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Offline Richard from Chicago  
#1 Posted : 21 January 2019 04:32:18(UTC)
Richard from Chicago

United States   
Joined: 21/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Hello Everyone,

I have been an armchair Marklin HO railroader for the last twenty 35 years. I put away my M-track train set when I
turned 16 and never really had the space to set-up again until now. I recently purchased two large digital C-track starter
sets and extra C-track and am running digital locomotives and controlling them with two 60657 Mobile Stations from the
starter sets. Wow - has technology advanced from the 1980's !!!

I would be very grateful if the community would give me some tips on how they power LED lighting like the Brawa 94700
model house LED (req.10-16V), or the Viessmann 6046 model house LED (req.10-16V), or even to power the Marklin 74470 Turnout
Lantern with requires 16V AC/DC max. I believe the digital track voltage in 19V (not sure AC or DC).

I have been busy building some Kibri, Vollmer, and Faller kits and want to illuminate them.

I tried powering LED's from the track and they flickered terribly, not to mention would probably burn out quickly. I may be missing something
but none of my new digital equipment has Yellow and Brown Accessory terminals like the old days. Short of buying old Marklin blue transformers
on eBay, what does everyone do?

Thanks in advance,
Rich
Offline river6109  
#2 Posted : 21 January 2019 05:30:47(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,407
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Rich, welcome to the forum, all Led's are powered by DC and when you add AC they flicker, so all you need is a rectifier and you most probably aware of it all Led's need a resistor., the resistor value for each Led should be around 1000ohm

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline Drongo  
#3 Posted : 21 January 2019 11:10:44(UTC)
Drongo

Australia   
Joined: 03/06/2008(UTC)
Posts: 997
Location: Sydney, NSW
Welcome to the Forum Rich.

Another way to power LED lights, and it's the way I do it, is to use a power pack that outputs 12v DC. You'll probably have some old power packs from previous cell phones and check if they output 12v DC. I buy my LED strips of lights on eBay from China for around $5 to $6. Don't get the waterproof ones as they are difficult to connect wires to them.
Take it easy . . . . or any other way you can get it !!!!
Website - www.simplesite.com/gregstrain
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Offline applor  
#4 Posted : 21 January 2019 12:25:58(UTC)
applor

Australia   
Joined: 21/05/2004(UTC)
Posts: 1,333
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
240W 12v DC power supply from ebay. $25 or so.

You want to power the turnouts lanterns with AC though, since they have 2 LED's in opposite polarity so if you use DC you only get half the brightness.
modelling 1954 Germany (era IIIa)
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Offline kiwiAlan  
#5 Posted : 21 January 2019 15:03:56(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 4,256
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
Rich, welcome to the forum, all Led's are powered by DC and when you add AC they flicker, so all you need is a rectifier and you most probably aware of it all Led's need a resistor., the resistor value for each Led should be around 1000ohm

John


The leds he lists are stated to be 16V so will already have a suitable resistor. I believe it is appropriate to just connect these across the yellow and brown connections of a marklin transformer. There will already e protection in them for AC supply.

Offline DaleSchultz  
#6 Posted : 21 January 2019 15:29:49(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,929
If you have an old PC lying about it will contain a very nice DC power supply.

Here is an example of using such a a DC power supply:

https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2007/02/dc-power-supply.html

Once you have your DC power, this is how to connect up your LEDs:

https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2017/04/led-lighting-circuits.html
Dale
Arrival and Departure signs: http://remotesign.mixmox.com
My first layout: http://layout.mixmox.com
My current layout (under construction): http://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by DaleSchultz
Offline Richard from Chicago  
#7 Posted : 22 January 2019 06:09:26(UTC)
Richard from Chicago

United States   
Joined: 21/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Guys,

I understand now that Marklin's Digital transformers only provide track power for locomotives, turnout motors,
and signals. They do not function like the old blue transformers with separate accessory
outputs. So the two choices to power LED's without flickering are (1) Direct DC power, or (2) AC power that has
been "rectified" so that it is DC.

The Brawa 94700 model house LED's (req.10-16V) and the Viessmann 6046 model house LED's (req.10-16V) do
have resistors attached to the LED's and yellow and brown wires.

Thank you everyone for the really helpful information.

- Rich
Offline clapcott  
#8 Posted : 22 January 2019 07:50:14(UTC)
clapcott

New Zealand   
Joined: 12/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,204
Location: Wellington, New_Zealand
Originally Posted by: Richard from Chicago Go to Quoted Post
I understand now that Marklin's Digital transformers only provide track power for locomotives, turnout motors,
and signals. They do not function like the old blue transformers with separate accessory outputs.
If I may challenge this.

The current Marklin Power supplies are not "digital" !!! , and while they may provide power to a controller (CSx or MSx - who then encode a digital signal to the track/accessories) , they may just as well provide power for lighting.

It is desirable (best practice) not to use the same power supply for both a controller and lighting, but it is absolutely possible.
Quote:
So the two choices to power LED's without flickering are (1) Direct DC power, or (2) AC power that has been "rectified" so that it is DC.
Again some cross-communication is creeping in.

The flickering you originally reported was from the track output (which is digigal) and was NOT due to the high frequency used for of the digital signal itself, but due to the slower variable "packets of data" and the spaces between the packets as well as the different behaviours - e.g. mFX decoder responding to a configuration command - which resulted in different amounts of power at a frequency that the eye can detect.

(As an unrelated comment I find this behavior extremely helpful as it can provide an indication when an mfx detection is occurring )

Connecting a LED to AC (e.g. a good old Blue transformer) would result in a stable 50/60 Hz output that is almost imperceptible to the human eye.
However I would recommend introducing full-wave (bridge) rectification to produce 100/120 Hz. At this frequency you may not even need any smoothing as the eye will not detect it (Read up on the persistence of the human eye)

Todays diodes are quite capable of tolerating a reverse voltage - as long as you have the mandatory current limiting resistor in series.

Quote:
The Brawa 94700 model house LED's (req.10-16V) and the Viessmann 6046 model house LED's (req.10-16V) do
have resistors attached to the LED's and yellow and brown wires.

ANY LED MUST have a current limiting resistor, there is no such thing as a "voltage rating for a LED" (other than the reverse tolerance)

The same LED may be used with different voltage supplies as long as you adjust the resistor accordingly


In summary,
My personal recommendation is to make use of older (good condition) Marklin transformers (no need for a powersupply) for LED lighting.
The Yellow/Brown offers a fixed brightness, while the Red/Brown offers variable brightness.

And, just to reemphasize, a resistor is mandatory, but once you have a minimim value you may increase it to give a dimmer brightness.


Noted Limitations
Perception of flicker
- Dale - movement either head or object looses the benefit of persistence
- Minox - Camera perception - not the same as an eye
Suggested workaround : add a Capacity after the rectification - size would be dependent on the load (for LEDs 100uF )

Design practice
- Per - should not "rely" on a LEDs tolerance of revere voltage
Concur with suggestion : Add a normal diode in series (e.g. 1N4001)

Edited by user 22 January 2019 22:45:36(UTC)  | Reason: Noted limitations

Peter
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Offline David Dewar  
#9 Posted : 22 January 2019 12:12:31(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,605
Location: Scotland
For lighting buildings and stations etc I use the Faller transformer and their LED lights. Never had a problem with either. Might cost more but it all works out the box.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
Offline hxmiesa  
#10 Posted : 22 January 2019 14:10:39(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,662
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
You want to power the turnouts lanterns with AC though, since they have 2 LED's in opposite polarity so if you use DC you only get half the brightness.

Is that so?
If it has 2 leds in oposite direction, the amount of LIGHT should be the same;
2 leds each giving light HALF the time.
-or-
1 led giving light ALL the time.

Just wondering...
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by hxmiesa
Offline Purellum  
#11 Posted : 22 January 2019 15:07:54(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,987
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: clapcott Go to Quoted Post
Todays diodes are quite capable of tolerating a reverse voltage - as long as you have the mandatory current limiting resistor in series.


Some are; but not all.

If you're not absolutely sure what you buy, spend that diode to prevent reverse voltage.

Per.

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

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

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

UserPostedImage
Offline Purellum  
#12 Posted : 22 January 2019 15:10:24(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,987
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: clapcott Go to Quoted Post
Todays diodes are quite capable of tolerating a reverse voltage - as long as you have the mandatory current limiting resistor in series.


Some are; but not all.

If you're not absolutely sure what you buy, spend that diode to prevent reverse voltage.

Per.

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

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

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

UserPostedImage
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#13 Posted : 22 January 2019 17:43:34(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,929
be aware that if you run LEDs from AC power with a diode, so that it is half rectified, the flicker will not be seen if the observer and the LED are both stationary, but if the LED moves (Eg on a train) or if the observer swings their head - the flicker becomes apparent, this is because there benefit of vision persistence is lost.

Just start with a 12V DC power supply, rather than trying to rectify AC or digital signals. If you don't already have on lying about they are readily available on amazon.com
Dale
Arrival and Departure signs: http://remotesign.mixmox.com
My first layout: http://layout.mixmox.com
My current layout (under construction): http://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by DaleSchultz
Offline costing  
#14 Posted : 22 January 2019 18:08:46(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 73
Location: Geneve, Geneva
I have a small setup so all accessories are powered directly from the C track. The leds and decoders of the 12 turnouts + buildings consume in the order of 0.1-0.2A so it was not worth a separate power supply.

On the other hand I have tried both approaches: directly connecting leds+resistors and going through a rectifier. Didn't see any difference frankly speaking. Can't see any flickering from the DCC signal in either.

In this setup there are however dips in brightness when the M* turnout motors snap. So I've added capacitors to compensate for them. In which case you need a rectifier so I'd suggest at least a diode if not a rectifying bridge to be able to add a capacitor in parallel.

Cheers,

.costin
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin (SBB Re 4/4 II, Ee 3/3, DB BR 24), Roco (DB BR 103, BR 215, CFR 040-EC-001), ESU engineering (DB 265 MRCE) / Christmas car collector
Offline Minok  
#15 Posted : 22 January 2019 20:54:48(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,893
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: clapcott Go to Quoted Post


In summary,
My personal recommendation is to make use of older (good condition) Marklin transformers (no need for a powersupply) for LED lighting.
The Yellow/Brown offers a fixed brightness, while the Red/Brown offers variable brightness.

And, just to reemphasize, a resistor is mandatory, but once you have a minimim value you may increase it to give a dimmer brightness.


With the qualifier that while the human eye cannot perceive the 60 or 120 Hz flickers, a camera absolutely can (due to the way a camera captures the video frames), so if you plan on doing video recordings for sharing or YouTube videos and the like of your layout, then it is recommended you don't use rectified AC (half or full wave) and get a DC power supply to get a fully flicker free lighting experience that will also be flicker free on camera recordings.
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/
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by Minok
Offline Minok  
#16 Posted : 22 January 2019 20:58:49(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,893
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: applor Go to Quoted Post
You want to power the turnouts lanterns with AC though, since they have 2 LED's in opposite polarity so if you use DC you only get half the brightness.

Is that so?
If it has 2 leds in oposite direction, the amount of LIGHT should be the same;
2 leds each giving light HALF the time.
-or-
1 led giving light ALL the time.

Just wondering...


Thats what I was thinking. I'd imagine the difference in brightness would be due to the voltage differences between the AC and DC signal to some extent, and the dead zone between the AC waves where neither LED is on as the AC voltage hasn't risen above the minimum to fire the LED.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
Offline Richard from Chicago  
#17 Posted : 23 January 2019 00:00:11(UTC)
Richard from Chicago

United States   
Joined: 21/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Guys,

Again, thank you for the additional information; and pardon my misuse of the terms: power supplies, switched mode power packs,
and transformers. My hope was just to find a device that I could plug into the wall and run the brown and yellow wires of the LED's
to and have nice maintenance free and flicker free lighting. I originally thought that track voltage would be fine. I based this by only by observing
Marklin's passenger coach LED units illuminate without flicker using track voltage on digital layouts. It is clearly more complex.

It seems as recently as a few years ago Faller and Viessmann sold very nice power supplies for use in the US that has 16VDC output and terminals that you could connect wire leeds to like the old Marklin blue transformers. I called Reynaulds, Micro Macro Mundo, and Euro Rail and each said the same thing everyone is saying here - find an old model train transformer or DC computer power supply on ebay or Amazon, as the train brand units have been
discontinued. The brand units are still available in Europe but they are 220V.

- Rich
Offline costing  
#18 Posted : 23 January 2019 00:39:59(UTC)
costing

Switzerland   
Joined: 20/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 73
Location: Geneve, Geneva
Rich, don't be discouraged by the amount of information. In short you _can_ connect the LEDs to the tracks. Just be careful about the resistor in between (if not included in the part already). But you will need to keep it in mind regardless of the power supply.

You will _not_ have a flicker from the AC track signal (DCC is 8-10kHz so only Chuck Norris can see it flickering).

Cheers,

.costin
JMRI on RPi & DCC++ / C-track / Marklin (SBB Re 4/4 II, Ee 3/3, DB BR 24), Roco (DB BR 103, BR 215, CFR 040-EC-001), ESU engineering (DB 265 MRCE) / Christmas car collector
Offline DaleSchultz  
#19 Posted : 23 January 2019 03:42:43(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,929
Dale
Arrival and Departure signs: http://remotesign.mixmox.com
My first layout: http://layout.mixmox.com
My current layout (under construction): http://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Offline Richard from Chicago  
#20 Posted : 23 January 2019 05:49:05(UTC)
Richard from Chicago

United States   
Joined: 21/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Dale,

Thank you !!! I think that will work perfectly. It plugs into the wall, is self contained, and has easy to use outputs that do not require any special plugs or connections. Before I order it, this is my last (stupid) LED question: The Brawa and Viessmann and even the Marklin 74470 turnout lantern call for 16V; is a 12V DC output sufficient? I always thought that generally LED's require 1 or 2 volts to function so I do not understand the 16V requirement. Could "16V" indicate a max voltage?

- Rich
Offline hxmiesa  
#21 Posted : 23 January 2019 13:55:24(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,662
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: Richard from Chicago Go to Quoted Post
Before I order it, this is my last (stupid) LED question: The Brawa and Viessmann and even the Marklin 74470 turnout lantern call for 16V; is a 12V DC output sufficient? I always thought that generally LED's require 1 or 2 volts to function so I do not understand the 16V requirement. Could "16V" indicate a max voltage?

Because those untis already have a resistor build in, in series with the led(s).

Yes, it would proably not be a good idea to use more than 16V. You can probably use less (12V) without much visible difference, but lower will probably dim the light a little.
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
Offline LongHairedDavid  
#22 Posted : 23 January 2019 14:30:40(UTC)
LongHairedDavid


Joined: 04/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 123
Location: England, Ipswich
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post


Just a word of warning. The 220/110V connectors on these devices are on the same strip as the lower voltages underneath that orange cover so take great care where you site them (in a clear area - hidden could cause major problems to your health!)
Long Haired David
AKA David Pennington
A mystified Maerklin Newbie
Offline DaleSchultz  
#23 Posted : 23 January 2019 14:50:52(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,929
They build accessories to handle 16V as it is common, but 12V will be sufficient.
Dale
Arrival and Departure signs: http://remotesign.mixmox.com
My first layout: http://layout.mixmox.com
My current layout (under construction): http://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Offline Minok  
#24 Posted : 23 January 2019 22:22:43(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,893
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: LongHairedDavid Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post


Just a word of warning. The 220/110V connectors on these devices are on the same strip as the lower voltages underneath that orange cover so take great care where you site them (in a clear area - hidden could cause major problems to your health!)


Indeed. These power supplies have exposed line level mounting screws, by itself not a problem. Get a 3 prong power supply cable to go with it and attach it (correctly) to the 3 input lines for ground / hot / neutral.

Your going to ideally want a plastic cover that goes over those leads and prevents accidental touching of the 120/240 v input screws.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
Offline DaleSchultz  
#25 Posted : 23 January 2019 22:37:21(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,929
indeed, I made a wooden 'cover' for mine.. visible in second to last image at:
https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2019/01/room-lighting-with-remotesign.html

Just a block of wood that is screwed in place through the air holes on both sides.
Dale
Arrival and Departure signs: http://remotesign.mixmox.com
My first layout: http://layout.mixmox.com
My current layout (under construction): http://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by DaleSchultz
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