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Offline Alex H  
#1 Posted : 10 September 2023 12:15:38(UTC)
Alex H

United Kingdom   
Joined: 25/03/2017(UTC)
Posts: 46
Location: England, Devon
Hi,

I have a number of the "Donnerbuchse" passenger coaches and I want to add lighting to them. I'd be very interested on members opinion on the options available.

As I see it I can add an LED lighting strip to each coach along with the relevant hook-up set on each coach. The other way is to add an LED strip to each coach, a hook-up set to one coach and the use current-conducting close couplers on the other coaches.

Is one way any better than the other? The first method gives greater flexibility but if anyone has this, can you see the hook-up sets when the train is running?

Many thanks

Alex
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Alex H
Offline marklinist5999  
#2 Posted : 10 September 2023 14:39:26(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 2,491
Location: Michigan, Troy
No, it mainly depends upon wether you want to have them lit always, or be digitally controlled by adding a funtion decoder in one, or use a loco. with a digitally switched coupler to activate them.
Offline JohnjeanB  
#3 Posted : 10 September 2023 16:10:42(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,773
Location: Paris, France
Hi Alex
These "Donnerbüchsen" are very fine and to me the best way is to use a Märklin LED lighting strip.
It is better than using an adhesive lighting strip because of the "pillars" to screw the body to the frame.
I would also use one slider and ground return kit but avoid having one per car and use instead conductive couplers to distribute the B polarity to all cars and make a ground return (a slider on one of the axles of each wagon).

Alternately, if you don't use so much the slider-operated contact rails, an independent current pick-up for each car is not too bad (some drag and some noise)
Here is a very explicit video on installation and little rolling friction

Cheers
Jean
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Offline Alex H  
#4 Posted : 10 September 2023 18:31:26(UTC)
Alex H

United Kingdom   
Joined: 25/03/2017(UTC)
Posts: 46
Location: England, Devon
Thanks both for your comments.

I had already decided to use the Marklin LED strips as they are designed for the purpose and fit very well. I have 10 coaches fitted. I did think at first to have one slider per set of coaches with the others linked through conductive couplers, but wouldn't the problem be that when the coaches were parked in the siding, then the lights would on all the time the track had power to it. Also I would need to ensure that the coaches were not swapped around and I ended up with a rack of coaches without a slider

Rather is would be good to have a conductive coupler on all the coaches and also on the locomotive so that when the locomotive connected to the coaches, the lights would come on. Is that possible or does the locomotive have to be modified? all my locos are digital

Thanks

Alex
Offline David Dewar  
#5 Posted : 10 September 2023 21:08:01(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 7,257
Location: Scotland
I have a loco pulling four of the coaches using the Marklin lighting kit for each. Little drag or noise and no flicker. You can also use battery lights.
Using current conducting couplers with power from the loco would be good but I do find you can get some flicker but using just a LED lighting strip would be cheaper.

Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
Offline Martti Mäntylä  
#6 Posted : 10 September 2023 21:46:51(UTC)
Martti Mäntylä

Finland   
Joined: 15/11/2018(UTC)
Posts: 356
Location: Uusimaa, Helsinki
You have made your choice already, but anyway: I used LED strips with a power pack, current-conducting couplers and one slider from Märklin. I saw no need to buy Märklin ground return thingies as they are quite easy to build. The pillars Jean mentioned are an obstacle, but not a critical one.
- Martti M.
Era III analog & digital (Rocrail, CAN Digital Bahn, Gleisbox/MS2, K83/K84), C & M tracks, some Spur 1
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Offline cintrans  
#7 Posted : 15 September 2023 22:11:29(UTC)
cintrans

Aruba   
Joined: 11/07/2018(UTC)
Posts: 128
Location: Aruba (general), Oranjestad
Hi Alex

I use current conducting couplers on my coaches and on the lok's
My lok's have a small relay build in that i control via the F1 function on the decoder, so the lights in the coaches are switched on / off via the F1 function
No sliders under the coaches, no flickering of the lights as i use a rectifier and capacitor in each coach

Regards

Jean-Pierre
Offline bph  
#8 Posted : 15 September 2023 23:18:37(UTC)
bph

Norway   
Joined: 04/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 837
Originally Posted by: Alex H Go to Quoted Post
Thanks both for your comments.

I had already decided to use the Marklin LED strips as they are designed for the purpose and fit very well. I have 10 coaches fitted. I did think at first to have one slider per set of coaches with the others linked through conductive couplers, but wouldn't the problem be that when the coaches were parked in the siding, then the lights would on all the time the track had power to it. Also I would need to ensure that the coaches were not swapped around and I ended up with a rack of coaches without a slider

Rather is would be good to have a conductive coupler on all the coaches and also on the locomotive so that when the locomotive connected to the coaches, the lights would come on. Is that possible or does the locomotive have to be modified? all my locos are digital

Thanks

Alex


Hi
Personally, I also like to control the coach lights from the locomotive decoder when possible. Some few Marklin locomotives have this option from the factory eg 39781
and in some cases, you can fit it fairly easily. eg as I did here :https://www.marklin-users.net/forum/posts/t45809-Marklin-39052-BR-05-AUX-3-and-current-conducting-coupler

other times it makes more sense to install a decoder in one of the coaces, or just have one coach with a slider.

note that when you use a decoder it's recommended to use a relay if you are using lights with condensators etc. This is because the condensators can have a bit high initial power draw, that can overload the decoder.
eg from the factory the 39781 are powering the coupler through a "photo relay" to protect the decoder. the recommended 43141 coaches for that locomotive come without a slider. When the lights in those coaches are activated the initial current draw is quite high. I measured a short peak at just above 4 A
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Offline rhfil  
#9 Posted : 16 September 2023 00:46:32(UTC)
rhfil

United States   
Joined: 05/09/2014(UTC)
Posts: 370
Location: NEW HAMPSHIRE, Somersworth
I had great difficulty connecting the current conducting couplers to achieve continuity and finally gave up to have each one wired independently. And current conducting couplers are a pain to couple and uncouple.
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Offline Alex H  
#10 Posted : 17 September 2023 10:26:02(UTC)
Alex H

United Kingdom   
Joined: 25/03/2017(UTC)
Posts: 46
Location: England, Devon
Thanks again everyone for your valuable comments and suggestions. - there are clearly multiple ways in which passenger coaches can be lit.

Having played with them for a day or so, I agree with RHFIL, the current conducting couplers from Marklin are a real pain and don't couple/uncouple easily. My electrical skills (and rubbish eyesight) are such that I wouldn't feel confident in doing significant alterations to the locos, especially at their current cost, so I'd rather not start having to add/change things in that area!!

I will do more research but I guess it might mean reverting to battery powered lights inside each coach. I have found one, an led strip with a movement switch so that the lights come on when the coach is moved, and go off after a short period when it is parked up, it just depends on how well they fit inside the coach roof and how often the battery will need replacing.

Alex
Offline David Dewar  
#11 Posted : 17 September 2023 12:41:08(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 7,257
Location: Scotland
Originally Posted by: Alex H Go to Quoted Post
Thanks again everyone for your valuable comments and suggestions. - there are clearly multiple ways in which passenger coaches can be lit.

Having played with them for a day or so, I agree with RHFIL, the current conducting couplers from Marklin are a real pain and don't couple/uncouple easily. My electrical skills (and rubbish eyesight) are such that I wouldn't feel confident in doing significant alterations to the locos, especially at their current cost, so I'd rather not start having to add/change things in that area!!

I will do more research but I guess it might mean reverting to battery powered lights inside each coach. I have found one, an led strip with a movement switch so that the lights come on when the coach is moved, and go off after a short period when it is parked up, it just depends on how well they fit inside the coach roof and how often the battery will need replacing.

Alex


Alex if you are looking a Train Tech battery lighting they work well in the coaches. I ran out of the Marklin sliders for these coaches and fitted a Train Tech light bar. They are quite expensive considering you have to cut them down to size but as you are only lighting three LEDs the battery will last for ages. For ease of fitting and no flicker and of course uncoupling battery is good. Nothing wrong with the Marklin set as well if you are happy using the slider.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
Offline cintrans  
#12 Posted : 17 September 2023 14:10:46(UTC)
cintrans

Aruba   
Joined: 11/07/2018(UTC)
Posts: 128
Location: Aruba (general), Oranjestad
Originally Posted by: rhfil Go to Quoted Post
I had great difficulty connecting the current conducting couplers to achieve continuity and finally gave up to have each one wired independently. And current conducting couplers are a pain to couple and uncouple.


???
They couple and uncouple the same way as a normal KK couplings, i installed them on all my coaches and have no problems what so ever with them.
I am talking about the KK style couplers in this case, not the permanent draw-bar current conducting couplers.....

Equipping the lok's with them is a bit more tricky and requires some tinkering skills to set them up...

Regards

Jean-Pierre
Offline rhfil  
#13 Posted : 17 September 2023 15:29:49(UTC)
rhfil

United States   
Joined: 05/09/2014(UTC)
Posts: 370
Location: NEW HAMPSHIRE, Somersworth
"They couple and uncouple the same way as a normal KK couplings, i installed them on all my coaches and have no problems what so ever with them.
I am talking about the KK style couplers in this case, not the permanent draw-bar current conducting couplers....."
I am referring to the 72025 Marklin coupler. The new version is better than the RTX one but still not as reliable as the non-conducting version.
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