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Offline Mr. Ron  
#1 Posted : 21 January 2022 01:38:27(UTC)
Mr. Ron

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Joined: 05/07/2020(UTC)
Posts: 216
Location: Mississippi, Vancleave
As the subject implies, I have no understanding of how to convert my trains to digital operation. Note that I use the term "digital" and not DCC. Do Marklin digital systems work the same as American DCC systems? Marklin being AC and American trains DC; are they compatible? Will a Digitrax system work with Marklin locos or do I have to use a Marklin system, like Delta? Can older Marklin locos be converted to digital operation? Can you recommend a good reference book? Some of my locos are 30 years old. I have tried reading the posts here, but I am lost by the nomenclatures used, like 8-pin,21 pin decoders, sound cards, etc.
Offline PeFu  
#2 Posted : 21 January 2022 06:55:45(UTC)
PeFu

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Joined: 30/08/2002(UTC)
Posts: 966
The short answer is that the only difference is about the tracks: 3-rail vs. 2-rail.

You need to decide which digital protocols you want your (decoders in the) engines to support, and also make sure your central unit can support at least one of these formats. These days, most decoders support DCC, but some also support the old Märklin-Motorola formats, or the new Märklin Mfx format (named M4 by ESU). The is no such thing as ”American DCC”, there is only ”DCC”.

Please don’t even look at Delta (or the later 6080 decoder). This was one of the first ”digital” initiatives. It was easy to convert to Delta (or 6080), as you didn’t convert the motor from AC to DC. However, running performence is bad.

Using modern decoders, the starting point is always to make sure the motor is converted to DC. Well, there are some modern decoders that can run on AC motors but, IMHO, these are aimed for the ”poor men conversions”.

Smile

Inspired by Swiss railways SBB and BLS | C and K track | CS2 | TrainController Gold V9
Youtube Channel for the Andreasburg-Mattiasberg layout
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Offline H0  
#3 Posted : 21 January 2022 07:01:49(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,525
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Mr. Ron Go to Quoted Post
Do Marklin digital systems work the same as American DCC systems? Marklin being AC and American trains DC; are they compatible?
As PeFu already wrote: NMRA DCC is the same for two-rail and three-rail.
With digital operation, "DC" is short for two-rail and AC is short for three-rail, but the same controllers are used for two-rail and three-rail. Track current has the same format.
Digitrax does not support MM or mfx and will not work with older Märklin locomotives.

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
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Offline marklinist5999  
#4 Posted : 21 January 2022 09:07:05(UTC)
marklinist5999

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Location: Michigan, Troy
Agreed, and additionally, I think Mr. Ron means that by American dcc Digitrax or NCE decoders. NCE are not Marklin compatible.
Then there is Railcom which mfx doesn't support nor visa versa. Roco uses that for the Z21 cab driver features. ESU ECOS does.
Another brand is Lenz of Austria.
An electronic digital expert may know ways around things, but not I.
I would only use conversion kits designed for certain locomotives. Newer ones have plug in interfaces which allow the decoder to be changed, or a sound decoder added. This can avoid soldering, unless a 21 pin interface would be added to an older loco.
Some conversions are best left to a certified dealer and repair shops.
Even the sanctioned Marklin digital consultants Curtis and Rick admitted to frying decoders upon converting. A loco.
Just my two cents worth of precautionary advice.
Offline H0  
#5 Posted : 21 January 2022 09:22:25(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,525
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
Then there is Railcom which mfx doesn't support nor visa versa.
mfx is a complete digital protocol.
mfx+ is an optional extension of mfx.
RailCom and RailCom+ are just optional extensions to NMRA DCC.

NMRA DCC is a standard used around the globe. So theoretically "American DCC" and "Märklin DCC" should be fully compatible.

And BTW: DCC was invented by Lenz on behalf of Märklin.
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
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Offline DanK  
#6 Posted : 26 January 2022 19:46:09(UTC)
DanK

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Joined: 26/01/2022(UTC)
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Location: New York, Buffalo
I am in the same boat (train?) as Mr. Ron: Just getting started with digital.

I will repeat one of his unanswered questions: Are there any recommended reference books, in English, that explain MARKLIN Digital well? A "How to get started with MARKLIN digital" type book. Looking online I only found ones in German or else quite old. I would like something that explains all the various components, etc.

Thanks!
Offline kiwiAlan  
#7 Posted : 26 January 2022 20:29:29(UTC)
kiwiAlan

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Posts: 6,808
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: DanK Go to Quoted Post
I am in the same boat (train?) as Mr. Ron: Just getting started with digital.

I will repeat one of his unanswered questions: Are there any recommended reference books, in English, that explain MARKLIN Digital well? A "How to get started with MARKLIN digital" type book. Looking online I only found ones in German or else quite old. I would like something that explains all the various components, etc.

Thanks!


Have you looked at the Marklin cs3 book? English version is 03092.

Offline DanK  
#8 Posted : 27 January 2022 01:56:23(UTC)
DanK

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Location: New York, Buffalo
Thanks, KiwiAlan.

Looking for it, it looks like a new version exists with number 3093.
Offline kiwiAlan  
#9 Posted : 27 January 2022 13:16:53(UTC)
kiwiAlan

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Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: DanK Go to Quoted Post
Thanks, KiwiAlan.

Looking for it, it looks like a new version exists with number 3093.


Sorry, that was the one i meant.
Offline phils2um  
#10 Posted : 28 January 2022 02:22:21(UTC)
phils2um

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Location: Michigan, Ann Arbor
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
With digital operation, "DC" is short for two-rail and AC is short for three-rail, but the same controllers are used for two-rail and three-rail.


I need to take exception to this. Not the controller comment but "DC" and "AC". In digital operation there is no "DC" or "AC". To try distinguishing between two-rail and three-rail application of digital control by calling them "DC" and "AC" only adds to new a user's confusion and is by no means commonly accepted terminology. AC and DC describe the two common analog control methods and have nothing to do digital control.

In fact all model RR digital systems, both two-rail and three-rail use a type of alternating current that is similar to a square-wave. This specially modified wave-form both powers the decoders and transfers the digital information.
Phil S.
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Offline H0  
#11 Posted : 28 January 2022 08:42:54(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 14,525
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: phils2um Go to Quoted Post
I need to take exception to this. Not the controller comment but "DC" and "AC". In digital operation there is no "DC" or "AC". To try distinguishing between two-rail and three-rail application of digital control by calling them "DC" and "AC" only adds to new a user's confusion and is by no means commonly accepted terminology. AC and DC describe the two common analog control methods and have nothing to do digital control.
Many dealers and some manufacturers use "DC" to mark their two-rail models and "AC" to mark their three-rail models. I know this is wrong, but that's how it is.

Originally Posted by: phils2um Go to Quoted Post
In fact all model RR digital systems, both two-rail and three-rail use a type of alternating current that is similar to a square-wave. This specially modified wave-form both powers the decoders and transfers the digital information.
AIUI the term "alternating current" (short "AC") is used for sine waves - which digital current does not have. It's not a sine-wave, it's not a square-wave. The term rectangle-wave would be a better fit, but does not imply possible cut-outs.
A forum user used the term "bi-polar pulsed DC" for digital track current.

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
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Offline mbarreto  
#12 Posted : 28 January 2022 09:52:13(UTC)
mbarreto

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I call AC to a current that alternates direction and DC to a current that flows always in the same direction.
In terms of voltage, I call AC to a voltage that alternates polarity and DC to one that doesn't.
I don't care much of the waveform to call it AC or DC.



Mostly Märklin H0.


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Offline H0  
#13 Posted : 28 January 2022 10:10:58(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
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Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: mbarreto Go to Quoted Post
I call AC to a current that alternates direction and DC to a current that flows always in the same direction.
In terms of voltage, I call AC to a voltage that alternates polarity and DC to one that doesn't.
I don't care much of the waveform to call it AC or DC.
Having dozens of different definitions of "AC" will not make communication any easier.

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
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Offline mbarreto  
#14 Posted : 28 January 2022 10:50:12(UTC)
mbarreto

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Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Having dozens of different definitions of "AC" will not make communication any easier.


I agree and I use mine for me.
We can just say 2R, 3R or if mentioning a specific protocol use its own name, like mfx, DCC, etc.

Edit:
This is just when referring to digital train control.

Edited by user 28 January 2022 18:22:25(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Mostly Märklin H0.


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Offline DaleSchultz  
#15 Posted : 28 January 2022 17:46:00(UTC)
DaleSchultz

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Posts: 3,997
This has been discussed many times before.

Please do not use two rail to describe DC and 3 rail to describe AC.

It is still incorrect and the number of people using it incorrectly does not change that
We want to stop perpetuating the incorrect use. We know the history and it only takes one line of text to clarify why the misnomer came about.

This especially important for people asking for clarification. It is better to have the people gaining understanding be in the section of the Venn diagram that use the terms correctly.


Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline mbarreto  
#16 Posted : 28 January 2022 18:25:13(UTC)
mbarreto

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Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
This has been discussed many times before.

Please do not use two rail to describe DC and 3 rail to describe AC.
...


In my previous post I was referring only to digital control, not analog. I just edited it.


Mostly Märklin H0.


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Offline DaleSchultz  
#17 Posted : 28 January 2022 22:37:09(UTC)
DaleSchultz

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your definitions are perfectly acceptable.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline phils2um  
#18 Posted : 28 January 2022 23:36:41(UTC)
phils2um

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Location: Michigan, Ann Arbor
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Having dozens of different definitions of "AC" will not make communication any easier.

We're not talking of dozens of AC definitions. Either the current is alternating or it isn't. The waveform of the alternating current does not matter whether sine wave, square wave, or frequency modulated square wave.

As others have pointed out, better to have new comers learn the correct terminology.
Phil S.
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#19 Posted : 29 January 2022 08:56:43(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

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Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
... it's not a square-wave. The term rectangle-wave would be a better fit...


The term 'square wave' as I understand it - "A square wave is a non-sinusoidal periodic waveform in which the amplitude alternates at a steady frequency between fixed minimum and maximum values, with the same duration at minimum and maximum. In an ideal square wave, the transitions between minimum and maximum are instantaneous."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_wave

That probably covers your rectangle wave!

At any rate as has been mentioned the output from a digital controller is neither AC or DC, but a square wave but it does have AC and DC components which is why you will get a voltage reading if measuring the wave in either AC or DC mode with a multimeter.

Using a True RMS multimeter in AC mode gives an approximate reading but the proper way to measure the signal is with a True RMS multimeter that can measure in AC + DC mode as my Fluke 287 can. That takes into account the AC and DC component of the waveform and gives a more accurate reading.
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Offline ocram63_uk  
#20 Posted : 29 January 2022 09:47:40(UTC)
ocram63_uk

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Joined: 07/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 580
Location: England, Suffolk
In order to run trains, with whichever control unit Brand you want to use, the motor of the engines has to already be built for DC operation.
Older Marklin motors, which could only run on AC, have to be converted to DC first.
All new Marklin locos have DC motors and decoders so no problems there.

There is no escaping the fact that AC motors have an external coil to change the rotation direction.
This is why you need to convert them by installing a permanent magnet in place of the coil. You can use specially made decoders that don't need this but they are awful performers and take all the joy of running trains away

DC motors just invert polarity to change rotation.
Conversion easy with a bit of soldering skills.

The decoders can be connected to the motors with flying cables, 6 or 8 pins and you need soldering skills or pay someone to do the job, or plugged into the circuit boards of the newest engines.

I assume a decoder to be like a NIC for a computer
(Network interface card) and the tracks the Ethernet. Simplstic but easier.

If you want to play with a digital train buy a digital starter set and take it from there. You will Convert your older locos in time, there is no hurry.
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Offline Goofy  
#21 Posted : 29 January 2022 10:55:52(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,539
A notice about digital system that support RailCom:
If you want to use Märklin digital accessories you must make sure first by disabled RailCom in the digital system like Digitrax or other manufacturer that support RailCom too.
H0
DCC = Digital Command Control
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#22 Posted : 29 January 2022 11:50:21(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
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Posts: 18,349
Location: New Zealand
What Goofy doesn't say is that having Railcom enabled can distort mfx / mm signals so best to disable Railcom.
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#23 Posted : 29 January 2022 15:52:00(UTC)
DaleSchultz

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Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post


At any rate as has been mentioned the output from a digital controller is neither AC or DC,


NO! <sigh> The digital output of a digital controller IS alternating current.
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
but a square wave


yes, the AC is square wave.

Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
but it does have AC and DC components

back to utter nonsense. AC current only has AC components. AC and DC are mutually exclusive.

Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
which is why you will get a voltage reading if measuring the wave in either AC or DC mode with a multimeter.

More nonsense.

Misusing a meter by using the DC mode when reading AC will give a reading (which is wrong) and does NOT suggest that the current is anything but AC.
Attempting to use the AC mode of a meter when the AC is not sinusoidal, will also give an incorrect reading of the AC square wave. This is because the design of the meter is to adjust the measured voltage based on the assumption that it is sinusoidal. The 'AC' mode of the meter should be labeled 'AC sinusoidal'.

Clearly we need a single FAQ document that explains all this with diagrams.







Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#24 Posted : 29 January 2022 17:20:54(UTC)
DaleSchultz

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Posts: 3,997
My page on using LEDs at
https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2019/10/modelling-with-leds.html
explains much of this power supply side in the electricity fundamentals as one needs to understand most of this before starting to use the current available in the tracks. See the section called: Sources of power for LEDs




Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline ocram63_uk  
#25 Posted : 29 January 2022 17:30:34(UTC)
ocram63_uk

United Kingdom   
Joined: 07/01/2015(UTC)
Posts: 580
Location: England, Suffolk
More simply, as none of us are hardware engineers nor model train accessory engineers, all this information is totally useless to play with trains. You want to stick to the latest Marklin world, good for you.
You want to mix modernd non Marklin stuff? You have to adapt these 'foreign bodies' to run on Marklin tracks.
You want to have a non Marklin architecture? You have 100% more flexibility and no constraints.

A bit like Apple products and rest of world.

I've been playing with DCC since 1998. Never bothered about the form of an electrical wave, who cared and I still don't care!!!

When I moved to Marklin I was told that I had to modify my vintage locks to run with DCC, I did it. End of story
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#26 Posted : 29 January 2022 22:29:16(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

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Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
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Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
but it does have AC and DC components

back to utter nonsense. AC current only has AC components. AC and DC are mutually exclusive.

Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
which is why you will get a voltage reading if measuring the wave in either AC or DC mode with a multimeter.

More nonsense.

Misusing a meter by using the DC mode when reading AC will give a reading (which is wrong) and does NOT suggest that the current is anything but AC.
Attempting to use the AC mode of a meter when the AC is not sinusoidal, will also give an incorrect reading of the AC square wave. This is because the design of the meter is to adjust the measured voltage based on the assumption that it is sinusoidal. The 'AC' mode of the meter should be labeled 'AC sinusoidal'.


Forgive me for my ignorance, I'm not an electrical engineer (and neither are you for that matter). I based my comment on memory of a previous post from Per, which I reproduce here which is self explanatory in the context of my comment.

https://www.marklin-user...44532-DCC-and-AC-Control

Capture.JPG

I've always got a 18.5v reading from both my Digitech and Fluke 287 multimeters (both are True RMS meters) on the AC setting when measuring the out put of my CS2. To my horror and confusion I could only get a 14v measurement from my Fluke (AC mode) when measuring the output of my CS3 - the power supply feeding the CS3 was set to 19v. I eventually found out I should have used the AC+DC mode on the Fluke and doing so gave a reading of 19v.

Here's a screenshot from the Fluke's manual

Capture.JPG

Capture.JPG

So as Per suggests there is DC 'something' present.


Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post


At any rate as has been mentioned the output from a digital controller is neither AC or DC,


NO! <sigh> The digital output of a digital controller IS alternating current.


That statement is contradicted by H0 and others with electrical engineering experience in the same thread referenced above

Capture.JPG

Capture.JPG
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#27 Posted : 29 January 2022 22:51:18(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,997
exactly read what RayF states. His and my statements match exactly. Yours (and others) do not.

Please stop claiming that digital track signals are not a form of AC current. You are simply incorrect and I am done with this thread.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline Purellum  
#28 Posted : 29 January 2022 23:33:49(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,434
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

This is a hopeless discussion BigGrin

Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
So as Per suggests there is DC 'something' present.


No, what I meant was that the asymmetrically signal makes the multi-meter "think" that DC is present Cool

Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
exactly read what RayF states. His and my statements match exactly.


Strange, because I agree with RayF; but not with you; for me as well as for RayF "AC current" implicates a sinusoidal variation Cool

Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
Please stop claiming that digital track signals are not a form of AC current.


I would never call it "a form of AC current"; if you only send digital "1", you get a steady DC for as long as you send the "1"s Cool

The most sensible nomination of a digital signal would for me be "polarity changing DC" - which it also is BigGrin

You have a certain DC voltage when you send "1"s, and you change the polarity when you send "0"s Cool

Per.

Cool






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I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.

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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#29 Posted : 29 January 2022 23:34:42(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

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Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
exactly read what RayF states. His and my statements match exactly. Yours (and others) do not.


I said the signal was neither AC or DC which matches with what Ray said. Not sure how my statement and your statement agree with Ray but somehow in the Schultz alternate universe my statement does not! By 'other's do you mean H0 and Per? Geez, you're starting to sound like TEEWolf!

Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
At any rate as has been mentioned the output from a digital controller is neither AC or DC.....



Originally Posted by: RayF Go to Quoted Post
The endless arguments about whether "Digital is AC or DC" are all quite misplaced as both arguments are right and wrong in about equal measure.

My advice is to avoid defining digital signals as either AC or DC, as neither term really applies, and just use the term "Digital Signal".



Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
....and I am done with this thread.


Good! Nice of you to drop by.
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#30 Posted : 29 January 2022 23:48:36(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

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Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post
Cool

This is a hopeless discussion BigGrin



Yeah, but it sure beats going outside on a hot summers day and getting cooked by the sun.....at least for a few minutes.

Can anyone (i.e. Per) answer why I got 18.5v from the CS2 with my Fluke on the AC setting but only 14v from the CS3 with the Fluke on AC.

Switching the Fluke to AC+DC mode gave me 19v from the CS3.

Dale didn't even attempt to answer that which would have been more appreciated than the answer he did give.


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Offline Purellum  
#31 Posted : 30 January 2022 00:14:12(UTC)
Purellum

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Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Yeah, but it sure beats going outside on a hot summers day and getting cooked by the sun.....at least for a few minutes.


At the moment we have the first hurricane in 2 years, and the strongest wind gusts in 6 - 7 years.
Tomorrow water levels are expected in some areas of Denmark to rise 1,5 - 2 meters above the usual, which is a lot here......... Blink

Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Can anyone (i.e. Per) answer why I got 18.5v from the CS2 with my Fluke on the AC setting but only 14v from the CS3 with the Fluke on AC.

Switching the Fluke to AC DC mode gave me 19v from the CS3.


I don't think I can answer that question, only suggestion could be that you don't have many things going on in your CS3 = not sending many signals Confused

Per.

Cool

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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#32 Posted : 30 January 2022 01:57:06(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

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Location: New Zealand
Both devices were measured with no load on them.

Morsing also asked a similar question in https://www.marklin-user...090-12-3V-track-volktage
Offline DaleSchultz  
#33 Posted : 30 January 2022 03:23:29(UTC)
DaleSchultz

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Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,997
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post


Can anyone (i.e. Per) answer why I got 18.5v from the CS2 with my Fluke on the AC setting but only 14v from the CS3 with the Fluke on AC.

Switching the Fluke to AC+DC mode gave me 19v from the CS3.

Dale didn't even attempt to answer that which would have been more appreciated than the answer he did give.




Because I already gave you the answer in a previous post:

Attempting to use the AC mode of a meter when the AC is not sinusoidal, will also give an incorrect reading of the AC square wave.

You are wondering why two incorrect readings don't match.

For once a thread where Goofy's post makes more sense than yours. I think you should take the advice you gave him recently.

Personal attacks about "alternate universe" are uncalled for especially from a moderator.





Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#34 Posted : 30 January 2022 03:35:14(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,997


> if you only send digital "1", you get a steady DC for as long as you send the "1"s

I do not believe that is a true statement. We are talking about DCC and it oscillates between 8KHz and 10kHz which means each 1 bit is on for a maximum of 0.000125 seconds, after which the polarity reverses (AC). If you want to call that DC current then any current measured at a rate of less that 8kHz would logically be DC and you would be hard pressed to find any AC current anywhere.

Furthermore in DCC one does not (and probably cannot) simply send a stream of 1's

Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline DaleSchultz  
#35 Posted : 30 January 2022 03:49:14(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,997
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Both devices were measured with no load on them.

Morsing also asked a similar question in https://www.marklin-user...090-12-3V-track-volktage


Exactly, and in that thread it was explained that using a meter that assumes the AC is sinusoidal will not give an accurate result.

When an AC current is said to be 16V it does not mean that the tops and troughs of the waves are at +16V and -16 V. They are in fact at 1.414 X 16 = 22.6V. 1.414 is square root of 2.

So for a meter to present you with a number '16' it can measure the peaks and troughs 22.6 and divide by 1.414 = 16 because that matches the sinusoidal curve.

So the result only makes sense if the AC is sinusoidal which is commonly found.

If you present the meter to a square wave AC current, the calculations of the peaks and toughs and the conversions are unlikely to be accurate and the reading is essentially junk.

I you want to know the amplitude of the square wave, rectify it and measure that output (as described in the link provided earlier.) That will provide you with a value that you can compare between systems that oscillate and measure things at different frequencies.



Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#36 Posted : 30 January 2022 05:07:41(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 18,349
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
For once a thread where Goofy's post makes more sense than yours. I think you should take the advice you gave him recently.

Personal attacks about "alternate universe" are uncalled for especially from a moderator.


Given you're not a subject matter expert in what we are talking about, i.e. an Electronics / Electrical engineer does that mean the same statement applies to you?

The 'alternate universe' comment was merely an observation not an attack since you seemed to be contradicting Per who is a SME, H0 and Ray while claiming you agreed with Ray.

Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
Attempting to use the AC mode of a meter when the AC is not sinusoidal, will also give an incorrect reading of the AC square wave.


I'm aware of that, but for us average Jo Schmo's who don't have an Oscilloscope and a test bench full of instruments but do have a True RMS multimeter what is the correct method to use to measure the signal output from a CS2/CS3 when all you have is a True RMS multimeter?
Offline PJMärklin  
#37 Posted : 30 January 2022 06:18:58(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 2,069
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post
This is a hopeless discussion BigGrin ...

You are just so correct.Sad

The Original Post (by Mr.Ron) asked 5 questions :

- Do Marklin digital systems work the same as American DCC systems?
- Are they compatible?
- Will a Digitrax system work with Marklin locos
- Can older Marklin locos be converted to digital operation?
- Can you recommend a good reference book?

May I humbly submit the observation that whilst some of the 36 subsequent posts did address in part his questions, the majority of these
posts have run out of control and consist of a back-and-forth bickering by grown-ups in regard to pedantic definitions.Blushing
I am not an engineer (be it in electrical, electronic, or IT engineering) but from my profession I have enough distant background in physical
sciences to enable me to understand the “discussion” (to put a courteous term to it) and it seems that many definitions can be found and
have been rigidly argued for the same phenomena – but that was not the subject for which the OP requested help.Confused

May I also respectfully suggest that the thread has run its course, whilst not really helping the OP as much as it could have, and be
terminated to preserve the peace?

Sorry, no offence intended to anyone, please enjoy your trainsBigGrin

PJ
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Offline Purellum  
#38 Posted : 30 January 2022 07:10:18(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,434
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
&gt; if you only send digital "1", you get a steady DC for as long as you send the "1"s

I do not believe that is a true statement. We are talking about DCC


At the time when I entered the conversation, we were talking digital signals versus AC, not specifically DCC,
and I was in the MM universe - and maybe a "bit" too tired Blushing

Apart from that, you're partly right, there's always a short timing pulse to tell you when one bit is over, and the next bit starts.

A MM accessory bit is 104ms long; if it's a "1", it is 91ms positive and 13ms negative; a "0" is 13ms positive + 91ms negative.

A lot of "1"s will then give you a DC reading on most meters, and I consider a "1" for DC with one polarity for the first 91ms,
and then a DC with the opposite polarity for the next 13ms.

On a FLUKE "a lot of "1"s" will give you a relatively high DC value and a relatively low AC value.

Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
Exactly, and in that thread it was explained that using a meter that assumes the AC is sinusoidal will not give an accurate result.


I agree with FLUKE, if it's called AC, then it's sinusoidal.

Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Both devices were measured with no load on them.


It's not the load IMHO, it's the signals being sent, as described above.

Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
I'm aware of that, but for us average Jo Schmo's who don't have an Oscilloscope and a test bench full of instruments but do have a True RMS multimeter what is the correct method to use to measure the signal output from a CS2/CS3 when all you have is a True RMS multimeter?


Most likely there are digital multimeters that can do it correctly; but theoretically the best way to measure true "True RMS" is using a 50 year old "moving iron instrument". They don't care about wave forms, they just give you the correct RMS value, which is defined as: "For alternating electric current, RMS is equal to the value of the constant direct current that would produce the same power dissipation in a resistive load".

Unfortunately the very high frequencies we have in the digital systems changes the reactance of the coils in the "moving iron instruments",
and thus gives you an incorrect reading........

Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
I you want to know the amplitude of the square wave, rectify it and measure that output (as described in the link provided earlier.) That will provide you with a value that you can compare between systems that oscillate and measure things at different frequencies.


This is basically correct; but not easy to do as DIY. Most likely instruments exists that has this feature.

Edit: What we need is some kind of analog frequency-independent instrument.

Per.

Cool
If you can dream it, you can do it!

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.

In case this is not legally possible:
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Offline Purellum  
#39 Posted : 30 January 2022 07:15:11(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,434
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: PJMärklin Go to Quoted Post


May I humbly submit the observation that whilst some of the 36 subsequent posts did address in part his questions, the majority of these
posts have run out of control and consist of a back-and-forth bickering by grown-ups in regard to pedantic definitions.Blushing
I am not an engineer (be it in electrical, electronic, or IT engineering) but from my profession I have enough distant background in physical
sciences to enable me to understand the “discussion” (to put a courteous term to it) and it seems that many definitions can be found and
have been rigidly argued for the same phenomena – but that was not the subject for which the OP requested help.Confused

May I also respectfully suggest that the thread has run its course, whilst not really helping the OP as much as it could have, and be
terminated to preserve the peace?

Sorry, no offence intended to anyone, please enjoy your trainsBigGrin

PJ


I agree, I just didn't see your posting while I was writing my last reply Blushing

Per.

Cool

If you can dream it, you can do it!

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.

In case this is not legally possible:
I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

UserPostedImage
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Offline Bigdaddynz  
#40 Posted : 30 January 2022 09:02:30(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 18,349
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: PJMärklin Go to Quoted Post
May I also respectfully suggest that the thread......be terminated to preserve the peace?


The thought crossed my mind, but then I'd get accused of shutting down a conversation I was heavily involved in because I didn't like something that was said........

At any rate it isn't the first thread on this topic to be locked and probably won't be the last!
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