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Marklin transformer polarity

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  • luckykid43
    The Marklin z-scale transformer power cord has a plug with two identical spade connectors. Is there any way to determine the polarity without taking the unit
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 23, 2010
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      The Marklin z-scale transformer power cord has a plug with two identical spade connectors. Is there any way to determine the polarity without taking the unit apart?
    • donfedjur@aol.com
      The positive lead is usually designated as the striped or ribbed conductor. Black cord is not usually marked, but it can also be stamped with a positve sign.
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 23, 2010
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        The positive lead is usually designated as the striped or ribbed conductor. Black cord is not usually marked, but it can also be stamped with a positve sign. The newer white controller Marklin cord is ribbed.


        Don Fedjur




        -----Original Message-----
        From: luckykid43 <luckykid43@...>
        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Fri, Jul 23, 2010 8:33 am
        Subject: [Z_Scale] Marklin transformer polarity




        The Marklin z-scale transformer power cord has a plug with two identical spade connectors. Is there any way to determine the polarity without taking the unit apart?







        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • donfedjur@aol.com
        If you are checking for polarity, I would guess that you would want to be checking track power as this is AC in DC out. The red track output is positive. Use a
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 23, 2010
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          If you are checking for polarity, I would guess that you would want to be checking track power as this is AC in DC out. The red track output is positive. Use a volt meter to double check your connections.


          Don Fedjur




          -----Original Message-----
          From: luckykid43 <luckykid43@...>
          To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Fri, Jul 23, 2010 8:33 am
          Subject: [Z_Scale] Marklin transformer polarity




          The Marklin z-scale transformer power cord has a plug with two identical spade connectors. Is there any way to determine the polarity without taking the unit apart?







          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Garth
          If you look at the front of the controller you will see that the control has a center off or zero volt position. The output is DC so it does not really matter
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 23, 2010
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            If you look at the front of the controller you will see that the control has a center off or zero volt position. The output is DC so it does not really matter which is plugged in where. However if are connected to the track and you turn your control to the left and the engine moves to the right, then reverse the plugs to the track and now when you move control to right to increase speed teh engine will move to the right corresponding to the position of the knob and when you move it past zero to the left the train will move to the left.

            Other than aesthetics it really does not matter which rail is plus and which is minus as they change whenever you change the direction of travel of your locomotive. The only time there is conflict is if you create a reverse loop or a balloon loop at the end of a section of track that returns to the same track. This is a no no on DC as it causes a dead short between the two DC leads and need to have a special controller to make this work automatically or a set of switches and insulators to allow this to work.

            cheerz Garth
            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@...> wrote:
            >
            > The Marklin z-scale transformer power cord has a plug with two identical spade connectors. Is there any way to determine the polarity without taking the unit apart?
            >
          • luckykid43
            Actually, I was not clear in my purpose with this question. I thought there might be a problem if I was using more than one Marklin transformer/controller in
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 23, 2010
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              Actually, I was not clear in my purpose with this question. I thought there might be a problem if I was using more than one Marklin transformer/controller in my layout and the polarity of the transformers themselves ended up different.
              I hope that helps.
              luckykid

              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Garth" <garth.a.hamilton@...> wrote:
              >
              > If you look at the front of the controller you will see that the control has a center off or zero volt position. The output is DC so it does not really matter which is plugged in where. However if are connected to the track and you turn your control to the left and the engine moves to the right, then reverse the plugs to the track and now when you move control to right to increase speed teh engine will move to the right corresponding to the position of the knob and when you move it past zero to the left the train will move to the left.
              >
              > Other than aesthetics it really does not matter which rail is plus and which is minus as they change whenever you change the direction of travel of your locomotive. The only time there is conflict is if you create a reverse loop or a balloon loop at the end of a section of track that returns to the same track. This is a no no on DC as it causes a dead short between the two DC leads and need to have a special controller to make this work automatically or a set of switches and insulators to allow this to work.
              >
              > cheerz Garth
              > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@> wrote:
              > >
              > > The Marklin z-scale transformer power cord has a plug with two identical spade connectors. Is there any way to determine the polarity without taking the unit apart?
              > >
              >
            • donfedjur@aol.com
              Just isolate them with insulating rail joiners so you don t short out. As Garth points out, you reverse/change polarity with direction. Two power packs,
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 23, 2010
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                Just isolate them with insulating rail joiners so you don't short out. As Garth points out, you reverse/change polarity with direction. Two power packs, controllers will create a meltdown if conected. Your need is probably for yard switching operations?


                Don Fedjur




                -----Original Message-----
                From: luckykid43 <luckykid43@...>
                To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Fri, Jul 23, 2010 10:38 am
                Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Marklin transformer polarity




                Actually, I was not clear in my purpose with this question. I thought there might be a problem if I was using more than one Marklin transformer/controller in my layout and the polarity of the transformers themselves ended up different.
                I hope that helps.
                luckykid

                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Garth" <garth.a.hamilton@...> wrote:
                >
                > If you look at the front of the controller you will see that the control has a center off or zero volt position. The output is DC so it does not really matter which is plugged in where. However if are connected to the track and you turn your control to the left and the engine moves to the right, then reverse the plugs to the track and now when you move control to right to increase speed teh engine will move to the right corresponding to the position of the knob and when you move it past zero to the left the train will move to the left.
                >
                > Other than aesthetics it really does not matter which rail is plus and which is minus as they change whenever you change the direction of travel of your locomotive. The only time there is conflict is if you create a reverse loop or a balloon loop at the end of a section of track that returns to the same track. This is a no no on DC as it causes a dead short between the two DC leads and need to have a special controller to make this work automatically or a set of switches and insulators to allow this to work.
                >
                > cheerz Garth
                > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@> wrote:
                > >
                > > The Marklin z-scale transformer power cord has a plug with two identical spade connectors. Is there any way to determine the polarity without taking the unit apart?
                > >
                >







                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • zeeglen
                ... This is a valid concern. I do not know if Marklin power packs are prone to AC phasing differences, but is known to be critical with some MRC power packs.
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 23, 2010
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                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@...> wrote:
                  > Actually, I was not clear in my purpose with this question. I thought there might be a problem if I was using more than one Marklin transformer/controller in my layout and the polarity of the transformers themselves ended up different.
                  > I hope that helps.

                  This is a valid concern. I do not know if Marklin power packs are prone to AC phasing differences, but is known to be critical with some MRC power packs. There are two issues here, DC polarity (locomotive direction) and AC phasing if these power packs output half wave rectified.

                  DC polarity is easily understood. Both power packs should be the same make/model and both set to the same direction as the loco crosses an insulated boundary between two blocks powered by the two individual power packs. Speed should be set to approximately the same on both power packs. If the power packs are inadvertently set to opposite DC polarity the loco will stall as it's wheels bridge across the rail gaps and the power packs drive each other into overload shutdown through the locomotive wheels, if properly designed no permanent damage except possibly to the loccomotive. The same can happen with a single power back when block boundaries are set to opposite directions, but less damaging current flows.

                  Generally it is not a very good idea to have a locomotive cross a block boundary between power packs unless both power packs are the same make and model and set to the same speed, and definitely to the same DC polarity (direction). Differences in output waveforms (DC, halfwave sine, fullwave sine, pulse-on-DC) can make different models from the same manufacturer incompatible with each other when run in parallel (due to the wheels bridging the rail gaps) even for a short time.

                  Even then the pulse phasing between the same models will not necessarily match, if so the AC power cord of one must be reversed. Involves rewiring if the AC plugs are polarized (one wide blade) and cannot be reversed in the wall outlet.

                  If the power pack outputs half-wave-rectified sine and AC input is 60 Hz, output voltage pulses are present for 8 milliseconds followed by a gap (no voltage) for another 8 milliseconds, then the cycle repeats. In other words 60 pulses and 60 interleaved gaps per second.

                  If using more than one power pack for separate blocks, the phasing must be the same so that as a locomotive straddles insulated blocks and momentarily receives and bridges power from both packs the half wave relative to AC line polarity must be synchronized among all power packs. Otherwise the loco will speed up while straddling blocks as it briefly receives full wave created from two opposite-phased half wave sources, even when the DC polarity (loco direction) is matched. In other words, the two power packs can alternately fill in the gap between each other's pulses instead of both producing the 8 millisecond pulse at the same time.
                • Garth
                  It is not wise to connect two power packs to the same piece of track. You can not control different locos on the same track with two different power packs.
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 23, 2010
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                    It is not wise to connect two power packs to the same piece of track. You can not control different locos on the same track with two different power packs. This is DC. So one track loop one power pack. You can create a layout with multiple loops of track but then you have to set up blocks with switches which allow you to use either controller in any block or series of blocks. Each Block is electrically isolated from the other and one one power pack can be selected to operate one block. When crossing a block boundary you can select power to the adjacent block and connect it to your current power pack or you can pass between the two blocks if the track voltage is match across the block boundary. IF they are not matched then smoke is what happens.

                    If you are not familiar with wiring a model railroad then visit your local hobby shop or online supplier and get a hold of a book on basic electricity for model railroads and block wiring. Atlas produces some books on the topic but they tend to use a common rail system which I do not recommend for Z.

                    My own layout is a double track main and each main is isolated form the other so I use one power pack for each main so I can run two trains totally independent of one another.

                    cheerz Garth

                    --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Actually, I was not clear in my purpose with this question. I thought there might be a problem if I was using more than one Marklin transformer/controller in my layout and the polarity of the transformers themselves ended up different.
                    > I hope that helps.
                    > luckykid
                    >
                    > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Garth" <garth.a.hamilton@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > If you look at the front of the controller you will see that the control has a center off or zero volt position. The output is DC so it does not really matter which is plugged in where. However if are connected to the track and you turn your control to the left and the engine moves to the right, then reverse the plugs to the track and now when you move control to right to increase speed teh engine will move to the right corresponding to the position of the knob and when you move it past zero to the left the train will move to the left.
                    > >
                    > > Other than aesthetics it really does not matter which rail is plus and which is minus as they change whenever you change the direction of travel of your locomotive. The only time there is conflict is if you create a reverse loop or a balloon loop at the end of a section of track that returns to the same track. This is a no no on DC as it causes a dead short between the two DC leads and need to have a special controller to make this work automatically or a set of switches and insulators to allow this to work.
                    > >
                    > > cheerz Garth
                    > > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > The Marklin z-scale transformer power cord has a plug with two identical spade connectors. Is there any way to determine the polarity without taking the unit apart?
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • luckykid43
                    The replies to my question have helped me to find a good resource on Marklin transformer polarity, although it s located in an HO document. Eckert
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 24, 2010
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                      The replies to my question have helped me to find a good resource on Marklin transformer polarity, although it's located in an HO document. Eckert Engineering's booklet on the Electrical Aspects of a Marklin HO layout has a section (8.0) on Multiple Transformers on Layouts. There is a nice, illustrated discussion of polarity and includes a simple polarity test procedure. The 15 page booklet can be found at: http://www.lctm.info/FileView/_files/Folletos/Marklinwiringbooklet.pdf

                      Thanks for your help, luckykid



                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "zeeglen" <glen@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@> wrote:
                      > > Actually, I was not clear in my purpose with this question. I thought there might be a problem if I was using more than one Marklin transformer/controller in my layout and the polarity of the transformers themselves ended up different.
                      > > I hope that helps.
                      >
                      > This is a valid concern. I do not know if Marklin power packs are prone to AC phasing differences, but is known to be critical with some MRC power packs. There are two issues here, DC polarity (locomotive direction) and AC phasing if these power packs output half wave rectified.
                      >
                      > DC polarity is easily understood. Both power packs should be the same make/model and both set to the same direction as the loco crosses an insulated boundary between two blocks powered by the two individual power packs. Speed should be set to approximately the same on both power packs. If the power packs are inadvertently set to opposite DC polarity the loco will stall as it's wheels bridge across the rail gaps and the power packs drive each other into overload shutdown through the locomotive wheels, if properly designed no permanent damage except possibly to the loccomotive. The same can happen with a single power back when block boundaries are set to opposite directions, but less damaging current flows.
                      >
                      > Generally it is not a very good idea to have a locomotive cross a block boundary between power packs unless both power packs are the same make and model and set to the same speed, and definitely to the same DC polarity (direction). Differences in output waveforms (DC, halfwave sine, fullwave sine, pulse-on-DC) can make different models from the same manufacturer incompatible with each other when run in parallel (due to the wheels bridging the rail gaps) even for a short time.
                      >
                      > Even then the pulse phasing between the same models will not necessarily match, if so the AC power cord of one must be reversed. Involves rewiring if the AC plugs are polarized (one wide blade) and cannot be reversed in the wall outlet.
                      >
                      > If the power pack outputs half-wave-rectified sine and AC input is 60 Hz, output voltage pulses are present for 8 milliseconds followed by a gap (no voltage) for another 8 milliseconds, then the cycle repeats. In other words 60 pulses and 60 interleaved gaps per second.
                      >
                      > If using more than one power pack for separate blocks, the phasing must be the same so that as a locomotive straddles insulated blocks and momentarily receives and bridges power from both packs the half wave relative to AC line polarity must be synchronized among all power packs. Otherwise the loco will speed up while straddling blocks as it briefly receives full wave created from two opposite-phased half wave sources, even when the DC polarity (loco direction) is matched. In other words, the two power packs can alternately fill in the gap between each other's pulses instead of both producing the 8 millisecond pulse at the same time.
                      >
                    • Garth
                      Luckykid There is a great deal of difference between the power pack used for Marklin HO and Marklin Z. The HO power pack is AC to the track not DC so what they
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 24, 2010
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                        Luckykid

                        There is a great deal of difference between the power pack used for Marklin HO and Marklin Z. The HO power pack is AC to the track not DC so what they are talking about is not what you have to deal with as you are using DC to the track.

                        cheerz Garth

                        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > The replies to my question have helped me to find a good resource on Marklin transformer polarity, although it's located in an HO document. Eckert Engineering's booklet on the Electrical Aspects of a Marklin HO layout has a section (8.0) on Multiple Transformers on Layouts. There is a nice, illustrated discussion of polarity and includes a simple polarity test procedure. The 15 page booklet can be found at: http://www.lctm.info/FileView/_files/Folletos/Marklinwiringbooklet.pdf
                        >
                        > Thanks for your help, luckykid
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "zeeglen" <glen@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@> wrote:
                        > > > Actually, I was not clear in my purpose with this question. I thought there might be a problem if I was using more than one Marklin transformer/controller in my layout and the polarity of the transformers themselves ended up different.
                        > > > I hope that helps.
                        > >
                        > > This is a valid concern. I do not know if Marklin power packs are prone to AC phasing differences, but is known to be critical with some MRC power packs. There are two issues here, DC polarity (locomotive direction) and AC phasing if these power packs output half wave rectified.
                        > >
                        > > DC polarity is easily understood. Both power packs should be the same make/model and both set to the same direction as the loco crosses an insulated boundary between two blocks powered by the two individual power packs. Speed should be set to approximately the same on both power packs. If the power packs are inadvertently set to opposite DC polarity the loco will stall as it's wheels bridge across the rail gaps and the power packs drive each other into overload shutdown through the locomotive wheels, if properly designed no permanent damage except possibly to the loccomotive. The same can happen with a single power back when block boundaries are set to opposite directions, but less damaging current flows.
                        > >
                        > > Generally it is not a very good idea to have a locomotive cross a block boundary between power packs unless both power packs are the same make and model and set to the same speed, and definitely to the same DC polarity (direction). Differences in output waveforms (DC, halfwave sine, fullwave sine, pulse-on-DC) can make different models from the same manufacturer incompatible with each other when run in parallel (due to the wheels bridging the rail gaps) even for a short time.
                        > >
                        > > Even then the pulse phasing between the same models will not necessarily match, if so the AC power cord of one must be reversed. Involves rewiring if the AC plugs are polarized (one wide blade) and cannot be reversed in the wall outlet.
                        > >
                        > > If the power pack outputs half-wave-rectified sine and AC input is 60 Hz, output voltage pulses are present for 8 milliseconds followed by a gap (no voltage) for another 8 milliseconds, then the cycle repeats. In other words 60 pulses and 60 interleaved gaps per second.
                        > >
                        > > If using more than one power pack for separate blocks, the phasing must be the same so that as a locomotive straddles insulated blocks and momentarily receives and bridges power from both packs the half wave relative to AC line polarity must be synchronized among all power packs. Otherwise the loco will speed up while straddling blocks as it briefly receives full wave created from two opposite-phased half wave sources, even when the DC polarity (loco direction) is matched. In other words, the two power packs can alternately fill in the gap between each other's pulses instead of both producing the 8 millisecond pulse at the same time.
                        > >
                        >
                      • luckykid43
                        Like Garth has done, I plan to have two separate tracks with two separate transformers. I have read Chapter 5 in the Atlas Wiring book where they discuss
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 25, 2010
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                          Like Garth has done, I plan to have two separate tracks with two separate transformers. I have read Chapter 5 in the Atlas Wiring book where they discuss multiple power packs and blocks and the controls necessary to carry that type of layout through. That was where I thought the transition from one block to another might be affected by polarity, even though it is DC not AC power. But, I guess I don't really have to be concerned. I just like to get to the bottom of things. Luckykid

                          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Garth" <garth.a.hamilton@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > It is not wise to connect two power packs to the same piece of track. You can not control different locos on the same track with two different power packs. This is DC. So one track loop one power pack. You can create a layout with multiple loops of track but then you have to set up blocks with switches which allow you to use either controller in any block or series of blocks. Each Block is electrically isolated from the other and one one power pack can be selected to operate one block. When crossing a block boundary you can select power to the adjacent block and connect it to your current power pack or you can pass between the two blocks if the track voltage is match across the block boundary. IF they are not matched then smoke is what happens.
                          >
                          > If you are not familiar with wiring a model railroad then visit your local hobby shop or online supplier and get a hold of a book on basic electricity for model railroads and block wiring. Atlas produces some books on the topic but they tend to use a common rail system which I do not recommend for Z.
                          >
                          > My own layout is a double track main and each main is isolated form the other so I use one power pack for each main so I can run two trains totally independent of one another.
                          >
                          > cheerz Garth
                          >
                          > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Actually, I was not clear in my purpose with this question. I thought there might be a problem if I was using more than one Marklin transformer/controller in my layout and the polarity of the transformers themselves ended up different.
                          > > I hope that helps.
                          > > luckykid
                          > >
                          > > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Garth" <garth.a.hamilton@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > If you look at the front of the controller you will see that the control has a center off or zero volt position. The output is DC so it does not really matter which is plugged in where. However if are connected to the track and you turn your control to the left and the engine moves to the right, then reverse the plugs to the track and now when you move control to right to increase speed teh engine will move to the right corresponding to the position of the knob and when you move it past zero to the left the train will move to the left.
                          > > >
                          > > > Other than aesthetics it really does not matter which rail is plus and which is minus as they change whenever you change the direction of travel of your locomotive. The only time there is conflict is if you create a reverse loop or a balloon loop at the end of a section of track that returns to the same track. This is a no no on DC as it causes a dead short between the two DC leads and need to have a special controller to make this work automatically or a set of switches and insulators to allow this to work.
                          > > >
                          > > > cheerz Garth
                          > > > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@> wrote:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > The Marklin z-scale transformer power cord has a plug with two identical spade connectors. Is there any way to determine the polarity without taking the unit apart?
                          > > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • Willy Fritz
                          Dear luckykid, you NEVER can use anything written for Marklin H0 ! Because Marklin H0 is AC-driven. In your first post you remarked that you use Marklin Z -
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jul 25, 2010
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                            Dear luckykid,

                            you NEVER can use anything written for Marklin H0 ! Because Marklin H0 is
                            AC-driven.

                            In your first post you remarked that you use Marklin Z - which is DC driven.

                            As in soem other reply was already mentioned, you have to use some kind of
                            block-wiring to attach more than one (original Marklin) power pack to your
                            layout.

                            These facts are neatly printed on the power packs themselves using
                            international symbols for DC (as opposed to AC) for the track contacts of
                            the pack. You should know there are two different contacts for AC - they are
                            ONLY used for switch magnets or layout lighting! Don't use them as track
                            feeders!!!

                            With kind reagrds,
                            Willy

                            PS: Keep on asking - I hope, your next questions aren't about "How can I
                            extingguish a fire in my train room?" :-)

                            --------------------------------------------------
                            From: "luckykid43" <luckykid43@...>
                            Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 5:56 PM
                            To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                            Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Marklin transformer polarity

                            > The replies to my question have helped me to find a good resource on
                            > Marklin transformer polarity, although it's located in an HO document.
                            > Eckert Engineering's booklet on the Electrical Aspects of a Marklin HO
                            > layout has a section (8.0) on Multiple Transformers on Layouts. There is a
                            > nice, illustrated discussion of polarity and includes a simple polarity
                            > test procedure. The 15 page booklet can be found at:
                            > http://www.lctm.info/FileView/_files/Folletos/Marklinwiringbooklet.pdf
                            >
                            > Thanks for your help, luckykid
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "zeeglen" <glen@...> wrote:
                            >>
                            >> --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@> wrote:
                            >> > Actually, I was not clear in my purpose with this question. I thought
                            >> > there might be a problem if I was using more than one Marklin
                            >> > transformer/controller in my layout and the polarity of the
                            >> > transformers themselves ended up different.
                            >> > I hope that helps.
                            >>
                            >> This is a valid concern. I do not know if Marklin power packs are prone
                            >> to AC phasing differences, but is known to be critical with some MRC
                            >> power packs. There are two issues here, DC polarity (locomotive
                            >> direction) and AC phasing if these power packs output half wave
                            >> rectified.
                            >>
                            >> DC polarity is easily understood. Both power packs should be the same
                            >> make/model and both set to the same direction as the loco crosses an
                            >> insulated boundary between two blocks powered by the two individual power
                            >> packs. Speed should be set to approximately the same on both power
                            >> packs. If the power packs are inadvertently set to opposite DC polarity
                            >> the loco will stall as it's wheels bridge across the rail gaps and the
                            >> power packs drive each other into overload shutdown through the
                            >> locomotive wheels, if properly designed no permanent damage except
                            >> possibly to the loccomotive. The same can happen with a single power
                            >> back when block boundaries are set to opposite directions, but less
                            >> damaging current flows.
                            >>
                            >> Generally it is not a very good idea to have a locomotive cross a block
                            >> boundary between power packs unless both power packs are the same make
                            >> and model and set to the same speed, and definitely to the same DC
                            >> polarity (direction). Differences in output waveforms (DC, halfwave
                            >> sine, fullwave sine, pulse-on-DC) can make different models from the same
                            >> manufacturer incompatible with each other when run in parallel (due to
                            >> the wheels bridging the rail gaps) even for a short time.
                            >>
                            >> Even then the pulse phasing between the same models will not necessarily
                            >> match, if so the AC power cord of one must be reversed. Involves
                            >> rewiring if the AC plugs are polarized (one wide blade) and cannot be
                            >> reversed in the wall outlet.
                            >>
                            >> If the power pack outputs half-wave-rectified sine and AC input is 60 Hz,
                            >> output voltage pulses are present for 8 milliseconds followed by a gap
                            >> (no voltage) for another 8 milliseconds, then the cycle repeats. In
                            >> other words 60 pulses and 60 interleaved gaps per second.
                            >>
                            >> If using more than one power pack for separate blocks, the phasing must
                            >> be the same so that as a locomotive straddles insulated blocks and
                            >> momentarily receives and bridges power from both packs the half wave
                            >> relative to AC line polarity must be synchronized among all power packs.
                            >> Otherwise the loco will speed up while straddling blocks as it briefly
                            >> receives full wave created from two opposite-phased half wave sources,
                            >> even when the DC polarity (loco direction) is matched. In other words,
                            >> the two power packs can alternately fill in the gap between each other's
                            >> pulses instead of both producing the 8 millisecond pulse at the same
                            >> time.
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------
                            >
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                          • luckykid43
                            Hello Willy, Well, I wasn t clear at all about what I was asking in my original message. Sorry. I use the Atlas Wiring Book as my bible and I know that my
                            Message 13 of 13 , Jul 25, 2010
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                              Hello Willy,
                              Well, I wasn't clear at all about what I was asking in my original message. Sorry. I use the Atlas Wiring Book as my "bible" and I know that my track power is DC and Marklin HO is AC. However when reading chapter 4 where the section on blocks and multiple power packs is discussed, I wondered if there would be any effect if the transformers were not polarized. I see now from the replies to my original question that I do not have to be concerned about this.
                              Thanks again. And I will keep asking.
                              Cheers, Luckykid

                              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Willy Fritz" <willy.fritz@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Dear luckykid,
                              >
                              > you NEVER can use anything written for Marklin H0 ! Because Marklin H0 is
                              > AC-driven.
                              >
                              > In your first post you remarked that you use Marklin Z - which is DC driven.
                              >
                              > As in soem other reply was already mentioned, you have to use some kind of
                              > block-wiring to attach more than one (original Marklin) power pack to your
                              > layout.
                              >
                              > These facts are neatly printed on the power packs themselves using
                              > international symbols for DC (as opposed to AC) for the track contacts of
                              > the pack. You should know there are two different contacts for AC - they are
                              > ONLY used for switch magnets or layout lighting! Don't use them as track
                              > feeders!!!
                              >
                              > With kind reagrds,
                              > Willy
                              >
                              > PS: Keep on asking - I hope, your next questions aren't about "How can I
                              > extingguish a fire in my train room?" :-)
                              >
                              > --------------------------------------------------
                              > From: "luckykid43" <luckykid43@...>
                              > Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 5:56 PM
                              > To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
                              > Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: Marklin transformer polarity
                              >
                              > > The replies to my question have helped me to find a good resource on
                              > > Marklin transformer polarity, although it's located in an HO document.
                              > > Eckert Engineering's booklet on the Electrical Aspects of a Marklin HO
                              > > layout has a section (8.0) on Multiple Transformers on Layouts. There is a
                              > > nice, illustrated discussion of polarity and includes a simple polarity
                              > > test procedure. The 15 page booklet can be found at:
                              > > http://www.lctm.info/FileView/_files/Folletos/Marklinwiringbooklet.pdf
                              > >
                              > > Thanks for your help, luckykid
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "zeeglen" <glen@> wrote:
                              > >>
                              > >> --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "luckykid43" <luckykid43@> wrote:
                              > >> > Actually, I was not clear in my purpose with this question. I thought
                              > >> > there might be a problem if I was using more than one Marklin
                              > >> > transformer/controller in my layout and the polarity of the
                              > >> > transformers themselves ended up different.
                              > >> > I hope that helps.
                              > >>
                              > >> This is a valid concern. I do not know if Marklin power packs are prone
                              > >> to AC phasing differences, but is known to be critical with some MRC
                              > >> power packs. There are two issues here, DC polarity (locomotive
                              > >> direction) and AC phasing if these power packs output half wave
                              > >> rectified.
                              > >>
                              > >> DC polarity is easily understood. Both power packs should be the same
                              > >> make/model and both set to the same direction as the loco crosses an
                              > >> insulated boundary between two blocks powered by the two individual power
                              > >> packs. Speed should be set to approximately the same on both power
                              > >> packs. If the power packs are inadvertently set to opposite DC polarity
                              > >> the loco will stall as it's wheels bridge across the rail gaps and the
                              > >> power packs drive each other into overload shutdown through the
                              > >> locomotive wheels, if properly designed no permanent damage except
                              > >> possibly to the loccomotive. The same can happen with a single power
                              > >> back when block boundaries are set to opposite directions, but less
                              > >> damaging current flows.
                              > >>
                              > >> Generally it is not a very good idea to have a locomotive cross a block
                              > >> boundary between power packs unless both power packs are the same make
                              > >> and model and set to the same speed, and definitely to the same DC
                              > >> polarity (direction). Differences in output waveforms (DC, halfwave
                              > >> sine, fullwave sine, pulse-on-DC) can make different models from the same
                              > >> manufacturer incompatible with each other when run in parallel (due to
                              > >> the wheels bridging the rail gaps) even for a short time.
                              > >>
                              > >> Even then the pulse phasing between the same models will not necessarily
                              > >> match, if so the AC power cord of one must be reversed. Involves
                              > >> rewiring if the AC plugs are polarized (one wide blade) and cannot be
                              > >> reversed in the wall outlet.
                              > >>
                              > >> If the power pack outputs half-wave-rectified sine and AC input is 60 Hz,
                              > >> output voltage pulses are present for 8 milliseconds followed by a gap
                              > >> (no voltage) for another 8 milliseconds, then the cycle repeats. In
                              > >> other words 60 pulses and 60 interleaved gaps per second.
                              > >>
                              > >> If using more than one power pack for separate blocks, the phasing must
                              > >> be the same so that as a locomotive straddles insulated blocks and
                              > >> momentarily receives and bridges power from both packs the half wave
                              > >> relative to AC line polarity must be synchronized among all power packs.
                              > >> Otherwise the loco will speed up while straddling blocks as it briefly
                              > >> receives full wave created from two opposite-phased half wave sources,
                              > >> even when the DC polarity (loco direction) is matched. In other words,
                              > >> the two power packs can alternately fill in the gap between each other's
                              > >> pulses instead of both producing the 8 millisecond pulse at the same
                              > >> time.
                              > >>
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > ------------------------------------
                              > >
                              > > Z-scale: minimum siZe, MAXIMUM enjoyment!
                              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
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