Power supply and distribution needs for Maklin 1

Hello all...

and thank you to Reynaldo's for providing this forum. I'm about to place an order for the new CS3 plus to deal with the power requirements of my Marklin 1 layout... but also want to swap it over to run my HO trains and replace an aging / older Central station whose control knobs are shot.

One of the problems i'm having is understanding how best to proceed as the Marklin catalog may show all their parts and widgets... but provide very little in the way of info on what things are use for what... not to mention the "how." Presently i'm driving one smaller engine on this layout with the mobil station ( i have expanded greatly from a starter set)... but know once i attempt one of my other 4 larger engines... they most likely won't make the lap. I have Rheingold with 6 lighted matching cars that i'm sure will suck a lot of power from system... and won't get far if even a few feet.


I understand the CS3plus can push 5 amps when combined with 60065 power pack which should be a good start if i'm running 1 train on about 40 feet of linear track. My questions are these:

1) Anyone have any experience with the new generation of Central Stations? Since i want to use it between two different scales, and i own only Marklin engines (a lot with MFX) does it not make the most sense to stick with Marklin?
2) What do i need to connect the CS3 to 1 gauge track clips... what's that piece in between the main lead wires and the CS3?
3) Lastly... and of great interest to me... in reading up I understand i need to distribute power about every 8 to 10 feet around the layout. How do I do that? Does some one have a sample diagram? Does the power come out of the CS3 first, and is then disbursed through some type of hub like device all along the track with varied length lead wires?

Any assistance anyone can share here would be most appreciated.

-Thank you.


    I'm not in the Maerklin World so I leave the Maerklin specific questions to the Maerklin Experts but I can answer you some other basics.

    The use of one Controller for two different Scale:
    In general I would say this should not be a problem but in the DCC World you have to keep in mind that there is a recommend max. Voltage for each scale, you just have to make sure not to use a higher Voltage as the max. Voltage of the smaller scale. On a lot of DCC Controller the Voltage can be set and I assume that Maerklin might do it similar, just remember it when switching back to the smaller scale. It might not be necessary if the minimum voltage for the bigger scale and max Voltage for the smaller scale overlab, so you set a Voltage in between and you can switch with ease.

    Track feeder wires:
    This is pretty simple and straight forward. The basics behind additional feeder wires is that whenever you have connectors on track sections the conductivity might seem good but in reality there is always a small resistance. This resistance causes a so called Voltage Drop. Also each feet of track has a certain resistance that counteract with the supply voltage.

    Just assume you have a Track voltage of 16V (recommend for HO is 15-18V) and you have a track lengths of 60 feet (without doing math her, just an example), at the point that is farthermost away from your controller you might end up with 9V on the rails, therefor your train might slow down on this point and get fast when it gets closer to your controller (assuming you feeding the track on the location where your controller is located).

    There is a way to exactly calculate it but this goes really into electrical details and I don't want to confuse you. I just want to make you aware of what we like to compensate for. Usually you can go by the so called "best practice" in the Model Train World to counteract this by having track feeder all 6 to 12 feet. Those feeder are connected directly to a larger wire that runs along with the track.

    Here is an example I found for the 2-rail world but the 3-rail world is similar (red would go in the middle, black to left & right rail):


    The wire gauge shown above is good sized but as a general rule, the longer the track the bigger the main wire from your controller across the layout. The feeder wires are ok with AWG18, 20 or 22 (for larger scale I also would go with AWG 18, for HO you might be good with AWG 20).

    I hope this helps to give you a general few of how this all is related to each other.
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