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Offline dave55uk  
#1 Posted : 20 September 2023 15:04:04(UTC)
dave55uk

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/09/2023(UTC)
Posts: 89
Location: Ely, England
Can someone please explain (simply) what the difference is between AC and DC wheelsets for coaches and wagons?

I have some Roco wagons that I use on my British OO layout.
Would I have to change the wheels to use them on my Marklin layout?
Offline twmarklinfan  
#2 Posted : 20 September 2023 15:25:15(UTC)
twmarklinfan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 08/05/2015(UTC)
Posts: 368
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent, United Kingdom
Hi

Very quickly AC wheels are not insulated, so if use them on your DC layout will cause a short circuit.

DC wheels are insulated and can be used on your Marklin layout and will not cause any issues. You may want to check the back to back measurement to ensure they are compatible with your Marklin track.

Hope this helps

Adrian
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Offline H0  
#3 Posted : 20 September 2023 15:26:46(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 15,290
Location: DE-NW
AC is short for three-rail. DC is short for two-rail.

AC wheels on two-rail track give a short circuit.

DC wheels on three-rail track may or may not work, as the wheel spacing may be different. Worth to give it a try.
Contact tracks will not detect DC wheels. If cars derail on turnouts then you will have to adjust the wheel spacing or replace the wheelsets with the AC type.

In my experience there are no problems with Roco cars on Märklin C track.
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 dave55uk  
#4 Posted : 20 September 2023 15:34:24(UTC)
dave55uk

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/09/2023(UTC)
Posts: 89
Location: Ely, England
Thanks Adrian/Tom. Very helpful and simple answers. Much appreciated.
Offline rhfil  
#5 Posted : 20 September 2023 18:16:44(UTC)
rhfil

United States   
Joined: 05/09/2014(UTC)
Posts: 440
Location: NEW HAMPSHIRE, Somersworth
Basically AC and DC wheels is a misnomer. The real difference is insulated and non-insulated wheel sets. Non-insulated wheel sets will short out a two rail track. Insulated wheel sets have no problems running on three rail tracks but will not activate the contact track which requires power across the outside rails to work. Insulated wheel sets will not activate such a sensor.
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Offline dave55uk  
#6 Posted : 20 September 2023 20:04:58(UTC)
dave55uk

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/09/2023(UTC)
Posts: 89
Location: Ely, England
Just a quick update : Taking note of suggestions above, I tried running my existing HO stock (Electrotren, Roco etc.) through pointwork
and all were favourable - with the exception of those that had British style couplings, where the underhang of the hook fouled the pointwork.
Fortunately, those are in NEM pockets so I will change them over.
The Roco type couplings were fine so I have now more than tripled what freight stock I had.
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Offline hxmiesa  
#7 Posted : 21 September 2023 12:28:23(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,533
Location: Spain
There are basically 4 major differences;
1) Insulated vs. non-insulated(AC)
2) 14.1mm spacing vs. 13.9mm spacing(AC)
3) Flat vs. rounded(AC) profile
4) Flange depth


Reg. 1); Goes without saying; AC-wheels for better electrical contact and use of contact-tracks (feedback).

Reg. 2); I´ve seen DC spacing up to 14.3mm, and Märklin M-track that will need spacing as small as 13.8mm. I adjust everything to 13,9mm.

Reg. 3); All M-track, and some K-track is "rounded" on top, not flat like DC-track. The correct AC-profile wheels will thus run better with less derailments and problems.
In most cases you can get by with the DC-profile, as long as you get the wheel-spacing right.

Reg. 4); Most Märklin points and crossings relies on the flange to maintain stability and electrical contact when running through heart-pieces. If the flange of the wheel is too fine, the wheel will "fall down" into the heart-piece and/or may loose electrical contact.
The needed AC flange-depth is quite bulky and doesn´t look nice. C-track has lower rails, and doesn´t need quite so much flange as the older M and K tracks. (But still relies on the flange in some points)


PS: Hm... You might have to substitute "heart" with "frog" in my text.
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline heinrichhess  
#8 Posted : 21 September 2023 17:58:39(UTC)
heinrichhess

United Kingdom   
Joined: 20/05/2023(UTC)
Posts: 214
Location: Wales, powys
some dc will not pass switches


hess
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Offline dave55uk  
#9 Posted : 21 September 2023 18:10:50(UTC)
dave55uk

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/09/2023(UTC)
Posts: 89
Location: Ely, England
Thanks Henrik and Hess.
If I come across such problems, I'll know what to do.
Cheers!
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