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Offline husafreak  
#1 Posted : 03 April 2020 23:25:05(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 183
Location: California, Bay Area
IMG_8998.JPG

Over the past year I have had a lot of fun trying to improve the lighting of various Marklin Loco's. All of them through use of LED lighting supplied by Achim Grob at High Tech Modellbahnen. Achim has been great to deal with, very creative and helpful, and is happy to converse in english with me as well as shipping to the US.

So first up a BR86 from the 2001 Marklin 81417 Austrian Passenger/Freight set. An ERA 3 loco with triple lights FWD/REV. It was originally supplied with bulb lights and they were typically dim in operation. Initially I just replaced the FWD light with an HTM7020, this gave me nice bright FWD lighting, very impressive. But then the cab lighting seemed even dimmer by comparison! Achim made me a special LED, a "backlight plug for BR86" and only then did I realize the loco had back lights, not cab lights! The original dim bulb had only made the cab glow and virtually nothing propagated to the rear trio of lights. That light has to be installed correctly as it only lights up in REV. It requires soldering also but very easy access. So I'm very happy with how well this turned out. There are though, two things less than optimal. First is the FWD lights remain on in FWD or REV, which was also true of the original bulb but since the other LED's I have from HTM only operate in one direction that is different. Note that this loco will not run without a bulb installed so that may be why. Second is entirely personal. I have decided I prefer yellow lights for old steam loco's and the 7020 is a white light.
Offline husafreak  
#2 Posted : 03 April 2020 23:48:03(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 183
Location: California, Bay Area
IMG_9010.JPG

Next is a Marklin 88999 a P8 Passenger loco with tender from the Grand Ducal Baden State Railway, an ERA 1 loco produced in 2009. This was a great find! Buried in the back of a Hobbytown display case, it and a few pieces of Marklin track (only points!) was all they Z scale they had. Gimme a hundred and it's yours. Done! So it is a beautiful loco and a great runner. With the substitution of a HTM 7031 LED for the original bulb it lights up the track too. This one lights FWD only. This was however a lot of work and not for the faint of heart. The LED was not an easy fit. I had to grind away plastic from the frame to allow the LED to drop into its slot. This is internal below the bottom LED but that then allowed the LED to light up the tracks. There was also a problem that now the LED "chip" could move vertically enough to short out the LED's as the internal frame clips which transmit power to the LED were far enough apart that the LED could get wedged in improperly. Either too high or too low in the frame. So lots of investigating to figure all this out. But in the end placing small foam pieces both above and below the LED insured it was centrally held and operating correctly, then a bit of black tape to seal the gap between the frame and body shields any stray light from illuminating the track below the frame. Really happy with this one!
Offline husafreak  
#3 Posted : 04 April 2020 00:06:06(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 183
Location: California, Bay Area
IMG_9013.JPG

Here we have a Marklin BR003 4-6-2 from the 40 Years Of Mini Club Anniversary set. It is an ERA 3 loco produced in 2012. This was an easy one, simply replacing the stock bulb with an HTM 7031 LED gave this impressive loco an equally impressive set of headlights. Now it just has to stay ahead of the Ludmilla Tiger on its tail!
Offline husafreak  
#4 Posted : 04 April 2020 00:28:13(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 183
Location: California, Bay Area
IMG_9003.JPG

This is another type of product available at HTM, cars with back lights. Kits and parts are available if you want to modify your own cars but I simply purchased a HTM 3001 Guterzuggebackwaggon mit roter Schlusbeleuchtung, there, I said it! I also chose to forgo the trailing Marklin coupler for obvious reasons. So whichever train pulls this wagon at its end is the lucky one! Really cool. I will definitely be acquiring more of these or modifying a few of my own in the near future. You don't realize how realistic this feature is until you have it.
Offline husafreak  
#5 Posted : 04 April 2020 00:53:00(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 183
Location: California, Bay Area
IMG_9002.JPG

Now we are getting to the experimental side of things. Specifically I have some newer LED equipped Marklin loco's with various quality lighting. A couple were dim enough that I was disappointed. I decided to try replacing the stock Marklin LED's with HTM LED's. So this next loco is an example of that, a Marklin 88742 BR64 "Bubikopf". In this case installing a HTM 7023 did not improve the quality of the loco lighting. I swapped out the LED's and saw no difference (or a very minor one). So LED's do not guarantee bright lighting, and swapping them probably won't fix the lighting issue. It seems that the design of the clear plastic light "piping" has a lot to do with it.
Offline husafreak  
#6 Posted : 04 April 2020 01:24:25(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 183
Location: California, Bay Area
IMG_9001.JPG

This picture is of a Marklin 88923 S 3/6 K.Bay.Sts.B. Passenger Loco with tender. It also came with a very dim set of headlights out of the box. In this case the HTM 7023 LED recommended did not fit in the boiler. The circuit board plug in used by HTM is thicker than the Marklin one and pushed apart the chassis halves just enough that the body could not be reinstalled. So I'll have to make do with the rather weak lighting as it comes stock. Since we are talking about this loco it is interesting that all of the Marklin literature describes it as having a 5 pole motor when in fact it was one of the very first Marklin loco's to come with a super efficient new style of enclosed motor in 2015. It's a great runner and a real beauty but again, LED's can not produce much light as installed.
Offline husafreak  
#7 Posted : 04 April 2020 01:34:32(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 183
Location: California, Bay Area
So, in conclusion, I have had great success replacing factory bulb lights with HTM LED lights on older Marklin loco's. It is a great upgrade and can be reversed in a minute back to original spec. In most cases they drop right in and only require a bit of care in placement to insure the best outcome. But I cannot recommend replacing Marklin LED equipped loco's with aftermarket LED's. In my experience if you have LED's and the lights are not bright it is not the LED's fault!
And red lights should be showing on the last car of any train, they look great!
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by husafreak
Offline Bahner  
#8 Posted : 04 April 2020 19:09:18(UTC)
Bahner

United States   
Joined: 18/11/2017(UTC)
Posts: 115
Location: California, East Bay
Nice work, there!
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