Power for a Marklin train...

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by shaygetz, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Some time back I was given a Marklin train, a model of a Danish Railways Class 1 4-6-2 with several tinplate freight and passenger cars. I'm feeling pretty safe in assuming that it was made around 1950-54. I was in the process of cleaning it when I remembered that Germany uses 220 volt electric. They also run on their trains on AC, not DC. What I need to know is, can they be run off of a Lionel transformer since Lionel also runs on AC? Is there any way to "step down" a Marklin transformer to run on 110 volt? The set came with 3 original transformers, 2 appear to be just this side of pristine, 1 appears to have fallen victim to some modifying already. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    You could get a 1:2 step up transformer at an electronics supply to provide 220 VAC for the power pack.

    Since it's AC, presumably the powerpack is just a transformer that steps the AC voltage down to something reasonable for the track. If this is the case, you should be safe just plugging it into 110 VAC, but you will get half the maxcimum out, half the speed. I've never seen one, and you need to verify this before trying it.

    Sounds like a neat loco! (I'm not biased :D )
  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks for the information. I'm starting to redesign the Christmas layout for next year to include a separate loop for the Marklin and I want to make sure it runs. I'll be running it at train shows too, if at all possible. You've seen it in the "Your Oldest Loco" thread in the HO forum, in fact, you identified the "DNR" for me...:thumb:

    Attached Files:

  4. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Shaygets, Jon is correct, if you do this however i'm not sure the output will be high enough when you press the 'reversing' button.
    That button outputs something like a 20 to 24 volt pulse (too fast to start the motor but) enough to throw the reversing solenoid inside the loco.

    When I had Marklin (back in the '60's) a permanent magnet was available to replace the field coil on the motor. This magnet converted the loco to run on DC using a standard train controller. In this case the reversing solenoid would need to be disconnected.

    Where ther's a will there's a way :D .

  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member


    Hey Guys, European current is + - 220 Volts @ 50 cycles. US current is + - 120 Volts @ 60 cycles. While the low voltage and frequency difference may not harm the transformer itself there will be some heat build up in the transformer and the small AC motor in the loco may not be able to stand the frequency difference.

    Check eBay you might be able to find a Marklin transformer wound for US current ratings.
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks guys, and, don't worry Vic, this engine is way too pretty and way too hard to find parts for. I'm treading VERY carefully. I want this:D to stay this:D and not turn to this:( or this:oops: or this:cry: or even this:curse: . Not a good witness...
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Are there any markings on the transformer that might suggest either 110 volts or 220 volts? I know that there were Marklin transformers that we used in the 1950s in Canada. (Clue: what sort of plugs do they have on them? If they're our sort, they might work. If they're something weird, probably 220.)
    The 50 vs 60 hz shouldn't be an issue with the locomotives. I don't understand why the cycles should be a problem with transformers, but it is. I know a lot of them were replaced when power went from 25 to 60 cycles.
    I think the Lionel transformer should work (except for reversing) unless the reverse units were left in neutral. :sleeping:
    There are Marklin dealers on this continent. You should be able to get a new transformer before Christmas.
  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Duh, I'm having a blonde moment as my sisters would say....you know I don't recall ever setting down and looking at the transformers themselves, other than noting that they were Marklin. You know old saying when you assume something....:oops:
  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Alas, they are 220, didn't think I could get that lucky. However, the plugs have been altered. It appears that, in their past, some enterprising young sprout lopped off the original plugs and slapped on a set of Yankee ones. I'm now wondering if they were run off of 110 this way or if they were run off of a specially juiced outlet set up for 220.
  10. krokodil

    krokodil Member

    The 60Hz transformers have smaller core (magnetic circuit) by about 20%. What is too much to run them under 50Hz (overheating). (many US tranformers "made for 220V" had been destroyed here in Europe, as nobody designed them for 50 Hz)

    Vice verse the problem is not that dangerous (50Hz transformers in the 60Hz network), only the efficience will be lower (less power is available on the output).

    :eek: :eek:
  11. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    The difference in design of 50 v 60 Hz is due to impedance, which is a resistance created by establishing a magnetic field. At 50 Hz the fields are reversed (created) slower which allows the resistance to be less because the fields are created slower which allows more current to flow, which converts to more watts and heat. Some motors can also be damaged from this for the same reasons. DASH

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