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Offline IBtrain  
#1 Posted : 09 October 2021 08:39:04(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Hello
I am in the process of setup my layout.
I am using K-track, I'll be operating it digitally using the ESU Ecos 50200 and RocRail.
I would like to provide the power to the electrical switches from an old analog transformer.
At first I will control the switches with the blue control boxes 7072 and then later have the software control the switches via decoders.

My question is;
is it possible to have the Ecos power connect to the track O + B to run the trains, and use an old Marklin transformer to power the switches via the yellow and brown outputs?
I am concerned because some of the switches have lights in them, so these switches with lights will be getting the O (brown wire) from the track power (i.e. the Ecos) but the yellow will come from the old transformer.
Will this cause a short circuit or fry up some components?

If this is not the way to hook it up, is there a way?

Thanks for any help.
Kai


And Happy Canadian Thanksgivings

Edited by user 05 December 2021 05:47:41(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline marklinist5999  
#2 Posted : 09 October 2021 13:49:10(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,178
Location: Michigan, Troy
A common ground from an external transformer to accessories or the rails shouldn't be connected in any way to a digital controller like Ecos or a Central stattion, Roco Zemo, etc.
This can allow current to pass to the controller from the transformer, and that is not good. The newer controllers using switched mode power can and will be damaged.
Get either ESU or Marklin solenoid decoders like the M83. You can control 4 turnouts with each via the ECOS. I used 22 awg gague p.v.. wire from them to the far away turnouts and they work great!
Offline H0  
#3 Posted : 09 October 2021 14:12:30(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,346
Location: DE-NW
Hi!
Originally Posted by: IBtrain Go to Quoted Post
is it possible to have the Ecos power connect to the track O + B to run the trains, and use an old Marklin transformer to power the switches via the yellow and brown outputs?
That's no problem. Just make a common ground between the 0 output of the ECoS and the 0 output (brown) from your analogue transformer.
Make sure that yellow or red from the transformer never touch the red B output of the ECoS.
Some folks say you must not do it, but even some Märklin manuals show to do it because it is the only way to use certain analogue devices with a digital controller.

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
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Offline marklinist5999  
#4 Posted : 09 October 2021 14:42:23(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,178
Location: Michigan, Troy
Ok, for some reason, I have the understanding that a derailment short occuring under this kind of connection can be damaging, even fatal for a controller or decoders.
Offline JohnjeanB  
#5 Posted : 09 October 2021 16:05:36(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,812
Location: Paris, France
Hi
Normally a derailment has no consequences on an ECOS or a CS2 or CS3 because of short-circuit detection.
I say normally because in some rare cases, if the unit is already damaged, a derailment may quicken its end of life.
Cheers
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
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Offline JohnjeanB  
#6 Posted : 09 October 2021 16:13:53(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,812
Location: Paris, France
Hi Kai
Using Rocrail (or an equivalent) makes that only one switch is operated at any given time.
My layout has 50 to 70 solenoid operated track pieces on a Rocrail layout with 32 trains on it. I use a CS3 with a 100w PSU (60101) to provide max 5 A but only 3.2 A max are needed (you need some reserve)
Here is a glimpse of the Rocrail operation

What I am trying to say is recent locos (even with sound) need very little current and so are LEDs car lighting
I don't use any separate power feed for switches.
Cheers
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
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Offline IBtrain  
#7 Posted : 10 October 2021 08:37:13(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Thanks guys for your replies.

If I understand it correctly as long as my ECOS is working fine then a derailment should not be an issue because of the internal short circuit protection.

Tom you mentioned just make a common ground. Could you elaborate on that for me please. I assume that I should use the ground "O" from the ECOS and not the analog transformer?
Or do I connect both grounds "O"s from both the ECOS and the analog transformer together, then this becomes a common ground?
Plug this ground into the control box and then use the yellow from the analog transformer to connect to the yellow wires from the switches,
even the ones with lights in them.
Is this all correct?
Tom do you have any of those Marklin wiring diagrams that you mentioned, that relate to my situation?

Jean, so if I understand you correctly, since there is not much power usage from the engines themselves, I could use the digital "O and B" from the ECOS, I should connect the "B" to the yellow wires from the switches and the "O" to the blue control box, correct?
The fact that it is a digital power source does not cause a problem for the switches?
And maybe the safest because I'm only using the one power system, ECOS?

Thanks again.ThumpUp
Kai




Offline JohnjeanB  
#8 Posted : 10 October 2021 12:02:58(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,812
Location: Paris, France
Hi
Originally Posted by: IBtrain Go to Quoted Post
Jean, so if I understand you correctly, since there is not much power usage from the engines themselves, I could use the digital "O and B" from the ECOS, I should connect the "B" to the yellow wires from the switches and the "O" to the blue control box, correct?
The fact that it is a digital power source does not cause a problem for the switches?
And maybe the safest because I'm only using the one power system, ECOS?

Kai, NO ABSOLUTELY NOT, all switches should be powered by the digital system (ECOS) through their switch decoder.
If you wish to wire your switches the analog way (using blue controllers this is fine but then indeed you need a separate 16 VAC transformer.
DO NOT connect your ECOS power supply to anything else BUT the ECOS

Having the O (brown) of the digital power connected to one pole of a conventional AC power is OK. It is needed for gated crossing etc

Cheers
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#9 Posted : 10 October 2021 13:08:41(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 18,124
Location: New Zealand
Here's a diagram of what you should do - we presume you want to use the older 7272 switch buttons to switch your solenoid devices.

The 0 and B connections from the Ecos go to the track as shown in the diagram.

Aansluitschema_analoge_lichttransformator.png
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JayH0
Offline Goofy  
#10 Posted : 10 October 2021 16:29:29(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,461
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
A common ground from an external transformer to accessories or the rails shouldn't be connected in any way to a digital controller like Ecos or a Central stattion, Roco Zemo, etc.
This can allow current to pass to the controller from the transformer, and that is not good. The newer controllers using switched mode power can and will be damaged.
Get either ESU or Marklin solenoid decoders like the M83. You can control 4 turnouts with each via the ECOS. I used 22 awg gague p.v.. wire from them to the far away turnouts and they work great!


I use this way too!
A power supply for the digital system and a power supply/trafo for the analog signals or and turnout motors.
I never use same common grounds for the digital and the analog feed.

thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Goofy
Offline H0  
#11 Posted : 10 October 2021 16:41:42(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,346
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
Kai, NO ABSOLUTELY NOT, all switches should be powered by the digital system (ECOS) through their switch decoder.
Some say so, some say so.
It can be done as shown by BigDaddyNZ. So there is less load on the ECoS, leaving more power for digital 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
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Offline IBtrain  
#12 Posted : 10 October 2021 22:09:35(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
Hi
Originally Posted by: IBtrain Go to Quoted Post
Jean, so if I understand you correctly, since there is not much power usage from the engines themselves, I could use the digital "O and B" from the ECOS, I should connect the "B" to the yellow wires from the switches and the "O" to the blue control box, correct?
The fact that it is a digital power source does not cause a problem for the switches?
And maybe the safest because I'm only using the one power system, ECOS?

Kai, NO ABSOLUTELY NOT, all switches should be powered by the digital system (ECOS) through their switch decoder.
If you wish to wire your switches the analog way (using blue controllers this is fine but then indeed you need a separate 16 VAC transformer.
DO NOT connect your ECOS power supply to anything else BUT the ECOS

Having the O (brown) of the digital power connected to one pole of a conventional AC power is OK. It is needed for gated crossing etc

Cheers
Jean


Hello Jean.
OK clear, the digital power can only control the switches via decoders.
But I can connect a common ground between the Ecos and analog transformer.

Thanks for the clarification,ThumpUp
Kai
Offline IBtrain  
#13 Posted : 10 October 2021 22:43:12(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Here's a diagram of what you should do - we presume you want to use the older 7272 switch buttons to switch your solenoid devices.

The 0 and B connections from the Ecos go to the track as shown in the diagram.

Aansluitschema_analoge_lichttransformator.png


Hi Bigdaddynz.
This is great exactly what I was looking for.Smile

Maybe a dumb question; Blushing
I noticed that one "O" (brown wire) from the analog transformer connects with the Ecos track power, and the other "O" goes to the distribution bus.
To make a common ground, do the brown wires "O" need to connect internally in the analog transformer (by plugging the two wires into the back of the transformer as in your diagram) due to whatever reason.
Or just as long as the Ecos and analog transformer "O" (brown wires) connect somewhere, i.e. the distribution bus, as in the drawing I modified, will that make a common ground?

ECos common grd question.jpg
Thanks for your quick reply,ThumpUp
Kai

Offline JohnjeanB  
#14 Posted : 10 October 2021 22:45:25(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,812
Location: Paris, France
Hi Kai
Some wiring require a common ground for digital power and analog power. One example is to power a level crossing.

To be safe two things to check ONE use only regular transformers (floating secondary voltage) and not use auto-transformers (secondary and primary windings are connected on one point (so non-floating voltage) and TWO, never connect even by accident the other side of the transformer to the digital power ("B") as this would destroy your power stage in your CS2, CS3, ECOS or equivalent.

Many other uses don't require this common ground (street lighting, house lighting, luminous ads, water pumps, sound modules, trolley-buses, etc).
Cheers
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
Offline IBtrain  
#15 Posted : 10 October 2021 22:55:51(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Originally Posted by: Goofy Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
A common ground from an external transformer to accessories or the rails shouldn't be connected in any way to a digital controller like Ecos or a Central stattion, Roco Zemo, etc.
This can allow current to pass to the controller from the transformer, and that is not good. The newer controllers using switched mode power can and will be damaged.
Get either ESU or Marklin solenoid decoders like the M83. You can control 4 turnouts with each via the ECOS. I used 22 awg gague p.v.. wire from them to the far away turnouts and they work great!


I use this way too!
A power supply for the digital system and a power supply/trafo for the analog signals or and turnout motors.
I never use same common grounds for the digital and the analog feed.



Hi Goofy
Right now while I'm testing the layout setup I have the trains running digitally but do not have any of the switches connected to decoders. I want to test all the tracks to make sure that there are no dead spots and to ensure that there are no derailments on the switches. So the simplest way that I see was to control the switches manually.

Can you clarify please;
You do use two power supplies, one for the digital system (running of the trains in my case) and an analog transformer for the turnouts/switches,
however you do NOT connect a common ground?
Could you explain or give a diagram on how you do connect the power to both.Confused

Cheers,
Kai
Offline IBtrain  
#16 Posted : 10 October 2021 23:01:21(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
Kai, NO ABSOLUTELY NOT, all switches should be powered by the digital system (ECOS) through their switch decoder.
Some say so, some say so.
It can be done as shown by BigDaddyNZ. So there is less load on the ECoS, leaving more power for digital locos.



Yes it seems like there are different opinions and as Jean mention earlier that once I have Rocrail operating the layout (and even manually I assume) only one turnout/switch will be operated at a time for such a short period of time, so is the extra power really required?
It's just that I want some way of operating the switches now before they are connected to decoders.

Cheers,
Kai

Offline Bigdaddynz  
#17 Posted : 11 October 2021 00:57:57(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 18,124
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: IBtrain Go to Quoted Post
I noticed that one "O" (brown wire) from the analog transformer connects with the Ecos track power, and the other "O" goes to the distribution bus.
To make a common ground, do the brown wires "O" need to connect internally in the analog transformer (by plugging the two wires into the back of the transformer as in your diagram)


No!

Originally Posted by: IBtrain Go to Quoted Post
Or just as long as the Ecos and analog transformer "O" (brown wires) connect somewhere, i.e. the distribution bus, as in the drawing I modified, will that make a common ground?


Yes!



Offline Bigdaddynz  
#18 Posted : 11 October 2021 01:06:34(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 18,124
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: IBtrain Go to Quoted Post
.....only one turnout/switch will be operated at a time for such a short period of time, so is the extra power really required?
It's just that I want some way of operating the switches now before they are connected to decoders.


I'm powering mine in this method using a CS2 and Viessmann 5211 K83 decoder modules. The V5211 has an extra power input when compared to the older Marklin K83's, which only have a red and brown connection (B and 0), which corresponds with the red and brown connection coming out of a controller / booster.

The V5211 also has an 'E' yellow connection, so

B connects to the red (B) output of your controller (only provides the digital command signal to operate the module)
0 connects to the brown (0) common ground
E connects to the yellow power output from a lighting transformer (supplies power to the module for devices)
Offline IBtrain  
#19 Posted : 11 October 2021 08:06:48(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
Hi Kai
Some wiring require a common ground for digital power and analog power. One example is to power a level crossing.

To be safe two things to check ONE use only regular transformers (floating secondary voltage) and not use auto-transformers (secondary and primary windings are connected on one point (so non-floating voltage) and TWO, never connect even by accident the other side of the transformer to the digital power ("B") as this would destroy your power stage in your CS2, CS3, ECOS or equivalent.

Many other uses don't require this common ground (street lighting, house lighting, luminous ads, water pumps, sound modules, trolley-buses, etc).
Cheers
Jean


Thanks Jean.
I don't know the difference between the two types of transformers that you mentioned and would not know what to look for, however I'm assuming that the old Marklin transformers are of the regular transformers (floating secondary voltage) type.

And point two, ALWAYS be very careful with the red "B" output of the analog transformer.

I was able to wire up the Ecos for the track power and an analog transformer for the switches this afternoon, and it was a success. ThumpUp

Thanks for your input.
Kai
Offline IBtrain  
#20 Posted : 11 October 2021 08:08:25(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: IBtrain Go to Quoted Post
I noticed that one "O" (brown wire) from the analog transformer connects with the Ecos track power, and the other "O" goes to the distribution bus.
To make a common ground, do the brown wires "O" need to connect internally in the analog transformer (by plugging the two wires into the back of the transformer as in your diagram)


No!

Originally Posted by: IBtrain Go to Quoted Post
Or just as long as the Ecos and analog transformer "O" (brown wires) connect somewhere, i.e. the distribution bus, as in the drawing I modified, will that make a common ground?


Yes!






Ok, thanks.
ThumpUp
Offline IBtrain  
#21 Posted : 11 October 2021 08:17:59(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: IBtrain Go to Quoted Post
.....only one turnout/switch will be operated at a time for such a short period of time, so is the extra power really required?
It's just that I want some way of operating the switches now before they are connected to decoders.


I'm powering mine in this method using a CS2 and Viessmann 5211 K83 decoder modules. The V5211 has an extra power input when compared to the older Marklin K83's, which only have a red and brown connection (B and 0), which corresponds with the red and brown connection coming out of a controller / booster.

The V5211 also has an 'E' yellow connection, so

B connects to the red (B) output of your controller (only provides the digital command signal to operate the module)
0 connects to the brown (0) common ground
E connects to the yellow power output from a lighting transformer (supplies power to the module for devices)


Hi Bigdaddynz.
Good to know about this option.

With your info and helpful diagram that you posted, I was able to wire up the Ecos for the track power and an analog transformer for the switches this afternoon, and it worked perfectly.
Nothing got fired and no smoke.Laugh

This forum is a great place to get tips and get answers to questions we may have about our hobby from those that have figured it out already.
Why reinvent the wheel?

Thanks to everyone for your input and help.ThumpUp
Have a wonderful day,
Kai



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Offline H0  
#22 Posted : 11 October 2021 08:57:54(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,346
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
To be safe two things to check ONE use only regular transformers (floating secondary voltage) and not use auto-transformers (secondary and primary windings are connected on one point (so non-floating voltage)[...]
All transformers with the Toy symbol are safe. Transformers that require an earth connection are not allowed for toys and will not get the Toy symbol. Only very old Märklin transformers have a point for earth connections and IMHO they should no longer be used for various reasons.

Another note: With old digital devices like CU 6021 and CU 6020 there was a common ground from the transformer feeding the controller to the track and it was possible to use this transformer to feed accessories like level crossing.
This is no longer possible with modern controllers like ECoS, Mobile Station, or Central Station. With the modern stuff, use one power source exclusively for the controller. The output stage of the controller can have a common ground with another transformer as shown by David.
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
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Offline IBtrain  
#23 Posted : 12 October 2021 23:22:39(UTC)
IBtrain

Canada   
Joined: 25/05/2013(UTC)
Posts: 67
Location: Nanaimo BC
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
To be safe two things to check ONE use only regular transformers (floating secondary voltage) and not use auto-transformers (secondary and primary windings are connected on one point (so non-floating voltage)[...]
All transformers with the Toy symbol are safe. Transformers that require an earth connection are not allowed for toys and will not get the Toy symbol. Only very old Märklin transformers have a point for earth connections and IMHO they should no longer be used for various reasons.

Another note: With old digital devices like CU 6021 and CU 6020 there was a common ground from the transformer feeding the controller to the track and it was possible to use this transformer to feed accessories like level crossing.
This is no longer possible with modern controllers like ECoS, Mobile Station, or Central Station. With the modern stuff, use one power source exclusively for the controller. The output stage of the controller can have a common ground with another transformer as shown by David.


Thanks Tom.
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