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You are stuck with either MM (old outdated protocol) or DCC, which majority of Märklin locomotives does not support.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

Offline Goofy  
#3 Posted : 25 June 2019 09:22:50(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,052
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You are stuck with either MM (old outdated protocol) or DCC, which majority of Märklin locomotives does not support.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.

DCC means Digital Command Control.

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


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,506
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: 42
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
Offline Goofy  
#10 Posted : 25 June 2019 18:25:30(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,052
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.


DCC means Digital Command Control.

Offline Goofy  
#11 Posted : 25 June 2019 18:29:27(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,052
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?

DCC means Digital Command Control.

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

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,049
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.
Offline Goofy  
#14 Posted : 26 June 2019 07:00:55(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,052
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.

DCC means Digital Command Control.

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


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,506
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: 650
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.
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