Help! Märklin Locomotive and Rokuhan controller

KevinTheSPF Sep 19, 2016

  1. KevinTheSPF

    KevinTheSPF TrainBoard Member

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    Hello all,

    I am relatively new to Z and have a loop of Micro Track, an AZL GP-38 and a few cars. I recently purchased a German Märklin locomotive (88587), and when I attempt to run it, the power pack shorts out, with no response from the locomotive other than a flicker of lights. My AZL loco runs fine on the same set-up. Is there a compatibility issue that I missed, or is it perhaps a locomotive defect? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

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    First, did you ask your dealer about this? Dealers should know how to handle this type of inquiry due to experience with the products they sell.

    Was the 88587 bought new or used?

    Make sure the loco's power selector is set appropriately ... you should be running through the rails "U" setting. "O" is for power through catenary. There is a screw on the top of the unit you dial to "O" or "U" (oben oder unter - over or under ... meaning where your power is coming from).

    If new and the switch was not the solution, remove the shell and loosen the brushes on the motor core. Meaning, lift off and then re-set. Try to turn the motor with a toothpick, making sure not to lose any parts of the toothpick in the motor or windings! If everything is too tight and will not move at all, you may have "HOS" - hardened oil syndrome.

    If it is a used unit, I have observed that locomotives that have HOS or are not well-maintained can have gunk or things in the wheelsets/motor-to-brush contacts can have debris causing a higher current to be drawn to the motor.

    The Rokuhan controller is rated for lower current-drawing motors (AZL, most MTL and Rokuhan locos). Marklin motors draw quite a bit of current. Be sure they are well-maintained when using a Rokuhan controller and the RC-02 is a good indicator of when service is needed.
     
  3. KevinTheSPF

    KevinTheSPF TrainBoard Member

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    It is brand-new fresh from the dealer, and track power is selected. I was planning on asking here first just in case it was something abundantly obvious so as not to bother them.

    I did try pushing the motor but it turned reluctantly. Now I get a split second of movement, but it seems to lock up.

    I see that in the manual there is a page about removing some kind of bronze contact in the middle. The symbol for the page is a gear with arrows going both ways. Does that mean that I need to remove them in order to operate the motor? Nothing really seems wrong or "hardened" about the mechanism. I removed the trucks and replaced them just to check.
     
  4. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

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    Sounds like you simply have to break it loose a bit more to get it to run. Try a single "quarter drop" (1/4th of a drop!) of lube in-between the metal thingys (properly called "brushes") and the motor core. I use Atlas Conductalube 192 or Labelle 108. Remember, less is more. Use as little as possible, maybe grab some of the oil from a drop using a pin and apply it to the motor. Try running the unit upside down with wires touching the wheels at first to ensure minimal loading on the gears and wheelsets (like page 7 of your instruction sheet). Once it moves freely while on its back, then get it back onto tracks for a spin.
     
  5. KevinTheSPF

    KevinTheSPF TrainBoard Member

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    Upside down didn't work either. It is shorting out the pack, so its more than mechanical. What about page six? Is this relevant?

    IMG_2207.JPG
     
  6. rvn2001

    rvn2001 TrainBoard Member

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    Page 6 shows how to replace the motor brushes. I would talk to the dealer and see about returning the unit.
    Thom Welsch
     
  7. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    You can also tap a 9v battery to the wheels. It should run quite fast, without hesitation. If is doesn't start or stutters, STOP, take battery away.
    I would not mess with the insides, before working with the dealer. Maybe there is another Z'd nearby.
     
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  8. KevinTheSPF

    KevinTheSPF TrainBoard Member

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    I have contacted the dealer about a replacement. Hopefully I can get a new one without too much hassle. Thanks for the help everyone.
     
  9. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

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    One key to troubleshooting this type of issue is to have a Marklin power pack laying around (6727, 67271, 67020). Heck, even the "nearly free" 6727 would come in handy. I have seen ONE CASE where a brand new Marklin locomotive worked fine with any of the purely direct current Marklin power packs but constantly tripped the Rokuhan units. The customer did not source the Marklin lok from me and he did not want to send it to me for repair/analysis, so I never knew the final resolution. It will be interesting to see what happens with yours.

    What I am talking about is a pretty rare failure mode - Noch (Rokuhan rep in Germany) has also a very small report of such issues against numerous successes and their sample size should be larger given the number of Marklin users switching over to Rokuhan power options. Over here, most users are newly jumping into z scale and as such this type of issue is less likely to happen given the AZL/MTL locomotive options (better matched current draws to the Rokuhan power packs).

    Aha, just realized why this topic is familiar: http://www.marklin-users.net/forum/posts/t36372-Rokuhan-Controller-and-Marklin-Locos
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  10. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

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  11. Ernes91

    Ernes91 New Member

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    Hi guys,
    I had the same issue but with a rokuhan power unit.
    I purchased a used marklin locomotive and I tried to run it with the rokuhan power unit but only the lights were lighting a little.. no way to move.
    I opened only the loco but not the engine, and I used the wd40 all around, but nothing changed..
    The rokuhan power unit is smooth with rokuhan trains even at a lower speed.. what a pity.
     
  12. DB_Z

    DB_Z TrainBoard Member

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    When the lights are on and there is no movement, it may mean that the two copper wires (whiskers) from the circuit board are not touching the capacitor properly. Also, I have found that sometimes these whiskers are not soldered very well to the circuit board and have to be re-soldered.

    When one of my locos goes wrong, I strip it down and first apply power directly to the split-ring commutator. If that moves, I know the motor is fine. I then slot the brushes in and apply power directly to them. If the motor works then, I replace the circuit board. I then apply power directly to the two arms of the capacitor, then to the two whiskers and finally to the circuit board (near to where the whiskers are soldered).....when the motor no longer spins, I know that I have found the faulty component. If everything works up to this stage but once you put the loco on the track it does not move, have a look at the contacts on the bogies, you may have to bend them up a bit to get a better connection to the chassis.

    Please note - taking a soldering iron to your loco will invalidate your warranty! So best practice on an old loco first.

    Carim
     
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  13. Ernes91

    Ernes91 New Member

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    Hi, thank you Carim even though I tried to open the lok and clean all the mechanical parts included the engine, this is a basic marklin model very simple with no wires or soldered components except a little condensator, the metal parts are touching one on the other... so I think the faulty one is the engine itself.. later I will try to run further tests..
     
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  14. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

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    WD40 has no place in a z scale locomotive. I suggest Labelle 108 or Atlas 192 in very very sparing amounts.
     
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  15. tjdreams

    tjdreams TrainBoard Member

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    WD40 ?, I would never use that on a z scale loco. it will create more problems than it fixes. You should be using a lightweight oil that is rated for z scale locomotives like labelle 108 Using the wrong oil or too much oil can prevent proper electrical pickup it will attract dust and debris which will only gum up the works it will also leach down onto the drivers and on to the track which can cause the wheels to slip and it will get on the wheels of the cars causing them to attract dust and dirt as well. Where as Z scale is Concerned too much oil or the wrong oil is worse than no oil.

    Take that Loco apart clean all that WD40 and the dust it's collected out. I'll bet you will find 2 puddles of oil on the underside of the circuit board. Clean all that excess oil off re assemble it, add one small drop of oil to the gears on each truck. 2 drops total is more than enough for the entire loco.
     
  16. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

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    Garth Hamilton on Facebook just posted these words ...

    Garth Hamilton Rokuhan (and AZL) use more modern motors in their locomotives which draw very little current and the Rokuhan controller will run several Rokuhan locos mu'd together, The Marklin motor whether 3 or 5 pole can draw more than the current allowed on a Rokuhan Controller. A good part of the problem is on older engines that have been sitting around and not being used. I do not know why Marklin will not upgrade their lubricant as it is more than 50% of the problem and the problem has been known for more than 3 decades now. We have referred to it as the Marklin Hardened oil syndrome (HOS).

    The lubricant contains a percentage of wax or paraffin and when the emulsifier starts to evaporate, the lubricant stiffens making the motor work harder and thus setting the trip off in the RC02, I have cleaned the Marklin lubricant out of my Marklin engines, and on some I have even replace the old motors with modern coreless motors. the lubricant I have replaced with Labelle 107, and now they run quite happily using the RC02 and RC03.

    The Marklin controller has a limit of more than an amp and it will burn a motor out if the oil stiffens the gear train enough to over load the motor whether 3 pole or 5 pole. That is why many of us have moved away from Marklin as they have not kept up with advancements made by other manufacturers in Z and the motors they power their products with.. Don't get me wrong Marklin is still very popular, and those of us who have used it for all these years have learned to deal with it, but the new hobbyist coming into Z runs into this problem, and depending on where you are, often finds out about it after investing a fair bit of coin. It is problem you wont' encounter with most recent releases from MTL, AZL, Rokuhan.

    There is one other locomotive that can be a problem with the RC 02 and that is the F7 from MTL, and for a similar reason ... it is an open frame motor, same vintage as the Marklin motors.
     
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  17. DB_Z

    DB_Z TrainBoard Member

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    It will be interesting to see what the draw is of the "new generation" of motor that Marklin is introducing on its latest models.

    Carim
     
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  18. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

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    I don't have exact mA readings, but it should be much lower than previous 3/5 pole versions.
     
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  19. sumgai

    sumgai TrainBoard Member

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    "It is brand-new fresh from the dealer, and track power is selected. I was planning on asking here first just in case it was something abundantly obvious so as not to bother them"

    Great Decision. Do not open up a new, unused marklin locomotive purchased from an authorized dealer. Send it back to the dealer while under warranty. The halls of ebay are littered with good (and not so good), cheap, used marklin locs that you can buy and experiment with to learn how to work on them. Marklin has a great warranty program for the new ones.

    you don't need a Rokuhan, model power, MTL, marklin, lgb, bridgeworks, etc etc powerpack to determine if your loc runs. Step 1, go to wal-mart, target, etc. Step 2. find the battery kiosk. Step 3, select the 9v battery blister pack and purchae one with the longest expiration date. Step 4. remove 9V battery. Step 4a, flip loc upside down and place one battery terminal on one side of the locomotives wheels, twist the battery around so the other terminal touches the other locomotives sides wheels. does it run? yes, no. if no, try a different two wheels for the terminal contacts. Step 4 b. place locomotive on track, place 9v battery upside down on track (NO TRANSFORMER OPERATION for track power WHILE DOING THIS!) so that one battery terminal is on each rail. Place locomotive on track, careful to hold it so it doesn't launch!

    Locomotive runs on 9v battery power? probably your power pack. Locomotive doesn't run? probably your loc. send it back. 9v batterys provide the proper dc voltage for a Marklin loc at LOW amperage that won't fry anything on the marklins cirucuit board, or fry the brushes if the motor doesn't turn but power gets where it should go.
     
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  20. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

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    Nice segue by sumgai ... let me share a couple of fixtures that Glenn & Sandy sent to me last year. These are quick and dirty locomotive testers away from any power packs ...
    [​IMG] e[​IMG]
     
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