Marlin Digital and Lima trains

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by mav_uk, Sep 26, 2001.

  1. mav_uk

    mav_uk Member

    Hi all,

    Okay my first time here so you are probably going to think these are really stupid questions but here goes:

    1) I have a Marklin C1 starter track with a C3 expansion kit. I am going to expand it to a 350 * 160 cm layout with tunnels etc, but I am wondering is it possible to convert to a the Marklin Digital system (I have a Lima TGV - could that already be a digital loco, I really have no idea sorry!) and would it be worth it. I can;t seem to get that much information on what it actually does. I would at some point like to computerise the track, was a VB / Java developer before starting my current job, and still keep my hands dirty in code 50% of the time.

    2) I have serious problems with my TGV, it only works with the moterised loco at the rear of the train. Otherwise it falls off the rails when the curves straighten out. I have been told by the importers that this was a problem with the early TGV's (make me wonder how I managed to buy one early this year but never mind) and have offered to fix it. Unfortunately one of the office leaners 'cleaned' my desk whilst I was on holiday and with it all contact information for the Lima importers in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. If anyone has this I would really appriciate it as dismantaling the train to turn it around is not going to work when the layout is finished!

    Please help as I am new to this and completely lost!:confused:

    Thanks People

  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    DCC standards


    How r ya? and welcome to The Guage! First time hey! You'll be fine.

    I'm not familiar with the Marklin Digital System, or it's functionality. However a hive of info is available on the National Model Railway Association (US based) website under Technical Department, Standards and RP's (recomended procedures) at NMRA website

    They have defined standards for everything. track curves, clearances, and a full spec for digital control, including bitstreams and their functions. This standard seems to have become the defacto for most DCC Systems providers. The DCC systems I am interested in (but not installed yet, due to cost) are NCE, System One, and Digitrax. I'm leaning towards Digitrax as they provide sound (steam and deisel) and whistle on command decoders that reside in the loco's with a speaker. DCC controllers come with a cab-controller with all functions already enabled, and also come with a PC iface (via serial port) that allows you to generate your own bitstreams for control. stationary decoders also allow for computer control of turnouts and signals.

    You haven't stated, but I presume your layout is HO scale? 350cm * 160cm. Check the NMRA standards for minimum curve radius. PLEASE make sure you adhere to them, as you will get problems you describe of derailing if your curve radius is too small. Those Lima TGV's have pretty unique (read crappy) couplers too.

    I doubt if your Lima TGV is "digital ready" unless you mean it has plugs inside ready for the installation of a decoder. The decoders are between $10 - $50 US depending on functions, and the controllers are between $200 - $600 US depending on functions, with the throttles an additional $80 - $160 US each. Try the Digitrax for info on the Digitrax stuff.

    I hope this info has helped in some small way.
  3. mav_uk

    mav_uk Member



    Thanks for the advice, I'll certainly check it out before I start to actually build, and you are right it is HO scale, although I have to admit that the choice of trains in the shop is what made me decide rather than the scale itself.

    As for the TGV, I think it would have bveen better if I had stuck with my original idea and got an ICE 3, but never min - live and learn as they say!

    I think with the digital stuff I'll have to wait a while, my Spitfire will start eating money next year when I renovate the body, so at that price for conversions I think I'll just wait a while!

    Again thanks a million!


    PS, Looked at your web site, very impressed - I get the feeling it will be a while before mine looks anywhere close to that standard!

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