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Offline thomas buckley  
#1 Posted : 28 September 2016 03:22:03(UTC)
thomas buckley

United States   
Joined: 04/01/2016(UTC)
Posts: 114
Location: California, warner Springs
is the Marklin z scale catenary fully functional like the HO system? making it possible to run two trains independent on same track:))) any special concerns if it is?
Offline Crazy Harry  
#2 Posted : 28 September 2016 03:35:44(UTC)
Crazy Harry

Canada   
Joined: 18/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 446
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Z scale catenary is fully functional. I have a Crocodile (8856) that has a small screw head in the roof to switch from wheel to pantograph pickup. Other than that I can't comment on special concerns.
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Offline Wal  
#3 Posted : 29 September 2016 12:49:00(UTC)
Wal

Australia   
Joined: 07/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Sydney
Hello Thomas,

When I was running analogue I ran a diesel Loc and an electric Loc on the same track independently by using the catenary without any major issues. The only fine tuning I did was with the catenary wire. On the tighter corners I slightly bent the wire to follow the angle of the corner to prevent the pantograph from slipping off it.

Cheers,

Wal

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Zme
Offline xxup  
#4 Posted : 29 September 2016 13:17:40(UTC)
xxup

Australia   
Joined: 15/03/2003(UTC)
Posts: 9,378
Location: Australia
Cripes! Scared H0 scale catenary is fiddly - Z must be a nightmare to set up..
Adrian
UserPostedImage
Australia flag by abFlags.com
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WalZme
Offline analogmike  
#5 Posted : 29 September 2016 14:07:06(UTC)
analogmike

United States   
Joined: 02/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 708
Location: NEW JERSEY, USA
Last night I tried to find a video of it in operation. No dice.
I love the smell of smoke fluid in the morning .
Offline zscalehobo  
#6 Posted : 30 September 2016 20:16:36(UTC)
zscalehobo

United States   
Joined: 22/01/2014(UTC)
Posts: 183
Location: CALIFORNIA, Irvine
Originally Posted by: analogmike Go to Quoted Post
Last night I tried to find a video of it in operation. No dice.


Even though I don't speak German, I do know enough to get around in z scale.

Search "spur z oberleitung" at YouTube and the first hit is here:


And in z scale, many times the catenary is more reliable than electrical pickup through the wheels. The wheels can accumulate grime and then end up cutting out the electricity. This can, of course, be fixed with routine maintenance, but the overhead catenary does not need this maintenance. :)
Frank Daniels
Owner - z.scale.hobo
A Noch "Top Dealer"
Marklin Dealer and Z Locomotive Service
Irvine, California, USA
www.zscalehobo.com
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Offline veloboldie  
#7 Posted : 13 October 2022 05:43:53(UTC)
veloboldie

United States   
Joined: 31/05/2018(UTC)
Posts: 47
Location: Arvada
By any chance, do you know how to make catenary work with installed block signal #89391, so that if my electric locomotive gets power from the catenary, it will also be able to stop and start when I activate the block signal?
Offline Toosmall  
#8 Posted : 13 October 2022 10:49:39(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney
First point. If you are doing block sections then you need everything on the same set of blocks. So why not use one of the rails. You could then incorporate a secondary feed (catenary) into the set of block sections to run those locos at, say a different speed, but still function within the one set of block sections. But, is it really worth all the extra wiring. More than likely not.

If you want to run locos via catenary it is the same wiring as with a rail just 37mm higher! That's the only difference.

It is very simple to do block sections. No point having less than 3 block section.

If you want to do it automatically used the Marklin 8599 rail switch (or you could wire in a beam across the track). You can easily add overriding momentary switches on your control panel for each block section.

When the loco goes over the 8599 it briefly closes a circuit. This circuit you wire to a latching relay to "open" the circuit of the previous block and also to "close" the circuit of the latching relay for the block before that block section.

You need a latching relay for each of the block sections. So if you have 7 block sections, you need 7 latching relays. The opening and closing you wire to chase around the loop, easy.

I have set my mine up as effectively plug & play. If a relay were to fail (not likely) I simply plug a new one into a 16pin IC seat. The latching relay I used is double pole double throw, so very easy to wire in both open circuit for previous block section and closed for the block section before that, easy.

DSC_0667_114605.jpg
This wiring may look complex on the surface. But the only complexity is to make it simple. So if a switch or relay fails, I can simply plug in a new generic unit. All switch wiring is exactly the same. Each of the 1 to 8 switches are exactly the same. A have spares made up.
DSC_0669_114559.jpg

Knock up a 3 block section test loop to get your head around the wiring. You will eventually see the simplicity. Then whether you have 3 blocks or dozens, it will make sense, be patient, but you will get there.
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Offline Toosmall  
#9 Posted : 13 October 2022 11:31:47(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney
Wiring diagrams can really be confusing.

Set up test loop with 3 block sections.

To bypass the wiring diagram "problem", supply power to the 3 Markin 8599 momentary switches.

Let us assume that you are going in one direction only. (I have done a circuit for a bidirectional block section through a station, but that is getting painful to put it mildly).

From the forward contact of the momentary 8599 run a wire to the previous block section relay to "open" that relay (turn off power to the rail). Continue the wire to the relay before that block section to "close" that relay (to turn on power to the rail)

The open or closed relay power side of the relay then supplies power according, to one of the rails (or catenary if you wish).

Once you get 3 block sections working on a test loop it will make sense. Then add as many block sections as you need. But until you get your head around it just test with 3 blocks at first.
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Zme
Offline Manga  
#10 Posted : 18 October 2022 22:29:58(UTC)
Manga

Australia   
Joined: 22/07/2022(UTC)
Posts: 9
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
Is there any software that lets you design track with Märklin miniclub Z scale catenary ?
I am using AnyRail 6 which does not have catenary.
Offline Toosmall  
#11 Posted : 19 October 2022 08:40:01(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney
Use butcher's paper. I actually do 3d architectural models. At the scale of Z gauge you will get better sense of the entire layout pencilling it out to size, & fit in roads, buildings & growies while at it. Once you have ironed out most things. Create a master plan tracing onto drafting transparent drawing paper, say A0 sheets or A3 if that is all you can get & sticky tape together. It's not absolutely necessary but it is more stable for long term.

Laying carbon paper on you base board & tracing over the top is the simplest way to transfer all the dimensions.

To draw radiuses use a long piece of cardboard strip or whatever, push a couple of holes through at the correct distance to do pivot point & radius & push pencil through.

My mainline only, track only fly-through:
Flythrough.mov (1,380kb) downloaded 79 time(s).

This architectural render apart from building it in 3d took 6 dual CPU computers 3 weeks to render the frames in 2009. It would be quicker today but people would expect more resolution & better looking leafs on the growies.
Flythrough_055949.mov (9,004kb) downloaded 17 time(s).

There is the fixed & adjustable length catenary. Where you can on parallel radius track put the fixed catenary on the outside & shorten the adjustable piece. It is more stable than lengthening it. Ok you use a few more pieces but it is worth the few extra dollars.

It's easy enough to calculate the number of pieces for any radius.

If you have the room I would have some track where you can load trains onto the track then push the loco under the catenary. Putting trains on the track directly under catenary is a pain. Taking carriages off is also a longer process unless you flix them off sideways.
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Offline Zme  
#12 Posted : 20 October 2022 02:08:30(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 579
Location: West Texas
Hello, hope all is well.

Catenary setup and operation seems like a somewhat neglected topic in Z. There are some who set it up for looks without the intention of actually using it,but it is easy to understand the potential for reliable operation, once it is properly installed. Catenary sets are expensive and one set might not meet the needs for your entire layout. Other vendors make catenary for z scale, but the German sources are also expensive and are more prototypical in appearance.

A track planning guide was recently mentioned in one of the topics posted here. Page 52 begins the short description of catenary. Just search recent posts if you want to review this document. I am not aware of an extensive manual for catenary setup, but I imagine, the same principles of setup which are found in HO guides would apply to Z. Further research may lead to an answer to the many questions we have.

I also found the instructions included with the two different catenary sets which are available from Marklin.

8198-8199-8914-8921-8926-8927.pdf (1,157kb) downloaded 17 time(s)..

I checked with a track planning software which I am aware of called SCARM. The description does not mention the topic of catenary in Z scale, but may in fact be supported.

Hope this helps a bit.

Take good care.

Dwight






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Offline Toosmall  
#13 Posted : 20 October 2022 08:14:13(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney
Catenary info from Marklin mini-club Gleisanlagen 0290 book pages 30 - 31

_MG_0976_043631.jpg

_MG_0977_043636.jpg

If you have station platforms the masts are too tall, so you need to cut a hole in the platform. Which means you really need to plan all your spacings on your "master plan".

IMG_1562_105909.jpg

IMG_17213_033856.jpg

_MG_75950_063458.jpg

If you have tunnels, I would advise you make a brass cross beam and solder the wire lengths and solder the adjustable length. You want everything bullet proof in difficult areas.

IMG_1391.jpg

IMG_1411.jpg

This is how I have the catenary over modules. If you are powering it you need power on each module anyway so it's not an issue.

6611207540584845657.jpg

Have at least half a dozen spares of everything, I have about 25 spare masts, probably gone a bit overboard! I have taken out quite a few masts with elbows etc. Even had to cut out bits of platform to unscrew a few destroyed towers. All the parts are actually pretty tough, it's really those major accidents during construction which are the issue.
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Zme
Offline Manga  
#14 Posted : 20 October 2022 09:38:11(UTC)
Manga

Australia   
Joined: 22/07/2022(UTC)
Posts: 9
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
Thanks for all your feedback.

After some searching, the track design software, in AnyRail in particular, wasn't built-in as catenary requires a lot of fiddling and tweaks - even in the real world.

So I'll take TooSmall's approach and design on paper. This requires having a few physical parts to design with.
Before I make the purchase, I have some catenary pieces that I manually moved around the layout, eye-balled, and penciled in to get an idea of how many pieces I would need to order.
I'll order a few extra for contingency.
The blue pen is track, the gray pencil is catenary.

001 Conception - catenary wih track.jpg

This pencil layout was then transferred into AnyRail, I've also made the straights longer.

02 Track, catenary and Wiring.jpg

It allows for the train to automatically run from the inner to outer loop and vice versa. Works in both directions.
Max train length would be about 400mm so that there is no potential derailment when the points are switched.
I've marked catenary masts in by hand.
I've also marked the wiring with the coloured lines.
The brown rectangles will be the baseboard support beams.

And here is a mock-up of what the curved turnout section would look like:

03 catenary mock up.jpg

BTW: I'm a beginner, just starting a small diorama with working track/switch/section. This catenary layout you see is something to play with/learn about whilst making the diorama - parts will be re-purposed once I get to making a proper layout.

Edited by user 15 November 2022 07:52:05(UTC)  | Reason: Add updates of design

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Offline Manga  
#15 Posted : 21 November 2022 02:49:28(UTC)
Manga

Australia   
Joined: 22/07/2022(UTC)
Posts: 9
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
Märklin miniclub is great, but has one annoyance.

It has to do with using catenary masts and long passenger cars on section track.

Placing the catenary mast on the inside of either the radius 195 or 220mm section track, and you will always have the pasenger car touching and sliding against the mast.
Placing it on the outside curve, and there is the smallest of gaps, though still too small for my liking.

radius 220mm, inside curve (touching):
r220mm inside curve (touching).jpg

radius 220mm, oustide curve (tiny gap):
r220mm outside curve (tiny gap).jpg

radius 195mm, inside curve (touching):
r195mm inside curve (touching).jpg

radius 195mm, outside curve (tiny gap):
r195mm outside curve (tiny gap).jpg

This has to do with the passenger cars sitting over the rails when in a curve:
Over rails.jpg

Of course this will not be a problem when you have smooth sweeping bends using flex track, but just thought I'd point it out.
Offline Toosmall  
#16 Posted : 21 November 2022 03:54:34(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney
The mast installed in the metal clip. There is the normal inner position & there is the outer position, though not ideal it should allow clearance. You need to nail the clip down through the hole in outside end of the clip.
Offline Toosmall  
#17 Posted : 22 November 2022 02:33:27(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney
195 radius track with masts set in the outer position.

_MG_1111_123038.jpg

_MG_1113_123055.jpg
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Offline Manga  
#18 Posted : 22 November 2022 07:36:33(UTC)
Manga

Australia   
Joined: 22/07/2022(UTC)
Posts: 9
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
Yes, that could work. I'd need to super glue the masts into their outer position. Should still be able to nail them in place as the feet won't have any hold on the track.
Also I'll test with catenary wire to see if the locomotive still picks up power - should be alright as the mast is only moved by ~0.5mm
Offline Toosmall  
#19 Posted : 22 November 2022 09:26:02(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney
The mast locks into place solidly whether in the inner or outer position. You shouldn't need any glue, and I wouldn't use it anyway as one tends to demolish a percentage of masts, I have about 30 spares (haven't rusted). You will need to nail down the metal plate.

Mine are two decades old and the wire part has gone pretty rusty. Also bent the mast in the foreground. I have nailed all metal plates even though I am using the inner position.

The concrete block is grey 3mm Forex, all the track is sitting on it as well to help create some vertical topography.

_MG_1124_071933.jpg
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Offline Toosmall  
#20 Posted : 23 November 2022 00:26:59(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney
A mock-up of how I did the track bed base and mast base. The white base is only about 50mm wide to allow for greater topography height variation. Plan your topography at the start. It is actually the original elevation which otherwise you will have to spend a lot of effort on with the excavators. Look at the landscape first.

_MG_1126_101010.jpg

63074.jpg
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Offline Manga  
#21 Posted : 03 December 2022 11:32:23(UTC)
Manga

Australia   
Joined: 22/07/2022(UTC)
Posts: 9
Location: New South Wales, Sydney
Another of my micro-dioramas to test my modelling techniques – before I commit to a larger layout.

I have some 0.8mm cork which I intend to use as my roadbed, having 3 or 4 layers deep in a staggered effect so the ballast has a natural angle up to the track (~20 degrees).

001 3 layers of 0.8m cork - 25mm, 1mm and 12mm.jpg
002 Catenary mast needs support.jpg
004 Both track nailed down.jpg
003 Mast supports glued in.jpg

Yes, I should have painted the catenary mast base a concrete colour before ballasting – however this is just a test.
005 Sticky tape over metal feet, and ballasted.jpg

Added 3 feathered colours of turf, more dry/dead at the track edges.
I'm happy with the results (for a beginner).
006 With niederbordwagen.jpg

Any constructive feedback on my work ? Positive and negative is appreciated.

Afterword: I am a beginner, not retired (seriously lacking time in this hobby).
I am mostly testing ideas/techniques at this stage, and am building a small module in parallel.
I try to use natural materials if possible - and I hate foam as it goes everywhere.
I model in Z-scale (1:220).
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Offline Carim  
#22 Posted : 03 December 2022 11:43:50(UTC)
Carim

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/09/2014(UTC)
Posts: 599
Location: London
Your diorama is looking good. You can improve the Märklin catenary posts with a bit of paint - darken the metals bits, highlight the insulators, etc and then some weathering.

Carim
Offline Toosmall  
#23 Posted : 03 December 2022 12:42:26(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney
Originally Posted by: Manga Go to Quoted Post
Any constructive feedback on my work ? Positive and negative is appreciated.

Afterword: I am a beginner, not retired (seriously lacking time in this hobby).

Don't retire as you won't have time for anything!


I used polyurethane foam, you need to take it slowly as it expands a lot, then I cut it back to size and covered with normal train modelling products.

As long as you plan the layout. Things like tunnel entrance, make foundation and backing wall and stick the detail on later.

Roads, gutters and footpaths, if you plan out your road and footpaths/building footprint, you can allow for enough room for footpaths, parking bays, enough radius on corners. If you are spray painting roads you can pre mask the white lines etc, easier to do in reverse, white first.

You can also spray for footpath colour first, maybe kerb and gutter, mask off, score a line 1 - 2 mm from the edge of the gutter with scalpel blade using spacer. Remove masking excess masking tape off road, spray road a bit darker.


Styrene foam: Extruded styrene foam is much better to cut and saw than the normal styrene foam.


I wouldn't be too particular with the finer scenic details at the early stage. It's Z gauge, you need a Lupe to see anything!
Offline kiwiAlan  
#24 Posted : 03 December 2022 14:36:48(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 7,115
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Toosmall Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Manga Go to Quoted Post
Any constructive feedback on my work ? Positive and negative is appreciated.

Afterword: I am a beginner, not retired (seriously lacking time in this hobby).

Don't retire as you won't have time for anything!


Amen to that ... Blink Blushing BigGrin ThumpUp Scared

Originally Posted by: Toosmall Go to Quoted Post

I wouldn't be too particular with the finer scenic details at the early stage. It's Z gauge, you need a Lupe to see anything!


Ditto - its amazing what you can get away with by hinting at the existence of something.
The other thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a mistake in scenery, you'll find an example of it somewhere in the world. BigGrin
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Offline Toosmall  
#25 Posted : 03 December 2022 20:03:04(UTC)
Toosmall

Australia   
Joined: 26/07/2021(UTC)
Posts: 327
Location: Sydney
My layout was about 90% done 2 decades ago. Now about 98% and it has slowed down even further. Even my 4 additional Unimogs basically just need painting and that's the easy bit, I even have all the intended spray can colours. Being retired I never find the time, getting older with various family health issues which takes up a lot of time, just how it is and I am not going to stress over unfinished things.

When an architectural model was finished and delivered often it came back for modifications. It was only once you got off the subject for a few weeks or so and saw it again. You saw a list of errors that no one picked up.

Growies hide a multitude of sins. If there is a mistake, add some detail and action. Car accident, girls on the footpath discussing services, workers digging a hole, to create distractions. Small sub scenes around the layout.
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