Railway modelling scratchpad


Published 31Aug2016, updated 26Mar2023
This page is in group MODELS. It’s a log: newest at the bottom, except there may be newer entries inside chapters. Like for Mobile Station boxes and firmware revisions

My «layout»

I have other things to do than attempting at real layouts. But this packed and extended table top is a source of much joy:

Fig.0 – Model railway “layout” Øyvind Teig (Oct2021)

I have some older layouts herehere, and here – and even here from 1962. Plus, some new pictures at My album of model railway photos.

MS and MM

Easy to confuse MS with MM: MSII or MS II = MS2 or MS 2 = Mobile Station II or Mobile Station 2. I think MS2 is most used, so I try to use it here. Anything with MM has to do with the Motorola Märklin protocol, see here. Aside: And analogue (analog) mode is often called conventional mode. No digital pulses there, just AC or DC.

Mobile Station boxes and firmware revisions

MS2 to 3.55

Update 10Jul2019. See Märklin MS2 mit neuer Software V3.55 (in German, English translation here) by Moritz. Update 29Oct2019: I got confirmed from my local distributor that Märklin had confirmed that they now ship all MS2 with V3.55.

It can do 40 locomotives!

I didn’t notice any intermediate steps between 2.5 and 3.55. Hmm..

I must find some friend who has a Märklin Central Station 2 (CS2) so that he can do an online update. Or go to my local Märklin shop and update from just any MS2 that he may have arriving over the summer (of 2019). I did upgrade! See MS2 3.55 problems (below).

I just wonder if anyone has made an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi box for this, with added CAN bus and SW so that we non-CS2 owners could make an online update from there? Would the Märklin server allow it? And then have the older MS2 believe a connection with it was with another MS2, so that we might update from there. But it must be this new box that should have to talk with the old MS2 and detect that its firmware is outdated. Rather large project I assume.. Update: See comment my Moritz (below July 20 2019). BananaPi (or Banana Pi) with CAN interface!

MS2 to 2.5

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 (or connector) 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.»

Update (16Sep2018): Comment by TEEWolf:  «What I do not understand, why did you bought a 60657 an got only SW version 2.5 and not the actual 2.7?», see here (in my «Program CV not allowed on 37514 and 37511» thread). The difference between 2.5 and 2.7 seems to be in the blue (other than it may have to do with some problem with 2.5 with the Central Station box), but at least clapcott tried to describe it here.

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, grey, 60653, MS in the display I think) . This worked perfectly well. It’s the newest unit that must be entered into programming mode and detect that the older needs an update. The update is pushed from the newer onto the older. I noticed that if I entered programming mode in the old, grey 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 saw a similar problem when trying to upgrade from 2.5 to 3.55 in Nov2019, see My MS2 upgrade haunt, point 1.

I took my now updated grey unit with 2.5 to work to upgrade an even older unit with 1.3. 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, right MS2 60653 SNR 40128 with 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.

Updating loco list from Master to Slave on MS2

See https://www.marklin-users.net/forum/posts/m553568-Updating-loco-list-from-Master-to-Slave-on-MSII#post553568 (Sept2017)

Update 1, (29Oct2017): I have ordered a new black connector box 60116 since I only have the old grey 60113 – and I don’t have the circuit diagrams to study to see if such a replacement may be useful. However, it seems like the my new black Mobile Station II 60657 and the old grey 60653 don’t talk together. And they should, also according to the post above.

Update 2, (29Oct2017): However, when I informed about this at marklin-users.net community Stefan Unholz told that he had seen the same and that he thought it helped to erase all the locos in the slave first (it’s called «Free Loco»). I did and it worked! Here’s a collage of what I did. In the end, loco by loco, the slave’s loco list became equal to the master’s. Thank you, Stefan!

Fig.6 Getting loco config from master, be sure to delete all locos first (press for fullpixel)

Connector boxes

The old connector box (or connection box or track box) is called 60113 and is grey (here). I have it. The newer, black version is called 60116 (here). Are they equal? (Aside: also see below.)

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 grey 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!

How to fix a derailing Märklin M track switch

Press picture for full pixel:

Fig.5 Fixing a loose tongue on Märkling M track turnout

I still buy and use Märklin M track. Recently I bought some more switches from eBay. One of them derailed my locos! I also had another turnout that has failed every now and then.

(Aside: See My Fleischmann 396071 DR-Baureihe E 60 on how I have been wrestling with it.)

Then I discovered that the guard(?), the tiny metallic tongue was quite loose! See 1 above, it shows how it’s fastened underneath. I assume that over the years it got loose. Or worse, due to production margins in Göppingen when I grew up these switches may never ever have been a hundred percent. Sounds strange, but the «white gap» (above) was much wider than on my other turnouts.

The operation of the switch goes like this: When the loco is turning left the part a of the guard shall press the wheel and axles to the left so that the right part won’t hit b. The loco did hit and climbed b and derailed.

It’s possible to repair this. Since the white gap was too wide and the guard was too loose I dismantled it and made the slots in the metal wider (with a metallic file). I also cut the slot in the fastening paper(?) underneath with a scalpel to make space for the filing work. I cut the metal so wide that I could press in two layers of paper, but this would depend on how far you need to move the guard out. I used the insulation paper you will find in any broken power supply if you open it, I always keep some. But any good thick paper would do. And there’s nothing that needs to be insulated here. In picture 2 you’ll see the paper tongues sticking up. Then in 3 I have leveled them down. Underneath I just twisted to fasten the two metal tongues, as they used to be. Now both the paper and the guard sit firmly.

I have never seen the guard by the straight track have any such problem. I guess it’s because the rolling doesn’t change direction there.

Since now a is precisely defined and the white gap is narrower, the locos and the cars have started to run smoothly over the switches. At any speed.

Norwegian: Hvordan reparere gamle Märklin M-skinne (metallskinne) penser (sporveksel) som sporer av? Ved å flytte den ene tvangsskinna nærmere ytre, venstre skinne når man svinger til venstre. Jeg filte rett og slett bredere festespor og fylte etter med noe tykt, hardt papir.

Märklin 37514, SBB Ae 3/6 II SW update?

Does my loco need updating since it sprints away some times?

It turned out to be a matter of whether the Märklin 37514 (SBB Ae 3/6 II, here) loco went into analogue mode (AC) or if this was the DCC protocol’s fault. See next chapter «Switching off analogue modes with register CV 50 with MS2 – possible?» and skip this below if you just want to  (try to) fix the problem.

However, I have kept the background info here:

And I reprogrammed my MS2 to drop DCC and do only mfx (and mfx+) and MM2. That included setting up my Roco 78494 that was the only one I ran with DCC to do MM2 instead.

But quite a lot of readers of marklin-v community had seen this problem of locos just starting to sprint off under no control.

Switching off analogue modes with register CV 50 with MS2 – possible?

Yes! And here is the recipe. Thanks to people at marklin-users.net:

How to set register CV 50 to value 8 with MS2

(Search: «SET-DCC-CV»). I did this on 19Sep2018. I have MS2 with firmware 2.5. I have also copied this list to marklin-users.net at Program CV not allowed on 37514 and 37511 – Program CV is striked through on MM2? (19Sep2018)

Update 27Feb2020. This is about the same procedure as setting the direction bit, DCC CV 29, BIT0 on the Ce 6/8 II 55681, see Setting direction in note 201.

  1. CV 50 value 8 means that the loco will not run on AC or DC analogue (conventional) lines. From the mfx+ loco’s manual. Disclaimer: Then, hopefully it will not sprint away with fast speed without control. If I ever see my two locos (37514 and 37511, both mfx+ enabled) sprint away again after this, I will update here. (Actually I have up to now only seen 37514 do this anyway..)
  2. Make sure you have a programmed loco card for each loco. It’s so nice to restore the loco to mfx+ afterwards (but of course not required)
  3. Make sure you have a track segment for just this one loco in mind or that no other loco is seen
  4. Place the loco on the track and power the track. Make sure the loco is seen by MS2 (light on/off, it runs etc.) with your present configuration
  5. On MS2 set Protocols to DCC only. I have learned that this is the only protocol that may set any CV register. Also, with this, any mfx+ loco will not register itself as another loco in the middle of the procedure
  6. On MS2 remove the loco. Make sure that you remove the right loco, there is a list that comes up!
  7. Now we want to go DCC for this loco, but just for this short while, so some of the params won’t matter. On MS2 New Loco | Enter Manually | DCC address 3 (supposedly needed to connect the loco to the MS2) (no problem if address 3 already exists)  | «ABC ..»as name is OK | Any symbol is OK
  8. Make sure the loco is seen by MS2 (light on/off, it runs etc.)
  9. On MS2 program CV address 50 to value 8. Easy as that. If it fails rading the value check that the loco is really seen by MS2
  10. Make sure the loco is seen by MS2 (light on/off, it runs etc.)
  11. On MS2 remove the loco. Again, make sure that you remove the right loco, there is a list that comes up!
  12. On MS2 set the protocols to the full list again : «mfx,DCC,MM2»
  13. Find your loco card for this loco and read it to restore the loco. (There’s nothing wrong about keeping DCC only, but I didn’t want to.) You have to be at the loco’s position (which is free now) in the MS2 list, if not that card’s loco will enter the first vacant position. More on loco card usage in the chapter below
  14. On MS2 set the address on the loco to that one that came with the loco card. It doesn’t look like reading the loco card updates the loco
  15. Make sure the loco is seen by MS2 (light on/off, it runs etc.)
  16. Have fun!

I have kept the background info here, but if you succeeded with the above it may not be necessary to read this:

In order to keep DCC on the Roco 78494 (discussed here) and avoid the 37514 sprinting away (if this was really not DCC’s fault but the fact that it saw analogue mode); instead of switching off DCC altogether I learned that analogue modes could be switched off on my two mfx+ models (37514 and 37511 (Seetal-krokodil / Seetal crocodile SBB De 6/6, here)) setting of CV 50. This is in the booklets (here) and the value is 8 to swicth off both DC and AC analogue modes. But how should I do it? In the thread (above) a user had said that «MM only allows functions f0-f4. DCC allows for many more functions». But I couldn’t figure out how, so I called on the Märklin forum:

..but I have not been able to make it work. If I configure the 37514 and 37511 with DCC it will allow register 50 to be set in the menu, but when I try to change it the MS2 is not able to read register 50 and it stops. The locos refuse to be addressed any way (won’t run or set the lights etc.), so I guess this is the problem? Update 16Sep2018: I will try a new tip in the thread: «When you disabled mfx protocol and want DCC to program locomotives decoder you must first call up locomotives new adress 3.The adress 3 are DCC standard number to call up locomotive.»

However, with the Central Station it seems different, doesn’t it:

Can lococard 60135 store many locos?

Can lococard 60135 store many locos? – – Mobile Station II 60657 / 60653 backup?

The general answer seems to be «no». One loco per card with present MS2 SW. That’s the only backup there is. Also, there are cheaper cards to buy. Search for 60135 on marklin-users.net. But they wouldn’t have «Märklin» on them.. I bought some; a pack consists of five 138911 locomotive cards. With no usage description. But it seems like they are easy to use. Disclaimer, from my own inferring:

  1. When you have a loco that you want to store for the first time, go to the loco in the menu, then just insert the card if it’s empty or new. It will say there is an error. Fine. Don’t do this later on, as you will only get a copy in the first vacant position (if there is any). Then you have to remove it from that position
  2. Store the loco setup to the card. Remove the card
  3. If you later want to change, like the Loco Symbol, first go to the loco and then insert the card. You then get up the card’s loco (that is the same as this, but the last stored) and then change the symbol while you have the card in. Then store the loco, now with the new symbol
  4. When you insert a card it will fill it into the next vacant position if it’s not the loco you are editing. In other words, it may be smart just to number the cards with a label from 1-11. corresponding to the position on the MS2

MS2 has 1-10 active locos and one extra for loco card

Observe that the Mobile Station 2 MM2 version 2.5 has space for 10 active locos! The 11th cannot be saved, as it is meant for a locomotive from a loco card. Update: 3.55 (above) takes 40 locos!

Storage display shelf as a siding yard

Fig.6 Shelf for vacant stock (press for more detail)

I bought these shelves at the local shop Kremmerhuset here in Trondheim in January 2019. It’s called Johanna and is their product 21310 (standard disclaimer). It measures 70*12*12 cm and is made of welded and painted steel (black or white). The bottom is a welded steel plate. This is a «China product» that Kremmerhuset has picked up there, so I have no international url for it.

I discovered that the length was exactly three Märklin 24229 track. They are 229.3 mm, and I only had to remove a small piece (a «tap»?) on the track. Since its base is 40 mm there was exact space for three lines. I bored holes in the shelf bottom and screwed the track in place. This was harder than I thought. I placed all 3 by 3 tracks upside down and used transparent foil paper and marked the holes. This would then become a nice template for boring. But it’s not symmetric, so place the paper the correct way! (I ended up with a set of holes for nothing in one of the shelves!) I also found some exact screws in my tiny screw box. However, my local shop Trønderfrim (same disclaimer) had a similar box where we found the rest.

I made cable railings from a tape that is used to wrap boxes for transport, made from glass fibre and plastic I think. I had a box for some of that, too. I managed to find two strings in my string box (!?) that tighten them well in place. You can see them on the bottom shelf’s far end. They are not fastened any other way.

Norwegian: sveiset stålhylle for oppbevaring av rullende materiell til H0 modelljernbane, kjøpt på Kremmerhuset i januar 2019 (standard disclaimer). Passer for tre spor med tre Märklin skinner 24229 i hvert spor. Skrudd i underkant gjennom hull i stålet, boret gjennom en mal i transparent foliepapir. Rekkverket er pakkestrammebånd (stroppebånd, strappebånd) i glassfiber med en strammefjær i hver kortende. Jeg har pekt hit fra Stålhylle på veggen som sidespor i norskmjforum.no

MS2 3.55 problems


On marklin-users.net I found that there is a new users’s manual for 3.55. It is here: Mobile Station 2 (version 3.55 or higher)

  1. I was able to update my MS2 60657 (black) from a Märklin Mega digital starter set’s MS2 60657 (also black). The latter saw that there was 2.5 on the first, and I updated it to 3.55. This was in a Märklin shop
  2. I also brought my 60116 (black) connector box. The new MS2 60657 wanted to «Update railbox» from 1.39 to 1.41. It told this on the first power up. I updated it
  3. However, when I brought the newly updated MS2 (black) home and plugged into into a 60113 (grey) connector box, the MS2 gave me the option to update the connector from 0.0 to 1.39. I updated
  4. Also, when I did the same and plugged my newly updated MS2 (black) into the newly updated 60116 (black) connector box, the MS2 gave me the option to update the connector from 1.39 to 1.39. I updated
  5. When I tried to update the old MS2 60653 (grey) running 2.5 from the newly updated MS2 (black), the black only gave me the option to update from 2.5 to 2.5. So it seems like the the old 60653 does not run 3.55?
  6. It is also possible to downgrade from 3.55 to 2.5. This is easy to get wrong, and I don’t know if there is any screen to back out if it discovers that there is a download:

    Fig.8 – Märklin MS2 60653 (grey) with 2.5 may downgrade the MS2 60657 (black) from 3.55

  7. I was not able to get the two MS2s to agree on being a «Can bus master» and «MS2 Slave». The old 60653 (grey) had been the Master and the new 60657 (black) the Slave. For a couple of years. However, when I tried to swap the roles the old unit ruled and told the new to become slave. So it lost all the locos I had entered with the lococard. The menu did not allow to change the roles on any of the boxes. The manuel says that it’s the MS2 with the lowest serial number SNR that becomes the Master. My old 60653 (grey) has SNR 61216 and my new 60657 (black) has SNR 142727. However, when I try and switch back again, the old MS2 (grey) with 2.5 (master) does not seem to be able to deliver the locos to the new MS2 (black) with 3.55 (slave). So, until I am able to tell the old MS2 60653 (grey) to become Slave I cannot use them together
  8. I also had a problem with 3.55 and some garbled menu entries (or should there be none between Update MS2 and Factory Default Settings? There is none on 2.5, and from the 3.55 manual I can’t tell). Four pictures on the right because that’s how many lines that were messed up on my new MS2 60657 (black). When I updated at the shop the menu was in German, but I am 99% sure that it acknowledged ok. Or, might this be a hardware fault in my MS2?  Should I go back to the shop and try again?

Fig9 – Märklin MS2 60657 SW 3.55 problem. The topmost left is the 60653’s menu for reference

My MS2 upgrade haunt

23Nov2019. Also see the marklin-users.net community at Three faulty upgrades of MS2 – One with some menus wrong, two with black screen.

I have now experienced three situations when a MS2 upgrade caused serious problems. I am thinking of returning them to Märklin for repair. They all worked before the upgrade operations or rether attempts. The result is that I now actually was without any, so I bought the new, 60657 (black) SNR 112854 (taken from a Starter kit). This was the one that was the «facit» that I upgraded from. Final: 4Mar2020. I have got them back from Märklin service in Göppingen. I paid the postage from Norway, they returned it to my shop, I paid only for the new cable, not the return postage, and it took about 1.5 months. I am satisfied. I have a hypothesis why I got so many problems. See Mains switch for railbox! (below).

  1. 60653 will not start (first time: 2013). This was an unsuccessful upgrade from 1.3 to 2.5 of MS2 60653 (grey) with SNR 40128. Same thing happened as above, it would never restart again. Black screen. This was descibed above, see Märklin Mobile Station 60653 catastrophic upgrade
    • Final: Märklin changed the cable. There seemed to have been a pin, so I failed that inspection, which I certainly tried! They also installed 3.55. When I got it back it tells me that the railbox is 0.0 and it wants me to upgrade to 1.47. Standard now is 1.41. Märklin told me in a mail to say Yes, and then let the other 3.55 units downgrade(?) to 1.41 again. In other words, I keep this as a backup only. I have three others. Two for H0 and one for scale 1
  2. 60653 will not start (again: 2019). When I at the second occasion in the shop brought my MS2 60653 (grey) with SNR 61216 and tried to update it from 2.5 to 3.55 I got no succesful message from the new 60657 (black) SNR 112854, and the older MS2 60653 (grey) with SNR 61216 would not restart any more. Black screen
    • Final: They upgraded to 3.55 again. I just assume they did this with JTAG or similar, not via the cable..
  3. 60657 code or HW problem. This situation above with 60657 (black) with SNR 142727 also displayed spurious characters after «Update MS2» on a second update from 3.55 to 3.55 – since I already had updated it from 2.5 to 3.55 the day before. Here is a list of the files present on that unit: fig10_132_ms2_60657_3.35_with_garbled_chars_files.jpg
    • Final: They upgraded to 3.55 again. I just assume they did this with JTAG or similar, not via the cable..

Märklin gauge 1 catenary wires

16Aug2020, see My Krokis notes, Catenary system.

17Jan2020: See marklin-users.net:  Märklin gauge 1 catenary wires – If 5635 and 5636 are obsoleted, what are the new product numbers?:

I have a full range 2015/2016 catalogue and there 5635 (67 cm) and 5636 (45 cm) exist. But I cannot find any such, or replacements, on Märklin’s pages. And since the newest catalogue is not for download I am somewhat stuck

Sommerfeldt catenary

  1. It seems like it’s Sommerfeldt who takes over this product range. Follow the Oberleitung (catenary) tab: https://www.sommerfeldt.de/de/oberleitung/spurweite-1/. They have German masts and catenary, so I will have to rely on them also for a Swiss layout. Sommerfeldt tells me that they have no plans for any Swiss product range. They seem to have everything for Germany, except a «turnmast» (tower mast?) like this. They say it will come in 2020/21
  2. All Sommerfeldt dimensions are listed in the brochure (*). The distance between the mast’s mounting hole and the middle of the track is 95 mm. They have assembly instructions that can be used for all track sizes. Sommerfeldt does not have any support base to allow mounting from the top.
    * See Spur 1 Neuheiten Prospekt zum Download on their Download page

Scale 1 original track and Hübner after 2008 – compatible

22feb2020. See 1-scale original track and Hübner after 2008 – compatible? – Some very interesting answers by Per. Thanks!

The short answer is that the original Märklin stainless steel scale 1 track and the so called «Märklin Hübner track» made from a solderable nickel/silver alloy from 2008 are compatible. The latter series always seem to have <..0..> as the type number.

I have a chapter about these Hubner track at My Krokis notes at chapter My Marklin (Hübner) track.

Mains switch for railbox!

4Mar2020. I have a feeling that some of the problems I have had (see above: My MS2 upgrade haunt) have been caused by me plugging and unplugging the MS2 units in and out of the raillbox when the railbox was powered. Since the problems seem to be associated with upgrading they may, perhaps, just as well be caused by contact and electrical noise, causing the MS2 to fail a full restart and restart again. Just a hypothesis. Therefore I have now made an extension cable with a switch for both of my systems. I will update here should I ever experience MS2 malfuctioning all of a sudden again. They look like this:

Crash to safe?

Some points about fastening the cables and what not doing that might cause. See in note My Krokis notes

Scale 1 Märklin turnout angle

Märklin turnout r=1.394 and angle – 10° or 15°? on marklin-users.net 17Feb2021.

59088 (right turnout), 59087 (left turnout), 59092 (turnout end piece).

The answer: Yes, they build 15°. There is a printing error on the Märklin’s English web page and the English 2019/2020 catalog.

Building a small symmetrical two-way turnout myself?

Building a turnout from two 3/4 length Märklin 59035 curves – Inspired by a 59088 + 59092? on marklin-users.net 19Feb2021

MS2 60657upgrade from 3.55 is 3.112

FrankF on marklin-users.net wrote (#9 Posted : 18 October 2020 20:14:39 – MS2 version upgrade):

Your MS2 have the latest Update, which is Software-version 3.122 and which resolves a «problem» with reading the Decoders in Marklin 39940 / 39941 Models.

The Latest Update for the 6011x Track Boxes is GFP-Version 1.47

However, in a start kit delivered to my local Märklin shop during the fall of 2020 the MS2 had 3.55. The shop owner and I opened the box to check.

Märklin 37063 Class 80 Steam Locomotive

Does it have functional telex couplers but not smoke?

The answers: No smoke, but telex is present (the last I should have spotted!).

See https://www.marklin-users.net/forum/posts/m633913-Marklin-37063-Class-80-Steam-Locomotive (19Jun2021)

The urls there:

[1] https://www.maerklin.de/en/products/details/article/37063
[2] https://streaming.maerkl…erklin/EN_mae_nh2020.pdf – page 56 (across the page)

The history of the Telex coupling(?)

Analogue, digital and then the «New Telex coupling»

See https://www.marklin-users.net/forum/posts/m634013-The-history-of-the-Telex-coupling (21Jun2021)

The urls there:

  1. Die legende lebt. 150 Jahre märkln (ISBN 978-3-8375-0129-2, 2009)
  2. https://www.maerklin.de/…a/MM_1801_Clubmodell.pdf
  3. https://www.memetis.com/en/actuation/ – Company Memetis
  4. https://trixstadt.de/trix-express-geschichte/1938-neuheiten-und-zwangsverkauf/ – «Fernsteuerbares Entkuppeln» by TRIX in 1938!
    En English by Google translate: hereRemote controllable uncoupling! by TRIX in 1938!
    This is a very interesting read as it also tells how it was for a Jewish owned company to try to survive in Germany in the late thirties – and the people who were deemed against the policies of the National Socialists or Nazi regime. The read is a hair-raising experience
  5. The controllable couplings some times touch the studs (by me, to here)

Update Jul2021: I did buy the Märklin 37063 with new telex couplers! See 216:[Märklin 3000 of DB BR 89 and 37063 of DR Class 80 steam locos]

AC wheels (NEM 340)

The Märklin «AC wheels» standard is defined in NEM 340 [1] and Wiki-refs. NEM = Normen Europäischer Modellbahnen. It is the «DC wheels» (like Roco etc.) that constitute the standard for HO model railway running. These wheels are tighter on the rail because there is a current pickup issue when the two poles are on each rail. However, for Märklin, pickup is easier since there is the «third rail» (the dots in the center) which is one pole, and both rails constitute the other pole. Märklin will therefore have less current pick up problems than DC. However, the DC wheels on Märklin track will be more susceptible to derailments. They will easier climb the Märklin track in a curve and hit parts of a Märklin switch when they quite fast change direction there. So DC wheels should be replaced for AC wheels when running on Märklin track. This gives Märklin rolling stock a competitive advantage on Märklin track. This is also the reason why you should always buy locomotives ready-made for «AC».

See the problems I had with a very nice Fleischmann model that wasn’t NEM 340 even if shipped as one, which I had to return: My Fleischmann 396071 DR-Baureihe E 60.

Observe that with digital operation, both «DC» and «AC» have lost their meaning since both now are «pulsed DC». The old Märklin motors will run both on AC and DC, since they are commutated series universal motors (Wiki-refs). Also observe that Märklin Z scale is pure DC, and all scale 1 are digital pulsed DC.

Electronics and building blogs

Christian Lütgens

(Thanks, son Andreas, for this url!)

Some interesting shops

  1. https://electrade.no/lysdioder_LED.htm – Electrade, here a LED page. (Thanks, son Andreas, for this url!)

Roco 78293 will not run

27Dec2022. Not necessary background reading: see 78293 among these blog notes.

I use Märklin Mobile Station MS2 3.55. All of a sudden my Roco 78293 SBB Ae 3/6 II #10412 would not run.

  1. This has worked earlier. I had written down that I had used loco protocol «Manual MM2» and picked it up from the data bank as 36330. I then I had saved to a loco card
  2. This time I also made sure that the loco was alone on the track. MS2 did not report «no response from loco», so it is being seen in some way
  3. I have tried all the protocols available, and they all behave like in the movie. There is a certain amount of LED blinking, but then the loco is functionally dead
  4. Trying to read CV address 1 only times out, no matter which protocol I use
  5. I opened the loco. There are two plastic stoppers on each side, I made four tiny wooden wedges. But first disconnect that grab irons from the lower position! The stoppers are 41 mm from one end and 31 mm from the other end. All seemed fine. I disconnected the motor, and it ran beautifully from some 5V DC
  6. I also dissconnected the sound board and pushed it back again. Observe that there are (I think) four unused holes on one side and two on the other side, and one hole about in the middle that acts as a guide, since there is no wire there. No bad contact, since no change of behaviour

MS2 3.55 and trouble registering 39771 (E71)

See MS2 3.55 and trouble registering 39771 (E71) – How I got it fixed – started by me 26Mar2023

Full text:

My Mobile Station 2 with SW 3.55 did not (seem to) detect my new E71 (39771) when placed on a segment where it electrically was alone.

I then did a «find» and it passed away from mfx and landed in DCC. Only the basic functions were there, up to F4 or so. Plus, every command took about a a second before it took effect.

This did not work, really. I thought for a while that the beautiful E71 soon was to be on a journey back to where it came from.

I had 13 locos already registered, this was to be #14.

I decided to do a factory reset of MS2, as all I tried was with no success. I have loco cards for them all, so I was fast up and running.

When 39771’s time came I saw the «mfx» on the screen, I think without me doing a «Find» first. I then decided to just keep waiting, even if there was no progress bar or «wait..» there. I waited and then bingo! All the functionality was up!

I may not have waited while «mfx» on the display on the first trial. Anyhow, it did came to a dead end on that occasion. SW should take height for user trouble like this.

The MS2 was as lost as I was, I think.


Wiki-refs: NEM (Normen Europäischer Modellbahnen). Universal motor

  1. NEM 340 = Wheel Set and Track for Special Systems , (special system = Märklin = «AC wheels») which does not exist in English. The German standard is «Radsatz und Gleis für besondere Systeme» at Radsatz und Gleis für besondere Systeme from https://www.morop.org/index.php/de/nem-normen.html (English   https://www.morop.org/index.php/en/nem-the-norms.html) (also see Wiki-refs above).
    ALSO SEE 082:[References]

2 kommentarer til “Railway modelling scratchpad

    1. aclassifier Innleggsforfatter

      Thanks Moritz! Now, what would you recommend and not recommend, when using the BananaPi? Not recommend MS2 firmware update, obviously? What is needed (to do?) with the BananaPi to make firmware update feel like a recommended thing to do?

      A translation of your blog note is at Construction of a BananaPi CAN interface for the use of the Märklin track box as the headquarters

      It is very interesting, but the solution looks rather complex made from many pieces, not developed in concert. I have two MS2, that’s all – no CS.


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