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Offline PedroRyder  
#1 Posted : 13 January 2022 16:35:36(UTC)
PedroRyder

Portugal   
Joined: 04/01/2022(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: Lisboa, Lisbon
Hello to everyone, I'm Pedro from Portugal

I have a 50 year old Marklin M track system that I have being playing with, since I was 7 years old, but without any experience in adding new components. The most "sophisticated " gear being an automatic level crossing and a couple of electrical turns. The transformer is a 10VA blue. I have two Loco's: 3029 (came with kit) and the 3078. A few other carriages and wagons also. Bought last week a steam loco 3005.9.

When my son was born, I started to buy C type tracks. The kit came with a battery powered high speed train (29200) kit with an infrared control. I have now quite a few tracks and joined to the M track via a 24951 straight. For now, I want to stay analogue. Maybe later I'll change to digital.

For those who had the hassle to read my story, here are some questions, that I would much appreciate to know the answer:

1. How to run all these 3 locomotives (the battery operated is not electric therefore is out of this problem) going around both the M and C track?
2. Which transformer is best to operate this layout of 3 meters long x 2 meters wide and 4 circles of tracks running around
3. If I want to enlarge the number of tracks and add some automatic turns and signs, how much power I need for this layout?

I'm completely in love with this Marklin world after 57 years; just found the magic of this toy!!

Thank you in advance and look forward for some enlightenment on this matter.BigGrin

Pedro
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Offline marklinist5999  
#2 Posted : 13 January 2022 21:22:25(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 3,219
Location: Michigan, Troy
No problem for analog operation. You need M to C transition tracks. Because of the metal roadbed of M track, it may not be the best choice for newer digital operation. A derailment can cause a short much easier because the wheels ride on the metal roadbed. That is grounded to the digital controler, signal decoders, etc. It can take longer for an MS2, CS2, or CS3 to fault stop.
Offline kiwiAlan  
#3 Posted : 13 January 2022 23:56:29(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 8,137
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Is the track from the battery set true C track or the single piece molding with imitation studs down the middle? Only the very early battery sets came with true C track.

If it is the plastic molded imitation C track then you will be able to run your old wagons over it only while the are worked by your battery train. Your old locomotives will not get any power.

Offline cookee_nz  
#4 Posted : 14 January 2022 00:12:07(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,965
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Hi Pedro, welcome.

Adding to what has already been said above, you asked about required Transformer.

The basic rule of thumb is that a single 10VA controller is what comes with a typical basic start set, and would be fine for the 3029 or the 3078 but only a relatively small layout. ie the track the set came with, plus a few extra lengths, or a siding/passing track or two.

The 3005 will 'probably' work ok, but it does have higher power requirements.

If you don't have any lights, or powered accessories then you will be fine. But powered turnouts usually also have a lamp, and if you try to change a turnout, while a Loco is running the turnout may not switch reliably. But of course it might be no problem. Good wiring is the key, and additional feeds to the other side of the layout is always a good thing so you are not totally reliant on the track joins.

Good indication is if the Loco runs well close to the power feed, but then drops off as it gets further away, or slows on an incline, you need to check the track joins are tight and probably add power feeders.

Your next step up is a 16VA controller, this gives you just over 50% more power available but unless you could pick one up really cheaply, you're probably better off to look for a 30VA which is the next step up and would most likely give what you need.

Alternatively, if you have two ovals, you can isolate them where they join (with an electric switch) and have another controller for the second oval, and perhaps even a third if you have a shunting yard etc so you can run and control two or three locos at the same time without going the Digital way. Plus of course you have your battery powered train also.

Hope this helps you. Plenty to learn, but this is the place for it
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#5 Posted : 14 January 2022 02:33:04(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 18,687
Location: New Zealand
I know from recent experience that a 3005 will not work with a 10va transformer. Need to use a 30va/32va transformer for those larger locos.
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Offline hvc  
#6 Posted : 15 January 2022 02:48:46(UTC)
hvc

Australia   
Joined: 03/06/2013(UTC)
Posts: 431
Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Hi Pedro,

Welcome to the forum!

Just adding to all of the above - from an electrical point of view, you can regard your C tracks just the same as M tracks. The C tracks are just more electrically reliable.

As Cookee suggests above you can have multiple transformers controlling independent sections of track. You leave the outside rails connected, and just isolate the centre stud connector. Great fun and simple to do, and the trains can still drive from one transformer section into another, often causing confusion and excitement. Also back in the 1970s my Hornby-owning school friends would be blown away by the working catenary (overhead wires), and being able to independently control two locomotives on the same section of track!

While you still have analogue, all of the old M-track principles still apply, including the old Marklin documentation. A site that I really like is http://www.lctm.info , for example if you go to their Marklin library:

http://www.lctm.info/Sec...lioteca/Libros/index.php

this gives you all the information you need on wiring, signals and transformers while you stick with analogue operation.

I especially like this old book:

Screen Shot 2022-01-15 at 12.43.28 pm.jpg

https://mega.nz/file/04V...cC5LstvUzDWyUvL3N5JFDkUM

which gives you the operating principles of railways as well as some tips for a Märklin layout.

The only thing is, use the newest analogue transformers you can afford, and preferably new white ones if you can. Don't ever use the old blue metal ones, unless a qualified electrician has replaced the power cords.

Herman
- Herman
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Offline hvc  
#7 Posted : 15 January 2022 03:29:57(UTC)
hvc

Australia   
Joined: 03/06/2013(UTC)
Posts: 431
Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
You need M to C transition tracks.


Pedro already said he was using the 24951 transition track.

Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
Is the track from the battery set true C track or the single piece molding with imitation studs down the middle? Only the very early battery sets came with true C track.

If it is the plastic molded imitation C track then you will be able to run your old wagons over it only while the are worked by your battery train. Your old locomotives will not get any power.



The 29200 set which Pedro has did come with proper C track with centre studs - I have the same one (it is indeed a very early one of the infrared start up sets)

Originally Posted by: PedroRyder Go to Quoted Post

I'm completely in love with this Marklin world after 57 years; just found the magic of this toy!!


You are in good company there!

Herman
- Herman
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Offline PedroRyder  
#8 Posted : 02 May 2022 03:01:34(UTC)
PedroRyder

Portugal   
Joined: 04/01/2022(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: Lisboa, Lisbon
Hello to everyone,

Thanks so much for such good tips. I've dived so much in info, handed by you and searched ones. Thank you all for the help.

Because I don't want to put aside the old M's, I even started to buy semaphores, lights and more tracks. I already found how to run several locos. And you now something, since a started to introduce this hobby to my 12 year son and made some investment in the C layout (he's from digital era, so I decided to go digital with c track.

Now our project is to have the C layout running parallel to my old M. not connected because M will be analogue and C digital. My son's in charged of the C and myself, stick to the old M that a I love so much!!

I will send pictures of the project...long time project tough!

This forum is like talking with friends we don't know...but looks like we are tuned up.

Greetings and thanks again.
Pedro
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Offline AndrePinto  
#9 Posted : 11 September 2023 20:25:56(UTC)
AndrePinto

Portugal   
Joined: 11/09/2023(UTC)
Posts: 8
Location: Oporto
Hi Pedro and all the other Distinct Member's,

Only now I read this post.

One year after, do you still have two distinct tracks?

Thanks for sharing you experience.

Best regards,
André Pinto


Offline heinrichhess  
#10 Posted : 12 September 2023 17:47:54(UTC)
heinrichhess

United Kingdom   
Joined: 20/05/2023(UTC)
Posts: 214
Location: Wales, powys
i run big steam engines if you are to use this track do not have it after a corner my be 2 track lengths before converting after staring my track with c i brought m track to use out of sight in my personals experience M track is better as long as its in good condition if using in shed or any where with damp use c track i only use c track for long blacks of contact track

c to m.jpg
hess
Offline marklinist5999  
#11 Posted : 13 September 2023 14:22:58(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 3,219
Location: Michigan, Troy
I use a few M sections, but it isn't reccomended for newer decoders or controllers because of the metal roadbed's potential for more serious shorting.
Offline H0  
#12 Posted : 13 September 2023 14:52:35(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 15,290
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
I use a few M sections, but it isn't reccomended for newer decoders or controllers because of the metal roadbed's potential for more serious shorting.
Is that an official Märklin warning or is there another source?

Märklin wrote: "Generell kann Märklin digital natürlich auch mit dem M-Gleis zusammen eingesetzt werden."
=> Generally Märklin digital can also be used with M track, of course.

German Märklin file here:
https://www.maerklin.de/...faq/Technik-Tipp-403.pdf
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 heinrichhess  
#13 Posted : 13 September 2023 15:03:09(UTC)
heinrichhess

United Kingdom   
Joined: 20/05/2023(UTC)
Posts: 214
Location: Wales, powys
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
I use a few M sections, but it isn't reccomended for newer decoders or controllers because of the metal roadbed's potential for more serious shorting.
Is that an official Märklin warning or is there another source?

Märklin wrote: "Generell kann Märklin digital natürlich auch mit dem M-Gleis zusammen eingesetzt werden."
=> Generally Märklin digital can also be used with M track, of course.

German Märklin file here:
https://www.maerklin.de/...faq/Technik-Tipp-403.pdf



that must be why they make adapter track

hess

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Offline marklinist5999  
#14 Posted : 13 September 2023 15:28:47(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 3,219
Location: Michigan, Troy
Official from the Digital club and Marklin!
Offline mike c  
#15 Posted : 14 September 2023 05:06:53(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 7,947
Location: Montreal, QC
The problem with combining M, K and C track is that you need a full 180mm track to go from one to the other. There is no way to have parallel tracks and have a simple transition between tracks.
I also noted that the conversion track from C to M has track on the transition which resembles K track profile closer than M track. I don't understand why they did not keep the same profile as C track for the whole section.

When I set up my tracks on the floor, I have the main track set up with R4 and R5 C Track and use my M Track for my yard where I keep a few trains parked while running others. The full length rolling stock can often have issues with the turnout indicator on M Track switches, so I use only the ones that I have which did not come with the indicator.

I have been hesitant to give up the M and K Track because I have had too many issues with C Track becoming brittle, even track that the dealer told me was from the "safe" batch turned out to be the older fragile ones.

Regards

Mike C
Offline H0  
#16 Posted : 14 September 2023 09:28:50(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 15,290
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
Official from the Digital club and Marklin!
Any links to PDF files?
Digital club? Are you referring to the Marklin dudes?

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 BenP  
#17 Posted : 14 September 2023 16:04:33(UTC)
BenP

United States   
Joined: 04/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 351
Location: Michigan, Ann Arbor
I have a fully-functioning, large (~70m track) digital layout with all M track (and similarly vintage signals), controlled by PC/Rocrail (via CS3+ or Intellibox). Using regularly spaced power feed tracks and ample common ground, including booster for switches and signals, I have not had any shorting issues that damage decoders in digitalized vintage locs (of course, track shorts occur occasionally, which the controller, well, controls) or affect S88 feedback units. I did have a recent CS3+ fail, which appears to be a mainboard power amplifier issue, but the layout continues to work fine with an old Intellibox controller (until CS3+ is returned from Marklin repair).
I have recently added a K track section (with Merkur base), which I like more than the look of plastic C track. So, M track works fine for a digital layout, provided it is well connected, and creates charming track noise of the old days (no need for running sounds in locs).
Ben

snapshot.jpg
Digital M (+ some K) track layout with mostly vintage rolling stock and accessories, and small Z scale layout.
https://youtube.com/play...0kgVYbh0CeDTF-bYXoD_2-V9
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