Sunday, February 21, 2016


Tonight I rejiggered some passenger car and locomotive assignments. The photo above shows my current favorite: A green BR 140 (Maerklin 37404) pushing a cut of Silberlinge ("silver coins", Maerklin 43829). Since all cars are lighted and the pick-up shoe is under the cab car, both axle and current detectors work with the train in push service, which means that I can run this set under automatic computer control just like a regular train.

A couple observations:
  • The current-conducting couplers of the cars don't mate perfectly with the standard Maerklin couplers. When the locomotive was pulling the cars, it occasionally uncoupled and left the cars behind. This was fixed by replacing the coupler on the last car next to the locomotive with a standard coupler.
  • The gear train in 37404 is crap. It seems to bind on occasion under load and thus requires the decoder to put a lot of power on the motor to get over the bind, tripping my PSX circuit breakers.
  • The PSX breakers don't seem to work too well when presented with a multi-protocol environment (I'm running DCC and Maerklin Motorola in parallel). Turning off low-power system boost (CV53) helps a little bit, but sometimes they trip even when set to 3.5A. The Intellibox only delivers 2.5A, so there must be something about how the PSX interprets the digital track signal that causes it to think there's a short circuit, when reality there is nothing wrong.
While I didn't work on what I had planned for tonight, this was a fun evening nevertheless, and it felt good to spend some time in the train room.

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