Wednesday, March 12, 2008


In most of the forum posts and descriptions I read, people recommend converting Maerklin's "Allstrom" motors to a regular DC motor (e.g. using Maerklin's "Hochleistungsmotor" conversion kit), or replace the motor altogether, and then use a decoder for the Motorola format (such as Maerklins c90 or c91 decoders) to convert them for digital operation. The conversion kit comes with a decoder and seems to go for ~100 Euros.

While browsing Viessmann's catalog I found a decoder that's made specifically for Maerklin's "Allstrom" motors (Viessmann 5274). The decoder is actually made by Uhlenbrock with part number 72600, is functionally equivalent to Maerklin's c91 decoder, fully programmable using CVs, with speed regulation, and has 4 function outputs. The nice thing about this decoder is that apparently you don't need to do anything to the existing motor. Just replace the direction changer switch/solenoid with the decoder, re-solder a few wires and you're set, provided the loco runs fine mechanically. Sounds too easy to be true. The decoder runs on regular AC, and Maerklin Digital (Motorola format) tracks, and costs around 45 Euros.

I'll see if I can find that decoder around here and try it out with one of the Diesel or Electric locos we have.

And yes, this is a hobby that can get expensive very quickly ... sigh

Turns out is selling the 72600 decoder for $47.99. No point trying to get them in Germany. Their pricing on new Marklin K-track is also very competitive compared to German second hand retail, or online retailers in Germany, especially taking into account exchange rates. I see an order in the near future...

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