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Re: Marklin and MTL power requirements

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  • luckykid43
    Thanks for all the helpful feedback and suggestions relating to my question. Right away I started checking speeds at measured voltage settings, and, of course,
    Message 1 of 26 , Jun 25, 2010
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      Thanks for all the helpful feedback and suggestions relating to my question. Right away I started checking speeds at measured voltage settings, and, of course, as was pointed out, you get ridiculous speeds anywhere near maximum voltage when there are no loads. 5 volts is nice. So, you are all right, there is really nothing for (even a beginner) to worry about. One interesting thing I noted: My older Marklin Z transformer (Blue style) has a measured max of 10 volts. My newer Marklin Z (White style-0-200 scale) has 15 volts at the 200 setting. An F7 will start flying at that level. That puzzles me, but this may relate to some of the recent messages that are showing up on this topic. The unit is supposed to be max 10 volts and is marked as such. My just purchased MTL-modified Railpower 1300 has a measured max of 9.5 volts and is 8volts at the 8V index.

      I intend to check out the other transformers and sources mentioned in the responses.
      Thanks again.
      Luckykid


      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Garth" <garth.a.hamilton@...> wrote:
      >
      > Like John says you do not need anywhere near the max voltage from any power pack designed for Z. The main concern in my book is the amperage put out by the power pack in the instance of a short. Too high and the heat will destroy a Z motor in micro seconds by the time you smell it it is too late.
      >
      > My preference is for controllers/throttles that are transistorized, of which there are several available. I prefer 8 to 9v input a 350 to 500 milliamps so I can run as many as three engines on the point as long as they are not MTL F7's comfortably. The 270 degree rotation of the control means that I have plenty of speed control and can finely adjust it over about 100-110 degrees of rotation it takes to deliver about 3.5-4 vdc, which is about the max speed I run with most of the engines I have. The only one that takes less is the Japanese D51 Mikado which I run at about 2.5vdc for the speed I want. The MTL F7 takes a bit more than that at 5.5 to 6 vdc.
      >
      > I have used the Marklin power pack and the MRC 1300 but once I purchased the transistorized ones from Zthek and Joeger I never went back to using the older ones. The other advantage to these transistorized throttles is they can be run off of battery power or the mains with a wall transformer. I can usually run one train all day at a show on one 9vdc battery and the controllers are hand held. I have a battery pack with 4 x 9vdc batteries in parrallel and that will last me several shows like 4 to 6 two day shows depending on how far apart they are. One of the Zthek models even has room for a 9vdc battery inside the hand controller.
      >
      >
      > cheerz
      > Garth
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "john_ztrains" <john@> wrote:
      > >
      > > In theory this could give you a headache but in practice I've found that running virtually any Z scale locomotive in the 8V+ range will result in trains traveling very, very fast. Too fast and I find they can look a bit sill at these high speeds.
      > >
      > > Even when you test similar locos side by side... a similar amount of juice will have them, more likely than not, running at different speeds with DC.
      > >
      > > My guess is if you set your locos running at a speed that you find fairly realistic then check the power on your rails with a basic meter you won't by anywhere near the top end of the safe ranges for either loco.
      > >
      > > Not an overly technical answer I realize but I always tend to take specs with a grain of salt.
      > >
      > > On the power pack itself, Marklins are fine but the MRC1300 has more discreet power steps for a wider range of speeds and smoother acceleration and deceleration... the Marklin is a bit course for me. My choice for the past few years has been the Snail Speed controller:
      > >
      > > http://www.ztrackcenter.com/electronics
      > >
      > > I like the 9VDC version and keep rechargeable batteries on hand with a high mAh rating.
      > >
      > > John Cubbin
      > > Ztrains.com
      > > http://www.ztrains.com
      > >
      >
    • donfedjur@aol.com
      Get the Zthek snail speed controller.............those on this forum that have been running DC as purist use that controller for good reason. Precise no
      Message 2 of 26 , Jun 25, 2010
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        Get the Zthek "snail speed controller.............those on this forum that have been running DC as "purist" use that controller for good reason. Precise no chatter protypical speed control. Get yourself a digital display DC current meter so you can read actual voltage to the track as you apply it. There are some really nice low cost meters on the auction sites including shipping from all places, China.


        Don



        -----Original Message-----
        From: luckykid43 <luckykid43@...>
        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Fri, Jun 25, 2010 10:54 am
        Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Marklin and MTL power requirements




        Thanks for all the helpful feedback and suggestions relating to my question. Right away I started checking speeds at measured voltage settings, and, of course, as was pointed out, you get ridiculous speeds anywhere near maximum voltage when there are no loads. 5 volts is nice. So, you are all right, there is really nothing for (even a beginner) to worry about. One interesting thing I noted: My older Marklin Z transformer (Blue style) has a measured max of 10 volts. My newer Marklin Z (White style-0-200 scale) has 15 volts at the 200 setting. An F7 will start flying at that level. That puzzles me, but this may relate to some of the recent messages that are showing up on this topic. The unit is supposed to be max 10 volts and is marked as such. My just purchased MTL-modified Railpower 1300 has a measured max of 9.5 volts and is 8volts at the 8V index.

        I intend to check out the other transformers and sources mentioned in the responses.
        Thanks again.
        Luckykid

        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Garth" <garth.a.hamilton@...> wrote:
        >
        > Like John says you do not need anywhere near the max voltage from any power pack designed for Z. The main concern in my book is the amperage put out by the power pack in the instance of a short. Too high and the heat will destroy a Z motor in micro seconds by the time you smell it it is too late.
        >
        > My preference is for controllers/throttles that are transistorized, of which there are several available. I prefer 8 to 9v input a 350 to 500 milliamps so I can run as many as three engines on the point as long as they are not MTL F7's comfortably. The 270 degree rotation of the control means that I have plenty of speed control and can finely adjust it over about 100-110 degrees of rotation it takes to deliver about 3.5-4 vdc, which is about the max speed I run with most of the engines I have. The only one that takes less is the Japanese D51 Mikado which I run at about 2.5vdc for the speed I want. The MTL F7 takes a bit more than that at 5.5 to 6 vdc.
        >
        > I have used the Marklin power pack and the MRC 1300 but once I purchased the transistorized ones from Zthek and Joeger I never went back to using the older ones. The other advantage to these transistorized throttles is they can be run off of battery power or the mains with a wall transformer. I can usually run one train all day at a show on one 9vdc battery and the controllers are hand held. I have a battery pack with 4 x 9vdc batteries in parrallel and that will last me several shows like 4 to 6 two day shows depending on how far apart they are. One of the Zthek models even has room for a 9vdc battery inside the hand controller.
        >
        >
        > cheerz
        > Garth
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "john_ztrains" <john@> wrote:
        > >
        > > In theory this could give you a headache but in practice I've found that running virtually any Z scale locomotive in the 8V+ range will result in trains traveling very, very fast. Too fast and I find they can look a bit sill at these high speeds.
        > >
        > > Even when you test similar locos side by side... a similar amount of juice will have them, more likely than not, running at different speeds with DC.
        > >
        > > My guess is if you set your locos running at a speed that you find fairly realistic then check the power on your rails with a basic meter you won't by anywhere near the top end of the safe ranges for either loco.
        > >
        > > Not an overly technical answer I realize but I always tend to take specs with a grain of salt.
        > >
        > > On the power pack itself, Marklins are fine but the MRC1300 has more discreet power steps for a wider range of speeds and smoother acceleration and deceleration... the Marklin is a bit course for me. My choice for the past few years has been the Snail Speed controller:
        > >
        > > http://www.ztrackcenter.com/electronics
        > >
        > > I like the 9VDC version and keep rechargeable batteries on hand with a high mAh rating.
        > >
        > > John Cubbin
        > > Ztrains.com
        > > http://www.ztrains.com
        > >
        >







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • flyerbait
        well considering that marklin won that placing in the Guinness Book of Records in 1978 when a Märklin Z scale locomotive pulling six coaches traveled a
        Message 3 of 26 , Jun 25, 2010
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          well considering that marklin won that placing in the Guinness Book of Records in 1978 when a Märklin Z scale locomotive pulling six coaches traveled a distance of 720 km, and ran continually for 1,219 hours before the train quit running (unquote). I'm wondering what voltage/amps they ran it at to achieve that, even if it was an older 3 pole motor, im betting they figured out the power requirements just right for the longest run.

          marklin also did another one in 2007 with 200 in groups of 4 (on seperate trackage) H.O loco's pulling a real 1:1 german open seating IC car 10 meters...

          Leigh
        • Alan Cox
          On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 20:21:39 -0000 ... The marklin stuff - and especially the old controller and 3 pole motor are very bad at low speed. The new stuff is
          Message 4 of 26 , Jun 25, 2010
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            On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 20:21:39 -0000
            "flyerbait" <flyerbait@...> wrote:

            > well considering that marklin won that placing in the Guinness Book of Records in 1978 when a Märklin Z scale locomotive pulling six coaches traveled a distance of 720 km, and ran continually for 1,219 hours before the train quit running (unquote). I'm wondering what voltage/amps they ran it at to achieve that, even if it was an older 3 pole motor, im betting they figured out the power requirements just right for the longest run.

            The marklin stuff - and especially the old controller and 3 pole motor
            are very bad at low speed. The new stuff is better but its definitely
            happier whizzing around than crawling at prototypical US train speeds.

            OTOH I was really impressed with the slow running of the MTL GP45.

            Alan
          • trainssd
            Kinda off the subject, i.e. the transformer and electronic control. That s an average speed of 80 scale miles per hour. Anyway, any other light to be shed on
            Message 5 of 26 , Jun 25, 2010
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              Kinda off the subject, i.e. the transformer and electronic control.

              That's an average speed of 80 scale miles per hour.

              Anyway, any other light to be shed on the controllers? maybe someone will put an ampmeter in line and see what the current does under load... maybe some kind of "soft" circuit breaker?

              Regards, Greg
              -------------------------------
              > On Fri, 25 Jun 2010 20:21:39 -0000
              > "flyerbait" <flyerbait@...> wrote:
              >
              > > well considering that marklin won that placing in the Guinness Book of Records in 1978 when a Märklin Z scale locomotive pulling six coaches traveled a distance of 720 km, and ran continually for 1,219 hours before the train quit running (unquote). I'm wondering what voltage/amps they ran it at to achieve that, even if it was an older 3 pole motor, im betting they figured out the power requirements just right for the longest run.
            • GLENN
              Message 6 of 26 , Jun 26, 2010
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                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "trainssd" <greg@...> wrote:
                >
                > Do you mean like current limiting?
                >
                > That should be easy to test. Interesting.
                >
                > I've never seen any specs on locos on what constant current at a rotor lock condition is.
                >
                > Would be nice to know.
                >
                > Greg
                >
                > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Alan Cox <alan@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Exactly what its doing is hard to tell, but it isn't behaving as a
                > > straight resistance controller, and it won't for example supply 10v high
                > > power more than momentarily.
                > >
                >If you look at the newer MRC DC packs, many have fancy features like momemtum controls & other programs. Works OK for HO-N DC locos. Some N-HO locos have a dual DCC/DC chip. None of that is on the MRC 1300. It would be nice if MRC would make a low power pack for Z locos. IIRC puls power makes too much heat for Z motors.
              • StonyS
                ... I posted this question over on the Zscale Electronics, but never really got a satisfactory question: My MTL-modified MRC1300 causes a 60hz buzz in the
                Message 7 of 26 , Jun 26, 2010
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                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Alan Cox <alan@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > On Thu, 24 Jun 2010 23:28:50 -0000
                  > "luckykid43" <luckykid43@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > However, I have been told many times that a Marklin should not be run with more than 8 volts but an MTL can handle 10. This fits with the dial indexing on the MTL-modified RailPower 1300 transformer: 8V Marklin; 10V MTL.

                  I posted this question over on the Zscale Electronics, but never really got a satisfactory question: My MTL-modified MRC1300 causes a 60hz buzz in the engines as they go around the track.

                  If I apply a capacitor to the output to smooth the buzz, the voltage jumps up to nearly 18 volts. This tells me that the MRC1300 is actually putting out 18v with a duty cycle that keeps the average below 10v.

                  Has anyone else seen (heard) this problem? Or is my MRC1300 defective?

                  I'd open the unit up and look for defects inside, but someone at MRC had the great idea of using a triangular screw head.
                • Loren Snyder
                  Only MTL has a special tool for removing the knob.....I found out the hard way. Loren ... From: StonyS Date: 6/26/2010 8:25:28 AM To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                  Message 8 of 26 , Jun 26, 2010
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                    Only MTL has a special tool for removing the knob.....I found out the hard
                    way.
                    Loren




                    -------Original Message-------

                    From: StonyS
                    Date: 6/26/2010 8:25:28 AM
                    To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Marklin and MTL power requirements


                    I'd open the unit up and look for defects inside, but someone at MRC had the
                    great idea of using a triangular screw head.



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • trainssd
                    You mean a hammer does not work anymore? Drat! hahahahaha Greg
                    Message 9 of 26 , Jun 26, 2010
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                      You mean a hammer does not work anymore?

                      Drat!

                      hahahahaha

                      Greg

                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Only MTL has a special tool for removing the knob.....I found out the hard
                      > way.
                      > Loren
                    • Loren Snyder
                      No Greg, A hammer is used to inadvertently smash one s thumb when being overly zealous while thinking the hammer is a cure all for any job. Again...... been
                      Message 10 of 26 , Jun 26, 2010
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                        No Greg,
                        A hammer is used to inadvertently smash one's thumb when being overly
                        zealous while thinking the hammer is a cure all for any job. Again......
                        been there, done that. Ouch !!
                        Loren




                        -------Original Message-------

                        From: trainssd
                        Date: 6/26/2010 10:45:35 AM
                        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Marklin and MTL power requirements

                        You mean a hammer does not work anymore?

                        Drat!

                        hahahahaha

                        Greg

                        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Only MTL has a special tool for removing the knob.....I found out the hard
                        > way.
                        > Loren





                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • RMC Scott
                        Older Marklin motors have max 8v - the newer ones max at 10v. I know this because I have recently puchased a new loco 88584 and instructions say 0 -10v..
                        Message 11 of 26 , Jun 27, 2010
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                          Older Marklin motors have max 8v - the newer ones max at 10v. I know this because I have recently puchased a new loco 88584 and instructions say 0 -10v.. When I look at the instructions for the older ones they say 2 - 8v. However maximum speed is rediculously fast on the older locos.. Running 4 - 6v would the norm for constant running.Also depends on loco's gearing. My new loco runs quite slow which is good , Could have something to do with the difference between 3 pole and 5 pole motors

                          Ralph


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Ken Armstrong
                          Removing oddball screws (probably just pointing out the obvious): Hammering and prying tend to destroy the object acted upon. The machinist s method is to
                          Message 12 of 26 , Jun 27, 2010
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                            Removing oddball screws (probably just pointing out the obvious):
                            Hammering and prying tend to destroy the object acted upon. The
                            machinist's method is to drill a hole in the bolt or screw and screw in
                            an extractor which allows you to twist out the offending item.

                            The simpler and non-percussive technique is to file or grind an old
                            screwdriver to the right shape and take out the screws. Another method
                            is to use a drill bit slightly larger than the head and drill the top
                            off the screw. Then you have to twist out the screws with pliers. In
                            either case replace with 'normal' shaped ones.

                            I have one rule when dismantling electrical devices or machines: Don't
                            take it apart if you don't know how to fix it or handle it safely.
                            Unless you just want to see what is inside and makes it go.

                            Ken Armstrong
                            Irmo, SC
                          • Loren Snyder
                            Ken, It is not just the screws that must be removed with a special tool, the actual control knob will not come off without MTL s special control knob removing
                            Message 13 of 26 , Jun 27, 2010
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                              Ken,
                              It is not just the screws that must be removed with a special tool, the
                              actual control knob will not come off without MTL's special 'control knob
                              removing tool'. You can't make a tool at home that does the trick. I had to
                              take my MRC1300 to MTL to have them remove the knob.
                              Loren




                              -------Original Message-------

                              From: Ken Armstrong
                              Date: 6/27/2010 7:06:31 AM
                              To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [Z_Scale] Marklin and MTL power requirements

                              Removing oddball screws (probably just pointing out the obvious):
                              Hammering and prying tend to destroy the object acted upon. The
                              machinist's method is to drill a hole in the bolt or screw and screw in
                              an extractor which allows you to twist out the offending item.

                              The simpler and non-percussive technique is to file or grind an old
                              screwdriver to the right shape and take out the screws. Another method
                              is to use a drill bit slightly larger than the head and drill the top
                              off the screw. Then you have to twist out the screws with pliers. In
                              either case replace with 'normal' shaped ones.

                              I have one rule when dismantling electrical devices or machines: Don't
                              take it apart if you don't know how to fix it or handle it safely.
                              Unless you just want to see what is inside and makes it go.

                              Ken Armstrong
                              Irmo, SC



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Ken Armstrong
                              Loren, I admit I have never opened or looked closely at a MTL modified controller. In the MRC controllers I have opened, all the electronics were accessible
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jun 28, 2010
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                                Loren,
                                I admit I have never opened or looked closely at a MTL modified
                                controller. In the MRC controllers I have opened, all the electronics
                                were accessible through the base. Not sure why you would need to remove
                                the knob unless to replace the pot. But I would then use cuss words
                                and a Dremel cutter.

                                Or chuck the whole thing and buy something more user friendly. Sounds
                                like a device designed by a liability lawyer or marketing department.
                                For a manufacturer the line between being responsible and allowing
                                access can be very narrow.
                                Ken
                              • sj_baz_man
                                Stony, the Capacitor charges to the peak of the rectified AC voltage. Basic DC voltmeters will more easily read this peak voltage. This will be applied to the
                                Message 15 of 26 , Jun 28, 2010
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                                  Stony, the Capacitor charges to the peak of the rectified AC voltage. Basic DC voltmeters will more easily read this peak voltage. This will be applied to the motor BUT if you were use an oscilloscope, you would see that the STANDARD DC Power packs (from Märklin, MRC, etc. basic, starter set,) put out unfiltered or only slighly filtered DC so this peak voltage only occurs a very small proportion of the time.

                                  The 60HZ 'buzz' you hear are these pulses. Nothign to orry about. Again, 100's of thousands of locos running for almost 40 years now on these power packs. Just maintain your locos (one or 2 VERY small drops of proper oil, per the instructions and your locos will last a LONG time.

                                  To reinforce this, those of us with DCC equiped systems are supplying upwards of 12V to the motor and running them the same 1000's of hours.

                                  Just run your trains as you would, enjoy the view.

                                  Jeff
                                  SF Bay Area Z


                                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "StonyS" <stonysmith@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Alan Cox <alan@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > On Thu, 24 Jun 2010 23:28:50 -0000
                                  > > "luckykid43" <luckykid43@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > However, I have been told many times that a Marklin should not be run with more than 8 volts but an MTL can handle 10. This fits with the dial indexing on the MTL-modified RailPower 1300 transformer: 8V Marklin; 10V MTL.
                                  >
                                  > I posted this question over on the Zscale Electronics, but never really got a satisfactory question: My MTL-modified MRC1300 causes a 60hz buzz in the engines as they go around the track.
                                  >
                                  > If I apply a capacitor to the output to smooth the buzz, the voltage jumps up to nearly 18 volts. This tells me that the MRC1300 is actually putting out 18v with a duty cycle that keeps the average below 10v.
                                  >
                                  > Has anyone else seen (heard) this problem? Or is my MRC1300 defective?
                                  >
                                  > I'd open the unit up and look for defects inside, but someone at MRC had the great idea of using a triangular screw head.
                                  >
                                • Loren Snyder
                                  Ken, I should have clarified my intent when I mentioned the knob issue. I was considering taking two packs and making a new housing to end up with a dual
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Jun 28, 2010
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                                    Ken,
                                    I should have clarified my intent when I mentioned the knob issue. I was
                                    considering taking two packs and making a new housing to end up with a dual
                                    pack. Once I had the parts all laid out, I decided it wasn't worth the
                                    effort to custom make a case.

                                    Scratched that idea.

                                    Loren




                                    -------Original Message-------

                                    From: Ken Armstrong
                                    Date: 06/28/10 08:55:56
                                    To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Marklin and MTL power requirements

                                    Loren,
                                    I admit I have never opened or looked closely at a MTL modified
                                    controller. In the MRC controllers I have opened, all the electronics
                                    were accessible through the base. Not sure why you would need to remove
                                    the knob unless to replace the pot. But I would then use cuss words
                                    and a Dremel cutter.

                                    Or chuck the whole thing and buy something more user friendly. Sounds
                                    like a device designed by a liability lawyer or marketing department.
                                    For a manufacturer the line between being responsible and allowing
                                    access can be very narrow.
                                    Ken



                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • StonyS
                                    ... I ve got 40 years of experience taking things apart (and reassembling them successfully), so no worry there... To move the discussion back to my original
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Jun 28, 2010
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                                      > I have one rule when dismantling electrical devices or machines: Don't take it apart if you don't know how to fix it or handle it safely. Unless you just want to see what is inside and makes it go.

                                      I've got 40 years of experience taking things apart (and reassembling them successfully), so no worry there...

                                      To move the discussion back to my original question.. has anyone noticed a buzzing when using the MRC1300 with a GP35 or a F7?
                                    • Loren Snyder
                                      Stony, Haven t noticed anything personally, but then again, I m pretty deaf.... LOL Loren ... From: StonyS Date: 06/28/10 11:37:58 To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Jun 28, 2010
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                                        Stony,

                                        Haven't noticed anything personally, but then again, I'm pretty deaf....
                                        LOL

                                        Loren




                                        -------Original Message-------

                                        From: StonyS
                                        Date: 06/28/10 11:37:58
                                        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Marklin and MTL power requirements

                                        > I have one rule when dismantling electrical devices or machines: Don't
                                        take it apart if you don't know how to fix it or handle it safely. Unless
                                        you just want to see what is inside and makes it go.

                                        I've got 40 years of experience taking things apart (and reassembling them
                                        successfully), so no worry there...

                                        To move the discussion back to my original question.. has anyone noticed a
                                        buzzing when using the MRC1300 with a GP35 or a F7?





                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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