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Offline applor  
#1 Posted : 18 May 2020 00:41:55(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,476
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Hi all,

Over the last month or so two I have noticed when running my trains (CS2) that they are experiencing a power dip randomly anywhere between 10 seconds to a minute.
What happens is the power cuts out for a moment. It does not affect running except that you see the locos jerk as they lose and regain power and the sound cuts out for a fraction.

This behaviour would normally be the result of a short circuit, however I can rule that out.
That is because I have observed this behaviour with all trains stopped except one that was travelling at a crawl on a straight piece of track.

I can also confirm current usage at 2.2 amps and temperature at 36c from the CS2, so all well within tolerances.
I have a large layout but all accessories and decoders are run from separate PSU, leaving the CS2 to only power the trains. No boosters.

My other thought was perhaps Rocrail / PC control had something to do with it but this occurs with none of that running.
This isolates it to the CS2 being the cause.

Has anyone else experienced this before?

My only possible thought is the power regulator may be flaky. Mine actually blew in August 2018 and I replaced the chip with the same.
The CS2 has been running with the replaced chip for over 1.5 years with no problems at all. See here:

https://www.marklin-user...m/posts/t41078-Blown-CS2

I am guessing I won't get any answers here and I won't know unless I can try a different CS2/CS3 to confirm it is the controller.
Then the question if it is the power regulator or some other component causing these power dips.

modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Offline Danlake  
#2 Posted : 18 May 2020 02:34:00(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,499
If you have a multimeter you could try and just test your switched mode power pack to excluded that is not the culprit?

Put the leads straight on two of the pins on the plug that would normally go into your CS2 and measure the voltage. Be carefully when testing these pins as you can easily create sparks and shortcuts if you touches one of the other pins. Use small alligator clips or similar.

Also when CS2 connected try and do some measurements from the rail with the multimeter.

And finally try and setup your CS2 with just a couple of tracks on your work bench table. Test both with programming track and main track. Do you get the same behaviour?

Best Regards
Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline dickinsonj  
#3 Posted : 18 May 2020 03:31:07(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,318
Location: United States
I have seen something that might be related to this with my CS2 (60215). I very occasionally see what appear to be small power fluctuations which result in loco speed varying in a pattern of regular, small increases and decreases - kind of like a sine wave. I thought at first that I was just imagining that since a pint or two sometimes sneaks into my train room. BigGrin

But one day I saw the slack in the train's couplers tighten and loosen in that same pattern, which tells me that the loco's speed was indeed changing with no changes in commanded speed.
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
Offline applor  
#4 Posted : 18 May 2020 23:21:04(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,476
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: Danlake Go to Quoted Post
If you have a multimeter you could try and just test your switched mode power pack to excluded that is not the culprit?


If the PSU itself was dropping power it would likely shut down the CS2. I will monitor voltage from it next time though just to confirm.


Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post
I have seen something that might be related to this with my CS2 (60215). I very occasionally see what appear to be small power fluctuations which result in loco speed varying in a pattern of regular, small increases and decreases - kind of like a sine wave. I thought at first that I was just imagining that since a pint or two sometimes sneaks into my train room. BigGrin

But one day I saw the slack in the train's couplers tighten and loosen in that same pattern, which tells me that the loco's speed was indeed changing with no changes in commanded speed.


Mine is a very abrupt cut of power that is immediately restored, from what you are described it is a gradual dip in voltage - does the sound cut out at all?
What you describe is the sort of behaviour from unregulated decoders or the compact c-sine models without the softwave decoder board.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Offline dickinsonj  
#5 Posted : 19 May 2020 02:01:44(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,318
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post

Mine is a very abrupt cut of power that is immediately restored, from what you are described it is a gradual dip in voltage - does the sound cut out at all?

No, my power and sound don't cut off, at least not at this point, although this is not its only weird behavior. Yes - the problems are different but abstractly the same thing, namely the inability of the CS2 to maintain a correct track power level. I wonder if what I see is an early sign of the problems that you have. Your problem sounds like it might be another failure of your power regulator, although software guys always say the problem is in hardware. BigGrin

I have been wondering if it is time to move along to a CS3 or maybe time to take another look at an ECOS.

Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post

What you describe is the sort of behaviour from unregulated decoders or the compact c-sine models without the software decoder board.


I agree, but no also on any old locos tech. My last roster had one DCM loco but with fairly (~2014) modern electronics and it has never done that. The ones which are fluctuating all have the current can motor and 3rd gen decoders. You are right to observe that they are indeed behaving as unregulated motors, but why? If the motors are working correctly then the power might be fluctuating, just not as drastically as yours is. I would think that you might want to be looking at alternative command systems too or another repair, since your failure seems more of a problem than mine, at least right now.
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
Offline David Dewar  
#6 Posted : 19 May 2020 13:16:19(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,902
Location: Scotland
My CS2 was fine for around ten years before showing signs of age so just changed to the CS3 Plus which I expect to last as long. I doubt any model rail stuff is built to last without eventually giving problems. I look at the cost and see what it did cost per year for the time I have had it and I reckon my CS2 was good value.
Try a CS3 at a dealer if you can and you can keep the CS2 which you may be able to get working in the future and use as an extra controller.
Just what I would do but would not suit everybody.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
Offline PJMärklin  
#7 Posted : 19 May 2020 13:55:40(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,525
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: David Dewar Go to Quoted Post
My CS2 was fine for around ten years before showing signs of age so just changed to the CS3 Plus which I expect to last as long. I doubt any model rail stuff is built to last without eventually giving problems. ...


Hello David,

My 6021 is 25 years old. (touch wood)


Regards,

PJ


UserPostedImage
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by PJMärklin
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#8 Posted : 19 May 2020 15:51:49(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 17,249
Location: New Zealand
Sound cut out can happen with Gauge 1 locos (they can draw lots of current) and when this happens it is a sure sign of either too much current draw or too much voltage drop in that section of track. More often than not it is voltage drop that is the culprit. The fix is normally to add more feeder wires.

I can have this happen on a 4m x 2.5m oval track if there is only one feeder wire. In this case I would (and have) wire up 3 more, so that there are feeder wires at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock.

H0 layouts may not be as bad but I would check that you have a consistent 18 volts all around the layout.
Offline rbw993  
#9 Posted : 19 May 2020 16:30:11(UTC)
rbw993

United States   
Joined: 19/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 668
Eric,
I have seen the same thing on my layout. My layout is split into 4 track sections powered by boosters. The CS2 on connects directly to the 60883's (which is powered separately) for turnout control. I don't believe it is caused by an overload of current on the CS2. I only noticed the cutout on one section so I am suspicious that the booster is causing it. I recently swapped that booster for another and haven't had a cutout since. I haven't run the trains a lot so more running is needed before I know if this was the true cause.

I have also seen the pulsing Jim describes and it occurs mostly in the Hobby Traxx locos that I have updated with sound. I think it is related to poor load compensation in some decoders. I have tried fiddling with the CV values for load compensation but without success. Instructions are very vague.

Regards,
Roger
Offline applor  
#10 Posted : 20 May 2020 23:57:06(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,476
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Originally Posted by: dickinsonj Go to Quoted Post

No, my power and sound don't cut off, at least not at this point, although this is not its only weird behavior. Yes - the problems are different but abstractly the same thing, namely the inability of the CS2 to maintain a correct track power level. I wonder if what I see is an early sign of the problems that you have. Your problem sounds like it might be another failure of your power regulator, although software guys always say the problem is in hardware. BigGrin


Yes I agree and quite possibly a sign that the power regulator may be starting to fail. Hopefully not for your sake!

Originally Posted by: David Dewar Go to Quoted Post
My CS2 was fine for around ten years before showing signs of age so just changed to the CS3 Plus which I expect to last as long. I doubt any model rail stuff is built to last without eventually giving problems. I look at the cost and see what it did cost per year for the time I have had it and I reckon my CS2 was good value.
Try a CS3 at a dealer if you can and you can keep the CS2 which you may be able to get working in the future and use as an extra controller.
Just what I would do but would not suit everybody.


Well my father has a CS3 and a CS3+ so borrowing one for testing wouldn't be a problem. The problem is registering the 40 odd locos on it and then having to update Rocrail with all the new MFX addresses Crying


Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Sound cut out can happen with Gauge 1 locos (they can draw lots of current) and when this happens it is a sure sign of either too much current draw or too much voltage drop in that section of track. More often than not it is voltage drop that is the culprit. The fix is normally to add more feeder wires.

I can have this happen on a 4m x 2.5m oval track if there is only one feeder wire. In this case I would (and have) wire up 3 more, so that there are feeder wires at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock.

H0 layouts may not be as bad but I would check that you have a consistent 18 volts all around the layout.


Yes but this is clearly not an excessive current draw issue.

As for track voltage, I have feeders every 50cm or more. I would have over 100 feeders on my layout. Voltage is solid.

I would also argue that if it were a drop in voltage at certain locations that it would not be causing all the locos to stutter everywhere on the layout at the same time.

Originally Posted by: rbw993 Go to Quoted Post
Eric,
I have seen the same thing on my layout. My layout is split into 4 track sections powered by boosters. The CS2 on connects directly to the 60883's (which is powered separately) for turnout control. I don't believe it is caused by an overload of current on the CS2. I only noticed the cutout on one section so I am suspicious that the booster is causing it. I recently swapped that booster for another and haven't had a cutout since. I haven't run the trains a lot so more running is needed before I know if this was the true cause.

I have also seen the pulsing Jim describes and it occurs mostly in the Hobby Traxx locos that I have updated with sound. I think it is related to poor load compensation in some decoders. I have tried fiddling with the CV values for load compensation but without success. Instructions are very vague.

Regards,
Roger


Thanks for posting your experience. It sounds exactly like that booster was the cause and further confirms that in my case it would be the CS2 as the culprit.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
Offline dickinsonj  
#11 Posted : 21 May 2020 01:11:01(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,318
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
Well my father has a CS3 and a CS3+ so borrowing one for testing wouldn't be a problem. The problem is registering the 40 odd locos on it and then having to update Rocrail with all the new MFX addresses Crying


I thought that you could transfer loco registration data from a CS2 to a CS3 but I never looked into the details. You can't transfer layouts and routes which use an entirely different format. Or maybe something has changed, or more likely, I am crazy? BigGrin
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
Offline applor  
#12 Posted : 21 May 2020 23:43:06(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,476
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Yes you are right! It seems you just perform CS2 backup to USB and then restore onto the CS3.

https://www.marklin-user...rting-CS2-datas-into-CS3

Worrying that Tom talks about it bricking the CS3 but without any details about what happened.

Though also does not transfer MFX it seems, they need to be registered by the CS3 itself.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by applor
Offline dickinsonj  
#13 Posted : 22 May 2020 01:23:19(UTC)
dickinsonj

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,318
Location: United States
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post

Though also does not transfer MFX it seems, they need to be registered by the CS3 itself.

Ok, that is good info to have. Thanks. ThumpUp

I have not made the jump to a CS3 yet and I had not explored that part in any detail. But that is not a big deal for me because it is easy to place your newer locos on your programming track and register them automatically. I for one think that mfx is a godsend and makes managing this stuff a lot more pleasant. I have only had a couple of issues with mfx registration and they were my fault. OhMyGod

When I talked to a North American Märklin digital rep, he suggested deleting a problem loco and registering it again because he suspects that the saved data for each loco in the CS2 can become corrupted and cause various operational anomalies. For my problem it didn't matter but he seemed to think that the limited amount of memory in a CS2 was getting a bit stressed. I had wondered about the fact that this old tech embedded memory is tiny and they doubled the function states which they need to save for the new decoders. That might explain why some loco functions come up on their own when I turn on track power too, because the saved state is wrong. Hummm...

I was surprised and happy when they added support for 32 functions on the CS2. I was actually ready to buy a CS3 right them but that let me put it off for a bit. ThumpUp

But a number of odd things with my CS2 make me wonder if it isn't time for a more modern controller. After five years I would consider a PC ancient and I'm not sure why I expect a little home brewed MRR linux box to not need its hardware updated too. I wonder when the next version of the CS3 will drop, isn't it about time for a 60217? BigGrin
Regards,
Jim

I have almost all Märklin and mostly HO, although I do have a small number of Z gauge trains!
I have models from Era I to Era VI, but I try to focus on Eras I & III. Whoops, that one got away from me. Let's just say I focus on cool trains, regardless of the particulars :-)
So many trains and so little time.
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