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Offline Wasp  
#1 Posted : 25 June 2019 08:24:11(UTC)
Wasp

United Kingdom   
Joined: 05/09/2015(UTC)
Posts: 15
Location: Chorley
Hi does any one run Marklin with Roco Z21 and what are your thoughts please thanks
Offline MaerklinLife  
#2 Posted : 25 June 2019 09:03:34(UTC)
MaerklinLife


Joined: 03/02/2016(UTC)
Posts: 490
My thoughts are that Z21 is a limited system if you run mainly Märklin stuff. One reason only: No mfx.

You are stuck with either MM (old outdated protocol) or DCC, which majority of Märklin locomotives does not support. Newer one does though.

People will tell you that "oh it does not matter, just map more adresses for your MM locos to get access to more functions etc.". My point of view is this: Why go the extra mile, you don't have to if you go for a Mobile Station 2 or a Central Station 3. Yes, the CS3 is more expensive, but you get the experience that the system was designed for. That, to me at least, is worth it.

If you run DCC only (most Märklin folks don't, and Märklin only just started to give you that option with DCC decoders) by all means Z21 is a good basic system. If you want automation, it will need a computer, it cannot do anything automatically by itself, it is a "stupid" control box. Much like the the Mobile Station 2.

If your collection consists mainly of Märklin products spare yourself the frustration and get a Märklin controller.

Edited by user 25 June 2019 17:26:33(UTC)  | Reason: Corrected "crippled" to "limited" in the interest of peace and harmony...

User is suspended until 30/01/2021 11:18:10(UTC) Goofy  
#3 Posted : 25 June 2019 09:22:50(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,331
Originally Posted by: MaerklinLife Go to Quoted Post
My thoughts are that Z21 is a crippled system if you run mainly Märklin stuff. One reason only: No mfx.

You are stuck with either MM (old outdated protocol) or DCC, which majority of Märklin locomotives does not support. Newer one does though.

People will tell you that "oh it does not matter, just map more adresses for your MM locos to get access to more functions etc.". My point of view is this: Why go the extra mile, you don't have to if you go for a Mobile Station 2 or a Central Station 3. Yes, the CS3 is more expensive, but you get the experience that the system was designed for. That, to me at least, is worth it.

If you run DCC only (most Märklin folks don't, and Märklin only just started to give you that option with DCC decoders) by all means Z21 is a good basic system. If you want automation, it will need a computer, it cannot do anything automatically by itself, it is a "stupid" control box. Much like the the Mobile Station 2.

If your collection consists mainly of Märklin products spare yourself the frustration and get a Märklin controller.


Ohhh...come on! Cursing
This is not truth!
Roco did upgraded a lot and there is new app which are more advanced now.
In fact does DCC in Märklin locomotives support all functions too by use Z21. ThumpUp
Roco Z21 do have more icon symbols and i would choice it before than Märklins MS2.
Märklins old locomotives with mfx/MM do have lesser functions and it´s okey by use it with the Z21.

Offline H0  
#4 Posted : 25 June 2019 11:57:13(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,799
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: MaerklinLife Go to Quoted Post
My thoughts are that Z21 is a crippled system if you run mainly Märklin stuff. One reason only: No mfx.
Some people here do not like the term "crippled".

People use their layouts in different ways and that is fine.

I mainly run Märklin stuff, but I disabled mfx in my Central Station because I don't like this crippled, flawed, unreliable protocol. Thus a Z21 has all the protocols I need.

I have seen a Z21 at a Märklin-Insider-Stammtisch and along with the Roco WLAN mouse this seems to be an interesting system.
I don't want to use a smartphone to control trains, but the WLAN mouse is a wireless controller with a dedicated speed knob that allows to run trains while you have your eyes on the layout.

I have enough controllers, I don't own a Z21 yet and have no plans to get one. But if I were in need of a new controller, the Z21 would be an option for me.

I can see that only a minority of threerail H0 users will be happy with a Z21, but everybody has to evaluate the available controllers and make their choice.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
Offline MaerklinLife  
#5 Posted : 25 June 2019 14:21:24(UTC)
MaerklinLife


Joined: 03/02/2016(UTC)
Posts: 490
Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post

Ohhh...come on! Cursing
This is not truth!

It is. Tell me where I am wrong?

Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Roco did upgraded a lot and there is new app which are more advanced now.
In fact does DCC in Märklin locomotives support all functions too by use Z21. ThumpUp

No they don't. If a loco has 32 functions, there is no way.

Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Roco Z21 do have more icon symbols and i would choice it before than Märklins MS2.
Märklins old locomotives with mfx/MM do have lesser functions and it´s okey by use it with the Z21.

You can't use more than 4 functions with MM. Limitation. You can add extra addresses, as mentioned, but totally unecessary if your controller supports mfx. The Z21 does not.

I am just saying that you will not get the full "experience" because of the lack of mfx with Z21. You can argue, that it is not relevant to you, but it needs to be mentionend. A lot of people do not understand the differences. The Z21 is not a fully Märklin compatible controller as we speak.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by MaerklinLife
Offline MaerklinLife  
#6 Posted : 25 June 2019 14:35:23(UTC)
MaerklinLife


Joined: 03/02/2016(UTC)
Posts: 490
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
I have enough controllers, I don't own a Z21 yet and have no plans to get one. But if I were in need of a new controller, the Z21 would be an option for me.

Yeah, but you are not the average Märklin user who just wants to run trains and have fun. You are highly skilled in digital and knows what you buy into. The majority would expect things to "just work" (including using mfx as advertised). The Z21 does not give you that, so it needs to be mentioned.

Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
I can see that only a minority of threerail H0 users will be happy with a Z21, but everybody has to evaluate the available controllers and make their choice.

Exactly, which is probably why the OP asked for opionions.

Offline stockerta  
#7 Posted : 25 June 2019 15:01:57(UTC)
stockerta

Hungary   
Joined: 30/07/2018(UTC)
Posts: 47
Location: Gyor-Moson-Sopron, Sopron
I'm in the planning phase of going digital, and I also eye the z21. The MS2 looks too crippled for me, with its stupid update mechanism, and the CS3 is just to f*cking expensive (it is more than I make a month...).
Offline MaerklinLife  
#8 Posted : 25 June 2019 17:17:31(UTC)
MaerklinLife


Joined: 03/02/2016(UTC)
Posts: 490
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
I mainly run Märklin stuff...

Btw. I recall several threads where you claim to almost never buy Märklin stuff. Confused
Offline MaerklinLife  
#9 Posted : 25 June 2019 17:21:09(UTC)
MaerklinLife


Joined: 03/02/2016(UTC)
Posts: 490
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Some people here do not like the term "crippled".

It is not meant in a negative way. Just as "limited", "reduced functionality" and the like. I have corrected the post.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by MaerklinLife
User is suspended until 30/01/2021 11:18:10(UTC) Goofy  
#10 Posted : 25 June 2019 18:25:30(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,331
Originally Posted by: MaerklinLife Go to Quoted Post

It is. Tell me where I am wrong?

Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Roco did upgraded a lot and there is new app which are more advanced now.
In fact does DCC in Märklin locomotives support all functions too by use Z21. ThumpUp

No they don't. If a loco has 32 functions, there is no way.

Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Roco Z21 do have more icon symbols and i would choice it before than Märklins MS2.
Märklins old locomotives with mfx/MM do have lesser functions and it´s okey by use it with the Z21.

You can't use more than 4 functions with MM. Limitation. You can add extra addresses, as mentioned, but totally unecessary if your controller supports mfx. The Z21 does not.


Roco Z21 support both MM and DCC.
With DCC Märklin digital locomotive you can handle up to 29 functions, but Roco can also upgrade system to accept 32 functions too.
Yes even upgrade more functions with the MM if they feel like.
Yes there is always way out.

Yes you have wrong by wrote Z21 as "crippled" system.
A lot of customer are happy with the Z21.


User is suspended until 30/01/2021 11:18:10(UTC) Goofy  
#11 Posted : 25 June 2019 18:29:27(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,331
Originally Posted by: MaerklinLife Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
I mainly run Märklin stuff...

Btw. I recall several threads where you claim to almost never buy Märklin stuff. Confused


Tom provided by write Märklin stuff, not locomotive.
He use Märklin wagons?

Offline Minok  
#12 Posted : 25 June 2019 20:47:45(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,166
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
If the locos you have and will buy support DCC, then the Z21(or z21) will work just fine for you. If you plan to get older Märklin locomotives that don't have DCC support your strictly limited in functionality as others have said.

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 1 user liked this useful post by Minok
Offline MaerklinLife  
#13 Posted : 25 June 2019 22:06:16(UTC)
MaerklinLife


Joined: 03/02/2016(UTC)
Posts: 490
Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
With DCC Märklin digital locomotive you can handle up to 29 functions, but Roco can also upgrade system to accept 32 functions too.

It will not work unless the decoder knows what that means. Most DCC decoders supports 29 functions and that is it. Nothing more. They could make the feature, does not mean they will. They could also make a unit that will make it brew coffee. Does not mean they will.

Let's stick to what the thing actually CAN do, as of today, and not possible future upgrades. Guesses on future upgrades does not help anybody.

Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Yes even upgrade more functions with the MM if they feel like.

You are not making any sense. How would that work? The decoder dictates the number of features.

Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Yes you have wrong by wrote Z21 as "crippled" system.

No, I am not. You can't get the full "Märklin experience" with the Z21. Whether or not that matters to you is a matter of personal taste. Each to his own. You seem angry by my choice of words, and if you could just calm down for a second and read the post again, you will see that I have corrected my words to "limited".

Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
A lot of customer are happy with the Z21.

Yes they are, that does not mean that everybody will be. The features and limitations (whether you like it or not) needs to be in the open for a decision to be made.
User is suspended until 30/01/2021 11:18:10(UTC) Goofy  
#14 Posted : 26 June 2019 07:00:55(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,331
Originally Posted by: MaerklinLife Go to Quoted Post


Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Yes even upgrade more functions with the MM if they feel like.

You are not making any sense. How would that work? The decoder dictates the number of features.



The system can been upgrade more functions.
I am writing about digital system.
Decoder can be changed if the competitors decides to put more functions in the decoder.
Not sure if ESU locomotive can be use more functions with the MM in the Z21.

Z21 are nicer digital system than MS2.
It provided that Z21 can be upgrade too by Roco.
It´s not a crippled system.
I have CS3 and there is problems.
It sucks when Märklin provided byself bad service like to upgrade system by fix the problem.
Yes even Märklin digital are sometimes crippled system.

Offline H0  
#15 Posted : 26 June 2019 07:51:53(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,799
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: MaerklinLife Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
I can see that only a minority of threerail H0 users will be happy with a Z21, but everybody has to evaluate the available controllers and make their choice.

Exactly, which is probably why the OP asked for opionions.
He asked for experiences from people who run Märklin with a Z21 (and I have a li'l bit hands-on experience with a Z21), not for opinions of people who would never buy it. But maybe I misunderstood the initial post.

BTW: My humble loco collection has 67% Märklin and 3% Trix and I still buy Märklin locos.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
Offline MaerklinLife  
#16 Posted : 26 June 2019 10:48:26(UTC)
MaerklinLife


Joined: 03/02/2016(UTC)
Posts: 490
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
He asked for experiences from people who run Märklin with a Z21 (and I have a li'l bit hands-on experience with a Z21), not for opinions of people who would never buy it. But maybe I misunderstood the initial post.

He asked for thoughts on the subject and I gave him mine. In the interest of full disclosure, I have both the Z21 and a CS2, and a CS3. I thought my experience could help, but I guess I am not allowed to express my opinion, because it is in favour of Märklin.
Offline PeFu  
#17 Posted : 26 June 2019 11:42:25(UTC)
PeFu

Sweden   
Joined: 30/08/2002(UTC)
Posts: 772
Originally Posted by: MaerklinLife Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
He asked for experiences from people who run Märklin with a Z21 (and I have a li'l bit hands-on experience with a Z21), not for opinions of people who would never buy it. But maybe I misunderstood the initial post.

He asked for thoughts on the subject and I gave him mine. In the interest of full disclosure, I have both the Z21 and a CS2, and a CS3. I thought my experience could help, but I guess I am not allowed to express my opinion, because it is in favour of Märklin.


I received my brand new Märklin 39250 SBB C5/6 in March 2017, and was surprised that it only allows MM/Mfx, and not DCC. As I understand, the Z21 wouldn’t provide full usage of this product. If possible, I always run the engines on DCC via my CS2.
The Great Krok!
Inspired by Swiss railways SBB/BLS, C and K track, CS2, TrainController Gold V9
Offline Bryan  
#18 Posted : 02 June 2020 10:37:17(UTC)
Bryan

Australia   
Joined: 08/09/2010(UTC)
Posts: 104
Location: Bowral, NSW, Australia
Dear Marklinlife

Thank you for pointing out that Z21 does not recognise MFX. This is very important to know. I was thinking of getting a Z21, now will not.

Best regards
David
Offline husafreak  
#19 Posted : 02 June 2020 17:52:52(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 220
Location: California, Bay Area
I am running a Marklin Rheingold set via the z21 DCC mode. It is a simple set up and for the cost (of the z21) I am very satisfied. I'm also satisfied with the train, Marklin makes some beautiful stuff.

I am unable to do a few things so asking for help from z21 (or Z21) users. First I was able to change my loco address but only two digits, it was hard to do and I don't know why it should be so difficult.
I was unable to change the address of the baggage car, stuck at 3. All I get from z21 is "could not read CV" type messages. Is this the nature of Marklin DCC? Or is it a user issue with the z21?
I have not tried the Motorola mode of the z21. I understand it is not mfx. But would it communicate better with the loco, cars? Maybe just to change CV's?
There are 32 functions on the loco and 29-31 are of course ones I want. Is it possible to remap them so the z21 (limited to 0-28 functions) can operate them? I see a little disagreement here about whether or not that is possible. In any case it would be necessary to access the CV's to do it.
User is suspended until 30/01/2021 11:18:10(UTC) Goofy  
#20 Posted : 14 June 2020 11:03:44(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,331
Originally Posted by: PeFu Go to Quoted Post

I received my brand new Märklin 39250 SBB C5/6 in March 2017, and was surprised that it only allows MM/Mfx, and not DCC. As I understand, the Z21 wouldn’t provide full usage of this product. If possible, I always run the engines on DCC via my CS2.


This model 39250 does not support DCC protocol.

User is suspended until 30/01/2021 11:18:10(UTC) Goofy  
#21 Posted : 14 June 2020 11:14:55(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,331
A notice:
Märklins digital locomotives which also support DCC protocol can be use with 29 functions with the Z21.
Offline husafreak  
#22 Posted : 14 June 2020 18:29:48(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 220
Location: California, Bay Area
Hello again Goofy. I was finally able to get my Marklin 26928 set running via two different two digit addresses so with the z21 Start split screen on my iPad I can control all the functions easily while running. It is a great system IMHO and vastly easier and more fun to run with than than my similarly priced NCE Powercab.

Unfortunately I have not been able to find clear instructions on how to properly use the z21 Start CV programming with the Marklin DCC system. That is assuming there is a "proper" way!
First the Motorola setting on the z21 does not seem to do anything with the Marklin set. Second the DCC setting works fine for controlling the set but changing CV's turned out to be almost impossible. So I will not try to access Marklin functions 29-31 by changing their addresses, swapping them for other sounds. Too much risk of losing the loco. Changing the addresses was really necessary though and only done through lots of trial and error. This is due to the fact that the z21 will not (99% of the time) read the CV's of this Marklin 26928 set so writing and confirming CV's becomes a mystery. But I found if I wrote new addresses and cycled power, sometimes multiple times, and often losing contact with the loco or cars for many cycles of this, that eventually the set would respond to the address given. Not fun!
Note that only two digit addresses are possible, I don't know why this is but entering a third digit always causes the z21 to change the address to 255, a familiar number to DCC users, but not a loco address!
Note that I also have a Minitrix loco that supports DCC and the z21 communicates with that loco better. With it I can read CV's.
Finally, I just joined the RMWeb forum and hopefully someone there will have an answer to this conundrum but I am not expecting that. I've got to the point where I don't think it is a user error. Email to Roco was not answered. If anyone has a contact in Roco z21 tech support I could try them.
User is suspended until 30/01/2021 11:18:10(UTC) Goofy  
#23 Posted : 15 June 2020 20:33:49(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,331
Originally Posted by: husafreak Go to Quoted Post
Hello again Goofy. I was finally able to get my Marklin 26928 set running via two different two digit addresses so with the z21 Start split screen on my iPad I can control all the functions easily while running. It is a great system IMHO and vastly easier and more fun to run with than than my similarly priced NCE Powercab.

Unfortunately I have not been able to find clear instructions on how to properly use the z21 Start CV programming with the Marklin DCC system. That is assuming there is a "proper" way!
First the Motorola setting on the z21 does not seem to do anything with the Marklin set. Second the DCC setting works fine for controlling the set but changing CV's turned out to be almost impossible. So I will not try to access Marklin functions 29-31 by changing their addresses, swapping them for other sounds. Too much risk of losing the loco. Changing the addresses was really necessary though and only done through lots of trial and error. This is due to the fact that the z21 will not (99% of the time) read the CV's of this Marklin 26928 set so writing and confirming CV's becomes a mystery. But I found if I wrote new addresses and cycled power, sometimes multiple times, and often losing contact with the loco or cars for many cycles of this, that eventually the set would respond to the address given. Not fun!
Note that only two digit addresses are possible, I don't know why this is but entering a third digit always causes the z21 to change the address to 255, a familiar number to DCC users, but not a loco address!
Note that I also have a Minitrix loco that supports DCC and the z21 communicates with that loco better. With it I can read CV's.
Finally, I just joined the RMWeb forum and hopefully someone there will have an answer to this conundrum but I am not expecting that. I've got to the point where I don't think it is a user error. Email to Roco was not answered. If anyone has a contact in Roco z21 tech support I could try them.


Did you disabled mfx protocol in the locomotive?
I recommended you only accept DCC protocol alone in the locomotive decoder.
z21 and Z21 are also difference system.
I did just checked at roco.cc homepage and tried to find out your system z21 start.
Sorry...

Offline husafreak  
#24 Posted : 15 June 2020 20:51:43(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 220
Location: California, Bay Area
Disable mfx? I’ll look into that.
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