Switching power supplies

Two new European regulations that took effect in 2010 have caused changes in our program of power supply units for our model railroad products. Switched mode power packs are now offered by us in place of transformers for most applications. This change has led to various questions from our customers, hence the following summary of the most important facts on this subject.

  • The new regulations are binding for manufacturers and importers. These two groups may only offer power supply units that meet the criteria mentioned in the regulations. Transformers ordered previously by a dealer are not affected by this regulation and they may therefore continue to be sold by the dealer. Moreover, in the case of a repair, old transformers may continue to be exchanged for the same products.
  • The 32 VA transformer, item number 6647 (sold out at the factory), and its successor 66470 do not fall under the criteria mentioned in the regulations. This transformer will therefore continue to be offered by us and it remains the basis for Märklin analog operators.
  • The new switched mode power packs are offered in the power levels 36 VA (item number 66361 and 66365 (120 volts)), 60 VA (item number 60061 and 60065 (120 volts)), and 100 VA (item number 60101 (no 120 volt version offered). The 36 VA version can be found in many Märklin H0 starter sets and is designed in terms of power for the 60653 Mobile Station in these sets. The more powerful 60 VA version is made for the power requirements of the 60214 Central Station or the 60173 Booster. The 100 VA version is made only for us with 1 Gauge (with the 60215-60216, 60226 Central Station and the 60174/60175 Booster).
  • Important! The 66361/66365 switched mode power pack cannot be connected to the 60214 Central Station or the 60173 Booster. It is designed only for use with the 60112 or 60113 connector box in conjunction with the 60653 Mobile Station. The 60061/60065 switched mode power pack conversely cannot be connected to the 60112 or 60113 connector box. The connections on this power unit are designed only for direct power supply to the 60214 Central Station or the 60173 Booster.
  • Using the switched mode power packs as power units for the current digital components does not change anything in the connections for the individual digitally controlled users such as signals, turnout mechanisms, universal relays, etc.
  • Important! These new switched mode power packs are suitable only for supplying power on digital systems to the Central Station, Mobile Station, or the current 60175 Booster taking into consideration the limitation due to different connecting plugs on the individual versions of the power packs. These switched mode power packs must have supplemental devices in order to be used for components from the earlier digital system such as the 6020 Central Unit 6020, the 6021 Control Unit, the 6015 or 6017 Booster, the Delta components, etc. We therefore recommend that operators with these units continue to use the old transformers (examples: 6001/6002 or 60052/60055). We are working on alternatives for this customer group too.
  • The previous transformers and the new switched mode power packs can be used side by side to supply power to various components on a model railroad. For example, the Central Station can be powered by a switched mode power pack while the Booster gets its electrical power from a transformer. Important! For safety reasons, a current consumer may still not draw electrical current at the same time from two different power sources.
  • Switched mode power packs can also be used with most analog circuits. Double solenoid turnout mechanisms as well as signals, universal relays, grade crossing, etc. can be operated with switched mode power packs. However, currently only the previous transformers can be used to supply power for the following special cases:
    - The 743xx series Märklin Hobby signals together with the 72750 control box.
    - The 59079 1 Gauge motorized turnout mechanism.
    - All LGB products with the EPL mechanism.
    - All other users that work with a positive as well as with a negative electrical potential. We are also working on alternatives to the previous transformers for these special cases.
  • When using products working with diodes, make sure you have the correct polarity when using switched mode power packs. For example, if a streetlight with a built-in LED does not work, it is very probable that the polarity was swapped when connecting this accessory item.
  • In the next issues of the Märklin Magazin, we will go into the topic of switched mode power packs from time to time. As required, we will also present the newest developments here about this topic as part of the Technical Information.