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Offline ArmchairArchitect  
#1 Posted : 09 December 2018 20:48:39(UTC)
ArmchairArchitect

United States   
Joined: 09/12/2018(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Hi all- I know almost nothing about HO train sets except the very simple one I had as a kid.

Inherited this train set and would love to set it up near the Christmas tree for the family. I looked through the PDF "Connecting_Electric_Railways.pdf" but it was still difficult to understand what wires go exactly where.

I've attached some pictures- can any gracious soul tell me exactly step-by-step on how to wire/connect this thing up?

Thanks so much in advance, and if I get the hang of this I'd like to get more into the hobby/expand the set and scenery!

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Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#2 Posted : 09 December 2018 23:50:38(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,078
Location: CA, USA
Hi- lets start simple. Some notes:

- All you need is the blue transformer, and two wires to the track: one to the red socket and one to the brown socket. None of those other boxes/controllers are necessary
- it is hard to tell from the zoom in your image, but it looks like the yellow wire is soldered to the underside of the track bed. If so, then this connects to the brown terminal. (ignore wiring color here) If it is actually soldered to those silver tongues, then it goes to the red terminal.
- You need to solder a second wire regardless. Either to the tongue of the general underside, depending what the existing wire is attached to. (you need the opposite)
- Connect that second wire to the transformer (those screw plugs of various colors are your friend here) , and you are ready to run trains!

Now, place the locomotive on the track, and with luck it will run, or at least make obvious signs that it is trying to. Let us know how it goes and we can help further from there..
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
Offline Jabez  
#3 Posted : 10 December 2018 00:52:16(UTC)
Jabez

Belgium   
Joined: 30/08/2016(UTC)
Posts: 636
Location: Brussels
I'd just add this to 5Horizons' advice above. The blue transformer in your picture looks like one of the old metal case type which are now considered unsafe due to possible internal insulation deterioration. To be on the safe side I strongly advise you to buy the current Maerklin 120 volt transformer model no. 6646 which will cost you around 125 bucks in the States.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow. Hank Williams
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Offline cookee_nz  
#4 Posted : 10 December 2018 02:16:40(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,626
Location: Paremata, Wellington
The third image (Fig C) down showing the two joined curves with the yellow wire, I think that if you separate those two curves, you might find that the yellow wire is actually simply pushed between the two silver 'tongues' of the center rail and will come out.

The center rail is normally a Red wire, and the outer rails which are joined to the metal track-bed should be a Brown wire. Here's a original feeder track showing this... the wire colours match the connectors on the controller, which as noted, is quite old. Using plugs of the same colour from the small tin keeps it all simple.

The controller markings are...

'O' (Brown) = Ground / Earth if you like, (is also easy to remember as "Outer" (Rails)
'B' (Red) = "Bahn" (loosely German for railway current) - A real easy way to remember this is being the output controlled by the RED knob.
'L' (Yellow) = Lights (Licht) - this is a constant voltage output, no control.

Novices often mistakenly think 'B' = Brown but how or why they then equate O to red is anyone's guess.

M-track-feed.jpg

Second image (Fig. B), that controller is normally for a Slotcar, although it 'could' be used with the train I would disregard it for now and just concentrate on getting an oval of track working well, then you have a basis to build from.
Figure D is a control panel for connected accessories - leave aside for now
Figure E is a signal, ie a traffic light for trains basically - leave aside
Figure F is assorted items, and what's shown indicates there must be a bit more not shown.

For example, the buffer stop would be at the end of a siding, and for a siding you need turnouts (switch / points), so I'd expect to see at least one of those.

It's all relatively simple, start with the basics and it should start to make sense. This all assumes that the Loco itself works, no missing parts like the pickup shoe underneath.

So at the very least you need a few sections of track joined together, wires to the controller, and confirm if the Loco actually runs. I'm just trying to get you up and running with what you have to confirm you have something worthwhile before spending too much money only to find other problems.

A final note re the Blue controller, jabez is correct that it's one of the older types, however it's not one that is usually found to have perished wiring. It looks very much like a PVC mains cord rather than rubber but if in any doubt, have a sparky or appliance service-person look it over.

Cheers
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
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Offline mike c  
#5 Posted : 10 December 2018 02:43:33(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 7,144
Location: Montreal, QC
Simple Setup:

Put together your layout (circle or oval)
Connect track wires to the matching (brown and red) terminals on the back of the transformer. You can find track 5111 on eBay or maybe at select dealers.
Plug in transformer
Turn knob clockwise to increase speed.
Turn knob counterclockwise past 0 to reverse direction (do not hold in that position)

My recommendation for safety would be to replace that transformer with a current one (6646) available at AJCKids.com and other US dealers. It may be cheaper to obtain one taken from a Start Set rather than the actual boxed item.

If you have a spare day, you can take a trip to Modellbahn Ott in Boyertown, Euro Model Trains in Union Beach, NJ
You can check marklin.com (dealer locator) to see if there are other dealers in your area.
I have family in the area, so I am pretty familiar with what can be found.

You will need 6 matching curved sections and an even number of straight tracks to complete an oval.

The other alternative would be a Start Set like this: http://www.ajckids.com/products/Marklin/29166

Regards

Mike C
Offline ArmchairArchitect  
#6 Posted : 13 December 2018 23:31:48(UTC)
ArmchairArchitect

United States   
Joined: 09/12/2018(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Thanks so much guys, this seems fairly straightforward now with all your help! Will try to give it a shot this weekend and update you all once I have. Thanks again!
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#7 Posted : 13 December 2018 23:49:36(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 17,825
Location: New Zealand
The signal that you show in Figure E can be used to stop trains thereby controlling their movement. Best that I post a copy of the Marklin Signal Manual which will explain better how to make it work, and the various connections better than I can do in a single post.

Marklin 0340 Signal Manual.pdf (1,564kb) downloaded 28 time(s).
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Offline river6109  
#8 Posted : 14 December 2018 01:00:16(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,570
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Originally Posted by: ArmchairArchitect Go to Quoted Post
Thanks so much guys, this seems fairly straightforward now with all your help! Will try to give it a shot this weekend and update you all once I have. Thanks again!


If I were you I would seriously consider taking Jabez advice

John

https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#9 Posted : 14 December 2018 01:16:47(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 17,825
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
If I were you I would seriously consider taking Jabez advice


It is not absolutely necessary to buy a new transformer, but at the very least you should have the old blue one checked and certified by a registered electrician.

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Offline artfull dodger  
#10 Posted : 16 December 2018 05:08:46(UTC)
artfull dodger

United States   
Joined: 31/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 419
Location: Indiana, Kokomo
I also agree with either having the old blue transformer check over by a Marklin train repair shop, or just replace it to get by for this Christmas and have the original one checked over when time permits. Most repair shops are a bit swamped with work this time of year and if the blue one needs rewired, it might be a bit of a wait to get it done. M track can be found on ebay, here via a wanted ad in the "wanted" section, or even sometimes at Marklin stocking shops. I know as of a couple years ago, Ormandy's in Medina Ohio had a good selection of M track in stock. Mike the Aspie
Silly NT's..I have Asperger's Syndrome!!!!
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Offline Armadillo_Tanker  
#11 Posted : 17 December 2018 00:45:33(UTC)
Armadillo_Tanker

United States   
Joined: 17/12/2018(UTC)
Posts: 16
Location: United States
I'm not sure if this is true, as I have a metal case blue transformer that works fine. Somewhat concerning to hear, as I'm relatively new to Marklin as well. But please correct me if I'm wrong.
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#12 Posted : 17 December 2018 01:27:11(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 17,825
Location: New Zealand
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Offline Armadillo_Tanker  
#13 Posted : 18 December 2018 03:22:22(UTC)
Armadillo_Tanker

United States   
Joined: 17/12/2018(UTC)
Posts: 16
Location: United States
Thanks. My transformer doesn't look like those ones, but I'll give it a check anyways. Maybe this is why my Marklin Super isn't working...
Offline Armadillo_Tanker  
#14 Posted : 20 December 2018 02:48:44(UTC)
Armadillo_Tanker

United States   
Joined: 17/12/2018(UTC)
Posts: 16
Location: United States
IMG-0511.JPGIMG-0510.JPGIMG-0509 (1).JPGIMG-0512.JPG

Here is my transformer
Offline artfull dodger  
#15 Posted : 20 December 2018 03:12:28(UTC)
artfull dodger

United States   
Joined: 31/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 419
Location: Indiana, Kokomo
It looks like your transformer has been rebuilt from the looks of that newer power cord. Most of the issues are the same that affects older Lionel and American Flyer transformers. Back then, the rubber was not vulcanized like later cords are and these days are not even rubber but some other material. The older insulation dry rot and falls off the wire, creating a shock hazard thru the metal case and a short circuit/fire danger. Once the vintage cord and any internal wires are replaced with new, your fine. Of coarse here in the USA, the 110vac shock is not as bad as a 230vac shock in Europe. But still, any older transformer should be inspected by a qualified shop before being put back in use. I always plug my transformers into a plug strip that has its own circuit breaker and surge protector. Mike the Aspie
Silly NT's..I have Asperger's Syndrome!!!!
Offline RMCraig  
#16 Posted : 20 December 2018 03:37:37(UTC)
RMCraig

United States   
Joined: 15/12/2018(UTC)
Posts: 7
I am in exactly the same position as Armchair Architect. Except I am using a new 6646 Transformer. My trains on the oval I’ve started on are getting power, but not enough to get around the track. This track has been in a trunk for 20 year. Is there some maintenance to do on the track. I have a number of questions and am just learning to use the forum. More questions to come.
Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#17 Posted : 20 December 2018 15:17:56(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,078
Location: CA, USA
Originally Posted by: RMCraig Go to Quoted Post
I am in exactly the same position as Armchair Architect. Except I am using a new 6646 Transformer. My trains on the oval I’ve started on are getting power, but not enough to get around the track. This track has been in a trunk for 20 year. Is there some maintenance to do on the track. I have a number of questions and am just learning to use the forum. More questions to come.


Should be an easy fix across two solutions: clean track/contacts, and if you have a larger loop or power demand you should add in more feeder wires
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
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