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Offline Twinrover1965  
#1 Posted : 20 October 2020 15:42:54(UTC)
Twinrover1965

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 21
Location: England, London
I have decided to convert my small temporary plug and play Marklin C layout to digital operation as a trial since all my AC locos are fitted with decoders, and feel that now is the time to experience the rest of the available sounds and functions. In analogue, I have only been able to hear the brake release and application. From what I have learnt so far I need an MS2 controller, digital box and power pack to get started. However, can anybody explain the need for an m83 decoder box? Is this item an alternative to fitting the separate decoders fitted under each point? Presumably the box is cheaper but are there any other pros and cons to consider between choosing separate decoders or using a box.

Alongside my Marklin C layout configured as five concentric circles I have got a Kato HO, Tillig TT and Kato N gauge analogue tracks. Can I use the MS2 to control these locos [when I get round to fitting the decoders] and will I need separate digital boxes for each layout but use the same MS2 controller universally?

Offline JohnjeanB  
#2 Posted : 20 October 2020 16:13:14(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,658
Location: Paris, France
Originally Posted by: Twinrover1965 Go to Quoted Post
However, can anybody explain the need for an m83 decoder box? Is this item an alternative to fitting the separate decoders fitted under each point? Presumably the box is cheaper but are there any other pros and cons to consider between choosing separate decoders or using a box.

Hi
For carpet trains the in-switch decoders (74462,..) are much more convenient (no external cabling) but a bit more expensive.

For fixed layouts, M83 (60832) are cheaper and more convenient (accessibility, easy possibility for an external power supply using 66360).

The other inconvenient of using in-switch decoders (74462,..) on fixed layouts is that the decoder fixation is very provisional (only plastic poles and after a while, the decoders hang loose, attached only by the wires.

Agreed there is also this possibility for an external power feed on 74462 but IMO it defeats the idea of a digital switch with no strings attached.
Cheers
Jean

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Offline Twinrover1965  
#3 Posted : 22 October 2020 12:07:46(UTC)
Twinrover1965

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 21
Location: England, London
Thank you for your very clear explanation of the decoder set up. I have decided to choose the switch decoder as it offers a neater solution albeit more expensive. I may also buy an m83 later on for lighting and uncoupling tracks. I would like to point out though that my temporary layout runs on a series of professionally made loosely fitted baseboards and I prefer this to having a permanent arrangement as my tastes can change overnight.

For example, prior to lockdown I had my extensive Trix layout in operation. However, on having to stay indoors, I felt a need to change this to a mainly Kato and Tillig set up so the Trix rails went back to their boxes. Six months later, I've got the digital bug and have decided to use my Marklin C layout to trial this so the Kato will be disassembled until another rainy day. The last time I actually ran anything on a carpet was about 1967 as a boy and then it was the Triang rubbish. Soon after this my dad built me 6 x 4 baseboard in my bedroom but I still didn't pin or glue any tracks down. Given my taste for various kinds of bedding tracks, this set up suits me very well. I am well aware the purists regard C track as some kind of toy but what is realistic?

I have lived in London all my life near Underground lines which are anything but realistic when compared to boring conventional sleepy branch lines in the country. All sorts of devices and chunky bits of cables and equipment are to be seen over the top, next to and under the electrified tracks! In addition, I just don't have the skills required to build a conventional model railway and at my age and state of health I cannot be bothered as I am content watching my quality locos run over robust and reliable bedding track. Of course, if I decide to have a permanent layout with scenery/catenary in the future then I have the bolts to connect my baseboards together along with a backscene. I have built in this option in case of a change of mind.

What I wanted to ask was with my move to MS2 is there any way I can utilise my Marklin analogue controller/transformer 66741 within the MS2 architecture? For example, can I utilise a part of 66741 instead of having to splash out nearly 40 euros [from Lippe] on a 66360 power pack? Or is it a case of mothballing the analogue device for when I next revive my M track and VB rail layouts or if my digital exploits fail?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thx everybody.






Offline Twinrover1965  
#4 Posted : 22 October 2020 12:15:42(UTC)
Twinrover1965

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 21
Location: England, London
Sorry, the Marklin item number for the analogue controller/transformer should be 66471 and NOT 66741.
Offline JohnjeanB  
#5 Posted : 22 October 2020 13:08:30(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,658
Location: Paris, France
Originally Posted by: Twinrover1965 Go to Quoted Post
What I wanted to ask was with my move to MS2 is there any way I can utilise my Marklin analogue controller/transformer 66741 within the MS2 architecture? For example, can I utilise a part of 66741 instead of having to splash out nearly 40 euros [from Lippe] on a 66360 power pack? Or is it a case of mothballing the analogue device for when I next revive my M track and VB rail layouts or if my digital exploits fail?

Hi
Märklin transformers could be used with MS2 setup but switching power supplies are better suited. (they deliver a regulated power with constant voltage independent of the load and their power may go up to 100 W)

Another possibility is to use a old laptop power supply. Most deliver 18 or 19 VDC of regulated and filtered supply which can be used after an "educated" (good type and proper polarity) connector change.

Transformers IMO are a thing of the past: very fluctuating output (depending on mains fluctuations and on the load) The net result is in digital that the speed regulation is ruined by the poor quality feed. Not to say anything about efficiency.
I hope this helps
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
Offline Twinrover1965  
#6 Posted : 22 October 2020 13:34:11(UTC)
Twinrover1965

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 21
Location: England, London
Thx JohnJeanB. Sounds as though decoders might get fried! I shall opt for 66360 and mothball the analogue device.
Offline JohnjeanB  
#7 Posted : 22 October 2020 16:06:07(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,658
Location: Paris, France
Hi

You wrote "Sounds as though decoders might get fried. "
No, no risks that way but using a 66360 will provide a more stable power translating into better loco operation.

The only risks with (very) old Märklin transformers are:
- power cord (rubber-based in the early 1950s) disintegrating and leaving bare conductors for you to touch (ouch)
- the older Blue 220V Märklin transformers which were providing higher voltages than specified (18V instead of 16 V) Here, the main danger is to use them for digital locos in analog mode (O and B outputs). The over-voltage for direction change, instead of being 24 VAC turned out to be 28 VAC or more which means peak voltage around or above the 40 V absolute maximum ratings for Märklin decoders. This fries them on occasions.

On the other hand, these old transformers are excellent for various power of illuminations (LEDs Lamps, etc)
Cheers
Jean
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Offline Twinrover1965  
#8 Posted : 23 November 2020 14:31:57(UTC)
Twinrover1965

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 21
Location: England, London
Would I be able to use my MS2 to control trains on my Trix layout which operates alongside my Marklin setup? And what about Kato HO, Tillig TT and Kato N layouts I have set up from time to time? Would I need any additional equipment?
Offline JohnjeanB  
#9 Posted : 23 November 2020 14:51:02(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,658
Location: Paris, France
Hi
AFAIK MS2 from Trix or Märklin are identical except the knob color.
So yes you would be able to control your DCC or MFX / MM2 trains no matter what scale they are.
No DC operation is possible on your N scale layout
An update may be better but the recent MS2 can update the older one unless very very old.
No you would not need any additional equipement (except may be switch decoders).
Cheers
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
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Offline Twinrover1965  
#10 Posted : 13 December 2020 14:46:40(UTC)
Twinrover1965

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 21
Location: England, London
I have had my MS2 for over a week now; the delivery time from Lippe to London UK was 3 days incidentally. Not bad, eh? I don't have any Marklin locos as such only an AC fitted Roco SBB Re 4/4 II, an AC fitted Electrotren RENFE class 276 and a Sud Express CP DC to AC convertible class 2500 electric loco.

I have decided to use the Roco loco as my first venture into the digital world and in seven days I have given my loco a name, an address and changed its symbol. I have operated it forward and reverse and sounded the whistle: tooooooooooot! The slow running is very impressive when compared to analogue operation and this alone has got me hooked! So far, so good.......

However, and this is a very big however, only three functions show up on the screen: lights plus F1 F2 and F3 and a strange symbol on the right hand side at the top. The remainder is blank showing no more functions when the Roco manual states there should be 22 in total for this particular machine [Roco 79255]. Could somebody please advise me how I can make use of and display the remaining functions because the accompanying MS2 manual doesn't! The Roco manual is even worse and assumes a lot of prior knowledge that the average user just doesn't possess.

It seems to me that if you have a Marklin [mfx] loco all is straightforward plug and play but not so if it is another make of loco! I am completely stumped on what to do next! The experience so far is to stay loyal to the brand as I understand German model enthusiasts do otherwise it all gets very messy.

Any assistance from the experts out there would be most welcome.

Offline JohnjeanB  
#11 Posted : 13 December 2020 15:48:55(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,658
Location: Paris, France
Hi
I am certainly not an expert but here is the little I know:
- on an MS2 in DCC you have to program each function of your loco and assign a symbol to each
- in MFX a lot of information is stored on the decoder that would be downloaded to your MS2 (each function, its symbol, etc) when you select the loco

Attention: when dealing with a multi protocol console (MS2) and a multiprotocole loco you need to disable (preferably on the loco) which protocol you don't use.
Cheers
Jean
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Offline Bogenschütze  
#12 Posted : 13 December 2020 16:20:09(UTC)
Bogenschütze

United Kingdom   
Joined: 10/09/2019(UTC)
Posts: 58
Location: England, Chichester
Originally Posted by: Twinrover1965 Go to Quoted Post
I have had my MS2 for over a week now; the delivery time from Lippe to London UK was 3 days incidentally. Not bad, eh?



Excellent service from Lippe and I'm sure you won't regret your purchase. I'm sure some of the knowledgeable members of this forum will solve your problem.

I just tried to order a second MS2 for my layout from Lippe but it had just gone out of stock. You must have got their last one! Oh well, I'll just have to wait to the New Year for delivery and hope it doesn't fall foul of No Deal Brexit customs duty. Crying
Marklin - "The train set I never had as a child."
Keith Bowman
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Offline Twinrover1965  
#13 Posted : 05 January 2021 17:58:24(UTC)
Twinrover1965

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 21
Location: England, London
Just prior to Brexit I had another delivery from MSL that again took only 3 days! However, I understand from other posts this is now history.

I have hit a brick wall with regards to adding more functions on MS2 for controlling my Roco three rail SBB Re 4/4. The instructions are totally incomprehensible and useless. It has definitely taught me a lesson to buy only Marklin loks with mfx in future.

What I have stumbled across though is the existence of [very expensive] Marklin loco cards and if appropriate I will be ordering a much cheaper alternative, "Chipcard 8KB" from a firm - reichelt - based in Switzerland. I believe you can insert these into an MS2 and the data from a non mfx loco can be written onto the card saving the fuss involved adding each function. Is there a catch here where the card provides only some of the functions?

Can anybody advise please or have I been led up the garden path? It seems a very good idea to assist non-techie persons like myself but hasn't been promoted for some reason.

I have also heard that Brawa will be including a loco specific card written in mfx for each of their newly released AC locos or have they already done or doing so?

Can anybody tell us more?

Thanks fellow Marklinistas and a Happy New Year to you all.
Offline H0  
#14 Posted : 05 January 2021 18:28:47(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,202
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Twinrover1965 Go to Quoted Post
The instructions are totally incomprehensible and useless. It has definitely taught me a lesson to buy only Marklin loks with mfx in future.
Yes, the Märklin instructions for the MS2 are really bad. But IMHO this is no reason to stop buying Roco locos.

Loco cards have nothing to do with mfx. With loco cards, bought empty, you still have to manually add the function symbols for non-mfx locos. Then you can store these symbol definitions on a loco card to restore them in the future. The Reichelt cards work fine for that purpose.

If you let us know how far you came with defining symbols for your loco, we may be able to help you go the full way.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
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Offline dominator  
#15 Posted : 06 January 2021 00:19:51(UTC)
dominator

New Zealand   
Joined: 20/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 960
Location: Kerikeri
You can load the data from an mfx loco to a card as well. I did. Makes it easier to reload a loco. I have had some problems loading mfx locos onto my MS2's so opted for the cards as backup.
Northland. NZ REMEMBER 0228 for ä
Offline mike c  
#16 Posted : 06 January 2021 08:20:31(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 7,189
Location: Montreal, QC
Originally Posted by: Twinrover1965 Go to Quoted Post
I have had my MS2 for over a week now; the delivery time from Lippe to London UK was 3 days incidentally. Not bad, eh? I don't have any Marklin locos as such only an AC fitted Roco SBB Re 4/4 II, an AC fitted Electrotren RENFE class 276 and a Sud Express CP DC to AC convertible class 2500 electric loco.

I have decided to use the Roco loco as my first venture into the digital world and in seven days I have given my loco a name, an address and changed its symbol. I have operated it forward and reverse and sounded the whistle: tooooooooooot! The slow running is very impressive when compared to analogue operation and this alone has got me hooked! So far, so good.......

However, and this is a very big however, only three functions show up on the screen: lights plus F1 F2 and F3 and a strange symbol on the right hand side at the top. The remainder is blank showing no more functions when the Roco manual states there should be 22 in total for this particular machine [Roco 79255]. Could somebody please advise me how I can make use of and display the remaining functions because the accompanying MS2 manual doesn't! The Roco manual is even worse and assumes a lot of prior knowledge that the average user just doesn't possess.

It seems to me that if you have a Marklin [mfx] loco all is straightforward plug and play but not so if it is another make of loco! I am completely stumped on what to do next! The experience so far is to stay loyal to the brand as I understand German model enthusiasts do otherwise it all gets very messy.

Any assistance from the experts out there would be most welcome.


From another Post:
Quote:
I have hit a brick wall with regards to adding more functions on MS2 for controlling my Roco three rail SBB Re 4/4. The instructions are totally incomprehensible and useless. It has definitely taught me a lesson to buy only Marklin loks with mfx in future.


First thing to do is to set up the MS2 connected to 2 or 3 track sections as a "programming track"
Make sure that only one model with a decoder is on the track at any one time.
Press 'shift' and the button with the locomotive symbol on it, then select 'Neue Lok'
Scroll down and select 'Erkennen"
The Roco Re 4/4 does not have MFX, but the MS2 should detect DCC Lok with address 3 (default)
When I registered my Roco Re 4/4s this way, it provided functions F0-F15.
If it did not, you will have to add each function by selecting "Lok Bearbeiten"
Then "Funktion Ändern" and then select each function, assign it an icon and whether momentary or constant
Once that is done, it should save the information in the controller.
As the Roco Re 4/4 has a Zimo decoder, it does not remember settings above F8, so, for example, you will have to push F15 to get the taillight to change from red to white as per Swiss norms each time the MS2 is stopped or unplugged.

That aspect of Zimo can be frustrating, but the sounds are much better than on most Maerklin or ESU decoders.

Once the settings are saved, you can keep it as one of the ones in your databank or you can create a lok card (recommended).

Regards

Mike C
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