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coachmann

Are the Peco PL-11 side-mounted point motors reliable?

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There is an area on my baseboard where it is impossible to position a point motor below the baseboard. so i bought a Peco PL-11 side-mounted point motor. It seems decidedly weak compared with the bang and thrust of the PL-10 open frame solenoid, in fact, so weak that it isn't working on one side! 

 

I don't see them that often on layouts.  I would be grateful for anyone's experience of these Pl-11's?  

Edited by coachmann

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There is an area on my baseboard where it is impossible to position a point motor below the baseboard. so i bought a Peco PL-11 side-mounted point motor. It seems decidedly weak compared with the bang and thrust of the PL-10 open frame solenoid, in fact, so weak that it isn't working on one side! 

 

I don't see them that often on layouts.  I would be grateful for anyone's experience of these Pl-11's?  

I've used them fairly extensively in fiddle yards and - in one case - in a scenic section where, as in your case, under-baseboard framing has militated against fitting regular point motors mounted beneath. I have found that they work well so long as you adjust the position carefully (even a minor misalignment can compromise operation) and ensure they are rigidly fixed to the baseboard. They also work well with curved points. One benefit is in the quieter operation, although there is obviously a trade-off in terms of appearance.

 

David 

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No problem with mine Coach, fitted onto a Medium Cd75 e/frog, and its the only point in the fiddle yard so gets extensive use when the layout is up. Can't recall when they came out but this was one of the first as I did a bit for Peco on installing on one of their mag DVD's and this was the one used, so about 7-10 years use IIRC.

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You might be able to adjust the Peco Spring to make it less onerous for the motor.  How were you going to power the frog?  I've started to use the Gaugemaster DCC80 units (I think that's what there called).  No connection, but thoroughly recommend them.

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You might be able to adjust the Peco Spring to make it less onerous for the motor.  How were you going to power the frog?  I've started to use the Gaugemaster DCC80 units (I think that's what there called).  No connection, but thoroughly recommend them.

Interesting. Do you cut the Peco connections between switch rail and frog? Also do you wire the switch rails to the stock rails?  Or can one simply wire the DCC80 to an as-bought Peco Electrofrog point

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Only working to one side sometimes means the wires have been mixed up. The green wire is the common connection.

 

Steve

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Interesting. Do you cut the Peco connections between switch rail and frog? Also do you wire the switch rails to the stock rails?  Or can one simply wire the DCC80 to an as-bought Peco Electrofrog point

I used them in O gauge, but would wire the same in any scale.  Cut the wires underneath to isolate the frog.  The unit takes a feed from each rail and feeds it to the frog.  I hot wire the point blades to the switch and stock rails in one go.  In O its very easy as you can remove the over centre spring and ease the blades complete with the fishplate that acts as a hinge, soldering the wire under the fishplate.  Reassemble and the solder the other end of each wire to bond switch and stock rails.  In OO you can bend the tangs that hold the blades in place and the solder some fine wire (as used on Grain-of-wheat bulbs) to do the same.

 

post-2484-0-81808200-1501013139_thumb.jpg

 

Nothing is left to chance, every piece of rail is feed by a wire.  I used this arrangement all weekend with Dapol terriers and 08, the loco's were sound fitted and operated faultlessly.  The sound making no hesitation at all when passing over the points.  If you listened very carefully you could hear the relays switching, pretty neat

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Only working to one side sometimes means the wires have been mixed up. The green wire is the common connection.

 

Steve

I am the worlds dopiest sod! I just re-tested it using the green as the common connection and it works!  For some reason I cannot fathom, unless it is my dyslexia, I saw red as the common on the wiring diagram this afternoon. Great stuff, so thanks.

 

Thanks also Bigbee Line for the info.

Edited by coachmann

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I am the worlds dopiest sod! I just re-tested it using the green as the common connection and it works!  For some reason I cannot fathom, unless it is my dyslexia, I saw red as the common on the wiring diagram this afternoon. Great stuff, so thanks.

 

Thanks also Bigbee Line for the info.

I'm glad you've got it working, post some pictures please, I'd like to test them on an O gauge point.  Are you using a CDU?

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Anyone used them with code 55 N? I used them before and they tended to jump off the little nubb. I'm building a fiddle yard soon and want to give them another chance.

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Reliable? Yes. But read on.

 

I had around 30 in use. I soon learned that they only work reliably when they are fitted perfectly straight alongside the point and perfectly square and horizontal. They don't have as much power as the underfloor models but are perfectly capable of throwing the point time after time for years if the linkage doesn't also have to cope with pulling across an angle (vertically or horizontally) or around a corner. They will work in locations where there is no straight track but I found them fussy when asked to throw a three-way point.

 

They burn out more easily than the underfloor type too so do use a CDU unless you are prepared to fit replacements "on the fly".

 

They can be blended into the scenery if you wish. Mine were surrounded by ballast and had the rounded top painted silver just as a real point motor might be. The flat section already has wooden board moulding which I had flush with the ballast and painted as weathered wood.

 

Would I recommend them? In the right circumstances yes. But one size, or one style of motor, does not fit all applications.

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Interesting. I have always liked the solid connection of the PL10. The hole can be hidden with a bit of scenic magic although not required in my fiddle yard. The PL11 offers the advantage of fitting them above the board and can be fitted without having to lift the track once initially laid. They are also very easy to replace in the event of a failure. I think I'll have to buy a couple to play with.

 

How about firing them in pairs with a CDU?

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Firing in pairs with a CDU can work but don't rely on it due to the lower power of a PL-11 compared with a PL-10.  

 

I agree the PL-10 can be nicely concealed as I have successfully done so with around 50 of the beasts.  It also clips perfectly into place and will throw fully every time.  Until a piece of ballast or other nuisance lodges in the blades then you have a real-life point failure.  The PL-11 is not as forceful and while it will give a good throw when properly fitted it definitely doesn't like worn or slightly distorted tie-bars, overly-stiff point springs, contact tabs that are not exactly where they should be or trying to work around any sort of angle.  The PL-11 is supplied with a baseplate which I found was not usually needed.  Something a little slimmer sometimes was - I got good results using an offcut of cork underlay.

Edited by Gwiwer

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Interesting to read everyone's input and experiences. Thanks. In the end I took the bull by the horns (blummin' great jigsaw actually) and cut a hole right through the embankment for a traditional Peco soleniod.  

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The PL-10 is built like an AK47. It just works :) As its in the fiddle yard there will be no possible contamination from ballast. Also as the motors will be used for a fan of sidings to be thrown in pairs I think I'll go with the PL-10's. Thanks chaps.

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