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I bought the Marklin 81520 Battery Start Set as my first venture into Z gauge. The picture below shows what you get:- an oval of track, a loco, a wagon and a battery powered controller.

Gadget Material property Font Cable Communication Device

As this is the 'vacation set', it is neatly packed into a transparent suitcase and the wagon has a picture of an overweight man on a beach. I do not recommend connecting the pieces of setrack together too much, as the fishplates are tiny and bend easily.

I had great fun putting pliers under the track for inclines, and piling small boxes up for tunnels - in fact, I have had more fun with this 30cm x 32 cm oval than I have had with my loft layout


There is one disappointing bit - the battery controller does not have variable speed so the loco is stuck on 'high'
but you can use a standard DC controller that you would for the N gauge/OO layout - the loco flies off the corners before you turn the speed up past the recommended 9 volts so no electrical damage can occur


Whilst on the subject of the loco, I took a close up shot:

Loco

It is a beautifully crafted class 89 in some kind of blue. It runs really well at slow speeds due to it's 5 pole motor, and can taackle *almost* any gradient you throw at it. I found that removing the front coupling helped greatly in improving the overall appearance.

So the next time you have £60 and your thinking of spending it on a loco for the average scale, why not spare a thought for the Z gauge starter set and all the fun you could have with it
 

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I got Märklin 81562 for christmass and am most impressed.
The 89 is a very finely detailed lok and the track is a lot better then I expected.
I'm starting to build a baseboard ,but looks very challenging working in 1:220
scale.
 

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George, I use a Gaugemaster hand held control unit for my shunting layouts. In order to get better control for slow speed work I run the hand held unit off the 0-12vDC controlled output of another controller. With the mother control set at about 2/3rds I can get an excellent range of slow speed control.

This would also give you better control of the Marklin 9V loco.
 

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QUOTE (Bob Hughes @ 18 Feb 2007, 20:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>George, I use a Gaugemaster hand held control unit for my shunting layouts. In order to get better control for slow speed work I run the hand held unit off the 0-12vDC controlled output of another controller. With the mother control set at about 2/3rds I can get an excellent range of slow speed control.

This would also give you better control of the Marklin 9V loco.

Just a little advice on Marklin Z Gauge - do not even think of using any form of "feedback" controller or exceeding the 9v limit - the tiny motors will run hot & not survive for long.

Apart from the Marklin controllers the only alternative I know of made specially for Z Gauge is Gaugemaster.
 

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QUOTE (darkcurves @ 31 Mar 2007, 10:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>How much does the starter set cost usually? Would be cool to have one.

The really basic one 1 x class74 tank loco,2 wagons, track & controller about £95

A mid range 1 x SBB Re460, 3 x wagons,track & controller about £165

Toppish 1 x DB class50 (just a coincidence),5 x wagons, track & controller about £265

Not cheap, but will keep it's value well. Also, Peco do flexy track in Z.

Hope this helps.
 

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There was a large US outline Z gauge layout at Ally Pally last weekend. Until they mentioned it was Z gauge, I thought is was N. It isn't the first time I've made that mistake. I guess to me it's just smaller than 00 so it must be N?

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 31 Mar 2007, 11:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>There was a large US outline Z gauge layout at Ally Pally last weekend. Until they mentioned it was Z gauge, I thought is was N. It isn't the first time I've made that mistake. I guess to me it's just smaller than 00 so it must be N?

David

I'm not the only one to make that mistake then !
 

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Having put N scale aside for the moment to concentrate, I was amazed to find a 'massive' coach at the back of a drawer - thought it must be TT or something. In my defence though, it ws large (as in high) compared with some of my other N scale coaches.
 

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As A new person to model railways, my main problem is lack oof space and limited funds been on a pension. looks like this z class might be ideal. has any aussie got an idea how much they usually cost and how big they are?
please seend reply to [email protected],au
daveg
 

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QUOTE (daveg @ 13 Jan 2008, 02:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As A new person to model railways, my main problem is lack oof space and limited funds been on a pension. looks like this z class might be ideal. has any aussie got an idea how much they usually cost and how big they are?
please seend reply to [email protected],au
daveg

Well, I bought most of my N and Z stuff on eBay. But, caveat emptor, make sure what you are bidding on is not too old. Marklin changed from 4 digit catalogue numbering to 5 some time in the early 90's so, until you have some experience, stick with the latter, especially in locos (unused old ones can gum up solid where the oil in then forms a glue). Look out for MIB (mint in box) for a good buy, stick with auctions with good photographs (Yes, there is a correlation; shows the seller cares on the whole). For track, it is probably best to buy new, or at lease track that is still in its box, especially pointwork. I have bought a lot of Z items and only had a few real duds, but have had to send off 2 locos for ungumming and have had to work on several to get good running. I buy a lot from the US (customs charges apply) and Europe (but make sure they accept PayPal otherwise you will have to pay bank charges to send money).

In terms of handling, a proper railer (found in all start sets) is essential! If you do want to work on them, get a good magnifying system (I use high dioptre reading glasses or a magnifying headband with a built in lamp).

In terms of track, I have stuck with Marklin. Remember, there are two types of coupling systems, Marklin (used by most manufacturers) and Micro-Trains; they are incompatible with each other. So, unless the rest of the track is compatible, forget the M-T track, good though it is. Someone recommended Japanese ProZ range of track though I have not managed to find it on the Web.

Finally, have a look for Z scale dealers in Oz. (AU is Australia, or is it Austria? Never can remember.)

Anyway, best of luck. You are on a good forum to find it!

Best wishes,
Chris

PS. To teh person with the battery controller: have you tried pressing the wee button - it cycles through 3 speeds (all pretty high though)..
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 13 Jan 2008, 14:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Pro Z complete set with loco and six coaches from my fav Japanese seller can be found here; http://preview.tinyurl.com/24xplf There's a little video on there from YouTube too.
I saw one of their auctions a while back and thought, that's cool (incl. price). BTW, you can pay 3x that amount to get a Noch briefcase layout w/o train and powerpack!

best wishes,
Chris
 
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