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Offline Makistrain  
#1 Posted : 17 January 2014 18:53:31(UTC)
Makistrain

United States   
Joined: 28/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 14
Location: Connecticut
Yet another question from a newbie on the forum. And what a great forum it is!
I have quite a bit of old M track.... turnouts, uncouplers, control tracks, signals.... all based on M-track.
As I set out on the task to build a new layout, and digitize my locomotives, I have inferred from my reading
that perhaps K-track offers superior performance for digital operation.
Is that true? If I stayed with M-track, I would remain analog with turnouts, signals and uncoupler tracks,
but would want to control locomotives ... acceleration, deceleration, lights, sound etc. digitally.
At least that's what I'm thinking at the moment.)
(Would love to get input on transformer selection and controller... I have two of the old blue units)
When I last enjoyed my marklin stuff, I had lots of operating problems due to a lack of attention to
track laying detail (and cleaning) resulting in a bunch of derailments, pick-up shoe glitches and rough and unreliable operations.
I guess what I am saying is this time around I want to be sure to build a solid reliable base and am wondering
if abandoning M for K is worth it. (An unspoken factor is the emotional attachment I have to M-track crossings etc., that I started purhasing in Hamburg about 50 years ago. Anyway...)

Any comments would be much appreciated... either way, I plan on taking ongoing maintenance much more seriously.
Cheers,
Makis

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Offline rbw993  
#2 Posted : 17 January 2014 19:13:32(UTC)
rbw993

United States   
Joined: 19/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 574
Hi Makis,
Welcome to the forum. You might also considered using C track. It works very well in digital operation. It also is close in profile to M track so you could use both and keep your favorite crossings in operation. There is a C track to M track transition piece, part number 24951.

Regards,
Roger
Offline Webmaster  
#3 Posted : 17 January 2014 19:20:52(UTC)
Webmaster


Joined: 25/07/2001(UTC)
Posts: 10,859
Many marklin-users run Digital on M-track and are very happy with it... BigGrin
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]
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Offline Renato  
#4 Posted : 17 January 2014 19:26:13(UTC)
Renato

Italy   
Joined: 19/03/2004(UTC)
Posts: 976
Location: Gorizia, Italy
Hi Makis,

If you laydown your M-tracks carefully and have a good maintenance, in my humble opinion you can continue using them.
They are more robust than K- and C- tracks and if bent you can easily correct the imperfections (the same is difficult or even impossible with the other two types of tracks).

About the digital controller: the MS2 is a good choice suitable for controlling locomotives and in addition, if in the future you want to switch digitally also the turnouts, it can do this.

And as per Roger suggestion:

"There is a C track to M track transition piece, part number 24951."

you can always expand your layout with the newer track types.

Last but not least: use the old blue transformers for analog switch of turnouts and lights.

Hope this could help in your decisions.

Cheers

Renato
Offline biedmatt  
#5 Posted : 17 January 2014 19:49:06(UTC)
biedmatt

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,343
Location: Southwest Ohio
M track will work fine with digital. The only caveat is the switches and crossings with small lokos. In analog, the lokos generally will not run as slow as they will in digital. The DC motors and load control of the decoders make slow, smooth operation possible in digital. The analog lokos thus carry more speed and will coast farther. This plus the fact that an AC analog motor will coast easier than a digital DC motor (the permanent magnet acts like a brake on the iron armature) means you are more likely to stall at crossing and switches. Look at your track and you will notice much of the rail on those pieces is plastic. This means on small three axle lokos your ground connection will get iffy. Only three wheels are on a metal rail and one of those wheels will have a rubber tire. AFAIK, ESU is the only maker with a decoder where you can add a capacitor that will power the loko across those power loss situations.

For a controller, there are many good choices and lots of info out there, I suggest you search this site. For a small track or even large track the 6021 or MS2 can be had at Ebay for a fairly cheap price.
Matt
Era 3
DB lokos, coaches and freight cars from across Europe
But I do have the obligatory (six) SBB Krocs
ECoS 50200, all FX and MFX decoders replaced with ESU V4s, operated in DCC-RailCom+ with ABC brake control.
With the exception of the passenger wagens with Marklin current conducting couplers, all close couplers have been replaced with Roco 40397.
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Offline kbvrod  
#6 Posted : 17 January 2014 20:09:42(UTC)
kbvrod

United States   
Joined: 23/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,597
Location: Beverly, MA
Hi Makis,all,
Welcome to the forum!BigGrin

>that perhaps K-track offers superior performance for digital operation.<

Not necessarily.A lot of factors involved.

> I would remain analog with turnouts, signals and uncoupler tracks,
but would want to control locomotives ... acceleration, deceleration, lights, sound etc. digitally.
At least that's what I'm thinking at the moment.)<

Not an issue.

>When I last enjoyed my marklin stuff, I had lots of operating problems due to a lack of attention to
track laying detail (and cleaning) resulting in a bunch of derailments, pick-up shoe glitches and rough and unreliable operations. <


I will say again,that,how,condition(s),how you lay even M-track and the condition of loks and rolling stock will effect performance.

>I guess what I am saying is this time around I want to be sure to build a solid reliable base and am wondering
if abandoning M for K is worth it. (An unspoken factor is the emotional attachment I have to M-track crossings etc., that I started purhasing in Hamburg about 50 years ago. Anyway...)<

Search the site great info from the maniacs,er, enthusiasts.Laugh

Dirt.


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Offline biedmatt  
#7 Posted : 17 January 2014 20:26:42(UTC)
biedmatt

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,343
Location: Southwest Ohio
I tell you what, I have a couple twin MS2s from starter sets I have bought. I will send you one. The second is going to next year's Tannenbaum bahn. Try it and if you like it, pay it forward by supporting this forum with a donation to the operating fund. You can decide what that amount may be. It will be new and untested out of the box, so try it before you send Juhan the money. You'll need a digital loko to test it. PM me your address if this works for you.
Matt
Era 3
DB lokos, coaches and freight cars from across Europe
But I do have the obligatory (six) SBB Krocs
ECoS 50200, all FX and MFX decoders replaced with ESU V4s, operated in DCC-RailCom+ with ABC brake control.
With the exception of the passenger wagens with Marklin current conducting couplers, all close couplers have been replaced with Roco 40397.
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Offline kbvrod  
#8 Posted : 17 January 2014 20:38:07(UTC)
kbvrod

United States   
Joined: 23/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,597
Location: Beverly, MA
Originally Posted by: biedmatt Go to Quoted Post
I tell you what, I have a couple twin MS2s from starter sets I have bought. I will send you one. The second is going to next year's Tannenbaum bahn. Try it and if you like it, pay it forward by supporting this forum with a donation to the operating fund. You can decide what that amount may be. It will be new and untested out of the box, so try it before you send Yuhan the money. You'll need a digital loko to test it. PM me your address if this works for you.


Who what?Laugh

Offline Webmaster  
#9 Posted : 17 January 2014 20:47:52(UTC)
Webmaster


Joined: 25/07/2001(UTC)
Posts: 10,859
Originally Posted by: biedmatt Go to Quoted Post
Yuhan


It is actually spelt Yu Han in the "Far East" market but Juhan in the rest of the world.... BigGrin BigGrin BigGrin


Great offer on the MS2, Matt - that's in the true forum spirit!!! ThumpUp Love
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]
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Offline PMPeter  
#10 Posted : 17 January 2014 20:50:39(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 990
Location: Port Moody, BC
There is also a K-M track transition piece if you have your heart set on K track which has a great benefit of having flex track availability. However, if you want speed in setting up a layout, you can't beat C track as long as you get track manufactured after the early 2000s.

Due to different track geometries between M, K and C, you might want to download the free layout planning software SCARM since it handles all three track types with a very good database for all three. I quickly learned how to use the software and was able to generate a layout incorporating all 3 track types.

Since then, due to appearance I made the hard decision to get rid of all my old M track and have switched to a combination of K and C for digital operation with old style catenary fed from another transformer for analog overhead operation.

Peter
Offline Webmaster  
#11 Posted : 17 January 2014 20:58:27(UTC)
Webmaster


Joined: 25/07/2001(UTC)
Posts: 10,859
I myself will go for a mix of K, C and also some beautiful M-track bridge pieces that I got from steventrain some year(s) ago.
Transition tracks makes it possible use all the track kinds, old & new... So the old stuff can still be used even in the 21st century... ThumpUp
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]
Offline cookee_nz  
#12 Posted : 17 January 2014 21:31:26(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,146
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: Webmaster Go to Quoted Post
.... So the old stuff can still be used even in the 21st century... ThumpUp


You know, that's what Nadine says about me too Blushing

LOL Love Love

Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
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Offline Webmaster  
#13 Posted : 17 January 2014 21:43:51(UTC)
Webmaster


Joined: 25/07/2001(UTC)
Posts: 10,859
Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
You know, that's what Nadine says about me too Blushing


This is a model railroad forum!!!Mad LOL LOL LOL

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]
Offline Yumgui  
#14 Posted : 17 January 2014 21:56:17(UTC)
Yumgui

United States   
Joined: 20/03/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,657
Location: Paris, France
Hi Makis, and welcome to this forum !

See here concerning analog to digital power set up: https://www.marklin-user...l-system.aspx#post378240

Hope it helps,

Y Wink

Edited by user 18 January 2014 07:39:41(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

If your M track is rusted ... DON'T throw it out !
Working on : http://www.arep.fr/en/#/welcome
Inspired by : http://www.nakedmarklin.com/ ... I am not alone in this universe, phew.
Offline river6109  
#15 Posted : 18 January 2014 04:31:09(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,627
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Mark, welcome to the forum,
I've removed my m-track from my layout purely because of the ever cleaning process (moisture through winter periods) so C-track or K-track (it has minimized the oxidation process) but at least the track itself isn't affected by it.

The only reason I've used C-track (part of the sleek turnouts they produce) the tack configuration was already there and most of the cork was glued on so to take it all off I saved my self endless hours of scraping and decided to use C-track.

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline franciscohg  
#16 Posted : 18 January 2014 04:52:19(UTC)
franciscohg

Chile   
Joined: 10/07/2002(UTC)
Posts: 3,179
Location: Patagonia
And............careful with your blue transformers, i has been said before, check for the condition of the insulation at the power cord, and never, ever use them to run locos with a digital decoder
regards
UserPostedImage German trains era I-II and selected III, era depends on the mood, mostly Maerklin but i can be heretic if needed XD, heresy is no longer an issue.. LOL
Offline Goofy  
#17 Posted : 18 January 2014 05:34:35(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,072
I use K tracks and they are excellent with the digital system too.
M tracks are not producing anymore time and has been replacement by of C tracks.
I recommend anyway with K tracks,because they have flex track which makes more bigger radiu curves and more elegance curves too.
DCC means Digital Command Control.

Offline Tex  
#18 Posted : 18 January 2014 06:23:05(UTC)
Tex

United States   
Joined: 30/01/2004(UTC)
Posts: 275
Location: Houston, Texas
I have been operating digital on M track for over 25 years. BigGrin While the digital part has been upgraded , the track remains the same. My only recomendation is to operate M track turnouts ( switches) antilog as the decoders do not provide enough of a kick for dependable operation, especially for double slip switches.Angry
Offline xxup  
#19 Posted : 18 January 2014 07:18:46(UTC)
xxup

Australia   
Joined: 15/03/2003(UTC)
Posts: 8,960
Location: Australia
Originally Posted by: Webmaster Go to Quoted Post
Many marklin-users run Digital on M-track and are very happy with it... BigGrin



TOO RIGHT WE ARE!

Adrian
UserPostedImage
Australia flag by abFlags.com
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Offline RayF  
#20 Posted : 18 January 2014 12:46:17(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,475
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
I have had both M track and C track. My experience is that C-Track gives a lot less "dead" sections on turnouts than M tracks at the slow running speeds more common in digital operation.
Ray
Mostly Marklin.Selection of different eras and European railways
Small C track layout, control by MS2, 100+ trains but run 4-5 at a time.
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Offline Ian555  
#21 Posted : 18 January 2014 15:34:47(UTC)
Ian555

Scotland   
Joined: 04/06/2009(UTC)
Posts: 19,951
Location: Scotland
Hi Makis,

Welcome to the forum. ThumpUp

Ok, I know a lot of you will have seen this video ( I hope Smile ), but for our newer members here's a video showing me running digital Loco's with a MS2 on Märklin's first year of production 3 Rail track from 1935.

So, we have digital (mfx + sounds) Loco's running on 79 year old tracks....

Ian.




....
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Offline fkowal  
#22 Posted : 23 January 2014 02:16:52(UTC)
fkowal

Canada   
Joined: 01/02/2012(UTC)
Posts: 35
Location: Toronto
Makistrain,

I too have a mix of "M", "C", and "K" track on my layout. I use my old "M" track as a cost saving as I already possess it, the "C" track to compliment the "M" track sections of layout where my "m" track inventory is lacking and all of the new layout sections are in "K" track due to the superior cosmetic appearance (flex track for sweeping curves etc.).

My only difficulty with the "M" track has been the switches and signals take a large amount of power. This was not a problem in the "old" days with the blue analog tranformers but the digital systems (new and old) simply are not able to generate the horespower to "kick" over some of my track switches and signals.

As a solution to this problem, I have moved beyond Marklin and are using the following components from Viessmann: 5215 Powermodul and 5211 K83 modul. The 5215 Powermodul is very effective with the old blue transformers to power the switches/ signals. They do provide the necessary "kick" via an analog "DC" signal. The 5211 K83 unit allows for both a DC analog signal to power the switch drives and the digital signal to provide the control instructions. This is very nice as you can leverage your old blue tranformers for their wattage and efficiently use the DC digital power for its control elements (locomotive control and switch and signal control impluses). I have also use the Switch Pilot from ESU instead of the 5211 as it offers the flexibity to be used as either a K83 or a K84 unit and is slightly less costly; at least it is at my local dealer.

I do recommend purchasing an up to date digital controller (CS2 generation) to capture all the "bells and whistles" available while using your old blue transformers to provide the raw horsepower to drive the old school "M" track switches and signals. This will require you to pull two sets of power leads (DC digital and DC analog) thought the layout which is slightly more complicated but well worth the cost savings. The ground wire can be the same for DC digital and CD analog which means 3 wires are pulled through the layout. This is how my layout is wired.

Greetings,
fkowal
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