Bryter Digital is proud to have been a part of this project and is confident that the HM DC app will be well received by model railway enthusiasts. It was a pleasure to work with Hornby and deliver a product that met their expectations and should deliver a return on investment.