KM1 / Marklin Controller

I have a couple of KM1 locos (BR50 and BR23) and have only used them in DC operation. Superb!

Regarding Digital Operation:
Does anyone have any experience with using the Marklin Mobile Station (that I already have for HO with 60113 digital connector box) and the 60112 Digital connector box for 1 scale and whether it works well?



  • Tony:

    If the command station produces a signal which the decoder understand, then there is not theoretical problem.  Since the Maerklin Stations can produce a DCC signal, one should be fine.  The problem is the output.  You may need a booster which provides enough power to run the big locos.  3A may be cutting it close.

  • Hey Tony,

    the Mobile station is dev. too weak to power all bells and whistles of the KM1 loco, even one would overload it ( It just puts out 1.9A ). You might want to look into some neat 1 scale DCC stations, like the Digitrax super chief.
    5A is the standard, that should be good if you run one loco at a time, if you go 8A, you are all good to run them both. I wouldn't go any higher in amps, if your layout is getting bigger and you like to run more locos, add another 8A booster.

    Note: Never use the 8A boosters or station to run the H0 layout, if there is a contact problem with one of your locos, those power will melt your locos or coaches into one plastic block ! Check out Google, there are some pictures of destroyed H0 loco's by a 10A booster. ( I do run 4x 3A booster on my H0 layout ).

    Edit: some additional info



    Model Train Projects2015-01-16 21:10:03
  • Leif and Tony:

    I have the Digitrax DCS200 which delivers 8A short time.  It is only marginal more expensive than a DCS100 which rated at 5A.  I am very satisfied with it, and would highly recommend it for I scale.  Since I model in HO scale, I use a Digitrax PM42 power manager which has four outputs.  I divided the layout into two power districts and a reversing loop.  The power of each district is limited to 4A.  The third output limits the reversing loop to 3A, and the fourth output operates as a reversing unit for the loop.


    BR422015-01-16 21:45:26
  • tonymoronytonymorony New Zealand
    Thanks Ulrich. I am still getting to know things about 1 scale. Your comment is helpful. I will investigate further.
    Cheers, Tony
  • tonymoronytonymorony New Zealand
    Thanks Leif. I will investigate DIGITRAX as suggested. Thank you very much for your helpful comments as I get to grips with 1 gauge. Cheers, Tony.
  • Hello Tony

    If you should choose to stick with Maerklin equipment, there is a rather expensive way to go about this.

    You would need three items.

    #1: Central Station 2 (60215)
    #2: Power Supply (60061)
    #3: Booster (60174)

    This will work just fine. You enter the locomotive address into the CS2, and take it from there. It will take a bit of an effort to learn the navigation of the CS2, but the instruction manual is quite helpful.

    Check it out.
  • nitramretepnitramretep Garrison, NY

    The Mobile Controller only puts out 1.9amps? That's way too low for any reasonable size layout with more than I running engine! I was told the Mobile was a good alternative to buying the CS2....what gives? Marklin is not exactly clear regarding the technical specs on their digital hardware. I get the Insider publications and reading everything I can get hold of yet the there is far too little information as regards the tech specs. An example of tech spec information is the suggestion of using .5mm cable for the power booster, try specifying that cable anywhere here! Do they mean 22awg or 18awg solid or stranded? To be frank I am very hesitant to invest $1,000.00 or a little less on the CS 2 (plus the booster it MUST have) until I get a definitive explanation of the tech requirements. As an electrical engineer I find Marklin a little less than lucid regards to actual requirements and functions when it comes to USA users. Choo Choo's list of hardware includes a power supply that is 230VAC on the primary input!
  • Hello,

    I would stick with the Digitrax, great service, good customer relations.  Have a  fixed price for fixing items.  The street price for a 8A Super Chief (DCS200 with throttle) is $380, you can get a 20A power supply for 150 so for about $530 you ready to go.  If you want to add a second power district, a 8A booster DB200 booster is about $160.  Moreover, the power supply can run the booster and the command station.

  • Peter

    The information given to Tony takes two things into consideration.

    #1: Tony lives in New Zealand. There the household current is 240 Volts.
        The Maerklin power supply I quoted is rated for that.

    #2: The KM1 Locomotives Tony describes are Large Scale (G-Scale). They    
        are much larger and heavier than HO Scale models. That is why the     
        booster is needed.

    If you run HO Scale, you don't really need the booster. I use the CS2 myself. I can easily run 4 locos simultaneously, no matter how big they are. I do not recommend to run more than 4 trains at the same time, anyway. But I did run 6 trains without a problem.

    The Mobile Station (MS2) was never intended for use with large layouts and multiple trains. It is an inexpensive simplified station geared for beginners and/or small layouts.
  • Hello:

    The good thing about the Marklin system is that it is a ready packaged system, which just needs to be plugged into the wall.  On the other hand, the Digitrax system is highly flexible in the sense that it does not comes with its own power pack.  One needs to purchase this part for the electric system used.  In Tony's case, a simple transformer 230V to 15V  plus two fuses would do the job (If one does not know how to wire it, one just needs to have an electrician do the job).

  • nitramretepnitramretep Garrison, NY

    I appreciate your comments and now understand the limitations of the Mobile Unit, however the other issues I noted should be brought to Maerklin's attention; they need to invest in translations(the track layout CD/DVD for instance) , the correct conversion of mm to awg wiring and many other areas such as the posting of 230vac inputs when it is not readily available in the US (at the correct Hz). The specifications in general need cleaning up to make clearer the requirements and limitations of same. Time to get off my soap box!
  • Peter

    #1: The Maerklin CS2 comes with connect wires of the proper gauge.

    #2: Reynaulds is an international dealer. They sell items to customers in countries where 230 V 50 Hz is the standard household current.

    #3: Google awg to mm conversion chart. There are several posts that have a readily available chart.

    #4: Maerklin has an HO Track Planning Book in English text. The part number is: 07451
    Currently, they not offer any CDs and DVDs anymore.

    #5: Please, feel free to bring your concerns to Maerklin's attention. Their e-mail address is:
    They can read English. I have exchanged e-mails with them. It is worth a try.Choo Choo2015-01-20 10:00:42
  • Peter:

    The frequency of the household power supply has no affect, since it will be rectified and smoothed out.

  • One correction to Ulrich's statement.

    The Maerklin System is NOT a ready packaged system. You need to purchase the power supply separately. If you choose the Maerklin CS2 as your control station, you need to get the Switch Mode Power Pack #60065 which is rated for 120 V AC input and has an output of 19 Volts at 50 VA. This is when you live in the US.

    In a country that uses 220-240 Volt 50 Hz as standard household current, you will need the power pack 60061, instead. I definitely do NOT recommend the use of just any 230 V to 15 V transformer. Firstly, 15 Volt is not quite enough oomph to bring the CS2 to full fruition. If the "simple" transformer is not a regulated switch mode type supply, you can easily put your precious CS2 into jeopardy. Not a good thing.
    I realize that these Maerklin items are rather expensive, but they do work and are easy to use and hook up. No electrician required.

    If, in addition, you operate a Scale 1 layout with multiple locomotives, you will also need the booster 60174. If necessary, you may need to power the booster with an additional 60061 or 60065, respectively, depending on your household current.

    As Ulrich correctly stated, the AC input frequency (50 or 60 Hz) is irrelevant, for this purpose.

    From hereon in, the choice is totally up to the user. In either case, Maerklin or Digitrax, you can't go wrong. The Maerklin system may just be easier to operate. It largely depends what you are trying to with it. It can do everything the Digitrax does, I'm quite sure.
  • Hello:

    I agree with Roger that the Maerklin system can do anything the Digitrax can, but both are very easy to set up.  However, the Digitrax does not need a special transformer.  It can be fed with either AC or DC.  If one uses DC, then the input voltage and the output voltage are almost identical.  With AC, the output voltage is about 1.4 times that of the input minus 1.5V (peak of the AC waive minus loss through the bridge rectifier).   Wiring a 220V transformer is not very difficult as long as one knows what one is doing.  However, anyone unfamiliar with high voltage electric wiring should not mess with it and hire an electrician.


    BR422015-01-21 06:08:20
  • Clarification:

    The only time you need a 230/240 Volt transformer (power pack) is when you live in a country where 220/240 V is household standard. (see Maerklin #60061) This one you simply plug in without the assistance of an electrician.

    Addendum: Use of the 60061 (220/240 V) actually boosts the output of the CS2 to 5A, as compared to the 120 V version (#600650), only 3A.

    One can easily use this option by getting a step-up transformer (not expensive). This step-up transformer converts the 120V input to 240 V output. It also simply plugs into the wall outlet.

    I know of people who chose that route. If you have questions about that, just ask. We will get you the answers.
  • Hello All,

    the CS2 is definitively a nice station, but also very unstable, touch screen, boot up time, software flaws, sudden shut downs, aso. I'm on German model train forums and it's not the first choice, even not for Maerklin collectors. The digitrax is simple, turns on in a few seconds, nice throttles which lay good in the hand and thanks to the open loconet, very easy to extend. very simple and cheap throttle available.
    Also, the with the CS2, it is not possible to reach all 28 DCC functions, it can handle up to 20 as far as I know. The Digitrax can access all of them very easy and self explaining.
    Plus, excellent support world wide, Maerklin is very slow in the service. ( Try getting spare parts for loco's, sometimes wait for 1 year ! )


  • tonymoronytonymorony New Zealand
    Hi Leif, Roger ChooChoo, Ulrich and Peter,
    A huge THANKYOU for all of your efforts on my behalf as I consider how to power my KM1 locos digitally.
    As I have only a Marklin Mobile Station and not a Central Station the Marklin route seems to be a bit compromised with the Digitrax SuperChief 8amp more straightforward and more powerful. Digitrax appears less expensive too. Digitrax is available in NZ through an authorised dealer so backup should be good - that is fairly compelling. So is the Digitrax wireless controller.
    Your various learned inputs to the discussion are very much appreciated.
    Thankyou to Reynaulds for hosting such a forum.
  • Dear Tony;

    Last year we ran our KM1 locomotives in the store with several common DCC systems and they were all under powered when running mutiple locomotives.  We wrote Km1 and they explained to us that they had the same issues and that is why they had a system designed for them.  The KM1 control 7 is what they recommend, click here to view  This system has an integrated booster that puts out 7 amps, you can also add wireless infrared handheld controllers.  For all our forum readers that are not familiar with KM1 locomotives please click on the link below, we made a great new video!!


  • tonymoronytonymorony New Zealand
    Thanks Reynauld!
    I will investigate. I hope that KM1 has an English text option on their controller. Digitrax still looks viable with an 8amp output. Still working on it...
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