Railway modelling scratchpad

Published 31Aug2016, updated 14Mar2017
This page is in group Models.

Mobile Station boxes and firmware revisions

As of Feb2016 Mobile Station II firmware version 2.5 is the most recent. I have actually ordered a new Mobile Station, called 60657 – it is now dark. So I get two different colours.

I asked marklin-users.net community forum also about upgrading from the newer to the older, see Upgrading between Mobile Station 60653 and 60657. I got a reply there, but also from “service at maerklin.de”:

Me: Is it possible to use 60657 (2.5) to upgrade 60653 (1.81)?

service at maerklin.de: yes, this should be possible. But the 60657 will ask you for this update only one time

Me: Does this mean that 60657 will send its 2.5 to a 60653 max once? So if I need to upgrade two 60653 with 2.5 then I need to move 2.5 from the just updated 60653 to the second 60653?

service at maerklin.de: if you put two MS 2 for the first time together to a connection box, and one of these MS 2 has the software version 2.5 and the other an older one, then the MS 2 will offer an update for the other one. But if you don’t start this update, this offer will not appear again.

Update: “H0” writes on marklin-users.net that “A single MS2 can upgrade any number of other MS2s, not just one.”

I have now got my 60657. (By the way, the English Instruction manual’s front page still says “60653” while the other languages’ have been properly updated. Bad proof reading). I used the new to upgrade from Mobile Station II (version 2.5, black, 60657, MS2 in the display) updating a Mobile Station (version 1.81, gray, 60653, MS in the display I think) . This worked perfectly well. It’s the new, black unit that must be entered into programming mode. I noticed that if I entered programming mode in the old, gray unit it seemed to offer a downgrade to 1.81 of the newer. If this really is so, I feel it rather strange. And “scary”. But this is even more scary:

Märklin Mobile Station 60653 catastrophic upgrade

I took my now updated gray unit with 2.5 to work to upgrade an even older unit with 1.3.

Mobile Station II (MS2) updating a Mobile Station (MS) seems to have little error handling. (I think both are Mobile Station 2, even of the display doesn’t reflect this). The result was a dead old Mobile Station. Don’t do it!

Upgrading Märklin Mobile Station 60653 (it failed)

Fig. 1 Version 2.5 and 1.3 (press for fullpixel)

Here are the versions. Left “MS2” version 2.5, righ “MS” version 1.3. The plastic protector on the left is to try to keep grandchildren away from those buttons. I wish all setup was password protected.

Upgrading Märklin Mobile Station 60653 (it failed)

Fig. 2 Version 2.5 tries to update 1.81 to the old 1.3

Here I try to push 1.81 on the left over to the right. So the left must still have the 1.81 file(?) I really wanted 2.5 to go across, but maybe 2.5 did have that much checking not to allow it?

Upgrading Märklin Mobile Station 60653 (it failed)

Fig. 3 It seems to work

It started downloading the file from left to right and the right went darker. After a while it died.

Upgrading Märklin Mobile Station 60653 (it failed)

Fig. 4 The old died

When I tried to repeat the left said “No appropriate update file found. Trying again it would say version 0. To me this looks like a mess. I am a computer programmer myself and I think that Märklin has failed on this. There’s too little initial control and error handling. It may be that this was just bad luck, the old unit just happened to die at that time. But I doubt it.

We had to buy a new, 60657 for work. Is there a way to recover the died Mobile station?

I posted also this chapter on the marklin-users.net community forum page mentioned above.

60657 slave and 60653 master, both 2.5

Error in 2.5: Loco said not to be in list when it partially was

On two of my locos, when picked up from the primary’s list on the secondary, the secondary erred with info that the loco didn’t exist there any more. I saw that there were some invisible chars at the end at the master. Which, I couldn’t tell. When I edited on the master side to have explicit white space at the end, it was imported ok on the slave. On the master it had said “MÄRKLIN green..” and and the slave “MÄRKLIN green”. The dots indicated the difference. These names shouldn’t have diffed. After the fix they were equal.

What’s in a Roco box?

  • Box: Roco Boxcar (BLS) #76832 printed in text on the outside
  • Inside: Roco “Schenk Vins” (SBB) #66201

My most memorable car I bought in 1960 with my grandfather. It was a gray Märklin 4605. That car, plus two Roco 76832 would have been very close to giving me the perfect memorabilia train set. Whatever arrived in the box someone who didn’t know my grandfather wouldn’t care about. So, I can forgive Roco for taking a chance on this one! (I think I was the first to discover!?) But, model trains (or whatever, really) isn’t only about plastics. It’s much more important!-) But now I have another story to tell. Why the cars don’t really add up in that train set. Only almost.

PS. My first search for “Roco 76832” on eBay showed that there’s at least one seller out there who hasn’t discovered!

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