Why digitalize an old model?
I have a digital decoder in my Märklin HD model 3093 from 1974. With the decoder you can switch on the lights, activate the steam generator and turn on the engine sound. The steam hammer is axis synchronous thanks to a reed contact. You hear four hammers per wheel rotation just like with real trains. This is not a feature of all modern steam engines! So that the steam engine can also go slow, I have installed a five-pole motor. If you are interested in an engine sound, many manufacturers offer you a chance to listen to demos.
I have also retrofitted the engine with brake hoses, a faithfully reproduced coupling and brake systems. I have painted the wheel rims red..
Now to answer the question why digitalize an old model?
I am enthusiastic about my old engine and I want to operate it digitally. The value of the engine does not really change. Valuable old engines can also be converted. In order to retain the value of the engine, I photograph the engine before converting it and retain the dismantled parts. The removed parts and the photographs are handed over to the customer, so that the customer has the possibility to reconvert the engine to the original condition at any given time.
What is tuning a model?
UTuning means improving a mass-produced model. One example is converting a model to a new variant. It may be enough to give it new lettering with a different road number. Sometimes a different water pump needs to be installed. There are kits for many details. Tuning may also mean ageing a model. For this, a thin layer of paint is applied to certain parts of the model with a spray gun or a brush. Very dark, shiny brown is used for oil stains on the power train and white as limescale on the boiler. If you are interested, you should have a look at a number of real engines beforehand and read more. An aged engine usually decreases in value. Carriages can also be tuned like, for example, the “Silberlinge” in which I have installed short coupling kinematics and switchable lighting.
What if I don’t have enough room for a decoder in my model?
This poses no problem for engines that always operate in a train set. You connect the engine and the first carriage with stranded wires. There is enough space for a digital decoder in the carriage. This is also how I would solve any problems in installing a loudspeaker in the engine.
Digitally operated Märklin mini-club.
MThe Spur Z scale 1:220 is a particular interest of mine. Using digital mini-club engines my customers can experience digital operation on the spot. I plumped for the Z layout due to space. You can build a digital layout on a scale of 1:220 that can be stored dust-free under a bed. I would be only too pleased to help.