My Märklin – digital rail layout

HO UK model rail

Märklin 60831 – m83 decoder



60831 or commonly m83 decoder

This box of tricks, the m83 decoder is used to momentarily apply electrical current to switch point motors, and uncoupler tracks. It supports both the Märklin and DCC digital protocols. Which means at a later date I can buy some inexpensive DCC signals as Märklin can be eye-wateringly expensive. The M83 can control 8 separate outputs each of which are identified by coloured LED’son the case – where the red and green spots are on the photograph above.
The m83 is therefore capable of of controlling 4 points – with each point needing the use 2 outputs, or it can control 8 uncouplers or a mixture of these. The address of each unit is best set by dip switches leading to 4 in sequence addresses per decoder.

The m83 when directed by the mobile station hand controller sends a brief pulse to effect the switch. Continued pressing of the controllers button, does not lead to an extended pulse. The pulse settings can be updated from the mobile station controller

Electrical power

The m83 decoder derives it electrical power by:

  • being directly connected to the powered track
  • having a separate power supply powering it (citation needed)
  • being plugged into an already powered m83 or m84 unit

M83 maximum current load = 3 amps

Advantages in use

The m83 decoder is capable of replacing four 74461 under the track decoders, and at current prices of approx 30 Euros for the m83 and approx 20 Euros for just one under the carpet decoder that makes using the m83 considerable saving.

Effectively each point motor 74461 is wired back to the m83 with three wires – a common and two others for either straight through or to the turning.


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