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Offline Brian S  
#1 Posted : 14 March 2020 01:49:22(UTC)
Brian S

Canada   
Joined: 03/03/2020(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: Saskatchewan, Regina
Hi all, I'm new to this European stuff but getting more into it all the time. I bought 3 Rocos in an auction that look like new but I don't know how old they are. I'm wanting to convert them to DCC if possible and would like to know what type of decoders and command station/throttle setups are available.
I've read a bit about the Z21, just wondering what else is out there and what most people use. There are 2 steamers and a crocodile. The steamers are pretty much identical. There is limited info that came with them but I can tell you the steamers are #43216 and 43217. The crocodile is #04149B. The steamers are smoke "ready" as the brochure that came with them states to use the #10 Seuthe smoke generator. Any help, direction would be greatly appreciated.
Offline PMPeter  
#2 Posted : 14 March 2020 03:13:34(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,051
Location: Port Moody, BC
Hi Brian. Welcome from a fellow Canadian.

Based on the catalog numbers you have supplied, you seem to have purchased 2 rail DC locomotives. Is your intention to convert these for operating on a Maerklin 3 rail track or just to convert them for 2 rail DCC?

Since you are on the Maerklin forum, which is mostly for 3 rail systems, you would require more than just a decoder to have it operate. So before people respond please tell us what your goal is.

Cheers
Peter
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Offline thing fish  
#3 Posted : 14 March 2020 05:38:22(UTC)
thing fish

Turkey   
Joined: 25/01/2020(UTC)
Posts: 143
Location: istanbul
Originally Posted by: PMPeter Go to Quoted Post
... you would require more than just a decoder to have it operate.


"... you would require more than just a decoder to have it operate on 3 rail (Marklin) system" the above quote should be.

Sorry Peter, added this just to clarify.

Cem.

Offline river6109  
#4 Posted : 18 March 2020 11:58:01(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,965
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
On the basis what you've told us and assuming your information is reliable, you would be able to change a DC loco to DCC with the provision your loco has a digital circuit board or otherwise you would have to buy one with a digital interface which should be possible as a spare part from a later produced loco and it looks like both your steam locos would need a digital interface, Roco's interface circuit board has usually an 8 pin plug and only with the latest locos you may find a Plux22 interface.
regards decoders or digital systems it depends what your intentions are for the future., yes a Z21 from Roco would or could be suitable, it wouldn't make any sense to buy Märklin decoders, so your choice is either Roco after market decoders, ESU decoders or Zimo but here you're buying Rolls Royce decoders.,
there is a lot more to it than just converting them to digital as you must decide which digital system you're going for, there is also an ESU ECoS or an Z 21, I would stick to the same company when buying decoders and I'm not familiar with the Z 21. ESU aslo offers you a lok programmer whereas you can program the decoder to your liking and change all of the CV's. especially with sound decoders.

regards.,

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
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Offline ocram63_uk  
#5 Posted : 19 March 2020 09:08:12(UTC)
ocram63_uk

United Kingdom   
Joined: 07/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 269
Location: England, Suffolk
Hi Brian,
the thing is doable whether the locos are DCC ready, i.e. you plug in a decoder on the internal circuit board and job done or if not you have to do a bit of soldering yourself, doable as well.

DCC is gender neutral be it 3 rail or 2 rail, do not get dragged into discussions on AC vs DC as it does not come into play anymore.

The other thing you need to DECIDE is if you want to go 3 rail, Marklin, or 2 rail, rest of the world.

3 rail locos can be converted to run on Marklin track and there are various ways to do it. I've done it multiple times.

No matter how new a Roco, in your case, loco is it may have problems going over on Marklin switches.
Mostly it comes down to the distance between the inner faces of the wheels / axles. Nothing that can't be fixed though if you have the correct tools.

As for 2 rail rolling stock, passenger coaches / goods cars, you may need to change the axles once you buy them.
I had to do it a couple of times in my life but otherwise they run perfectly on 3 rail tracks/switches.

Always keep in mind that Marklin trains = Apple computers.

These are my simple and high level concepts, from here you can take them to the tiniest detail on how to do them.
Marco
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Offline PMPeter  
#6 Posted : 19 March 2020 14:43:00(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,051
Location: Port Moody, BC
Originally Posted by: ocram63_uk Go to Quoted Post
3 rail locos can be converted to run on Marklin track and there are various ways to do it. I've done it multiple times.



I assume there is something wrong in this statement that you may want to correct.
Offline ocram63_uk  
#7 Posted : 19 March 2020 17:37:04(UTC)
ocram63_uk

United Kingdom   
Joined: 07/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 269
Location: England, Suffolk
Sure, typo needs correcting even though it is obvious it is a typo.
Read the string '3 rail locos' as '2 rail locos'.
There, everybody happy now !
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Offline PMPeter  
#8 Posted : 19 March 2020 20:00:47(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,051
Location: Port Moody, BC
No need to be snarky. I assumed you meant "2 rail locos", but on the other hand since this topic is about Roco locos I didn't know if you were suggesting that their 3 rail locos need some additional conversion in order to run on Maerklin track and switches. Some of us have certainly found this with one of the last Fleischmann 3 rail locos (topic of another thread) which will not run on Maerklin track switches without derailing and requiring the lead wheelsets to be replaced.
Offline ocram63_uk  
#9 Posted : 19 March 2020 23:26:04(UTC)
ocram63_uk

United Kingdom   
Joined: 07/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 269
Location: England, Suffolk
snarky, moi ?!?!
sharky maybe :-)
Offline river6109  
#10 Posted : 20 March 2020 00:25:16(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,965
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Here we have a topic from the 14th March 2020 and the author hasn't responded to any of the suggestions or counter questions but already the quarreling has started, not a very good start.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline Brian S  
#11 Posted : 23 March 2020 00:18:27(UTC)
Brian S

Canada   
Joined: 03/03/2020(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: Saskatchewan, Regina
Hi all and my apologies for not replying sooner. I've read all replies and thank all of you who've responded. I re-read my original post and realized how little useful info I provided. I'm very sorry guys. For sanity's sake lets keep Marklin out of this topic lol. Basically, I have 3 Roco DC Locos I'd like to convert to DCC, and I thought providing the old stock numbers might help someone out there who is knowledgable on decoders lead me to the right direction on proper decoders. My goal is to run only a couple trains at a time, but i'm tired of old DC. I took the crocodile and one of the steamers apart and all they have is the stock light circuit board. Thanks!
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