Questions about the M4 data protocol

Here we answer many typical questions about M4, mfx® and our command stations.

  • fold faq What can I do to ensure a safe M4 operation on my layout?

    What can I do to ensure a safe M4 operation on my layout?

    The are some important factors that you can control:

    1. Layout wiring. Track power feeder on a H0 layout at least every 1.5m (3 to 5 feet) and before and after each turnout/switch.
    2. Lay track power wires (B+0) from a booster and separately from each individual booster to the layout, you may connect the ground wires over there together to build a common ground.
    3. Power bus wires and supply lines of ECoS and ECoSBoost should be as short as possible and not fall below a wire gauge of at least 1.5 mm² (AWG 16), where more than 8m (24’) distance. Wire gauges under 0.5mm² (AWG 20) are for general supply lines for ECoS / ECoSBoost unsuitable (1.0mm ² (AWG 18) for ECoSBoost 8A).
    4. M4 Loks nur programmieren, wenn sich diese auf M4 rückmeldetauglichen Abschnitten befinden.
    5. The command station should be shut down by pressing the STOP button (hold for 3 seconds and wait until the STOP button is flashing).
  • fold faq When does the new registration of my M4 takes place on my layout?

    A new registration of a M4 loco takes always place when:

    1. You make programming modifications with the LokProgrammer or with another (not M4-) central station.
    2. After a data back-up carried out on your central station.
    3. When in the meanwhile the M4 locomotive has been driven by another M4 speaking command station, also by the Märklin mobile station.
    4. When the M4 loco stands on a breaking section, block section or a currentless section. Also when the loco has not been put onto the layout before (showcase) or another loco has been deleted.
    5. After a RESET of the M4 central station.
    6. When the M4 loco has been deleted (the same when in Setup 2, "delete objects", all locos had been deleted before).
    7. M4 loco gets a decoder reset.
    8. While stopping, some loco will be deleted.

    A new registration must never be interrupted, also not by breaking or block sections.

  • fold faq Which qualifications must be fulfilled so that a M4 decoder locomotive gets recognised by the system?

    To make it possible that a locomotive with a M4 or a Märklin® mfx® decoder will be automatically recognised by the sytem, it has to comply with the following requirements:

    1. The loco must not stand on a 6017 booster circuit, or onto another booster circuit which doesn´t speak the M4 protocol.
    2. The loco must neither stand on a breaking section, nor a block section.
    3. The loco must not stand on a currentless stopping section.
    4. The M4 protocoll is activated in Setup 2 of the command station.
    5. The software version of the command station is not older than V3.0.1.
    6. Especially if temporary registration problems occur, we recommend to delete all M4 locos, shut down your command station by stopp, re-boot it. The command station will recognise all M4 locos and register them. Please wait until the command station is finished.