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Installing Peco/Hornby Point Motors?





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#1 GreenDiesel

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 22:24

I have a small 3x6' layout that has several switches/turnouts. Most of the points are Peco but a few are made by Hornby, and all are operated by hand. (FYI, the layout is currently DC operated. I've been thinking of switching to DCC but I probably won't be able to make the conversion for a while.)

How difficult is it to install & wire Peco point motors? There are two sets of points on the far side of the layout (for the fiddle yard) and it's a bit annoying to always have to stand up & reach over to operate them (and sometimes knocking trains over that are sitting at the front of the layout! :angry: ).

Also, are there any major differences between Peco and Hornby points? I'm hoping that I can use Peco motors for the Hornby points. Here in Canada, Peco track products are readily available in hobby shops but Hornby track-related products are harder to find.


Thanks,
Rob

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#2 smokebox

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 23:32

There are a number of ways of installing Peco PL-10 point motors.

1. Attached directly to the underside of the point using the fixing lugs on the point motor. The advantage of this method is that it is very easy to get the point to work, virtually impossible for it to be fitted out of alignment. The disadvantage is that you need a fairly large hole in the baseboard to accommodate the point motor.

2. Fixed to the underside of the baseboard, either with screws and washers with the lugs bent over at 90 degrees or by using the PL-9 mounting plates. You will probably want the extended pin version of the point motor for this (PL-10E). The advantage is that only a small hole (10mm diameter) or a narrow slot (approx 3mm X 10mm) is required for the pin of the motor. The disadvantage is that it can be quite tricky to get the point motor lined up accurately for reliable operation.

3. Surface mounted with a PL-12 adapter plate. Advantage - on the top of the board giving easy access and easier alignment. Disadvantages, ugly point motor on the layout that needs disguising somehow (often by covering with a building) and can still be tricky to align.

Peco motors will operate Hornby points and Hornby motors will operate Peco points BUT they won't fit directly to the other makers points because the fixing lugs are spaced slightly differently


Both manufacturers also make a point motor that is designed to be surface mounted alongside the point. Peco PL-11 and Hornby R8243.

The Peco one will operate both Peco and Hornby point motors. The Hornby one won't fit Peco points because the hole in the operating arm is too small to fit over the Peco point unless you drill it slightly larger. In my experience the Peco version is a better, more reliable and easier to fit option. I bought two Hornby ones to try and I won't be buying any more.

The advantage for surface mount motors is easier alignment and not having to make any holes through the board except for a small hole for wiring. Very useful if there is no access to the underside of a point (framework in the way, for instance) The disadvantage is that they don't look particularly good and there is no facility to mount switches on them for frog polarity switching or route indication lamps/signals/mimic board indicators. It's not impossible to fit some sort of switch if needed but there is no built in facility.

Wiring of all point motors is fairly simple and they come with instructions included. Both Hornby and Peco point switches are far too expensive but the Peco ones are better if you really have to use them. You can get a non locking (centre off) toggle switch for not much money that will be perfectly adequate for the job.

#3 GreenDiesel

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 23:44

There are a number of ways of installing Peco PL-10 point motors.
... You can get a non locking (centre off) toggle switch for not much money that will be perfectly adequate for the job.


Thanks, Smokebox. I'm going to read this over carefully and might be able to start installing 1-2 motors tomorrow. Cheers, Rob

#4 Kenton

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 09:51

Why limit yourself to a choice of Peco/Hornby point motors?

Have you considered Tortoise or other alternatives.

As your points are currently manually operated, I'll make the assumption (perhaps rashly) that you do not switch the polarity of the point frog. If you intend to add this improvement then having a switch (2 in the case of the Tortoise) incorporated in the point motor will be a big asset.

The Tortoise is much easier to install both physically and in terms of adjustment. It requires only a small hole and is fairly forgiving in terms of locating under the point - the Peco motor certainly isn't. There is a problem with the size of the Tortoise compared to the Peco offering. You also require a CDU to operate the Peco motors.

#5 chertsey chopper

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 08:37

Why limit yourself to a choice of Peco/Hornby point motors?

Have you considered Tortoise or other alternatives.

As your points are currently manually operated, I'll make the assumption (perhaps rashly) that you do not switch the polarity of the point frog. If you intend to add this improvement then having a switch (2 in the case of the Tortoise) incorporated in the point motor will be a big asset.

The Tortoise is much easier to install both physically and in terms of adjustment. It requires only a small hole and is fairly forgiving in terms of locating under the point - the Peco motor certainly isn't. There is a problem with the size of the Tortoise compared to the Peco offering. You also require a CDU to operate the Peco motors.

You do need to consider which points might need to be operated simultaneously(if any) before rushing out and buying loads of Capacitor Discharge Units as one or two strategically placed will cope with demand quite adequately because rarely will the need arise to "fire" all the points at once.
On wiring the track feeds in, make sure that the positioning of those feeds into your points cope with feeding track sections you intend to make "live", and use plastic insulated type fishplates for sections you intend to isolate.
On the subject of installation you will need to wire in your points and test them often before ballasting and during, to make sure their operation isn't blocked by ballast and/or fixatives as it'll be the devil's own job tearing them up again once they've set like concrete!
I have over forty sets of points on my layout and there are only six CDUs in use. The points I bought are not all new but I did thoroughly test them electrically before placing them "in situ" with my most temperamental runners before fixing them down.
The motors are all Peco sub-surface PL10 fixed under the point using the slots in the frames. The holes in the boards are sometimes elongated to allow for adjustment when joining track sections but the spaces aren't too large and I covered the gaps with card (from Crunchy Nut Cornflakes packets) surrounding the operating part of each point, placed the cards under the track and covered them with ballast and you don't notice it.

Jules

#6 Kenton

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 11:12

You also require a CDU to operate the Peco motors.


"a" as in ONE, "s" as in MANY

Tortiose as in NONE

#7 daleladdo

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 19:11

I've added a Peco side mounted point to my layout, works with the Hornby decoder, but it only flicks one way? Any ideas please?



#8 Silver Sidelines

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 19:56

Just for the record I have lots of Peco PL10 point motors - some operating in pairs many metres from the control panel.  They have been operating fine for a number of years now without any CDUs - just using the 16v AC supply from a Gaugemaster DS controller.

 

Ray



#9 smokebox

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 08:13

I've added a Peco side mounted point to my layout, works with the Hornby decoder, but it only flicks one way? Any ideas please?

Check that you have connected the wiring correctly.  Hornby points use the BLACK wire for the common and Peco surface mount points use the GREEN wire as the common connection.  If the wiring is correct then the alignment of the point motor may not be exactly correct; they need to be pretty carefully positioned.


Edited by smokebox, 07 September 2014 - 08:14 .


#10 Graeme Leary

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 08:15

Not really planning to install points motors just yet (see my other topic re derailing Pullman coaches which needs to be resolved first) but motorising points is somewhere close to being the next project.

 

What caught my eye was the post from Ray saying he has a number of points operating WITHOUT CDUs but using a Gaugemaster 16v AC controller.  Since changing to DCC a while ago I have a few surplus Hornby DC controllers (as supplied with the various Hornby sets purchased in the early days back in the hobby) and can these be used - and HOW - for points operations using the (mainly) Peco points motors I have?  I have approximately 40 points, some would be wired to operate in pairs, and if the Hornby DC controllers can be used (please explain how) should I divide the total number of points into (say) 2 or 3 separate wiring arrangements with 12-13 (if 3 controllers recommended) or 18-20, if 2 controllers would suffice.  But then again the Hornby DC controllers might be quite a different thing to the Gaugemaster item that has worked so well for Ray.

 

(And when the time comes - lets say 2018! - could semaphore signals also be controlled using another spare - and wired separately - Hornby DC controller).

 

This is written by the original Luddite so as simple a description as possible as to how to do all this would be very much appreciated.

 

Regards

Graeme Leary (New Zealand) 



#11 Silver Sidelines

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 20:15

Hi Graeme, I cannot comment on the Honrby products mentioned.  I have just pictured the rear of my Gaugemaster P Controller - the D and DS are similar but with two sets of of output sockets.  You can see the 16v AC supply for solenoid operation.  I am not an expert but I would not be using 12v DC for solenoid operation.
 
14984092990_cbbcdb29d7_z.jpg
 
I have also copied the Gaugemaster Instructions - seems that Gaugemaster recommend the use of a Capacitor Discharge Unit. 

I will simply say I have not found it necessary.  I am very careful with my soldering and wiring and I use relatively heavy wire for the connections between control panel and point motors.  The wire is described as 16/0.2 which I believe means 16 core each of 0.2mm2 - although I might be corrected on that.
 
You might find this Post on layout wiring of help.  There is another Post here with a picture of the switches used for the points.

 

Regards

 

Ray


Edited by Silver Sidelines, 07 September 2014 - 20:17 .


#12 kevinlms

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 21:51

Hi Graeme, I cannot comment on the Honrby products mentioned.  I have just pictured the rear of my Gaugemaster P Controller - the D and DS are similar but with two sets of of output sockets.  You can see the 16v AC supply for solenoid operation.  I am not an expert but I would not be using 12v DC for solenoid operation.
 
14984092990_cbbcdb29d7_z.jpg
 
I have also copied the Gaugemaster Instructions - seems that Gaugemaster recommend the use of a Capacitor Discharge Unit. 

I will simply say I have not found it necessary.  I am very careful with my soldering and wiring and I use relatively heavy wire for the connections between control panel and point motors.  The wire is described as 16/0.2 which I believe means 16 core each of 0.2mm2 - although I might be corrected on that.
 
You might find this Post on layout wiring of help.  There is another Post here with a picture of the switches used for the points.

 

Regards

 

Ray

The usual reason in favour of using a CDU, is that such a device delivers a fixed amount of charge. The reason being, that if the power is connected for too long, then the solenoid type of point motor, will overheat & burn out. Heavy gauge wiring or careful soldering, while excellent & desirable, generally won't prevent this from happening, as it is the time power is applied for, that causes the potential damage.

Ray, in that link, I see that you have had to replace the switches, that is due to switching a largish current off, when you release them. That is another advantage of using a CDU, as the intention is to release the switch AFTER most of the power has diischarged and there won't be any arcing.


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#13 Silver Sidelines

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 22:01

Thanks Kevin - yes I should probably get a CDU but in the meantime I will carry on giving the little buttons a short sharp poke!

 I see that you have had to replace the switches, that is due to switching a largish current off, when you release them. That is another advantage of using a CDU, as the intention is to release the switch AFTER most of the power has diischarged and there won't be any arcing.

Regards

 

Ray



#14 Graeme Leary

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 17:22

Many thanks Ray for all that info (and the 2 attached earlier posts).  My first thought was 'bleedin 'heck; will I be able to get my head around all this' but when I sit down and 'digest' them I see it should be very clear. Very much appreciated.
Graeme Leary
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#15 Silver Sidelines

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 11:47

Hello Kevin (again)

Ray, in that link, I see that you have had to replace the switches, that is due to switching a largish current off, when you release them. That is another advantage of using a CDU, as the intention is to release the switch AFTER most of the power has diischarged and there won't be any arcing.

I have taken your advice and installed a couple of CDUs. I have mixed feelings - you can read about in my Blog.

 

Regards

 

Ray


Edited by Silver Sidelines, 26 September 2014 - 11:47 .


#16 kevinlms

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 14:15

Hello Kevin (again)

I have taken your advice and installed a couple of CDUs. I have mixed feelings - you can read about in my Blog.

 

Regards

 

Ray

Interesting experience. But something that isn't clear from here and your blog. Which terminals of your Gaugemaster P have you used to supply the power to the CDU's from. You should be using the 16V AC option, but perhaps you've used something else?



#17 Silver Sidelines

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 16:32

Hi Kevin

 

Thanks for the interest.

 

Yes I am using the 16v AC supply from a Gaugemaster DS.  In fact two DS Controllers because for point operation the layout is split into two.  There are more details of the layout wiring here.

 

 

IWhich terminals of your Gaugemaster P have you used to supply the power to the CDU's from. You should be using the 16V AC option, but perhaps you've used something else?

 

If you read the Blog there is mention twice of using the 16v AC supply for the Bracken Ridge and Park View layouts.  Later I refer to inserting the small CDU from eBay into the 16v supply.

 

There is also a view of the Gaugemaster CDU with its instructions showing that it should be connected to the 16v AC supply.  I wouldn't dream of inserting it anywhere else.

 

Regards

 

Ray



#18 kevinlms

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 23:20

Hi Kevin

 

Thanks for the interest.

 

Yes I am using the 16v AC supply from a Gaugemaster DS.  In fact two DS Controllers because for point operation the layout is split into two.  There are more details of the layout wiring here.

 

 

 

If you read the Blog there is mention twice of using the 16v AC supply for the Bracken Ridge and Park View layouts.  Later I refer to inserting the small CDU from eBay into the 16v supply.

 

There is also a view of the Gaugemaster CDU with its instructions showing that it should be connected to the 16v AC supply.  I wouldn't dream of inserting it anywhere else.

 

Regards

 

Ray

Well OK, but something seems to be wrong with your CDU set up, for your performance to be so disappointing.

 

Since your CDU has a transistor, it ought to recharge very quickly to full power.

What voltage is the capacitor charging up to? DC volts of course.



#19 Silver Sidelines

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 08:55

Hi Kevin

I am still thinking that you have not fully understood my Blog.  The 'set up' is perfect, and recharging the CDU is not an issue. I do say "Initially the resulting operation of my points was disappointing. Some worked brilliantly with a quick snapping action. Others simply twitched and could not be persuaded to operate. Prior to inserting the CDUs all points would operate. In order to persuade all my points to continue operating with the CDU I had to replace a couple of I would say my older momentary contact switches."

 

I go on in my Blog to review both mechanical and electrical reasons for poor point performance and highlight the shortcomings of cheap push button switches of the sort that I have used.  I do find it fascinating that the old switches would still change points with a nice long press using the 16v AC supply but that they had to be replaced to handle the burst of power from the CDU.  The switches are old, they were cheap and I am quite prepared to believe that the poor performance was due to wear or dirt at the contacts.  (I don't say in my Blog but I did check the performance of individual points by shorting out the switch contacts at the rear of the control panel.)

 

I do still have mixed feelings about using CDUs.  In my final paragraph I state "..... I have also read that the rapid ‘snap action’ induced by the capacitor discharge unit can be detrimental to the construction of the point."  In my view the action with the CDU is rather brutal and I have concerns about the effect on the point.  It is relatively cheap and easy to replace faulty switches.  Replacing a damaged point would be a whole lot more expensive and time consuming.  I guess one good reason why some railway modellers choose slow motion point motors.

 

Regards

 

Ray



#20 kevinlms

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 22:54

Hi Kevin

I am still thinking that you have not fully understood my Blog.  The 'set up' is perfect, and recharging the CDU is not an issue. I do say "Initially the resulting operation of my points was disappointing. Some worked brilliantly with a quick snapping action. Others simply twitched and could not be persuaded to operate. Prior to inserting the CDUs all points would operate. In order to persuade all my points to continue operating with the CDU I had to replace a couple of I would say my older momentary contact switches."

 

I go on in my Blog to review both mechanical and electrical reasons for poor point performance and highlight the shortcomings of cheap push button switches of the sort that I have used.  I do find it fascinating that the old switches would still change points with a nice long press using the 16v AC supply but that they had to be replaced to handle the burst of power from the CDU.  The switches are old, they were cheap and I am quite prepared to believe that the poor performance was due to wear or dirt at the contacts.  (I don't say in my Blog but I did check the performance of individual points by shorting out the switch contacts at the rear of the control panel.)

 

I do still have mixed feelings about using CDUs.  In my final paragraph I state "..... I have also read that the rapid ‘snap action’ induced by the capacitor discharge unit can be detrimental to the construction of the point."  In my view the action with the CDU is rather brutal and I have concerns about the effect on the point.  It is relatively cheap and easy to replace faulty switches.  Replacing a damaged point would be a whole lot more expensive and time consuming.  I guess one good reason why some railway modellers choose slow motion point motors.

 

Regards

 

Ray

Ray, obviously I have failed to understand your blog. You stated that

 

Some worked brilliantly with a quick snapping action. Others simply twitched and could not be persuaded to operate. Prior to inserting the CDUs all points would operate.

 

I fail to see how the addition of a CDU would stop some points operating, when previously they did. Other than potentially the CDU's were faulty, which is why I asked the questions I did. Perhaps others can offer an explanation?









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