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Offline Danlake  
#1 Posted : 13 November 2017 09:58:12(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Gents,

This evening while in the train room I got a small shock when touching the manual lever from an uncoupler track. Thought that was odd so I investigated further.

I know from past experience that you can feel the electricity if touching pukos and outer rails with your finger while the layout is powered up.

It’s all very strange at the moment. I can feel the electricity by just touching the outer rails only on some part of the layout. The weird thing is that it goes around randomly. So an area were uncoupler levers and outer rails would give a tingling sensation and then once in a while a more powerful shock would then be quiet for a period and nothing happens...

My first though would be if I have some sort of short circuits in my wiring or tracks, but I have tested with my multimeter for resistance etc. and unable to find anything. The CS3 does not detect any shorts either.

Iam getting slightly nervous now since I had some odd occurrences since getting my new CS3. My first observation was that there was a much louder buzzing noise from loco decoders and my build in turnout decoders. Then after a month of use my switch mode power pack stopped working...

Anyway below is my details of layout.

Majority of tracks are C tracks. Feeders every 1m to a red/brown bus connected to a new CS3 powered from 60061. All my accessories decoders are Viessmann and seperately powered from a Marklin transformer on a yellow/brown bus (I use common ground).

First off, I have to ask the stupid question:

1. By touching the outer rail only are you suppose to feel the electricity?

2. I do have a multi meter but not a true RMS meter. When testing I get briefly around 19 volts between outer rail and Center rail. But is there any other way I can test by e.g. measuring the electricity flowing in outer rails only?

3. Any other ideas? Or is is this normal? All though I find it strange that Marklin would design an uncoupler with a manual lever and the possibility of getting shocked if touching it?

Thanks a lot. My electricity knowledge is somewhat limited, but now we got lots of experts on the forumThumpUp

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
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Offline PJMärklin  
#2 Posted : 13 November 2017 10:25:00(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,387
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: Danlake Go to Quoted Post
Gents,
This evening while in the train room I got a small shock when touching the manual lever from an uncoupler track. ...
I am getting slightly nervous now ...
Brgds Lasse


Take care, but above all avoid this one :

http://newsfeed.time.com...g-on-subways-third-rail/

http://www.dailymail.co....ectric-railway-line.html

http://www.telegraph.co....g-on-Chicago-subway.html

Regards,

PJ
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Offline RayF  
#3 Posted : 13 November 2017 13:59:44(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,440
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
You mentioned you have a separate transformer powering the electrical accessories and a common ground. Have you tried the tracks with this transformer disconnected? If the "feel" of getting an electric shock from the rails disappears when you remove the second transformer it could be that the power is out of phase with the power supply on the CS3. Try swapping the mains polarity on the accessory transformer. I'm not sure what type of plug you use for mains there, but on a European type plug you can just turn the plug over and plug it in the other way up.
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 Bigdaddynz  
#4 Posted : 13 November 2017 14:30:45(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,720
Location: New Zealand
Lasse will be using a standard NZ 3 pin mains plug, but it wouldn't hurt to check the plug wiring on the transformer and the 60061 power supply, since NZ mains plugs would have had to be fitted at some stage to both devices.

I have a similar wiring setup to Lasse - common ground, with separate transformer feeding Viessmann decoders - and I've never had any shocks from the rails (unlike when using an analog transformer to power the rails....)
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#5 Posted : 13 November 2017 14:52:29(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,098
measure the voltage between the out rail and a copper pipe in the house (or some other true earth/ground)

your whole house may have a high neutral.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline Kapalua  
#6 Posted : 13 November 2017 16:33:33(UTC)
Kapalua

Denmark   
Joined: 22/08/2017(UTC)
Posts: 73
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Originally Posted by: PJMärklin Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Danlake Go to Quoted Post
Gents,
This evening while in the train room I got a small shock when touching the manual lever from an uncoupler track. ...
I am getting slightly nervous now ...
Brgds Lasse


Take care, but above all avoid this one :

http://newsfeed.time.com...g-on-subways-third-rail/

http://www.dailymail.co....ectric-railway-line.html

http://www.telegraph.co....g-on-Chicago-subway.html

Regards,

PJ


BigGrin Nice to know, I stopped urinating on my Marklin tracks.
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Offline Minok  
#7 Posted : 13 November 2017 20:03:14(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,049
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: Danlake Go to Quoted Post
I can feel the electricity by just touching the outer rails only on some part of the layout.


My first instinct is that you have a grounding problem on the power supply side of things. The models run on the difference between the rails and pukos in terms of voltage. It could be 0v and 19v or it could be 500v and 519v (just to exaggerate), and both would be fine. For you the human, its the voltage to earth (as you stand on it somewhat) that is significant, so the track ground being at 500v to earth would be a problem.

Look at any digital power sources and the grounding of the various power supplies to the mains connection. Or do you have some boosters where one has the poles mixed up so 2 boosters are adding voltage and you may end up with 38+ volts to earth on some part of the layout?
Toys of tin and wood rule!
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Offline Danlake  
#8 Posted : 14 November 2017 09:22:36(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Gents,

Thanks for all the replies. I spend all evening investigating, which was rather interesting detective work, all though when I measured 170 volt between an outer rail and a copper pipe grounded in house I hurried to get my rubber sneakers on...

For sake of good order I dont have any boosters and only the CS is powering the layout. Majority of turnouts (and some signals) are powered from Viessmann decoders powered from a yellow bus from a Marklin transformer.

Anyway, below is the results which I would appreciate comments on, as I am not really sure what the norm is?

For those not interested in details. I had recently installed a new switch mode power pack 60061 which came from Germany with EU 2 pin plugs. As with the rest of my power supplies I install the NZ plugs my self and follow the NZ standard for wiring (live phase is brown and blue neutral). As recommended in this post I then swop the phases and my voltage potential from outer rails went from around 116V to 46V.

I am still not sure if this is normal, but as you can see from below test results I also did the testing when only wired to separate pieces of track on both my CS2 and CS3 and from a different house sockets. All gave results of some voltage potential. But the fact is that now I can’t feel any electricity when touching the rails and plugging in more users (including 2 Marklin transformers) did not increase the potential significantly.

Results:

A standard Multi meter used with black lead connected to our hot water copper pipe in garage from the water heater. Setting 0-200V AC. The red lead used to test outer rails on tracks.

1 test: CS3 connected to layout
CS3 on – 116V
CS3 off – (but house socket still on) 30V
CS3 off – 0V

2 test: CS3 wired to some test tracks only (no connection to layout)
CS3 on – 170V
CS3 off – (but house socket still on) 170V
CS3 off – 0V

3 test: CS3 wired to some test tracks only (no connection to layout) but powered from a different house socket
CS3 on – 170V
CS3 off – (but house socket still on) 170V
CS3 off – 0V

Above test was also done with my old CS2 and gave identical results.

I then swop the wiring in the plug for the switch mode power pack so blue was the active phase and brown neutral.

4 test: CS3 wired to some test tracks only (no connection to layout)
CS3 on – 60V
CS3 off – (but house socket still on) 60V
CS3 off – 0V

5 test: CS3 connected to layout
CS3 on – 46V
CS3 off – (but house socket still on) 46V
CS3 off – 0V

I then added the other consumers as follows and the voltage potential increased slightly:
2 x 12V DC supplies = 48V
Other DC supplies (for computer accessories etc) = 53V
Marklin transformers for yellow bus = 56V

I am no expert at all on electronics, but I do found it strange that I still measure a voltage potential when the central station has been powered off and it’s only when the house socket is switched off it disappears? Also interesting that a 2 meter longer test track you get significantly higher potential than when the CS is wired to my layout.

I did get a nasty shock when accidental touching the rails when I measured up to 170 volt. You could argue that it’s my own fault my installing the plugs my self, however the results would have been the same if I had just used an adaptor plug? So I am still worried that something is not quite right with my power supply to CS? Surely you can’t sell and market products like this if there is risk of getting electrical shocks? On the other hand I don't know if it's something with our house and were we are situated and having a high neutral ground as Dale mentioned?

Appreciate some feedback?

Thanks!

Bgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline Purellum  
#9 Posted : 14 November 2017 10:01:57(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,168
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

I would find some metal outdoors, not connected to anything related to the house.

The best would be just an iron bar, hammered as far into the ground as possible.

Then I would measure if there is any potential between your copper pipe in the garage, and the iron bar in the garden.

Is your water heater electrical ?? If so, it could be the heater sending current into the pipes / the house, and if your ground connection to the heater isn't OK, and you don't have a RCD-relay, then it could give this result. Call an electrician.

Next thing I would try, is to connect a bulb between your outer rail connection and a "true ground" ( Your iron bar again. )

Measure the voltage before you connect the lamp, try a 24V lamp. If the lamp lights up, you have voltage and current, which is bad; but if the lamp makes the voltage drop to near zero, without the lamp light up, you "only" have voltage, which is not so bad.

Per.

Cool





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Offline mike c  
#10 Posted : 14 November 2017 19:06:59(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,378
Location: Montreal, QC
According to what I understand, you have both a CS2 and CS3. I am not too familiar with them, but I know that the CS2 and CS3 are is designed to work with a DC input of 19V.
The 60061 power pack is designed to emit an output of 19V 60W DC.

If there is AC voltage in the rails, it should also be present in the output of the power pack. Have you tested the positive lead from the 60061 to see if it is emitting any AC voltage?
Did you have a different power supply for the CS2. What happens if you use that instead of the 60061? Did either CS come with the smaller wallmount plug in power pack?
I don't think that a CS3 would be generating AC voltage in any way, shape, means or form.

As somebody suggested, the problem may actually be that your ground is live and that when you touched the track, this is what created the spark.

I have heard stories of pets and people getting shocks when walking because sections of grass or pavement are "live" due to wiring issues of adjacent street lamps or electrical masts.
This can happen more frequently if copper ground wires have been purloined from the installations/equipment.

Never having been in NZ, I do not know what the plugs look like. Are the electrical outlets 3 prong (red/black and ground) or only two prong (red/black)?

Do you know if the main input to your building is two or three (or more wires)? Is it possible that there is some wiring issue with the mains?
Is your line in two or three phase AC and does it have a ground to the network?

The next suggestion that I would have is to run an extension cord from an outlet on a different circuit in your home to the layout and to run the test again and see whether you still get the same issue.
I would also wonder whether the power supply that you are using for accessories could be supplying live AC to the rails of the layout. Have you measured the voltage and watts (AC) of the brown and yellow outputs on that power supply/transformer? I would also test the layout (transformers unplugged) to detect any possible bleed from the yellow and brown to the rails. I do not think that any suitable AC transformer would be putting out more than 18V AC in any case.

Regards

Mike C
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Offline Danlake  
#11 Posted : 14 November 2017 20:45:06(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Hi Per/Mike,

Thanks for replies. Will do some more testing today.

All the tests was done with all other accessories power supplies switch off.

I only have 1 power pack 60061 and first did test with CS3 and then CS2.

The NZ plugs are standard 3 pins with earth. However many European small power packs only comes with 2 pins, like 60061. That means you only have blue and brown wire so the green/yellow earth is not wired in. I got 3 phases wired to my house as I do have appliances like oven running on 440 volt.

My multimeter is not a true RMS meter and believe you can measure AC readings under normal circumstances, as the digital signal is some sort of rectified AC signal. In any case I defintly got some readings while doing my test. They may not be accurate but there is defintly something spooky happening.

For those electricians on forum. Set aside the model rail layout, if you suspect any issues with faulty earth wiring to ground is there any way I could do a test to verify I have some issues (e.g. my measuring 1 of the phases) before calling the electricians?

PS: I do live a bit rural and we suspect to frequent blackout. I be
I’ve the masts running along our dirt road is 11KV with transformers. Our cable is buried under ground from the road for about 50 meter. House is 10 year old so would expect installation to be pretty modern.

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
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Offline xxup  
#12 Posted : 14 November 2017 21:40:24(UTC)
xxup

Australia   
Joined: 15/03/2003(UTC)
Posts: 8,946
Location: Australia
If you suspect a house grounding problem, then you really should your electricity retailer to check it out.. There was an article about this in Silicon Chip a couple of years ago (August 2014 edition) entitled, "Your Home Plumbing Could Electrocute You!".. It's not volts that kill you it is the current flow. In the article there is a clamp meter around the metal water meter inlet pipe showing 5.39A.

It also mentions AS/NZS3017 Test Sets(see www.emona.com.au).
Adrian
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Offline Minok  
#13 Posted : 14 November 2017 23:00:43(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,049
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Neutral = blue, and Hot Phase = brown is also the EU ie German standard, so that is the correct way.

I'm suspecting, as others have mentioned, there is an error somewhere in the electrical mains wiring in your building. Maybe somewhere else the blue and brown got swapped, or the neutral blue isn't grounded a the electrical panel or some other weirdness. The CS only produces a power and signal relative to the neutral line it gets from the mains outlet it is plugged into. Thats all it can know about. But you are standing on the ground, and that incorporates a much larger electrical system which includes the houses wiring, electrical panel, grounding.


The DC power supply only needs 2 pins - blue (neural) and brown (live phase 1) because the boxes for the equipment has no exposed conductive surfaces, so there's no need for a grounding of the chassis of the power supply to the CS.

But the mains outlet has 3 (because for some equipment you need grounding (metal chassis) and to allow detecting an electrical risk to allow cutting power.

The hot line in the outlet has the phase of power on it (brown), which should return via the neutral (blue), and the ground (green or green/yellow) is a reference that also runs back to the power panel of the building.

It is not until the wiring reaches the power panel (where the fuses/circuit breakers sit) that the ground and neutral(blue) might come together., and the ground from the panels should be connected to the earth via a big rod driven deep into the ground.

If some part of the wiring is not wired correctly (say an outlet or light switch) or there is a short between wires in the wiring, then the relationships can be thrown off and that needs to be fixed.

Shutting off the breaker to the room should disconnect the hot phase from the outlet (the brown), but the neutral and ground should still run back to the breaker panel and be joined up there (at least thats how they do it in the USA).

In the US we have outlet testers that plug into the outlets an indicate by lights that the wiring is correct on the outlets (hot is hot, neutral is neutral, ground is ground) and also test ground-fault-interrupt features of those outlets that have such a feature. But if the problem is some electrical phases being applied to the copper pipes somewhere in the building, which then applies such a potential to the ground (as the pipes should be grounded, then the problem wont' be noticed with an outlet tester.
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/
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#14 Posted : 14 November 2017 23:02:06(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,720
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: mike c Go to Quoted Post
Never having been in NZ, I do not know what the plugs look like. Are the electrical outlets 3 prong (red/black and ground) or only two prong (red/black)?


UserPostedImage

http://www.energysafety....ent-and-appliances/plugs
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Offline Danlake  
#15 Posted : 14 November 2017 23:27:57(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Did some more test as suggested by Per.

I took a long crow bar and hammered down in the ground outside our house.

I get similar results whether connected to the cobber pipe in our house or the iron bar in the garden (around 60V AC). When measuring in DC mode I get around 5V.

I then tried to connect a 16V model light bulb in series. It would not light up. Afterwards I tested the bulb with a 9V battery and it did light up (so its working).

I also tested the plug from the 60061 - it's giving 19.2V DC. And just to confirm my multi meter is working I also tested a 9V battery.

Finally I tried connecting my CS3 to a complete different socket in our living room. I then get around 40V.

And as also have a fish tank with numerous German pumps and heaters fitted with NZ plugs etc. I also unplugged that from my house circuit to confirm that did not influence anything. It didn't.

I think it's time to get an electricians out, but can anyone help me formulate in a few lines what my potential problem may be and what I want them to check in our house (bare in mind our local electricians want have a clue about model layout and DCC current etc.?

Thanks a lot!

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline Purellum  
#16 Posted : 14 November 2017 23:30:07(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,168
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post
Maybe somewhere else the blue and brown got swapped, or the neutral blue isn't grounded a the electrical panel or some other weirdness. The CS only produces a power and signal relative to the neutral line it gets from the mains outlet it is plugged into.


This is not correct. The output of a transformer or a switch mode power supply should not have any potential related to the mains or ground.

This also means that the output of a CS should have no potential related to mains or ground.

But since the output of a CS is "floating" free, you sometimes can measure a voltage between the output and ground.

However, you shouldn't be able feel it, and you shouldn't be able to draw current.

It's like a static charge, annoying but harmless.

IF however, you can draw current, and as example make a small bulb light up, you have a problem, either in your house or your power supply.

Per.

Cool

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Offline Purellum  
#17 Posted : 14 November 2017 23:37:20(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,168
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: Danlake Go to Quoted Post
Did some more test as suggested by Per.

I took a long crow bar and hammered down in the ground outside our house.

I get similar results whether connected to the cobber pipe in our house or the iron bar in the garden (around 60V AC). When measuring in DC mode I get around 5V.

I then tried to connect a 16V model light bulb in series. It would not light up. Afterwards I tested the bulb with a 9V battery and it did light up (so its working).

I also tested the plug from the 60061 - it's giving 19.2V DC. And just to confirm my multi meter is working I also tested a 9V battery.

Finally I tried connecting my CS3 to a complete different socket in our living room. I then get around 40V.

And as also have a fish tank with numerous German pumps and heaters fitted with NZ plugs etc. I also unplugged that from my house circuit to confirm that did not influence anything. It didn't.

I think it's time to get an electricians out, but can anyone help me formulate in a few lines what my potential problem may be and what I want them to check in our house (bare in mind our local electricians want have a clue about model layout and DCC current etc.?

Thanks a lot!

Brgds Lasse


OK, this is good.

I'm quite sure the problem is in your power supply 60061, and not in your house, since you get the same results from a "true ground" as you get from the copper pipe. ( You could try to measure if there is any potential between those two; the MUST NOT be any. )

Please disconnect you CS from your 60061, and try to measure the output ( Both wires ) of the 60061 related to ground.

Per.

Cool

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Offline cookee_nz  
#18 Posted : 15 November 2017 00:04:39(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,103
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: mike c Go to Quoted Post
Never having been in NZ, I do not know what the plugs look like. Are the electrical outlets 3 prong (red/black and ground) or only two prong (red/black)?


http://www.energysafety....ent-and-appliances/plugs


Hi Lasse,

You mentioned in an earlier post that you were careful to wire the plug correctly according to the colours and this is definitely the correct thing to do.

This power pack reduces the voltage down to what the CS requires and the polarity is corrected within the Power Pack and CS combination.

So personally I think this unlikely to be the problem, but then I am at odds with Per on this and he may well be right. It would be weird for sure but there you have it.

BUT... you also mentioned a "Lighting Transformer" using a common ground.

1: Can you confirm that the ONLY two power sources for the entire layout are the 60061 and the Transformer? - what model is the Transformer? Blue or White plastic case (you should absolutely NOT be using any metal-case transformer in such a setup - some here argue not to use them at all, ever - but that's a different subject).

2: Assuming a plastic-case trafo, does it have an original molded plug on the cable or has it been replaced with one that can be unscrewed?

3: With nothing else changed, would you still get the shock (or measured high voltage) with the lighting trafo disconnected?

You should never be able to feel any electricity on a model railroad, and generally speaking, most people could not feel voltage below about 40v unless you had wet fingers or some other decreased resistance.

Having said that, I have had a zap a couple of times from a telephone wire but only when it's ringing - that is generally (and universally I think) around 48v and you can definitely feel that :-)

If you have a "phasing" issue, I would think it more likely to be that lighting circuit trafo, but don't take that as gospel because you have some other factors such as 3-phase wiring for example. Unlikely to be an issue, unless you have the 60061 and the lighting trafo connected to different wall outlets that 'happen' to be on separate phases but I'm going to assume you have both power units connect to the same outlet or a multi-strip.

The common-ground has its advantages, but I'm sure I've seen a previous posts over the years where the recommendation has been to eliminate any possibility of interference/crossover by not using a common ground and wire all lighting and accessories on a totally separate bus pair.

Of course with Turnouts if you have lighted lanterns and I think even some signals this can be a problem and leaves the only safe alternative to power everything from the single source which is ok if all lighting is LED and low power overhead but incandescent bulbs quickly add up. You might find a compromise by making all building & and street lighting separate and leave lanterns and signals powered off the CS?

Good luck with it and please do let us know the outcome. You may yet have to involve your sparky, you just want to make sure that he/(better say 'she' also) is able to think outside the square when taking the MR setup into account.

Steve
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline Purellum  
#19 Posted : 15 November 2017 00:15:37(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,168
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
generally speaking, most people could not feel voltage below about 40v unless you had wet fingers or some other decreased resistance.


One day during my apprenticeship as electrician, I got an electric shock and jumped a little.

My boss wouldn't believe I got a shock, since it was only 24V AC; but I really got a shock I could feel.

We then made a test, me holding two wires and my boss standing behind me, silently connecting the 2 wires to our 24V AC supply.

He even tried to trick me by flicking a switch, so that I could hear the sound of the switch; but no power was connected.

After that test he believed me; I could definitely feel 24V AC.

I've also seen the opposite, an older man with dry "workers" hands, he had to spit in his hands to feel the voltage from an electrical cow fence.

Per.

Cool

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Offline Danlake  
#20 Posted : 15 November 2017 00:18:30(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Hi Per,

Ok, I tested each pin on 60061 in relation to ground and it fluctuates up to around 0.5V.

Again when I test both pins I get 19.2V.

I also wired my multi meter i series with a wire connected from my iron bar in garden to cobber pipe in house. I get a potential difference of around 1.3 V.

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline Danlake  
#21 Posted : 15 November 2017 00:29:21(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: mike c Go to Quoted Post
Never having been in NZ, I do not know what the plugs look like. Are the electrical outlets 3 prong (red/black and ground) or only two prong (red/black)?


http://www.energysafety....ent-and-appliances/plugs


Hi Lasse,

You mentioned in an earlier post that you were careful to wire the plug correctly according to the colours and this is definitely the correct thing to do.

This power pack reduces the voltage down to what the CS requires and the polarity is corrected within the Power Pack and CS combination.

So personally I think this unlikely to be the problem, but then I am at odds with Per on this and he may well be right. It would be weird for sure but there you have it.

BUT... you also mentioned a "Lighting Transformer" using a common ground.

1: Can you confirm that the ONLY two power sources for the entire layout are the 60061 and the Transformer? - what model is the Transformer? Blue or White plastic case (you should absolutely NOT be using any metal-case transformer in such a setup - some here argue not to use them at all, ever - but that's a different subject).

2: Assuming a plastic-case trafo, does it have an original molded plug on the cable or has it been replaced with one that can be unscrewed?

3: With nothing else changed, would you still get the shock (or measured high voltage) with the lighting trafo disconnected?

You should never be able to feel any electricity on a model railroad, and generally speaking, most people could not feel voltage below about 40v unless you had wet fingers or some other decreased resistance.

Having said that, I have had a zap a couple of times from a telephone wire but only when it's ringing - that is generally (and universally I think) around 48v and you can definitely feel that :-)

If you have a "phasing" issue, I would think it more likely to be that lighting circuit trafo, but don't take that as gospel because you have some other factors such as 3-phase wiring for example. Unlikely to be an issue, unless you have the 60061 and the lighting trafo connected to different wall outlets that 'happen' to be on separate phases but I'm going to assume you have both power units connect to the same outlet or a multi-strip.

The common-ground has its advantages, but I'm sure I've seen a previous posts over the years where the recommendation has been to eliminate any possibility of interference/crossover by not using a common ground and wire all lighting and accessories on a totally separate bus pair.

Of course with Turnouts if you have lighted lanterns and I think even some signals this can be a problem and leaves the only safe alternative to power everything from the single source which is ok if all lighting is LED and low power overhead but incandescent bulbs quickly add up. You might find a compromise by making all building & and street lighting separate and leave lanterns and signals powered off the CS?

Good luck with it and please do let us know the outcome. You may yet have to involve your sparky, you just want to make sure that he/(better say 'she' also) is able to think outside the square when taking the MR setup into account.

Steve


Hi Steve,

Thanks for reply and guidance.

To answer your questions. I am using 2 x 6647 (white new type) transformers fitted with NZ plug (I confirmed wiring is as per NZ standard). Each transformer is powering a different yellow bus but both have common ground. It's mainly for Viesmann switching decoders and a few light signals. I don't have any lighted lanterns.

Anyhow i relation to this test I think it's not relevant as when I did the base line testing all accessorise power supplies was disconnected. I basically only had the 60061 plug in and even did test with just wired up to a 2m section of track (so not the layout). Before I swooped the wires in plug I measure a voltage potential of 170V... and I definitely got a good zap when I accidental touched one of the outer railsWoot I have before felt 230 V and it was up in that range of a nasty shock I got.

I am still confused on how a switch mode power pack confirmed to only give 19.2V DC can suddenly give 170V AC from an outer rail (compared to ground or earth) Blink even if it's faulty.

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline Purellum  
#22 Posted : 15 November 2017 00:35:14(UTC)
Purellum

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Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: Danlake Go to Quoted Post
Hi Per,

Ok, I tested each pin on 60061 in relation to ground and it fluctuates up to around 0.5V.

Again when I test both pins I get 19.2V.

I also wired my multi meter i series with a wire connected from my iron bar in garden to cobber pipe in house. I get a potential difference of around 1.3 V.

Brgds Lasse


Did you remember to measure both DC and AC from the 60061 in relation to ground ??

If you did, everything looks OK.

Per.

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Offline Purellum  
#23 Posted : 15 November 2017 00:39:11(UTC)
Purellum

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Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: Danlake Go to Quoted Post


I am still confused on how a switch mode power pack confirmed to only give 19.2V DC can suddenly give 170V AC from an outer rail (compared to ground or earth) Blink even if it's faulty.

Brgds Lasse


It's actually quite common: https://www.google.dk/se...ceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Per.

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Offline Minok  
#24 Posted : 15 November 2017 01:07:40(UTC)
Minok

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Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,049
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post


This is not correct. The output of a transformer or a switch mode power supply should not have any potential related to the mains or ground.


They are not electrically connected, but they do have a potential. Free floating doesn't mean no potential. There is a charge on everything My finger is free floating to my cat's ear, but if I wear wool socks and scootch on the floor a bit, I'd bet the cat would disagree that there was no potential.

But yeah, the DC output side isn't conductivity connected to a reference on the AC side of the transformer coils. But it the voltages stay within a limit because air-gaps do allow electron travel, as does the transformer core, etc.

Toys of tin and wood rule!
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Offline Danlake  
#25 Posted : 15 November 2017 02:07:38(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
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Posts: 1,448
I will try and bring my CS3 and power supply to my neighbours house tonight.

Can we then conclude that if I get different results (much less potential) it's our house wiring.

If I get identical result is must be the power supply and not the house wiring?

Curious to know if any of you guys measure any AC Voltage potential from an outer rail. Even with just a long wire laying on ground I measured around 30V?

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline Danlake  
#26 Posted : 15 November 2017 05:47:06(UTC)
Danlake

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Posts: 1,448
Gents,

Went to Dereck’s shop in town this afternoon (he is also on this forum and owns a very nice tile shop).

Bought along my CS3, power supply and crow bar and setup as I did at home.

Measuring in his place I got exact same reading as at home.

So I will send back the power supply to dealer and think it’s also worth while to drop Marklin an email about the issue.

Again - thanks for all the help. What a great forum being able to pull all this expertise from various trades etc.

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
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Offline Purellum  
#27 Posted : 15 November 2017 13:18:14(UTC)
Purellum

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Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post


They are not electrically connected, but they do have a potential. Free floating doesn't mean no potential. There is a charge on everything My finger is free floating to my cat's ear, but if I wear wool socks and scootch on the floor a bit, I'd bet the cat would disagree that there was no potential.

But yeah, the DC output side isn't conductivity connected to a reference on the AC side of the transformer coils. But it the voltages stay within a limit because air-gaps do allow electron travel, as does the transformer core, etc.



Yes, this is correct; but it doesn't make your first statement correct:

"Maybe somewhere else the blue and brown got swapped, or the neutral blue isn't grounded a the electrical panel or some other weirdness. The CS only produces a power and signal relative to the neutral line it gets from the mains outlet it is plugged into."

It doesn't matter if blue and brown are swapped. If this was the case, 50% of all power supplies delivered by Märklin, and still having the original plug, would be connected wrong, since there's no way to tell which way is correct.

And if the CS produces a power and signal relative to the neutral line it gets from the mains outlet it is plugged into, it would mean that 50% of all layouts would have 230 plus / minus 19 Volts on the tracks.

Per.

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Offline mike c  
#28 Posted : 16 November 2017 00:08:06(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
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Location: Montreal, QC
Originally Posted by: Danlake Go to Quoted Post
Gents,

Went to Dereck’s shop in town this afternoon (he is also on this forum and owns a very nice tile shop).

Bought along my CS3, power supply and crow bar and setup as I did at home.

Measuring in his place I got exact same reading as at home.

So I will send back the power supply to dealer and think it’s also worth while to drop Marklin an email about the issue.

Again - thanks for all the help. What a great forum being able to pull all this expertise from various trades etc.

Brgds Lasse


I don't understand how you don't get the same result when testing the power supply directly.
Have you tried either your CS2 or CS3 with another power supply?
If the power supply was generating such a voltage, it should be detectable when testing the output leads and the ground and not just through the CS.
Have you tried using a power bar with surge protection and voltage filter? That is also something that I would try.
I would also unpower the power supply and disconnect all other transformers and test the centre rail and rails with the prongs on the plugs to test for resistance (impedance) to see if somehow there is bleeding to one of the leads.
In any case, I would be concerned about the potential that in a derailment, or other accident, the rail and the centre studs could short, resulting in an AC surge into your decoders and CS that may be detrimental to prolonged operation.

Regards

Mike C
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Offline Danlake  
#29 Posted : 16 November 2017 06:00:04(UTC)
Danlake

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Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Hi Mike,

I don’t know either.

I don’t have any other power supplies.

The test were done with stand alone CS3, power supply and 2 meter section of C track. Same result at home or in Derecks shop.

Even if my results are not accurate the fact remains that with the same multi meter before I swop the wires in the plug I measured 170 V potential and defintly got an electrical shock and could feel the electricity in the outer rail. Once I swop the wires the potential went down to around 60 volt.

So that means something is defintly wrong with the power supply because as Per said the power supply would not have been designed that it had to be plugged in one way only.

I also did test with my old CS2 and that was identical so pretty sure it’s not the new CS3.

But I will send power supply back to Germany and hopefully they will investigate.

Ps: it would be good if someone else could do a similiar test. Black lead from multi meter connected to a ground in house and red lead on one of the outer rails. Use setting AC 0-200V. Any potential? Even with just wire laying on my garage concrete floor (and not connected to any ground) I measured around 30 volts.

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline ixldoc  
#30 Posted : 16 November 2017 10:36:36(UTC)
ixldoc

Australia   
Joined: 18/11/2015(UTC)
Posts: 204
Location: Brisbane,Australia
Hi Lasse,
I am not a sparky but it seems the switch mode power supply is faulty. They will often fail after a surge in the power line either following a blackout or with nearby lightning.I agree with Per .
This is a "double insulated" type without earth connection. It has a flyback high frequency transformer ( ferrite ring with primary and secondary windings) and these produce unwanted voltages that can " bleed" to the output.
Special capacitors are used to minimise this but if they break down some of the mains voltage can appear at the output. If the input plug is earthed this will usually throw the residual current interrupter on your main power board.
If the unit is not earthed, this voltage can appear superimposed on the outlet plug. I think this is the issue inside your unit or just perhaps a faulty board is allowing some bleed from the mains (about 50% often.)

Another power supply is the way to go.
Just my thoughts.
Regards,
Howard.
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Offline Minok  
#31 Posted : 16 November 2017 21:28:10(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,049
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Yeah, I can attest to the modern DC power supplies being an Achilles heal. I've had 2 fail (safely) in the past year just due to who knows.
One (on an Amazon Echo) just stopped working. As we occasionally have AC power interrupts from wind storms knocking limbs onto transmission lines miles away, I'm expecting that might have driven it.

However, a similar power outage this past Monday night that lasted 6 hrs may have caused the DC supply to my wifi router to fail, though I'm not sure why - other than it was old age, and the caps inside gave up the ghost because the entire house now sits behind a big surge suppressor, and that router power supply was plugged into a surge suppressing power distribution board, that was plugged into an Uninterruptible Power Supply. So if anything other than age, it could be the more square-wave-like AC generated from the UPS did it in (as its not a power conditioning system).
Toys of tin and wood rule!
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Offline Danlake  
#32 Posted : 17 November 2017 08:35:09(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Hi all,

I mange to locate an old plug from my previous power supply and could then try a test with my 0-20V regulated DC power supply.

I of course tested with my multi meter to make sure I had wired correctly and that output was around 19.2V.

I also wanted some sort of evidence that the power supply is faulty before sending off and most likely it will just end up an a shelf somewhere in Marklin.

Below test done with stand alone CS3 a section of C track. Black lead is connected to a actual ground in house (cobber pipe).

CS3 powered with a separate regulated power supply. Result 13V potential from either outer rail.

UserPostedImage

CS3 powered with 60061 and wires in 220V plug swapped (blue wire live). Result 64V.

UserPostedImage

CS3 powered with 60061 and wires in 220V plug as per NZ/AU standard (brown wire live). Result 175V !

UserPostedImage

And finally after switching the CS3 off you still have dangerous high voltage potential (only when switching off the main socket it drops to zero).

UserPostedImage

So I think this the final proof that the Marklin power supply is faulty. I thought the whole point of switch mode power packs was to make the more safe. I just realised that for the last couple of months I haven been playing with my trains sets while having 170V potential on outer rails and at the same time having numerous kids in my train room playing with the trainsCrying

In the future I will do this test regular on my layout to check and voltage potential from the outer rail, because the only way you will notice is when you get an electrical shock...

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
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Offline H0  
#33 Posted : 17 November 2017 08:58:34(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,505
Location: DE-NW
Hi!
Originally Posted by: Danlake Go to Quoted Post
I thought the whole point of switch mode power packs was to make the more safe.
Transformers are not compatible with EU requirements on efficiency. Safety wasn't a point.
Since Märklin transformers and Märklin power supplies both come with the toy safety symbol, I would expect them both to be equally safe - or at least sufficiently safe.

Märklin buy the power supplies from their German subcontractor who imports them from a Chinese subcontractor. I don't know where the safety checks are made.
Regards
Tom
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Offline dominator  
#34 Posted : 17 November 2017 09:53:59(UTC)
dominator

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Location: Kerikeri
What safety checks. Look what the pricks puts into the baby food that the nz company Fontera ran in C...a.
Dereck
Northland. NZ REMEMBER 0228 for ä
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Offline Purellum  
#35 Posted : 17 November 2017 10:39:41(UTC)
Purellum

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Posts: 3,168
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

I have no doubts that your 60061 is faulty; but I still don't understand why you can't measure the fault on the 60061 without the CS connected.

Could it be ( just a theory ) that you need something using a little power from the 60061 before the fault occurs ??

Can you make a test with the 60061 connected to a small light bulb and nothing else??

Also, measure the 60061 when you have the CS connected.

This is just curiosity. BigGrin

Per.

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Offline kiwiAlan  
#36 Posted : 17 November 2017 22:47:52(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
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Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Hi!
Originally Posted by: Danlake Go to Quoted Post
I thought the whole point of switch mode power packs was to make the more safe.
Transformers are not compatible with EU requirements on efficiency. Safety wasn't a point.
Since Märklin transformers and Märklin power supplies both come with the toy safety symbol, I would expect them both to be equally safe - or at least sufficiently safe.

Märklin buy the power supplies from their German subcontractor who imports them from a Chinese subcontractor. I don't know where the safety checks are made.


The German importer is responsible for making sure the power supply is compliant with EU regulations and directives. When Marklin incorporate it into their packaging they are then responsible for ongoing conformance.

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Offline kiwiAlan  
#37 Posted : 17 November 2017 22:59:22(UTC)
kiwiAlan

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Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post
Cool

I have no doubts that your 60061 is faulty; but I still don't understand why you can't measure the fault on the 60061 without the CS connected.

Could it be ( just a theory ) that you need something using a little power from the 60061 before the fault occurs ??

Can you make a test with the 60061 connected to a small light bulb and nothing else??

Also, measure the 60061 when you have the CS connected.

This is just curiosity. BigGrin

Per.

Cool


I have doubts the 60061 is faulty, as at all times the load represented by the meter is a significantly high impedance. A voltage will appear across the voltmeter due to capacitive coupling in the transformer contained in the power supply.

I remember an incident that my father encountered with some friends of ours. One of the friends was laid up in bed and had the electric blanket turned on. It was discovered that when our friends brushed their hands against each other they get an electric shock type tingle at the point of contact. If the firmly gripped each other nothing could be felt. The brushed contact creates a point where all the current flow flows through a point of minimal contact. The person lying in the bed had good capacitive coupling to the element of the electric blanket. The other person had reasonable capacitive coupling to the ground through their feet. The point where they brushed against each other became the point at which the current intensity was highest and so they felt it. If they gripped each other the current density was so low they didn't feel it.

I think the OP is getting a similar sensation for the same reason.
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Offline Purellum  
#38 Posted : 17 November 2017 23:10:07(UTC)
Purellum

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Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post


I have doubts the 60061 is faulty, as at all times the load represented by the meter is a significantly high impedance.


This could be correct; but then what gave Lasse the electric shock ??

My point is basically that the CS doesn't and can't make 19 volts into 175 volts, so the fault must be somewhere else.

Per.

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Offline Danlake  
#39 Posted : 18 November 2017 02:21:00(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
It’s very hard to do test measurements from the pins on the plug as you need some tiny clips which I don’t have.

My results are pretty clear and I not only got an electrical shock but could at times constantly feel the electricity (see post 1).

I appreciate all the feedback but it would also be nice if someone else with a CS3 would do a similiar measurement and take the voltage potential from an outer rail to a fixed ground point in house?

Then at least we would know what is the normal baseline?

Could also be a combination of my CS3 and the power supply, but I did get similiar results with my old CS2?

Anyway I have send an email with a detailed report to Marklin service and let you know any feedback I get.

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline H0  
#40 Posted : 18 November 2017 07:38:36(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,505
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
The German importer is responsible for making sure the power supply is compliant with EU regulations and directives. When Marklin incorporate it into their packaging they are then responsible for ongoing conformance.
Some company imports these items into the EU with a EC sign - and that company is responsible for compliance with EU safety regulations.
Märklin buy them from a German company, so AIUI they (Märklin) are not responsible for EU compliance - except that they have to maintain their reputation.

Someone speculated that a short pulse of high voltage might have damaged the unit inside, leading to unexpected results.
OTOH this is not the first thread dealing with unexpected voltage on the outer rails.
Regards
Tom
---
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Offline Minok  
#41 Posted : 18 November 2017 20:51:35(UTC)
Minok

United States   
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Posts: 2,049
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
I expect Märklin would be responsible for the products safety as the final product manufacturer, being responsible for all of the parts that go into their products from a liability standpoint.

In case of an incident Märklin could certeainly go after its suppliers if no compliant parts (e.g. Forged CE cert) were delivered but that doesn't absolve then as the product "manufacturer". However this would really require lawyers and a court to decide; is expect there is case law on the books if the German law works anything similar to US law.
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Offline ShannonN  
#42 Posted : 19 November 2017 17:32:09(UTC)
ShannonN

Australia   
Joined: 14/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 443
Location: Maryborough, Qld
If you suspect the Marklin PSU is faulty, why not borrow another Marklin PSU of the same type and use that, if you still get a shock or weird voltage results then its your house wiring or (non Marklin equipment) if not its your original PSU.

Seems you are spending hrs fault finding a number of possibilities when changing PSUs may be the quicker fault finding answer?

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Offline Danlake  
#43 Posted : 19 November 2017 19:48:28(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Because I am about to head overseas on my work and don’t want to leave my family behind with potential unsafe house wiring.

Also nearest Marklin dealer is on the South Island and it takes at least 7 day’s to reach us with postal freight.

And I already did a test with another PSU and it did not give any high voltage from outer rails.

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
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Offline Danlake  
#44 Posted : 29 December 2017 07:23:48(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Hi guys,

First off Happy New Year to everyoneBigGrin

Back in the country again and my new Marklin power supply 60061 arrived. I had ordered 2 new to have one in spare.

The old one has been sent back to Marklin in Germany for testing.

Unfortunately I am back to square one... New power supplies gives similar readingConfused

This time I did test running straight from the power supply (i.e. CS2/3 not connected). See below result:


With multi meter set at 0-200V AC I measure 175V. The black lead is connected to a hot water pipe which is buried in our house foundation. Again if I touch the rails I get nasty shocks (so it is not the multi meter showing wrong reading as there is definitely electricity to be felt:
UserPostedImage


The output of Marklin 60061 is as expected around 19V DC as can be seen on this photo:
UserPostedImage


Next test was done with my 230V transformer that regulates to 0-20VDC. Only 9V potential now and nothing to be felt when touching the rails:
UserPostedImage


When testing the actual DC output is shows around 19VDC:
UserPostedImage


I also did above test by testing straight from the plug/lead (i.e. not connected to any C tracks). Same results.

Initially I thought maybe there is something dodgy with new Marklin switchmode power packs (all of mine was produced in 2017), because I can't get any similar result when using my other non Marklin DC power supply.

However to rule out any possibilities and still a bit worried if it's our house wiring, I did some test with 2 different laptop power supplies (output 20VDC). Surprise these also give around 100V potential...

So maybe after all there is something wrong with our house wiring or the cables running to our house? And for some reason I can only detect it when a switch mode power pack is connected? I have read somewhere that if the return (neutral path) to the nearby transformer is weak or broken you can get issues with dangerous voltages? We are living rural and all lines are 11KV with local transformers at regular interval.

So I will now contact an electrician to come and do some testing to rule out any issues. If they can't fix it and find the root cause I am not sure how to run my trainsCrying

But I would appreciate any feedback/advise from forum.

Thanks & Brgds
Lasse

Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline mike c  
#45 Posted : 29 December 2017 18:28:28(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,378
Location: Montreal, QC
When plugging your 60061 into your mains, did you use an adapter plug or did the unit come with the proper AUS/NZ wire?
Did you modify the connections? For purposes of this test, you should leave the original connector on the wire and use an adapter (tested).

Any modification would void any warranty and complicate any claim with the manufacturer.

Do you have a power conditioner/surge protector on the circuit that you are using for your layout?
I would possibly recommend that you consider such an investment.
I have a unit that is designed for use with professional audio equipment that I can use with my trains.

Do you have something similar to this that you can use to test your wires/sockets?
https://www.earthingoz.c...hing-power-outlet-tester
https://www.clipsal.com/...park-e-mate#.WkZ5fyiw6QI

From what I know (NA/EUR), the Maerklin power supply only has the live and neutral plug and is not equipped with a ground wire.
As you know, AC is delivered domestically as 2 phase, but the utility lines are often 3 phase.
It is possible that somehow, your wires are conducting the third phase as well, and this is what is causing this result.
I think that your standalone power supply probably has a conditioner and is blocking this, but when you use the Maerklin supply or the laptop supply, this is bleeding through.

You should ask an electrician to check your wiring to ensure that there is no problem on your side of the mains connection (mast). If it is determined that the problem is on the other side, you should then contact your electric utility.

Regards

Mike C

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Offline Danlake  
#46 Posted : 29 December 2017 19:24:49(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Thanks Mike,

On the new Marklin power supplies I did not fit any plugs myself.

One was bought locally and already came with fitted NZ plug and the other from Germany had the EU plug in which I use an adapter.

The interesting part is that if I rotate the EU plug the voltage potential drops 2/3 from around 170 to 60 V, which also lets me believe there is something going on with our 3 phase wiring.

Thanks for links.

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline DaleSchultz  
#47 Posted : 29 December 2017 19:39:46(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,098
what do you measure between the ground pin of a mains outlet, and the water pipe?

I would expect that to be close to zero.

The whole area where I live has a high neutral, I get about 19 Volts AC (60Hz) between the electrical utility 'ground' and true ground at my house, despite that fact that every utility pole and every house connects their neutral to the large copper ground rod. The utility company is unable to find the source of the voltage because all their ground network is connected together. It suggests to me that a massive amount of current is being taken to ground. Some large industry is losing a lot of power.

How does the AC power come to the house in NZ? Is is 240 V from the pole? (vs. 380, or something else, which is then split at the distribution box) If the distribution box splits a higher voltage down to 240/220 see if other outlets in the house produces different results.



Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
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Offline xxup  
#48 Posted : 29 December 2017 23:34:51(UTC)
xxup

Australia   
Joined: 15/03/2003(UTC)
Posts: 8,946
Location: Australia
There seems to be many articles about this on the Internet (or at least by my reading).. Here is one example -> https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/281832/high-neutral-to-ground-voltage-of-switching-mode-power-supplies

This might also be a clue? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floating_ground

Perhaps this is a challenge for the Electronics Engineers on the forum?
Adrian
UserPostedImage
Australia flag by abFlags.com
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Offline Danlake  
#49 Posted : 30 December 2017 02:37:50(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,448
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
what do you measure between the ground pin of a mains outlet, and the water pipe?

I would expect that to be close to zero.



Hi Dale,

Here is some measurements from the wall socket I used for testing:

Live and neutral = 240 V
Live and ground = 240 V
Neutral and ground = 0 V

And finally 0 V between ground and water pipe.

Above looks normal no?

Brgds Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
Offline Minok  
#50 Posted : 30 December 2017 05:36:59(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,049
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
We have rules out the plug adapter as a source of the issue right?
Toys of tin and wood rule!
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My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
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