Category Archives: New Technologies in Z

Marklin’s New Brushless Motor: Good News Follow-up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The other day I submitted a post for your review which posed questions about the new brushless motors making their appearance in Marklin Z locos. And one example of a new release steam loco that had an operating issue that I included in that review.

The steam loco is the Bavarian 88923 with the very detailed running gear and side rods, out of the box it inexplicably stopped in the forward direction but ran well in reverse. Today I decided to problem solve the running performance and discovered some interesting things about the new motor.

Note: roller stands are great on those occasions a loco needs testing, they keep it in place so inspecting what is wrong is easy. Many companies make roller stands, this one is by Marklin (89932).

The new motor for the 88923 is a solid case brushless type that attaches to the end of the loco chassis in much the same way as the former 3 and 5 pole mini-club brush motors: a permanent gear mounted to the motor engages with the transmission gear whose other end is the worm gear which engages with the gears that move the wheels. The motor is secured to the chassis with a single screw like before, but the new motor has two alignment pins that engage in the end of the chassis which place the motor and chassis in precise alignment. Out of the box this loco ran rough in forward and stopped, but it ran well in reverse. I took the loco apart and removed the motor and transmission gear, I carefully reinstalled the transmission gear after applying a drop of oil on the worm gear and opposing gear, I was careful to align the two pins on motor with chassis applying a little pressure. It took 4-5 tries after moving the gears a little bit to properly seat the chassis and motor, but the tolerances seem to me to be more stringent with this new motor. The old motor assembly of the brush motors seem to have a little wriggle of the shaft and transmission gear alignment which suited that design well, but I believe the new motor assembly is a tighter system at this connecting point between motor/transmission gear/chassis. The glitch I experienced I believe was a very slight misalignment during assembly. I am happy to report that the loco runs like a dream, it is quiet and runs at very low speeds.

Photos: under the hood of the 88923 shows wire leads from motor soldered to chassis pick-ups which are taped down to facilitate removal and installation of shell. Note: solid motor case with no access points for oiling, this is a maintenance free system. Normal sparse oiling of wheel-sets still applies. Hiding wires will be part of this new world of mini-club, but this example has deep channels on each side to hold the wires flush and out of sight.

The new loco for Kay.Bay.Sts.B is not only a great runner, it is a wonder to watch the lively action of the side rods. The shell detailing and paint scheme complete this work of art, it is spectacular!!!!

Note: instructions that were packed with my loco show it with the old 5 pole E251 202. The installation of the new motor in this loco may not have been originally planned, but you will know which motor you have in this loco by looking at it: solid case is that of the new brushless motor original 3 and 5 pole motors had a center bushing that required a very lite drip of oil periodically.

Link: original instructions for the 88923 showing 5 pole brush motor thus incorrect oiling instructions are outlined

https://static.maerklin.de/damcontent/8e/b3/8eb3f2fa2c6e805cc71c54ea3801462c1489755052.pdf

Photo: view of two Bavarian class S 3/6’s with new brushless motor (bottom: 88923) and former brush motor type (top: 8108)

Siding: motor upgrades have been available for all the mini-club locos since the 5 pole was introduced on the BR 143 in 1998 with some requiring soldering, I don’t think future upgrades with the brushless motor will be available to convert this locomotive class in former releases due to the machining of the frame with the 2 motor alignment holes.

New Propulsion: Marklin’s foray into brushless motors

This isn’t the first, and it won’t be last post commenting on the new motors for Marklin Z. With progress comes nervousness and apprehension about the future, and the new Marklin motors for Z are one such progression.

Oiling the wheel sets and keeping the wheels clean is all that is required for maintaining these new motors and locos. The new generation of Marklin Z includes numerous new item releases, re-tooling of older designs, greater detail of running gears, pantograph screws moved to the inside of electric locos, and new propulsion. In some cases the new propulsion replaces 3 and 5 pole motors used in older well known locos, and other newly tooled locos are designed with the new motor types. Brushless motors have been used by numerous manufacturers of Z with excellent results including FR, Z-Modellbau and Archistories.

My open question: Should Marklin start using this new technology? On the one hand the 5 pole was a very positive replacement for the 3 pole: quieter with smoother running performance, but the brushless motors are supposed to be even more quiet and smoother with lower idling speeds. There is more maintenance with the 3 and 5 pole including replacing brushes and unlocking transmission and running gears when oil hardens from prolonged storage. Everything seems to support this new advancement, but for some maybe not. The traditional motor is strong and durable winning the Guinness World Record for continuous running: 1219 hours in 1978. If it isn’t broke why fix it? Which takes me to the impetus for this post and my personal experience with the new steam loco 88974 featuring the new motor. Inexplicably this loco stops dead in its tracks on a clean oval test track after running well for a few minutes, it will resume running in the opposite direction before returning to running forward until it stops again. Problem solving with the traditional motor is easy with the new one it is more elusive. Possibly more precision is required to align the new motor and gearing owing to the precision hand assembly at FR and Z-Modellbau and their mastery with this new type of motor? Collectors of Marklin Z are in the early stages of acquiring Marklin locos with the new motor and maybe this is simply the “learning curve” phase.

Side by side comparison of the same class loco (new and old) shows the adaptation of the new motor in an older mini-club loco type. Locomotive Serie 231 Pacific lettered for SNCF from Orient Express set 8108 (1988-1997 released with 3 pole motor which can upgrade to 5 pole) photo: top shelf and Class S 3/6 lettered for K.Bay.Sts.B (One Time Series 2015 New Releases with current brushless 5 pole motor) photo: bottom shelf.

Note: larger physical presence of new motor extending outside the cab than the older brush motor.

Siding: Google brushless motors for detailed description versus brush motors and share your insights with me, I would enjoy adding to my understanding and education with this new technology. Cheers to Marklin for the continuing evolution of Z gauge.