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Tomathee

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  1. Thanks Ray, I think I had been under the impression/misunderstood the instructions that switching between A and B also switched between 1 and 2 or 1 and 3, aka under the same wiring and switch. The frog wiring is as you say and seems to be working when under a separate switch to the point motor. Just curious on whether it’s doable or what I’d need to change to bring it all under one switch and to confirm using DC for the polarity switch isn’t going to burn the house down or anything. Hopefully the next thing on the list (CDU) will be easier. Cheers Tom
  2. Hi all, thanks for the replies. In response to Ray, it was one switch for both motor and polarity switch, as per the image below of the instructions. They also mention only a momentary pulse is needed, which fits the bill for centre off, happy to be corrected. Back to the switch, I followed the diagram below, with the crude hand-drawn diamonds to show where I added connector blocks to split wires off to two things. You made reference to my saying about the negative from the motor and return from the polarity switch meeting up to go back to the controller, which was done to my understanding as placing the connector block at the diamond on the far right. Obviously this is a potential area to look at for causing the problem. Fast forward to this afternoon, I thought again about your point (no pun intended) on separate switches and before going off to shop for a multimeter thought I would see if I could put together enough parts to make a separate switch for the polarity and the motor. So I took the wires that split off from the connector blocks to be left with the AC output from the controller to the switch, to the point motor and back to the AC on the controller. I then did a separate wire to another switch (centre off is all I had), the two outputs from this to A & B on the polarity switch as per the image below and a separate return. Obviously the point motor continued to throw as throughout, but lo and behold with trying both sides of the switch to the polarity switch it seems to work now, confirmed by testing to other route and figuring out the correct pairing of switch throws for both. A couple of things to check out - the polarity switch is wired to the DC output from the controller, I think this is permitted by the instructions, it says AC/DC. Otherwise I'll need to thin down my soldered ends so both will fit in the AC connectors on the back of the controller? As far as keeping them wired separately, is there any way of bringing them back together to function under one switch? The main user will be a five year old, and I was under the impression that the other motors (under the board PL10?) can have the polarity joined together under one switch, just a bit less hassle having to throw two switches. Or is it the case that seeing now that all the parts seem to work is there a still unidentified error I made in putting it all together and I can get it back under one switch? John - thanks, I saw your reply when I came back to post the above. I had carried out the x-y and x-z along with the L links as you suggested. To be honest I can't hear any clicking from the relay, with them under separate switches currently I could test again without the motor and still nothing, either my poor hearing or I need to twist my neck further into the corner of the board. I believe your diagram is how I was setup originally, with the wires from the switch diverging to the motor and polarity, and the (light blue) joining back up from the motor and polarity switch. Does seem a bit strange that it didn't work as I feel I followed your diagram which seems to corroborate the instructions, could become another unsolved mystery. One thing I haven't done that is on your diagram is the extra droppers, I have at the toe end but I didn't put one on the outer rails further along (didn't seem necessary on an un-broken rail, please correct me though), also do z1 and y1 on your diagram represent insulated joiners? If so then I should be fine on where the bus joins up to the rails. Many thanks again. I must say I enjoyed the trial and error and the crudity of my seemingly successful temporary fix, which currently includes wooden pegs holding some of the wires in contact for testing, until confirmed and I can take to the soldering iron. Tom
  3. Hello, I've attempted wiring up both my first point motor and a polarity switch, between the forum and the instructions of the various parts I believe I've installed everything correctly however it isn't working as intended, I've made some attempts at locating the problem and I'm seeking advice on anything else I can try to rule out a faulty part. The issue: When using the point, locos will move over it perfectly in one route (straight ahead in this example), however when the switch is thrown the loco stops on the frog area. Parts: Peco electrofrog point (with the wires cut and other rails soldered as per the instructions, insulated joiners at the frog), Peco side mounted point motor (PL11), Gaugemaster polarity switch (GM500 Universal Relay Switch), standard Expo on-off-on switch, Hornby DC controller (HM2000?) with AC output. I have neither the knowledge of electrical symbols or artistic skill to draw out the wiring, in short: positive (red) from the AC output on the controller goes to the centre connection on the switch, two wires out from the end connectors of the switch to a connector block, from this two wires out of each connector, one to the point motor and one to the polarity switch. The polarity switch has a connection to the frog and one to each of the bus wires. The negative (black) from the polarity switch meets the return from the point motor (green on the peco part) into a connector block, wire out of this back to negative on the controller. The joints are all via connector block, T tap connectors or soldered. The wire is flex for the bus, from bus to polarity switch, and polarity switch to frog wire (1.5mm2, suitable for electric fan ovens), otherwise it is 2 strands of 7x0.2mm soldered at both ends (as suggested in another thread to make use of it in place of buying 16x0.2mm). The cable from controller to switch to point motor/polarity switch is approx 5ft. What I've tried: The point with or without the polarity switch wired in throws back and forwards using the switch and locos run over without derailments. It looks to make good contact between the switch/stock rails, I used a paper to mark the line for siting the motor and so on. Swapping the track feed cables to the polarity switch has the effect of swapping the route that works correctly without stalling (turning left now works, attempting straight ahead stalls). Following this I redid one of the T tap connection on the non-working side to the bus wire to no effect, the other end is soldered to the polarity switch. When a loco attempts to take the non-working route, it doesn't seem to short out the controller (it doesn't need switching off at the wall and the loco resumes once pushed back towards the toe of the point). Prior to installing the motor and switch when I had done the cut/solder on the point rails in preparation, bigger locos would slow down over the frog area but make it across without stalling, presumably due to enough wheels remaining in contact, however smaller locos did not and stalled on the frog. Now, when taking the route which works there is no slow-down on any loco, indicating power is going to the frog, although when attempting the other route larger locos no longer pass after slowing down, merely stop. I could take out the cable from polarity switch to bus wire and replace, but it was new cable and soldered so I doubt will help, I re-did the T tap connector which I would have placed as the weak point to no avail. At present I don't have a multimeter although if that is needed to confirm anything I'll get one in. Apart from that I'm out of ideas, I did wonder if it might be something to do with the connector block from the switch, and cables coming out of it together to the motor and polarity switch, although it's similar to the instruction diagram. Maybe only one should go from switch to motor, and a separate wire from the point motor end to the polarity switch? As you can tell electrics aren't my strong point. Any suggestions welcome, or confirmation that it is a dud will save me time tomorrow retrying connections for the 19th time and banging my head under the board for the 73rd time. Many thanks Tom
  4. Thank you Pete & Karl, lots of useful information. The CDU sounds like a good idea and I particularly like that it can be added later, it continues part of the appeal of the hobby of not needing to go 'all in' and spend lots at once to get something done. I might go with the cheaper switch option now I have those ideas in mind, I couldn't move from 'switch with wires dangling out of it all loose' to 'mini control board' type setup in my mind. The wire I think I need to sort out some 16/0.2 as you both suggested. The mains cable I mentioned before on the bus was 1.5mm2, which is almost the same as the spare 7/0.2mm I bought from a model shop, unless I've misunderstood, so similarly not up to standard. Seems odd that it's recommended for electric fan ovens but not up to a point motor. Annoyingly one of the few places I've found the point motor in stock doesn't sell 16/0.2 so I might hold off, spending £3 to get £3 worth of wire through the post is one of those things I can't bring myself to do, so I'll see if anything else comes up that I can combine in the purchase. Thanks again for the help and pointers
  5. Following my purchase of the starter pack from CM3, I spent some time looking for a bulk buy on 2mm and 1mm as following a test build I went in for the retaining wall and will need several feet of it, if my sanity can take the cutting and building of it all. I had a look on amazon and ebay but some of the comments on here had me err on the side of caution and I went with PaperCutz in the end, as suggested on the scalescenes site. The 25 sheet packs bring a good discount and I ended up getting a pack of 25 x 2mm and 25 x 1mm greyboard in A4, total cost £17.24. It arrived fairly quickly given the outside world conditions, wrapped in paper, surrounded by bubble wrap in a cardboard box. Haven't used it yet but it seems to match up with what I already have.
  6. Hi folks, I have a point that is in a hard to reach place so I'm going to take the plunge and motorise it. If it's not too bad maybe I'll look at doing the rest, but this one is a bit of a trial run as I have no experience in this area. I wanted to check my thinking and shopping list so I'm only paying one lot of postage in these times and to make sure I don't burn the house down if I manage to get the parts together and have a go. I've found I need a Peco PL-11 side mounted motor as I have timber underneath the board where the hole would be. I've also learned I need a Gaugemaster GM500 as it is electrofrog and I might as well make the extra effort to reduce running problems as similarly it is hard to reach to nudge a stalled engine, is this just screwed into the board somewhere near the point/motor? For the actual switch I saw some Gaugemaster switches quite cheap but I think I would have to make a board with holes drilled in for them to be put into, can't see how else they would stay anywhere? I also came across the Peco PL-26 switches and a console that they sit in, I think this looks an easier solution for me as a newcomer although I'm not sure if there are any drawbacks to them? For the actual wiring, I'm using DC and understand I can't just use the positive and negative from the same supply to the track. The back of the controller has connectors for uncontrolled ac and uncontrolled dc (400mA shared), it seems that AC is the one required. I have some 7 x 0.2mm wire that I was going to use for the main bus wire but didn't, I can use this but I think I would need a third length, to avoid mixing up if I use the same colour for two things. From doing the main bus wire with electrical cable I have the earth cable left over that I could use, but I think it is different size (from looks), so might not be a good idea to mix them? So to sum up, the basket in my mind is; PL-11 motor GM500 polarity switch PL26 switch PL27 console (optional) 7 x 0.2mm wire in a third colour I've looked at the diagrams and I 'think' it makes sense, once I have everything in front of me it might be a different matter. Thanks for reading and any help
  7. Kernow have another virtual exhibition set of offers, different terrier to the one mentioned above at £59.99 (K&ESR).
  8. The Bachmann C1 Atlantic in GNR or LNER green is on flash sale at rails for £149.99
  9. Also a thanks to the people that post these bargains, I don't think I've bought anything directly but it's shown me to some sites I wouldn't have known about that I have bought from at a later date. Personally I'd prefer everything in one thread, having a new thread for each bargain or shop would add a lot more browsing time in entering each updated thread since the last visit to check, as the same occasional non-bargain posting would occur, however scattered over all the separate threads that it relates to. In comparison I find it's a few seconds scrolling through some of the non-bargain related posts that come up here as currently. Also I find relative to some other threads here and elsewhere there's not too much fluff, some of which does turn out to be valuable discussion if not a direct bargain. Finally I'd imagine one thread puts less burden on our fine moderators than having to check in on a few/dozen(s) as may crop up with another method. Should end with an apology for adding my own non-bargain post to the thread.
  10. 1 in stock as I passed the page, £114.99
  11. One for £99 on bure valley, did a full sweep last night for birthday ideas
  12. Cheers, some tempting, can't remember seeing this anywhere close to that price - http://herefordmodels.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=340_350_355_356&products_id=11541
  13. I recently bought the starter selection pack from CM3models ebay shop. Was going to buy in bulk but I haven't done scalescenes before and wanted to try something before committing further, this was the cheapest way I found to get everything needed. Looks like there's enough to do a couple of the free downloads, if I'm capable enough of building them this will be much cheaper for the end aim (retaining walls) and I imagine for other things you might use lots of such as platforms. Ordered before Easter and it duly arrived on the estimated date, well packaged with cardboard to protect the corners.
  14. Thanks for the second lot of replies, I do check in more often on my phone but it's easier to reply when I can get to a desk. Someone mentioned gauge, I'm using 00. I get the point about using wires of the same size, so I think I'll use the 1.5mm2 for the bus and the droppers where I'm going to use the scotchlok connectors, and use the 7/0.2 for any droppers that I solder to the bus. Hopefully this will be the best plan to not waste the 7/0.2 and not need to buy any extra wire I don't already have. Many thanks again for everyone's input and help
  15. Thank you all very much for the replies, didn't expect so many. I had a quick look at scotchloks (helpful to have the correct name now) and these seem quite cheap and easy to install, which is over-riding my previous apprehension. Do you have a link to a specific example please? Those I saw had a drop down for colour without indicating any other difference, if 'red' is to do with the size of the wire that will pass through etc. These Scotch Locks (ebay) are an example I came across, is it just wire cross section I should be interested in or are there other considerations such as maximum amp/volts (sorry, electricity is not my strong point). I have come across these Wago connectors although under a different name somewhere, the drawback I came up with was that the dropper wires would have to be quite longer if three are to meet up at one block, again correct me if I'm wrong. Similar to the terminal blocks mentioned that I've also seen in model shops and at shows, if I had it in the middle of the board the bus wire to it would be quite short rather than following a rough shadow of the loop, however the droppers would be longer to join in the middle (like a spiders web in my mind). I did buy some terminal blocks which joined together via pins, which I thought would be useful for keeping the boards able to be separated when needed (rarely, for decorating or other major work). I think in the name of putting to use things I've paid for and developing skills, I'll have a go at soldering some of the droppers to the bus on the easier and more accessible areas. Not sure how that will go being underneath and everything being in a different place and angle to doing it on a desk with a helping hand so if it fails I'll likely go with the scotchloks, as with the harder to reach places. One other thing that has come up while thinking earlier, I'll only be able to wire up one loop under DC, unless I did two completely separate bus wires, so that I can keep each loop under a separate controller. With DCC that won't matter, question was does one loop of bus wire carry enough to power both track loops and whatever is running on them? Or is my layout a long way smaller then the point of needing to think about that? Thanks again
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