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Offline Wherebourne  
#1 Posted : 25 February 2020 17:52:39(UTC)
Wherebourne

Sweden   
Joined: 30/12/2019(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: Stockholms lan, Stockholm
I have inherited a vast collection of Märklin trains and M-track with a center rail, seems to all be from the early 1950s.
I am trying to learn how all the different track components work and how to wire them and activate them.

I have many different types of switches and signals for the M-track. Currently I am looking at a semaphore switch that has a break in the center rail on the little piece of track that it is attached to. It also has 4 holes in the side for wires to be plugged in to. There are 5 wires sticking out. The standard yellow and 2 blue wires that I have connected in to the transfo, yellow to the L hole, and the two blue wires in to a switch leading to the "O" hole, thus I can successfully control the the electromagnet that moves back and worth no problem. However this has no effect on the track itself and the locomotive rolls past it no matter the position the semaphore switch is in. There are 2 additional red wires coming from the semaphore signal track section that I don't know how to connect them. I understand that some kind of isolated piece of track needs to be established to create a break in the circuit to stop the train. But I do not understand how exactly this is done in the form of wiring.

Are there any official märklin documents on how to wire a switch that stops trains etc. signals in general? I cannot find any detailed schematics of how wiring is carried out. Or if there are any special pieces of track that are required.

Anybody kind to help, I can upload pictures of the track in question for a better idea. I am new to this forum so I am not quite sure how to do things like upload pictures, but I can post a link to the picture in the comments I guess..


Thank you in advance, anybody kind enough to want to help a young märklin fan get to grips with this wiring!
Offline thing fish  
#2 Posted : 25 February 2020 18:41:15(UTC)
thing fish

Turkey   
Joined: 25/01/2020(UTC)
Posts: 144
Location: istanbul
Hi,

The two red wires are the ones that would control the current on the isolated track section.

There should be small metal plates soldered to the red wires, those plates will be in touch with the shiny tongue (the center rail connector bit) of the track section on both sides of the isolated section.

Now, use a small piece of thick paper to isolate the center rail section from the rest of the layout (again on both sides): paper between the shiny tongues of the track (and the small plates attached to the red wires).

Think of it like a sandwich: tongue of the track, metal plate of the red wire, paper (isolator), and the tongue of the track.

When the signal is showing green, the red wires electrify the isolated section.

Hope this helps.

Cem.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by thing fish
Offline Webmaster  
#3 Posted : 25 February 2020 18:41:35(UTC)
Webmaster


Joined: 25/07/2001(UTC)
Posts: 11,143
As you say early 50's, maybe this can help.

446.pdf (1,931kb) downloaded 75 time(s).
Juhan - "Webmaster", at your service...
He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes. He who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. [Old Chinese Proverb]
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by Webmaster
Offline Wherebourne  
#4 Posted : 26 February 2020 10:23:41(UTC)
Wherebourne

Sweden   
Joined: 30/12/2019(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: Stockholms lan, Stockholm
Originally Posted by: thing fish Go to Quoted Post
Hi,

The two red wires are the ones that would control the current on the isolated track section.

There should be small metal plates soldered to the red wires, those plates will be in touch with the shiny tongue (the center rail connector bit) of the track section on both sides of the isolated section.

Now, use a small piece of thick paper to isolate the center rail section from the rest of the layout (again on both sides): paper between the shiny tongues of the track (and the small plates attached to the red wires).

Think of it like a sandwich: tongue of the track, metal plate of the red wire, paper (isolator), and the tongue of the track.

When the signal is showing green, the red wires electrify the isolated section.

Hope this helps.

Cem.


Yes I got the impression that that was the function of the two red wires. There are no metal plates soldered to the ends of the red wires.
The red wires simply have bare ends. One is protruding from the casing of the switch, the other is simply soldered on to the left tongue of the track part of the switch (a bit odd, or? Should it be like that?)
Please see the photos I have uploaded to imgur: https://imgur.com/a/GAlVYEs
These photos show exactly what the switch looks like and I have previously tried to set it up, without success and I have included a drawn schematic of how I am planning to make the switch work, based on your helpful instruction.

I hope the link works?

Regarding the isolation, thank you for a very clear and visual instruction. So my question is, in isolating both outer ends of the track pieces immediately in contact with the semaphore switch, is the goal to thus create a kind of "circuit within a circuit", that is to say the red wires should create an isolated circuit within the 3 pieces of track (two neighbouring tracks and the semaphore switch track in between them), that is separated from the rest of the track. OR, should the red wires be in contact with the rest of the track (by being in contact with the tongues in the "sandwich" that attach to the rest of the larger track and isolated from the two tracks in contact with the switch? Thus maybe creating a kind of "bridge"?
So that when the switch is activated and set in the "open" position, it should bring in electricity from the where the terminal track is connected and feed in to the isolated small piece of track around the switch, thus electrifying it and allowing the train to pass?

Sorry if this is a long reply, just trying to wrap my head around the working principle of the switch...

Also in the link is a picture of the inside of the switch, I see that some corrosion has occurred on the slider contacts, which I assumed is hindering operation, so I am going to use deoxit spray to clean those contacts. When I have cleaned the contacts, I am going to test the two ends of the two protruding red wires with a multimeter, I am assuming that when the switch is set in the "open" position, there should be continuity detected when testing the two ends of the wires by connecting to the poles of the multimeter?

Does my hand drawn schematic look like it is correct, as you described?

Lastly, there are 4 holes on the side of the track, do you know what purpose these serve?

Kind regards,

WW
Offline Wherebourne  
#5 Posted : 26 February 2020 10:36:06(UTC)
Wherebourne

Sweden   
Joined: 30/12/2019(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: Stockholms lan, Stockholm
Originally Posted by: Webmaster Go to Quoted Post
As you say early 50's, maybe this can help.

446.pdf (1,931kb) downloaded 75 time(s).


Hi,

Thank you for the document, I have actually taken a look at that PDF before, but it seems that the 446 is a slightly different model of semaphore switch that has a base plate that clips on to any piece of track anywhere on the layout.

My semaphore is "built in to" a piece of track that has a center rail that is cut in the middle.
https://imgur.com/a/GAlVYEs here is a link to my photos of the semaphore in question for a better description of what I mean. I have scoured the internet endlessly trying to find a model number for it but I really cannot find it. Can you identify it maybe? 446 seems to refer to the semaphore switch with the base plate.
Could mine be like a variation of the 446? Do you know what function the 4 holes on the side have?

I have another switch in the pictures in the link, that has lights and is also attached to a track. I can get it to go from red to green and control the electromagnet but it does not have the two red wires, so I am unsure as to how it is supposed to carry out its function of stopping the train at that part of the track. Are you familiar with this switch?

I have looked in the Märklin 1951 catalogue and it refers to this red/green light switch as the 479 G? This gives no results on google..

Is there any way to get a hold of the instructions for these specific block switches? I am going to send an email to märklin themselves and ask.

Lastly, I have a couple of track pieces that I have noticed have a little red line on the side and a small break in the side rail right by the little red line. I also have a little piece of track that is very short (4-5cm?) and it seems to have a isolating effect. I thought it was just a little piece of track for when the larger track pieces don't really line up, but the train would stop when it came in contact with this little piece of track. Could it be a partner for these "block signals"? Do I need these special tracks with the little red line on them to make the signals function, or does the piece of paper work well enough?

Kind regards,

WW
Offline thing fish  
#6 Posted : 26 February 2020 10:39:46(UTC)
thing fish

Turkey   
Joined: 25/01/2020(UTC)
Posts: 144
Location: istanbul
Heisan WW,

It's ok if the red wires are missing the plates, you can solder, or just tie them to the tongues.

Unfortunately I can't see your images. You can send them to my mail directly (just click the "arrow down" over my avatar to see the details).

I'll make a drawing for you later on (I have to attend to some chores right now).

"So that when the switch is activated and set in the "open" position, it should bring in electricity from the where the terminal track is connected and feed in to the isolated small piece of track around the switch, thus electrifying it and allowing the train to pass?" - yes!

Multimeter thing; correct! The holes on the side of the tracks serve different purposes, I can tell you when I see the photos.

C.
Offline PhilipC  
#7 Posted : 22 June 2022 13:54:34(UTC)
PhilipC


Joined: 16/06/2022(UTC)
Posts: 1
Hi.
I’m looking at exactly the same issues.
Im wondering where do I get the the metal tongue plates for the centre tab that joins the track either side of the signal please.

Philip
Offline marklinist5999  
#8 Posted : 22 June 2022 13:59:32(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,659
Location: Michigan, Troy
There may be some n.o.s. parts at a few shops in Germany, (e-mail them and ask)- modellbahn Lippe, Union, etc., or old signals, etc. on the Catawiki auction site, or E-bay.
Offline JohnjeanB  
#9 Posted : 22 June 2022 14:33:10(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,080
Location: Paris, France
Hi
Originally Posted by: Wherebourne Go to Quoted Post
Are there any official märklin documents on how to wire a switch that stops trains etc. signals in general? I cannot find any detailed schematics of how wiring is carried out. Or if there are any special pieces of track that are required.

It is highly probable your semaphore is working fine and the stop section is insulated (center rail). All it needs is another insulation on the center rail (piece of strong paper) some 20 cm ahead of the signal. Without this other insulation, the contact is shorted (no train stop)
Here are some of my old signal (1951 and 1952). In 1953 they were replaced with a new generation of signals (446) independent of the rail and with insulating paper instead of cutting rails (insulation rails?). So these 445A were very short lived: in 1951 with a single coil / rocker, in 1953 replaced with a totally new generation



443G 437 Signale.jpg

Note: these signals (445A, 480A) were delivered with a cut rail (9 cm long, with the center rail cut in the middle).

From memory, among the 4 female plugs on the rail, 2 are for the overhead stop section and 2 for plugging the advance signals
I hope this helps
Jean
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