Hello I recently received a box of Marx, Lionel and A.F. signals and devices. One of these is a Marx circuit breaker. There is one wire going to an insulated post. one ground terminal, and a third wire hanging down unattached. Were these effective as a circuit breaker? I know very little about Marx and was looking for information about this Thanks Mark
It is a thermal breaker. It can be checked for operation with a direct short and a count to ten. No more or less effective than any other thermal breaker from Lionel or in the power seats of the car you drive today. If it is in good shape and wasn't overheated to the point of abuse it will do the job it was made for. There are better options today sure. Mostly IN modern transformers, but this is not useless and too dangerous to consider using just because it's old.
Nor would it be great for very large postwar. But for up to two small Marx? If used with a non breakered transformer, it would be better than none also. I still use a prewar Jefferson, (fused externally; same thing) And a Lionel Z. Marx 1669, 1239, & 1209 with thermals. I check things out on the inside first .
The third wire is probably for the indicator light. Basically, the breaker works thermally, with the light wired in parallel. When there is a short circuit, the thermal breaker heats up and opens. At that point, power goes to the light instead, and it lights up. I wrote an article on Lionel and Marx breakers for the CTT forum back in 2014, but what with Photobucket getting hinky, it no longer has pictures. I'll see about reposting it here. Mitch
Marx trains are certainly a part of model railroad history. Their accessories were always affordably priced. As as a young kid with little money, if I got a couple of bucks for Christmas from a relative, I would buy a crossing signal, gate, lighting tower or even a bell signal. Due to the overwhelming popularity of Lionel , Marx always took a back seat and I've seen few Marx layouts. Marx trains are still not very popular today and you only occasionally come across them at the shows. Several...
As a kid in the fifties, I would frequent Kresge's on Cotton Ave in Northeast Philly. They always had a fair amount of Marx and less of Lionel. It goes with the five & dime store mindset. Even though I could not afford hardly anything Lionel made, I looked down upon the Marx offerings, then. Now I look at Marx stuff with a new mindset. You have to give their designers some credit for emulating the higher end trains but making them affordable.
That's very true. I was a Lionel snob for the longest time, and sneered at anything made by Marx. But last year I finally became interested, and, like you, began to appreciate the ingenuity of the Marx product designers. Now, in addition to my small 3rs layout, I have an even smaller Marx layout. But it's fun all the same. The 5&10s in the small Pennsylvania town where I grew up were also where Marx was sold. In addition to Marx rolling stock, they also sold Marx track and accessories,...
I am looking for 60's sears professional 1/24 slot car track......I...... like many went thru that slot car phase in the 60's ....now I want to build a 1/24 scale track in my garage I going to use marx sears track but need more......anyone got any?
It's from a time when many transformers didn't have integrated circuit protection. While it may still work I would keep it on the shelf as a conversation piece and not rely on it for regular operation. In operation it is wired in between the track and transformer. Jim McC
They worked. But I don't recall how exactly. I think there should only be a hot in and a hot out for this #420 and Lit if on. The third leg would likely go to common. Especially if modified to light on point break. Can you get inside and describe what's seen or take a picture to tell for sure ? It wont be hard to figure out. (Assuming nobody else has a fast answer)
My grandfather wired one of these in between track and transformer on the plywood sheet layout he gave me in the 1940's. Immediately after l got it, l derailed the train and got a short. Train wouldn't run. Later in the day he came by and said, "Push the button!". Worked great with one of those vertical Marx transformers with the easy to move rheostat lever. How come, on the later horizontal Marx transformers, you almost need a locking pliars to move the lever?
The wire going to the insulated post went directly to the lamp. I attached the free wire to the same post as the lamp wire and got the unit working. it really responds very fast to a short. Whats neat about it is a blinking red message "Short Circuit" appears in the window at the top until reset.
They were, and are, the joys of our youth. For a 7 or 8-year-old boy they were the world at his fingertips. They were dreams of adventure back then and they are the memories we cherish today. Thanks for posting Dan!
Part of the Marx mystique is the robustness of their construction. So many times an old Marx loco is brought out of storage in a garage or barn or basement and covered in crud and/or rust, that with a little cleaning and oiling will run like new. Even today, well played with trains usually have all their pieces and parts still attached. At least the metal ones anyway. They were inexpensive, but not cheap junk. They may not have been perfect O scale, but they brought joy to a lot of kids over...
wow marx and kresge's that is two childhood memories. I never had the marx electrics but I had a marx windup train's I think for 4 Christmases in a row as I always managed to over wind the spring! we didn't know how good we had it until adulthood hit ahhh the childhood days many memories thanks for posting this topic
The last two accessories are 407 Automatic Crossing Signals. Marx used the square base for a number of accessories and the top used on the circuit breaker is also used on the 407 Automatic Crossing Signal and the 605 Illuminated Bumper. Just different lettering on the face. Since the tops are interchangeable they are often incorrectly put on the wrong base. Don
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