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Offline kweekalot  
#1 Posted : 05 January 2015 20:27:35(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,189
Location: Holland
Hello,

Last week I purchased three extra 1950s ‘280A’ transformers.

Although I was warned 1000 times here on the forum - even recently by Ray - that these 60+ years old transformers can be dangerous, I tried them on my layout to see if they worked as they should.

I must admit that I wasn't very worried about testing them and risking electrocution, because they looked flawless.

But when my loco was running around on the layout for a minute or so, all of a sudden I got a huge 230 Volt shock from the metal case. I must say that this was very unpleasant. And no earth leak protector in this part of my house.
Crying Crying Crying
So I opened the transformer (I was already planning to do so) and took it apart completely (which is not even that easy).
And surprise-surprise, inside the transformer the insulation of the 230 Volt cable was decomposed.
The insulation was sticked onto the bottom lid of the transformer, and the metal 230 Volt wiring was open and exposed over a length of 6 cm.

YIKES !

So lesson learned here.
I’m very happy that it was me who was fried, and not one of my boys.

I will replace all main cords of my 4 280A's this week.

Marco


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Offline H0  
#2 Posted : 05 January 2015 20:56:10(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,396
Location: DE-NW
Hi, Marco!
Originally Posted by: kweekalot Go to Quoted Post
So lesson learned here.
Glad to hear that no permanent damage or injury occurred.

I understand that people continue to use those old transformers for nostalgic reasons. But take the warnings seriously.
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
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#3 Posted : 05 January 2015 21:22:54(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,440
Location: New Zealand
Marco, I take it you've read Cookee's thread on the 280a transformer - https://www.marklin-user...r-Danger.aspx#post389037

In any case, I've made that topic a 'Sticky'.
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Offline kweekalot  
#4 Posted : 05 January 2015 21:38:01(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,189
Location: Holland
Yes, I have read Steve's thread. Blushing

BTW, the guy who sold me these transformers warned me that they did not comply with the German 'VDS-norm'
and might not be safe and such.
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Offline Irish Rail  
#5 Posted : 05 January 2015 21:51:46(UTC)
Irish Rail

Ireland   
Joined: 04/03/2014(UTC)
Posts: 123
Location: West Cork
It is strange that the insulation on the power cord (inner and outer) deteriorates, but the insulation on the cables within the transformer are perfect. It shows that all old blue transformers should be thoroughly checked before use.
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Offline Wildrose-Wally  
#6 Posted : 05 January 2015 21:54:01(UTC)
Wildrose-Wally

Canada   
Joined: 22/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 510
Location: Sunny Southern Alberta
Just one question, did it curl your hair?

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Offline hgk  
#7 Posted : 05 January 2015 21:58:47(UTC)
hgk


Joined: 10/11/2006(UTC)
Posts: 455
Location: Pacific Ocean
Whew, when I read the title in the forum posts I thought it was a 280Ampere transformer, although anything at 230V is scary enough. If you can, add a safety ground to the case when you change the wiring.
-George

Edited by user 06 January 2015 04:19:42(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline kweekalot  
#8 Posted : 05 January 2015 22:29:49(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,189
Location: Holland
Originally Posted by: Irish Rail Go to Quoted Post
It is strange that the insulation on the power cord (inner and outer) deteriorates, but the insulation on the cables within the transformer are perfect.

Yes, it's very strange.
There seems to be a chemical reaction between the insulation and the paint or the metal or ...???
The remains of the insulation are realy stucked on the metal lid, even with a lot of force and scraping with a screwdriver you can't get it off. And it looks a bit rusty. See picture ...
Confused Confused Confused


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Offline kiwiAlan  
#9 Posted : 06 January 2015 00:00:30(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 4,148
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: kweekalot Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Irish Rail Go to Quoted Post
It is strange that the insulation on the power cord (inner and outer) deteriorates, but the insulation on the cables within the transformer are perfect.

Yes, it's very strange.
There seems to be a chemical reaction between the insulation and the paint or the metal or ...???
The remains of the insulation are realy stucked on the metal lid, even with a lot of force and scraping with a screwdriver you can't get it off. And it looks a bit rusty. See picture ...
Confused Confused Confused


UserPostedImage


I suspect that as the insulation deteriorated it became hygroscopic and absorbed moisture out of the air. Also looking at the way the paint on the base plate is showing rust coming through they have probably been kept in less than dry conditions (in an outside shed or unheated loft space?) that has allowed the moisture level to rise, and then once you plugged them in the 230V did the final eat through the moisture until there was enough contact with the base plate to give you a kick.

As others have noted, even though these are designed to be double insulated, I would fit a three core mains cable with the ground wire properly connected to the base plate.

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Offline RayF  
#10 Posted : 06 January 2015 09:44:29(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,276
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
Marco, I'm very glad you were not hurt more seriously. Electric shocks at 230V can be fatal.

Thanks for acknowledging my earlier advice about old transformers. On my old metal transformer I changed the cord to a three core cable and earthed the case, but it is now retired from use and I replaced it with a new white transformer from a starter set.
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 witzlerh  
#11 Posted : 06 January 2015 18:51:54(UTC)
witzlerh

Canada   
Joined: 25/09/2010(UTC)
Posts: 416
Location: Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
Don't transformers also produce a little ozone? That could also have an effect on the degradation of the insulation...

Regardless, I think I have 1 or 2 of those in my storage box. I will open them up first and inspect before plugging them in!
Alas, I have so little hair to have stand on its end when shocked!....Laugh
Harald
CS2 DB & Canadian Era 3-6
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Offline Janne75  
#12 Posted : 06 January 2015 22:17:34(UTC)
Janne75

Finland   
Joined: 23/03/2012(UTC)
Posts: 2,572
Location: Finland
Hi Marco,

Thank God you are ok. Scared ThumpUp I'm also glad your sons were not using this transformer when it happened.

Very good warnings for all Märklin Super 280A users. We have in our garages analog layout two transformers, a new white "safe one" and old 1950's dark blue Märklin Super 280A mainly because it looks "right" with 1950's stuff.

When I bought it many years ago the powercord was already changed, but it's without grounding. As my sons also use it I think it's best to let them run the trains only with the white safe one in the future.

I wish you better luck in the future!

Regards,
Janne
Märklin H0 digital layout. I have analog and digital H0 Collection. Rolling stock mostly from era I, II, III and IV. Märklin 1 gauge beginner.
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Offline kweekalot  
#13 Posted : 07 January 2015 14:44:29(UTC)
kweekalot

Netherlands   
Joined: 27/06/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3,189
Location: Holland
Thanks you all for your concerns. ThumpUp

I have some delay in restoring the transformer
One of the screws for the powercord has broken off, ARGHHH Cursing
Now I have to this drill it out and tap new thread ...


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Offline hxmiesa  
#14 Posted : 07 January 2015 18:21:47(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,650
Location: Spain
Well, I´m just glad that you´re still among us. Us model railroaders are simply... dying... out! ;-)
(running for cover)
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline hgk  
#15 Posted : 07 January 2015 19:48:36(UTC)
hgk


Joined: 10/11/2006(UTC)
Posts: 455
Location: Pacific Ocean
Originally Posted by: kweekalot Go to Quoted Post
Thanks you all for your concerns. ThumpUp

I have some delay in restoring the transformer
One of the screws for the powercord has broken off, ARGHHH Cursing
Now I have to this drill it out and tap new thread ...



FWIW -As an alternative you might be able to reslot it with a dremel tool or solder the new wire onto the stub of old wire.
The socket on the end also looks like it needs a good cleaning.
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Offline mike c  
#16 Posted : 07 January 2015 20:51:30(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,201
Location: Montreal, QC
You should be able to simply solder the new wire to the old one without having to redo the entire terminal connection. What you need to do first is to install a length of heat shrink tubing over the new wire and after you have soldered the connection, slide the tubing over the weld and then apply heat with a hair dryer or paint stripper so that the heat shrink tubing form fits to the wire and covers it completely.

Regards

Mike C
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Offline hennabm  
#17 Posted : 07 January 2015 21:44:10(UTC)
hennabm

Scotland   
Joined: 22/09/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,916
Location: Edinburgh,
Hi all

Having just acquired a 280, I shall be taking heed of the sorry tale from Marco. I shall investigate the insides before I plan any use.

Mike
1957 - 1985 era
What's digital?
Offline analogmike  
#18 Posted : 08 January 2015 03:38:15(UTC)
analogmike

United States   
Joined: 02/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 613
Location: NEW JERSEY, USA
i have 4 of the later blue traffos (metal) and 2 of the plastic blue ones. after marco's experience they will all get 3-wire with ground.
I love the smell of smoke fluid in the morning .
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Offline Chook  
#19 Posted : 08 January 2015 13:47:30(UTC)
Chook

Australia   
Joined: 15/08/2012(UTC)
Posts: 226
Location: Perth, Western Australia.
Originally Posted by: mike c Go to Quoted Post
You should be able to simply solder the new wire to the old one without having to redo the entire terminal connection. What you need to do first is to install a length of heat shrink tubing over the new wire and after you have soldered the connection, slide the tubing over the weld and then apply heat with a hair dryer or paint stripper so that the heat shrink tubing form fits to the wire and covers it completely.

Regards

Mike C


Marco/Mike that component looks like a thermal overload switch and as such would be generating heat during an overload event. In fact this heating was probably what caused the oxidation and subsequent "freezing" of the screw within the connector in the first place.
Marco you should really not solder a wire to this wire stub as the heat generated by another overload event would probably melt the solder and cause more problems.
You really need to use the original mechanical termination which means replacing that broken screw. The new slot using a Dremell is a good idea but I fear that the brass screw has been well and truly frozen. Perhaps some CRC to attempt to loosen it up first before another attempt with the screw driver?
You will also have to be gentle with it as the attachment method of the connector to the brass/copper? strip behind it would also be fragile after so many obvious heat cycles.

Keep us posted.

Regards...........Chook.
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Offline analogmike  
#20 Posted : 09 January 2015 03:52:15(UTC)
analogmike

United States   
Joined: 02/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 613
Location: NEW JERSEY, USA
i would not attempt to repair that old, burned unit. once bitten twice shy. just upgrade the ones that are still running. "THE BEST SAFETY DEVICE IS A CAREFUL MAN"
I love the smell of smoke fluid in the morning .
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Offline cookee_nz  
#21 Posted : 09 January 2015 08:58:34(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Words fail me.

Marco please believe I'm not having a dig at you at all, but I don't think the many warnings over the past few years, along with very detailed photo's showing exactly the same insulation damage you found will make a jot of difference to some people on this forum.

With the holiday season just over here in NZ we are reeling from an horrendous road-toll. A lot of them were what the Fuzz term "single-car accidents", ie a driver who has run off the road, into a tree, a ditch whatever, with no one else involved. But also plenty of accidents involving two or more vehicles, crossing the center line, dangerous overtaking, speed and of course alcohol.

And what's the one single thing absolutely 100% in common behind every one of these events? Quite simply it's the blase attitude of......

IT WON'T HAPPEN TO ME!!

And look, it did, it happened to you our dear friend but as you so rightly pointed out, it could soooo easily have been one (or both) of your boys and this story could be a tragedy with far-reaching consequences.

7 years and a few days ago my much-loved Son got into a vehicle with a person who had been drinking, at least a little, most likely a lot. My Son had an opportunity and choice before getting in to assess the environment and decide what course of action to choose. He chose very unwisely and as many of you here know he paid the ultimate price. And the irony was, 3 days before when I last saw him my final words as I headed out the door knowing he was going on holiday with mates were "Please drive safely, I could not bear to bury you"

So I trust with all sincerity that you will forgive my little rant, and accept also that when it comes to things like this, I get just a little angry as well because sometimes the choices we make (or the warning we ignore) have an impact we could never imagine in our worst nightmares.

PLEASE - EVERYONE still using any of these older Trafo's, unless you have had the mains cord professionally checked end to end, and simply replaced if more than about 30 years old, STOP NOW.

Pay to get it checked, or put a sledge-hammer through it, but don't leave it to become someone's funeral. And do not ever ever ever pass an unchecked trafo on to someone else who may be blissfully unaware of this hidden danger.

It can and as we have seen with Marco's experience, it just could happen to YOU.

I feel quite ill at the thought.
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
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Offline RayF  
#22 Posted : 09 January 2015 09:10:29(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,276
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
What depresses me most is that there is absolutley no need to use these ancient death traps to control our beloved trains. New, safe transformers can be bought for peanuts, and will operate the old trains just as well, but with the benefits of modern safe materials and technology.

I understand that they may have value as museum pieces, but that is where they should stay, in museums and display shelves!

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 Chook  
#23 Posted : 09 January 2015 09:53:59(UTC)
Chook

Australia   
Joined: 15/08/2012(UTC)
Posts: 226
Location: Perth, Western Australia.
Marco, Cookee's advice is sound.
Please just cut the cords off this and your remaining vintage units and relegate them to your museum shelf.

"someone" was looking after you by freezing that screw.

Regards....Chook.
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Offline Ukko-Pekka  
#24 Posted : 09 January 2015 10:00:47(UTC)
Ukko-Pekka

Finland   
Joined: 16/03/2014(UTC)
Posts: 43
Location: NORTHERN FINLAND
Originally Posted by: analogmike Go to Quoted Post
i have 4 of the later blue traffos (metal) and 2 of the plastic blue ones. after marco's experience they will all get 3-wire with ground.


Im not really sure if you should make any changes to connections... Atleast you must know what youre doing!
Offline Mark5  
#25 Posted : 09 January 2015 18:51:11(UTC)
Mark5

Canada   
Joined: 29/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,179
Location: Montreal
Glad you are ok Marco!!
I did re-wire one of mine... but without a ground.
And I have several others I thought of using for accessories.... however, I think I will need them checked thoroughly first.
Wondering if there are other ways to seal the box so there is no possible exposure for skin-to-metal contact.

Thanks for sharing...
Seems Marklin should still have louder warnings and/or Ebay about these boxes!
Your Warning is heeded here though!
- Mark

Interested in history of DB, DR and FS circa 1955 to 1965. Fan of signals, catenary, stations and yards.
Father of four girls running an exhibition layout, the Mädchenbahn--
https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=30519&b=1
Large version of my present avatar-- https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=29910&b=1
Source of previous avatar in "zoomify" detail-- http://bit.ly/1QqMgL0
Offline RayF  
#26 Posted : 09 January 2015 19:01:09(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,276
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
Another possible hazard which should be considered is the risk of fire.

If the insulation breaks down causing a massive increase in current it is possible for the casing or cord to reach temperatures which could cause flamable materials nearby to ignite. How many of us leave boxes and papers around electrical units in this way? I know I often do!

This risk could be mitigated by using Residual current detectors (RCDs) or Earth leakage detectors as mentioned before.
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 Hendrik1959  
#27 Posted : 28 November 2016 21:21:54(UTC)
Hendrik1959


Joined: 28/11/2016(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: Netherlands, Rotterdam
Hi Guys,

I am searching for a wire diagram for my Marklin super 280a transformer.

I only have to know the wires connected to the thermal porcelain protector inside the transformer.

I buy this transformer with some loose wires, that why.

Thanks in advance for you're answers.

Hendrik

Zoetermeer
Netherlands
Offline cookee_nz  
#28 Posted : 28 November 2016 21:48:25(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: Hendrik1959 Go to Quoted Post
Hi Guys,

I am searching for a wire diagram for my Marklin super 280a transformer.

I only have to know the wires connected to the thermal porcelain protector inside the transformer.

I buy this transformer with some loose wires, that why.

Thanks in advance for you're answers.

Hendrik

Zoetermeer
Netherlands


Hi Hendrik, welcome to the forum. ThumpUp

With the greatest of respect, if you are having to ask a question like this, you probably should not be attempting the repair.

We really want you to stay alive to enjoy all this forum has to offer. BigGrin

At the very least, can you post some photos of what it currently looks like?

I do not recall ever seeing a wiring diagram for the Trafo, and probably for good reason. If you get the wires mixed up, you risk feeding AC input to the secondary winding and that could result in an extremely and dangerously high output from the primary winding.

PLEASE, take extreme care before you proceed any further and be 100% no, 200% certain of what you are doing!!

Regards

Steve
NZ
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
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Offline dominator  
#29 Posted : 29 November 2016 08:43:47(UTC)
dominator

New Zealand   
Joined: 20/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 662
Location: Kerikeri
Hi Hendrick. One could suggest if you have to ask this question you should not be working on that tranny.Confused

On the other hand, All those 280's that I own have had the cords replaced by meBigGrin . All connections were originally soldered on mine, so i soldered the new wires as well. You can get the wires from the cord back to front [ 2 wires only ] and the tranny will still work but it might be out of phase with other tranny's so you ought to be careful.Cursing Yes, I did itCrying

I recently bought 3 of those tranny's for $35.00 NZ. I replaced the cords on all 3Laugh . @$11.00 each, they are not very valuable so you can afford to throw it away,Blushing which is what I recommend you do if you don't know how to fit the new cords.ThumbDown

All the best. DereckThumpUp
Northland. NZ REMEMBER 0228 for ä
Offline Hendrik1959  
#30 Posted : 29 November 2016 14:38:15(UTC)
Hendrik1959


Joined: 28/11/2016(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: Netherlands, Rotterdam
Hi Guys,

Thanks for you're reactions and you're concerns about my dangerous adventure ThumpUp


The connections off the porcelain overload protector where broken of and i can't see witch wire must be connected on it, see pictures.

Maybe somebody can tell me, with some pictures from the inside of a decent transformer, how the wires are connected.

Thanks for you're respons and sorry if i am not writing perfect english.

Greetings Hendrik.

Offline Goofy  
#31 Posted : 29 November 2016 17:48:32(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 7,850
How did you survive with 280 A at 230 volts!??? Confused
Already at 1 A with 230 volts are deadly dangerous!!
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Offline H0  
#32 Posted : 29 November 2016 18:03:09(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,396
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
How did you survive with 280 A at 230 volts!??? Confused
You made my day! LOL

280 amps is a massive power detonation.
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 Goofy  
#33 Posted : 29 November 2016 18:39:31(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 7,850
Opsss...Blushing
280A is the name of the trafo.
Silly me
Offline Minok  
#34 Posted : 29 November 2016 21:15:44(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,851
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
From an electrical standpoint on the 'overload protector', which I'm not sure what it is, but maybe a breaker...
If the transformer is purely a transformer (AC in and AC out, just at different voltages) then there isn't an issue of connecting things backwards, but a breaker would typically be connected on the power/hot side of the circuit, and not on the neutral/return side of the circuit.

In the US its the black (hot) not the white (neutral), but beware, other counties have different color codes ( http://www.allaboutcircu...color-codes-infographic/ )
In Germany brown (hot) and not blue (neutral).

But the AC current should flow through that protector. What color are the wires that broke off?
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
Offline mb300e4m  
#35 Posted : 29 November 2016 22:55:59(UTC)
mb300e4m


Joined: 07/06/2013(UTC)
Posts: 442
Location: Florida
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post
From an electrical standpoint on the 'overload protector', which I'm not sure what it is, but maybe a breaker...
If the transformer is purely a transformer (AC in and AC out, just at different voltages) then there isn't an issue of connecting things backwards, but a breaker would typically be connected on the power/hot side of the circuit, and not on the neutral/return side of the circuit.

In the US its the black (hot) not the white (neutral), but beware, other counties have different color codes ( http://www.allaboutcircu...color-codes-infographic/ )
In Germany brown (hot) and not blue (neutral).

But the AC current should flow through that protector. What color are the wires that broke off?


If in doubt, throw it out. There are plenty of serviceable ones available for cheap money. BigGrin
Peter B.
In Sunny Florida most of the time.
Marklin, Trix Express, Trix Twin, Fleischmann, Liliput, Hornby Dublo, and Others, 2 & 3 Rail, AC, DC and Digital, Course Scale Wheels & Fine, 1935 to 1960s usually.
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Offline cookee_nz  
#36 Posted : 30 November 2016 06:53:15(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: Hendrik1959 Go to Quoted Post
Hi Guys,

Thanks for you're reactions and you're concerns about my dangerous adventure ThumpUp


The connections off the porcelain overload protector where broken of and i can't see witch wire must be connected on it, see pictures.

Maybe somebody can tell me, with some pictures from the inside of a decent transformer, how the wires are connected.

Thanks for you're respons and sorry if i am not writing perfect english.

Greetings Hendrik.



Don't worry about your English - "BANG!, PFFFT" is the same in any language !! LOL LOL

So here are the connections you are looking for.

AC in has two wires, we call them Phase and Neutral. Whenever I rewire a Trafo I always put the Phase through the Thermal Overload Cutout. For those of us with an earth pin it's easy, you cannot reverse the plug. If you have a reversible plug, it is possible to get the polarity incorrect - this will not cause a problem with operation unless you have multiple trafos controlling the same layout - Then you have a serious risk.

But that is another story.

So, you have two wires coming in from the AC line cord.

The Primary winding of the Trafo has two wires also.

The Overload breaker has three connections. Two on one side, (the side of the silver adjusting screw) and one on the other side (with the two black screws).

The single connector is for the incoming Phase wire.

On the other side there are two more copper connectors. If you look closely at the Breaker you will see that one of the copper connectors does not connect to anything in the breaker - it is simply a point to join the incoming Neutral with one side of the Primary winding.

The last copper connector (on your picture, it's the one that still has solder inside it) is where the other Primary Trafo winding connects to.

PLEASE NOTE: Is is VERY important that the brown card remains in place and is correctly fitted. As you can see, the incoming AC wire runs directly beside the 3 16vac low-voltage output pins. You MUST have a physical barrier between the Thermal Cutout and the low-voltage outputs.

Imagine if the live wire comes loose from the thermal cutout and makes contact with the exposed sockets on the rear. That would be extremely dangerous. Not to mention that all your Loco's would instantly reverse, and then explode and this would upset the Preiserlings very much. Makes a mess of the track ballast also. Better to avoid.

These pictures should make it very clear.

DISCLAIMER: WE (I) ARE NOT RECOMMENDING THAT ANYONE ATTEMPT ANY TRAFO REPAIRS UNLESS THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN, CONFIDENT AND COMPETENT IN WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

The best analogy I can give is this....

"No, you are not allowed to drive a car"

"But I'm going to drive a car anyway whether you allow me to or not!"

"Ok, well this is how you put on a seatbelt"



Good luck with it.

280A-internaloverload1.jpg280A-internaloverload2.jpg

Edited by user 17 November 2017 21:39:59(UTC)  | Reason: Typos

Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
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Offline dominator  
#37 Posted : 30 November 2016 08:59:49(UTC)
dominator

New Zealand   
Joined: 20/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 662
Location: Kerikeri
Couldn't put it better myself. But, what happens if your power cord has a green , a yellow and a black or blue lead??? In NZ we have cords with green black and red as well.???? trial and error, or do you get someone who knows what they are doing to sort it out for you. If you have several traffos you may be able to work it out, i STILL GOT ONE OUT OF PHASE ONE TIME SO THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING,. yOU MIGHT GET IN THE CUSTARD HERE. SORRY for the caps lock problem. big fingers on little keys.

Dereck
Northland. NZ REMEMBER 0228 for ä
Offline cookee_nz  
#38 Posted : 30 November 2016 10:23:37(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,896
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: dominator Go to Quoted Post
Couldn't put it better myself. But, what happens if your power cord has a green , a yellow and a black or blue lead??? In NZ we have cords with green black and red as well.???? trial and error, or do you get someone who knows what they are doing to sort it out for you. If you have several traffos you may be able to work it out, i STILL GOT ONE OUT OF PHASE ONE TIME SO THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING,. yOU MIGHT GET IN THE CUSTARD HERE. SORRY for the caps lock problem. big fingers on little keys.

Dereck


Hi Dereck,

In NZ, the requirement is that the minute you start working on the unit, if you find the colour codes are wrong you need to put it right. Certainly this applies to anyone who is Registered.

But it's good practise anyway. I remember years ago when I worked for NCR we had to change the power cords on new Cash Registers because even though they had the correct plug, the colour coding was not NZ permissible.

You can get away with Red-Black-Green which is the old system, and you can of course use Brown-Blue-Yellow/Green which is the approved version.

But I still come across products with Black and White Ac cords and its ambiguous because as pointed out, in the US Black is the 'hot' or phase lead, whereas here it's Neutral.

So much for standards aye? Must have something to do with the driving on the left or right, have to reverse everything!!

So personally, I'd always rewire to the current system even if the incorrect cable is still in good condition.

Cheers
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline river6109  
#39 Posted : 30 November 2016 11:22:22(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,345
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
I am still wondering why people still buy these transformers, and I hear for nostalgic reasons, getting a mains shock doesn't sound nostalgic to me but rather penny pinching, for some unknown reason some people just ignore the fact it is a 240 volt transformer and its not a kid toy but what I read is treated like a kids toy.

Its a strange world when it comes to human, they can look at a disaster to happen any minute but stay and look as it unfolds, people got o beaches, ocean frons and look at turbulent oceans and even take pictures of it only to be swept away by huge waves, taken from another person watching it from a save distance away, or asking the question is it save to drive my car without lights at night time.
is it ignorance, wishful thinking (you may not get as shock) or because its your birthday today and everything should be fine.

Thanks for you're reactions and you're concerns about my dangerous adventure,

aren't you concerned ? you're the one who is fiddling with it, are you trying out the odds how far you can go with it ?
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline mb300e4m  
#40 Posted : 05 December 2016 15:36:48(UTC)
mb300e4m


Joined: 07/06/2013(UTC)
Posts: 442
Location: Florida
Cut the mains lead off and use it as a door stop. It can live out the rest of its life watching you coming and going. Otherwise send it for re-cycliing.

Edited by user 05 December 2016 21:26:14(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Peter B.
In Sunny Florida most of the time.
Marklin, Trix Express, Trix Twin, Fleischmann, Liliput, Hornby Dublo, and Others, 2 & 3 Rail, AC, DC and Digital, Course Scale Wheels & Fine, 1935 to 1960s usually.
Offline Hendrik1959  
#41 Posted : 15 December 2016 11:30:11(UTC)
Hendrik1959


Joined: 28/11/2016(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: Netherlands, Rotterdam
Hello Cookee, Many thanks for you're perfect explanation with all the pictures.
I put everything together as you explained and it it working properly now.
Greetings Hendrik
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Offline Charles Beecham  
#42 Posted : 09 March 2017 22:00:25(UTC)
Charles Beecham


Joined: 09/03/2017(UTC)
Posts: 1

These old transformers used a rubber insulated cable, this cable breaks up with age and heat, houses of the same period used similar cable and would have been rewired by now.
Rewiring these transformers is straight forward for someone with this kind of experience. The case being metal makes it essential that the cable is replaced with 3 core to gain the earth wire which should be attached to the metal base using a screw with nuts and washers through a drilled hole.
The screw , first nut and ideally a star washer makes up the earth post two plain washers and the second nut make the cable termination. Its bad practice to attach the earth wire to screw used to secure another component.
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Offline RayF  
#43 Posted : 09 March 2017 22:32:08(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,276
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
Originally Posted by: Charles Beecham Go to Quoted Post

These old transformers used a rubber insulated cable, this cable breaks up with age and heat, houses of the same period used similar cable and would have been rewired by now.
Rewiring these transformers is straight forward for someone with this kind of experience. The case being metal makes it essential that the cable is replaced with 3 core to gain the earth wire which should be attached to the metal base using a screw with nuts and washers through a drilled hole.
The screw , first nut and ideally a star washer makes up the earth post two plain washers and the second nut make the cable termination. Its bad practice to attach the earth wire to screw used to secure another component.


I don't think this is good advice at all. Transformers of this age should be retired and either recycled or used as a museum piece with the mains lead cut off.

Even if the mains lead is replaced the internal insulation within the transformer coils could be severely compromised. Do you really want to risk finding 230V suddenly appearing on the output in place of 16V?

Why take a risk when a new transformer is cheap and will give peace of mind?

Let's all do the right thing and consign obsolete high voltage equipment to history.
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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Online Purellum  
#44 Posted : 10 March 2017 00:10:04(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,924
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: RayF Go to Quoted Post


Let's all do the right thing and consign obsolete high voltage equipment to history.


YES !!!

And don't try to sell it to somebody else, not knowing what we know here.

Just this week I saw on a Danish Märklin-Facebook-page that a new starter in this hobby made expensive grey smoke,
using an old blue transformer for analog driving of a decoder equipped locomotive.

The reversing pulse killed the decoder.

Per.

Cool
If you can dream it, you can do it!

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.

In case this is not legally possible:
I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

UserPostedImage
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Offline H0  
#45 Posted : 10 March 2017 07:50:53(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,396
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post
The reversing pulse killed the decoder.
Just a monetary shock, no electrical shock.

Good to repeat the warning from time to time. Some won't believe it until they lose money or more. C’est la vie.
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 Harryv40  
#46 Posted : 10 March 2017 09:04:40(UTC)
Harryv40

United Kingdom   
Joined: 07/08/2015(UTC)
Posts: 194
Location: Wilshire
Hi
Could I suggest that you have received some great advice from the other members of how to stay alive and enjoy your layout!!!
Death is some what limiting to your social life!

But as a third way, instead of repairing the trafo, you could remove all the internal parts and place a new power pack inside, this would allow you to keep the case. And stay alive.

Harry
Offline Markus Schild  
#47 Posted : 10 March 2017 10:03:38(UTC)
Markus Schild

Germany   
Joined: 14/01/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,726
Location: Wurttemberg
Originally Posted by: RayF Go to Quoted Post


Even if the mains lead is replaced the internal insulation within the transformer coils could be severely compromised. Do you really want to risk finding 230V suddenly appearing on the output in place of 16V?



Hi Ray,

We all know that the old transformers aren't as as safe as modern ones. And that there are certain risks, also described in this thread.
But a failure of the insulation of the coils does not not belong to these risks. It is technically impossible to get 230V on the secondary side of a Märklin-transformer even if the insulation of one or even both coils fails. Unlike cheap transformers which are used e.g. for halogen-spotlights or inside household-appliances the Märklin-transformers have two independent coils which do not touch each other and which even cannot touch each other even in case of failure. If one coil fails, the transformer does not work any more. That's all.

Regards

Markus
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Offline RayF  
#48 Posted : 10 March 2017 10:28:58(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,276
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
Originally Posted by: Markus Schild Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: RayF Go to Quoted Post


Even if the mains lead is replaced the internal insulation within the transformer coils could be severely compromised. Do you really want to risk finding 230V suddenly appearing on the output in place of 16V?



Hi Ray,

We all know that the old transformers aren't as as safe as modern ones. And that there are certain risks, also described in this thread.
But a failure of the insulation of the coils does not not belong to these risks. It is technically impossible to get 230V on the secondary side of a Märklin-transformer even if the insulation of one or even both coils fails. Unlike cheap transformers which are used e.g. for halogen-spotlights or inside household-appliances the Märklin-transformers have two independent coils which do not touch each other and which even cannot touch each other even in case of failure. If one coil fails, the transformer does not work any more. That's all.

Regards

Markus


Hi Markus,

I'll take your word for it, but I've seen too many possible failure scenarios in old equipement to be happy about using a transformer that's more than half a century old. Thermal cut-out switches can fail, allowing serious overheating and the possibility of fire; old soldered joints can come loose with potentially a live wire able to touch anything within the case; earth connections can oxidise and prevent a short circuit from blowing the mains fuse, etc.

These old transformers have very often been kept in a damp cellar or attic, or even been water-damaged in the past. They may have been dropped or knocked about quite a bit. There is also a real possibility when buying one of these second hand that a previous owner has tampered with the original wiring.

I feel that the risk is too great for me to agree to advice about it being safe to use. If the owner is competent he may wish to take the risk for themselves, but that is very different from actually advising others to do so.

As a Chartered Electrical Engineer I have a social responsibility to warn users of the dangers involved.
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 Michael4  
#49 Posted : 10 March 2017 11:41:11(UTC)
Michael4

United Kingdom   
Joined: 02/02/2017(UTC)
Posts: 307
Location: England, South Coast
I returned to Marklin a couple of months back. I have some of the these transformers and even an ancient black one. I remember replacing the leads in the 1980s. They all work but...

I took one look at them and bought a plastic 6631 off Ebay for next to nothing. It works, seems more precise in control, I don't worry and it it hardly hums at all.

In my opinion, much as I like old equipment, the old transformers are really not worth the bother.

And now I am older I just wonder how my ticker will respond to a hefty electric shock!
Offline river6109  
#50 Posted : 10 March 2017 13:27:41(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,345
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
there is a hotline for people who try to commit suicide and there is also a help line for people who think it will never happen to them
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by river6109
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