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Offline htroberts  
#1 Posted : 05 April 2012 21:18:25(UTC)
htroberts


Joined: 15/12/2011(UTC)
Posts: 7
Location: Durham, NC (United States)
I got into Marklin trains in the 1990's. I think 'digital' was fairly new, but it and other aspects of Marklin's design philosophy appealed to me. I have a number of HO trains and a 6021 controller, but no space to build/run a layout, and I didn't do anything with model railroading for a long time.

Now I have time, and I'm interested in Z-scale. I found a pre-formed Z layout in a secondhand shop. It says Marklin but I wonder if it's made by Noch or someone else. I've also picked up a couple of trains (8101, 8111).

- can anyone tell me about the pre-made layout in the picture? possible to retrofit electric control to the turnouts?
- can I use my existing old digital controls, or should I upgrade? It looks like I could use a 'mobile station' to run a pair of trains.
- I've seen references to Marklin Z-scale digital, but there's not much in the Marklin catalog on their website. Are they actually producing digital locos and accessories in Z scale?
- it is feasible to convert the locos I have to digital operation? I see some conversion decoders here but they're offered as DCC or Selectrix, and I'm not sure which I would want...
- do folks have a preferred digital signalling format for Z? let's assume I'm really only interested in Marklin/European trains
- what's a good (inexpensive) way to get the equivalent track to what's in a 'starter set'--the typical oval, siding, turnouts, and transformer? (I don't want the loco/cars)

- I assume that one would still use DC for digital operation, not the AC that Marklin uses for HO, and that presents the typical problems with track polarity.

I'm sure this post will lead to other questions, but thanks in advance for your help in getting started.

Thanks,
Heath
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by htroberts
Offline H0  
#2 Posted : 05 April 2012 21:50:51(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,072
Location: DE-NW
Hi!
Originally Posted by: htroberts Go to Quoted Post
- I assume that one would still use DC for digital operation, not the AC that Marklin uses for HO, and that presents the typical problems with track polarity.
I don't understand your point.

With digital operations, you have "digital" track current where polarity changes 5000+ times per second. It's the same for "DC digital" and "AC digital" because "DC" simply means "two rail" here while "AC" only means "three rail".

Z gauge is two rail with all the polarity problems that do not exist with Märklin's three rail H0. However those polarity problems are easier to handle with digital operation.

Old MM decoders cannot be used for two rail operation; DCC, mfx, and current MM decoders can be used.

Märklin does not offer anything digital for Z gauge.
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 kbvrod  
#3 Posted : 05 April 2012 22:20:42(UTC)
kbvrod

United States   
Joined: 23/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,597
Location: Beverly, MA
Hi Heath.all,


Welcome!

>It says Marklin but I wonder if it's made by Noch or someone else. I've also picked up a couple of trains (8101, 8111).<

Not sure but Noch makes Z pre-formed layouts and some might have done the track work.

>- can anyone tell me about the pre-made layout in the picture? possible to retrofit electric control to the turnouts?<

If they are manual turnouts,they will have to be replaced.

>- can I use my existing old digital controls, or should I upgrade? It looks like I could use a 'mobile station' to run a pair of trains.
- I've seen references to Marklin Z-scale digital, but there's not much in the Marklin catalog on their website. Are they actually producing digital locos and accessories in Z scale?<

See Toms reply.

>- it is feasible to convert the locos I have to digital operation? I see some conversion decoders here but they're offered as DCC or Selectrix, and I'm not sure which I would want...<

You can convert many locos to digital,not all but if there is a will and a steady soldering iron,there is a way!BigGrin Forget Selectix,it should be DCC.


- do folks have a preferred digital signalling format for Z? let's assume I'm really only interested in Marklin/European trains
- what's a good (inexpensive) way to get the equivalent track to what's in a 'starter set'--the typical oval, siding, turnouts, and transformer? (I don't want the loco/cars)

>- I assume that one would still use DC for digital operation, not the AC that Marklin uses for HO, and that presents the typical problems with track polarity.<

You can not mix straight Dc with DCC,ever.Z-scale is DC but can be converted to DCC.


We shall talk in the future!Laugh

Dr D
Offline htroberts  
#4 Posted : 05 April 2012 22:23:29(UTC)
htroberts


Joined: 15/12/2011(UTC)
Posts: 7
Location: Durham, NC (United States)
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Hi!
Originally Posted by: htroberts Go to Quoted Post
- I assume that one would still use DC for digital operation, not the AC that Marklin uses for HO, and that presents the typical problems with track polarity.
I don't understand your point.


Sorry, I probably wasn't clear.

My point was that Marklin Z locos, at least 'old' pre-digital ones (before I read your post saying that Marklin doesn't have digital Z locos, I thought they did, or at least possibly did), have DC motors, so one would not be able to use them with an AC supply (although now, reconsidering, I suppose that it would be possible to have a rectifier in the on-board control circuit).

I've always thought that Marklin's AC operation of HO trains was a superior design.

Anyway, I hadn't looked at a DCC or other digital control waveform until I read your post--I always assumed that the control message was superposed at some high frequency on either a DC or (line frequency) AC power signal.

I'm surprised that you say two-rail polarity problems are easier to deal with with digital operation, but I have no practical knowledge so I'll accept that. Are there not issues with track segments temporarily being connected together as conductive wheels roll over the break between them?

H0 wrote:

Märklin does not offer anything digital for Z gauge.


So, assuming people commonly convert Marklin Z to digital operation, whose hardware do they most commonly use to do it?. Again, my preference is to stay in the Marklin world--if I'm going to buy controllers, etc., I'd like to be able to use them with my 90s era Marklin digital HO trains.

Thanks again.
Offline kbvrod  
#5 Posted : 05 April 2012 22:46:12(UTC)
kbvrod

United States   
Joined: 23/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,597
Location: Beverly, MA
Hi all,


>I've always thought that Marklin's AC operation of HO trains was a superior design.<

Then,if that is the case,go M HO.

>Anyway, I hadn't looked at a DCC or other digital control waveform until I read your post--I always assumed that the control message was superposed at some high frequency on either a DC or (line frequency) AC power signal.<

Here is some links about DCC:

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/

http://www.mrdccu.com/



>So, assuming people commonly convert Marklin Z to digital operation, whose hardware do they most commonly use to do it?. Again, my preference is to stay in the Marklin world--if I'm going to buy controllers, etc., I'd like to be able to use them with my 90s era Marklin digital HO trains.<

No,not new but many modelers are doing it and US Z-scale is at the forefront.

I will repeat,Märklin DOES NOT offer digital control for Z.It is DC/DCC 2-rail!

Best,Dr D
Offline H0  
#6 Posted : 05 April 2012 22:50:37(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,072
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: htroberts Go to Quoted Post
I'm surprised that you say two-rail polarity problems are easier to deal with with digital operation
There are modules that detect the short circuit that occurs when a train connects plus and minus - and they quickly switch the polarity of a section of track.
With analogue DC operation, the train would change its direction.
With digital operation, the train continues to ride in its current direction.

"Märklin AC" no longer uses the old AC/DC motors, now they all come with DC motors. The decoder converts AC to DC and feeds the motor. Same for all gauges with digital operation.
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
Offline mvd71  
#7 Posted : 06 April 2012 06:58:57(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,346
Location: Auckland,
Hi,

I think the short answer is No. Marklin do not make digital loco's for Z.

However there has never been anything preventing Z users to have the signals, points, etc all controlled digitally, including route control from contact tracks.

Marklin have advertised accessory control only as an option from the early days of digital.

I believe there are some micro decoders available now from third party vendors that can be retro fitted to at least the larger loco's thus enableing complete digital operation. I'm not sure who makes the decoders in question, but I'm sure somebody here will be able to let you know.

Cheers...

Mike.
Offline dntower85  
#8 Posted : 06 April 2012 18:40:51(UTC)
dntower85

United States   
Joined: 08/01/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,218
Location: Shady Shores, TX - USA
Most Z scale wont have any room for a decoder in the engine or even a tender, I have seen, on a web site some where, a boxcar used to hold a small decoder and speaker wire used to run power to the lok. That ends up being a semi ok solution, but even the tiniest wires could make the connection between the car and the lok stiff and cause derails .

One thing you could do is break your layout up into blocks and control the blocks digitally, you could even wire a decoder to the track block to get smooth acceleration and deceleration of the lok in that block and the direction of travel. Extra functions on the decoder could operate signals.

DT
Now powered by ECoS II unit#2, RocRail
era - some time in the future when the space time continuum is disrupted and ICE 3 Trains run on the same rails as the Adler and BR18's.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by dntower85
Offline kbvrod  
#9 Posted : 06 April 2012 20:10:07(UTC)
kbvrod

United States   
Joined: 23/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,597
Location: Beverly, MA
Originally Posted by: dntower85 Go to Quoted Post
Most Z scale wont have any room for a decoder in the engine or even a tender, I have seen, on a web site some where, a boxcar used to hold a small decoder and speaker wire used to run power to the lok. That ends up being a semi ok solution, but even the tiniest wires could make the connection between the car and the lok stiff and cause derails .

One thing you could do is break your layout up into blocks and control the blocks digitally, you could even wire a decoder to the track block to get smooth acceleration and deceleration of the lok in that block and the direction of travel. Extra functions on the decoder could operate signals.



Good one Darrin! Have a friend who does this in HO!BigGrin

Dr D
User is suspended until 03/02/2294 13:42:09(UTC) zofman  
#10 Posted : 06 April 2012 23:18:53(UTC)
zofman


Joined: 05/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 26
Location: Diemen the Netherlands

Look at these sites:

http://www.velmo.de/html/english.html ( for larger engines)

http://www.tran.at/index.shtml ( unfortunately in German)
You can use the DCX76z to digitize even a Br89.

To control the trains you can use a Roco Multimaus ( same as Fleischmann) The only thing you need to do is to use the transformer of Marklin. This limits the current to 10 volts
Do not use the transformer of the multimaus.

http://www.roco.cc/en/pr...op/multimaus/manual.html

One final thing: the trains have more problems with dust and dirt on the rails.

Good luck!

Offline kbvrod  
#11 Posted : 22 April 2012 16:54:52(UTC)
kbvrod

United States   
Joined: 23/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,597
Location: Beverly, MA
Offline ckreling  
#12 Posted : 28 April 2012 17:58:17(UTC)
ckreling


Joined: 21/04/2008(UTC)
Posts: 98
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Where to I access the picture of your layout ?
Offline ckreling  
#13 Posted : 28 April 2012 21:46:47(UTC)
ckreling


Joined: 21/04/2008(UTC)
Posts: 98
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
OK

Found your link to the layout pic. I have the same one but with different buildings. Marklin used to sell these layouts but the plastic form is a Noch form and Marklin added the track, buildings, wood frame and the Marklin Badge. Not a lot of these out there.
Offline ckreling  
#14 Posted : 28 April 2012 21:50:21(UTC)
ckreling


Joined: 21/04/2008(UTC)
Posts: 98
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
Actually Marklin advertised digital locos in some of the Z gauge catalogs. I can send some pages if you like. They just never produced it.

Charles

Originally Posted by: mvd71 Go to Quoted Post
Hi,

I think the short answer is No. Marklin do not make digital loco's for Z.

However there has never been anything preventing Z users to have the signals, points, etc all controlled digitally, including route control from contact tracks.

Marklin have advertised accessory control only as an option from the early days of digital.

I believe there are some micro decoders available now from third party vendors that can be retro fitted to at least the larger loco's thus enableing complete digital operation. I'm not sure who makes the decoders in question, but I'm sure somebody here will be able to let you know.

Cheers...

Mike.


Offline Lollo  
#15 Posted : 28 April 2012 23:16:33(UTC)
Lollo

New Zealand   
Joined: 22/06/2009(UTC)
Posts: 365
Brian
Yaasan's Desktop Station/Railuino & Marklin MS2, DB Era III/IV Diesel & Steam, ESU Loksound/Lokpilot & Lokprogrammer, Marklin mSD, Tam Valley Depot Octopus III Servo Controller.
Offline efel  
#16 Posted : 28 April 2012 23:48:02(UTC)
efel

France   
Joined: 23/02/2005(UTC)
Posts: 800
Hi,

Pegase might be another possibility.
Compatibility with Z scale is likely, but should be confirmed.

Fred
Offline Loadmaster  
#17 Posted : 29 April 2012 19:02:55(UTC)
Loadmaster

United States   
Joined: 03/02/2010(UTC)
Posts: 898
Location: So Cal
Heath,

I sent you a PM.

Rob
HOac and Z scale running SBB/BLS Era IV-V
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