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Offline jp San Diego  
#1 Posted : 10 January 2020 19:57:24(UTC)
jp San Diego

United States   
Joined: 10/01/2020(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: California, San Diego
I'm re-starting a Marklin collection after having lost it all in a CA wildfire of 2003. First started as 8 year old in 1956. Now a little older. BigGrin

I'm interested in going down the M-track route, but this time digital.
Any & all suggestions welcome!
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#2 Posted : 10 January 2020 21:08:28(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,966
Location: New Zealand
You can use digital control with M track as long as the track is clean with good rail joins between track pieces. You should also make sure all noise suppression capacitors are removed from track feeder pieces because the capacitors interfere with the digital signal.

I see you have cross posted your question in another thread. Cross posting in internet etiquette is normally frowned upon unless there is a good reason for doing so. At the very least you will get answers to your question in two different threads which will make things confusing for anyone coming back to review your topic in the future.

Edited by user 11 January 2020 21:22:56(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline JohnjeanB  
#3 Posted : 11 January 2020 11:18:03(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 617
Location: Paris, France
Hi

M track is very nice and works perfect for digital with the following drawbacks:
- noisy: if being used with sound locos, better install a bit a thin plastic foam under it
- not easy to make long occupation zones
- the bulbs in switches are nice but draw a lot of current: replace them with LEDs of have a separate feed for the lamps. LEDs are better because they last forever.
- don't screw the track too much on the table (leaving a 0.5mm play is better).

Also I found a simple way to restore all joiners to a like new state: use flat nose pliers and attach a piece of metal at its extremity to limit the squeezing effect. With some tries you will soon make yourself a tool to restore all joiners by squeezing them just correctly so that rails attach to each other perfectly.
Here is a layout I made some years back with digital
UserPostedImage
Cheers
Jean
My lay-out videos
latest vid
humping yard
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Offline jp San Diego  
#4 Posted : 11 January 2020 19:11:20(UTC)
jp San Diego

United States   
Joined: 10/01/2020(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: California, San Diego
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
Hi

M track is very nice and works perfect for digital with the following drawbacks:
- noisy: if being used with sound locos, better install a bit a thin plastic foam under it
- not easy to make long occupation zones
- the bulbs in switches are nice but draw a lot of current: replace them with LEDs of have a separate feed for the lamps. LEDs are better because they last forever.
- don't screw the track too much on the table (leaving a 0.5mm play is better).

Also I found a simple way to restore all joiners to a like new state: use flat nose pliers and attach a piece of metal at its extremity to limit the squeezing effect. With some tries you will soon make yourself a tool to restore all joiners by squeezing them just correctly so that rails attach to each other perfectly.
Here is a layout I made some years back with digital
UserPostedImage
Cheers
Jean


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Thank you.
Looks like a complex layout. Maybe one day. Your tips seem to concur with my long-ago experience.
But where to start?
Track? controllers? transformers? simple tank locomotive? digital conversions?
I literally have no Marklin pieces. (I do have several pliers).

Should I buy a new simple small Mega Digital C-track starter set and then add used M-track and . . . . ?
jp
Offline JohnjeanB  
#5 Posted : 11 January 2020 21:42:08(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 617
Location: Paris, France
Originally Posted by: jp San Diego Go to Quoted Post

But where to start?
Track? controllers? transformers? simple tank locomotive? digital conversions?
I literally have no Marklin pieces. (I do have several pliers).

Should I buy a new simple small Mega Digital C-track starter set and then add used M-track and . . . . ?
jp

Hi JP
Difficult questions
Depending on your budget you may start with new C-Tracks and a starter Set.
Quite some time my wife and son offered me a Mega set Märklin 29640 (with 2 steamers and a CS2) and it was just great to start)
UserPostedImage
All that is needed is inside and C-track is great for layouts
On the other hand, M track is very attractive (flashy and Kitch), inexpensive (here in Europe), lasting forever. Rolling is not so smooth as precision is way less that of the C-Track.
I still have a collection of M-track and some "Modellgleis" 3800 and 3900 from year 1953 and 1954 but I have converted to C Track with PC control and CS2. It is not rocket science but you have to go step by step.

PS: I like San Diego and have been there 3 times (not muchBigGrin )
Cheers

Jean

My lay-out videos
latest vid
humping yard
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#6 Posted : 12 January 2020 09:24:43(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,966
Location: New Zealand
Generally the mega starter sets are better value than buying all the pieces separately. You could use the trains and controller with your M track and store the C track, or you could get some C to M track adapter tracks (24951) so that you can join them both together.
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Offline David Dewar  
#7 Posted : 12 January 2020 13:36:47(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,826
Location: Scotland
I would buy start set with C track. This will give you everything you need and allow you to see the advantages of C track. You can then build upwards as you go along.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
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Offline Martti Mäntylä  
#8 Posted : 12 January 2020 16:05:41(UTC)
Martti Mäntylä

Finland   
Joined: 15/11/2018(UTC)
Posts: 89
Location: Uusimaa, Helsinki
You probably will need a setup that works with 120 volts? Unfortunately, this limits the choice of potential starter sets to just one, the set 29322. That unfortunately comes with the handheld infrared controller, instead of the Mobile Station 2 and Trackbox which would have worked equally well with M tracks. You will probably be better served by picking some other starter set of your liking that includes a MS 2, and buying separately the 66367 power pack for 120 volts.

The choice of the set depends on your preferences. In your position I picked the set 29013, as it fitted by preference of Era III, included a MS 2 with the Trackbox, and was otherwise minimalistic. That set is no longer available from Märklin, although some dealers probably still have it.
- Martti M.
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Offline MarcelV  
#9 Posted : 12 January 2020 19:54:46(UTC)
MarcelV

United States   
Joined: 01/12/2018(UTC)
Posts: 14
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Originally Posted by: Martti Mäntylä Go to Quoted Post
You probably will need a setup that works with 120 volts? Unfortunately, this limits the choice of potential starter sets to just one, the set 29322..

If you order through US Maerklin dealers, my experience is that they will swap out the power supply and provide you the 120 volt one instead. They will tell you in the product description for the starter sets.

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Offline sgbrail  
#10 Posted : 13 January 2020 09:05:01(UTC)
sgbrail

Australia   
Joined: 05/06/2016(UTC)
Posts: 24
Location: St. Georges Basin NSW
Hi JP. I also started in 1960 at age 8 with M track and analogue control. When I dragged it out again in about 2000 with my son who was then 28 we tried the M track and analogue engines. But just as it was back in the 60's it is very frustrating with the track connections and corrosion and we retired the lot. We bought a Mega Starter set (the best we could get with a digital steam loco and diesel loco), rolling stock, C track, controllers and all the necessary bits for a small layout.

My advice would be to get the best you can at the time with smoke, sound and all the bells and whistles. It's 1000% more fun than old analogue and you will be hooked. We have added more starter sets as they are usually good value, and you get engines and rolling stock, track, turnouts etc (even though you don't need the extra transformers. We have plenty). We just kept on adding stuff.

Then we purchased a large set second hand from someone in need of the cash, and have now added the CS3 controller (not needed for beginners) and lots of electric turnouts and track.

Try this website
https://ajckids.com/coll...-scale-sets-starter-sets

You will also find other dealers in the US and just keep on going and keep learning.

Have fun, especially if you can get the grand kids involved.
Cheers, Dad & Dave
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Offline jp San Diego  
#11 Posted : 15 January 2020 05:36:52(UTC)
jp San Diego

United States   
Joined: 10/01/2020(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: California, San Diego
Thank you all for your most valuable input!!
As you each suggested, go with a starter set & learn step-by-step.

Some input on where I should start with a digital controller. "Dad&Dave" suggested that a beginner (aka me) doesn't need a CS3 (whatever that is or can do).
But, I've heard (positive?) comment about CS2 and/or MS2. That's Central Station & Mobile Station in my new Marklin lingo (yet to understand).

Please provide your suggestions as to what is an appropriate 'digital' controller for my re-learning process?
Which is the latest version of CS & MS, and are prior versions still available?

If a starter set includes an "MS'" controller, is that automatically MS2?
Is MS2 where I should be?

Thanks, jp San Diego
Jean, pleased to hear that you like San Diego. Me too!! That's why I've been here these last 30+ years.
Offline hxmiesa  
#12 Posted : 16 January 2020 12:46:11(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,795
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: jp San Diego Go to Quoted Post

Some input on where I should start with a digital controller. "Dad&Dave" suggested that a beginner (aka me) doesn't need a CS3 (whatever that is or can do).
But, I've heard (positive?) comment about CS2 and/or MS2. That's Central Station & Mobile Station in my new Marklin lingo (yet to understand).

Please provide your suggestions as to what is an appropriate 'digital' controller for my re-learning process?
Which is the latest version of CS & MS, and are prior versions still available?

If a starter set includes an "MS'" controller, is that automatically MS2?
Is MS2 where I should be?


CS3+ is the latest and strongest Central Station for total control that Märklin has.
I would totally AVOID the older MS1.
MS2 is indeed the perfect "serious" start, and where you should strive to be.
Starting with a CS3+ is a lot of money to throw after the hobby right from the start. Especially if you dont really know what you are getting in to.

Wether a set includes an MS1 or 2 is hard to say. The MS1 disappeared years ago. SO if the set you are looking at is old, it might well be with the older controller. AVOID!
They dont look alike, so you can know what it contains, just from the picture on the box.

Whatever you choose, be prepared to have to UPDATE the firmware in the controllers once in a while... Glare
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline jp San Diego  
#13 Posted : 16 January 2020 20:59:28(UTC)
jp San Diego

United States   
Joined: 10/01/2020(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: California, San Diego
BigGrin
Originally Posted by: hxmiesa Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: jp San Diego Go to Quoted Post

Some input on where I should start with a digital controller. "Dad&Dave" suggested that a beginner (aka me) doesn't need a CS3 (whatever that is or can do).
But, I've heard (positive?) comment about CS2 and/or MS2. That's Central Station & Mobile Station in my new Marklin lingo (yet to understand).

Please provide your suggestions as to what is an appropriate 'digital' controller for my re-learning process?
Which is the latest version of CS & MS, and are prior versions still available?

If a starter set includes an "MS'" controller, is that automatically MS2?
Is MS2 where I should be?


CS3+ is the latest and strongest Central Station for total control that Märklin has.
I would totally AVOID the older MS1.
MS2 is indeed the perfect "serious" start, and where you should strive to be.
Starting with a CS3+ is a lot of money to throw after the hobby right from the start. Especially if you dont really know what you are getting in to.

Wether a set includes an MS1 or 2 is hard to say. The MS1 disappeared years ago. SO if the set you are looking at is old, it might well be with the older controller. AVOID!
They dont look alike, so you can know what it contains, just from the picture on the box.

Whatever you choose, be prepared to have to UPDATE the firmware in the controllers once in a while... Glare


Offline Brakeman  
#14 Posted : 18 January 2020 08:00:45(UTC)
Brakeman

United States   
Joined: 14/04/2006(UTC)
Posts: 297
Location: Southern California
Hello JP, why tinker alone? We have a busy ETE chapter in San Diego area, come and join one of our meetings.
More info at www.etesocal.org
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