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What sort of circuit board is this ?


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Trix C-track turnouts, the one with the gold coloured board from 2005, the other a couple of years old. (Marklin -Trix date stamp the plastic mouldings)

Is the earlier one better quality or has the technology changed ?

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2 minutes ago, jpendle said:

I'd hazard a guess that they are identical.

 

Coloured FR4 is more expensive than bog standard green. FR4 is the base material for PCB's.....

 

Regard,

 

John P

 

Is there a metal film sandwiched in the green material ?

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Funnily enough there is a small problem with the green one, there is no current reaching the metal frog. The black plug you can see is set to the right position for live fog but there is no juice going through it.

The points all work OK and are directional and power runs out of the turnout OK  so I haven't investigated further. You wouldn't actually know the frog was dead unless running something really old over it like a Hornby Dublo tank and having a multimeter to hand.

 

If you like complexity the Trix double slip is for you. They come as standard with motor and directional lamp. It's plug and play, no mater how you connect it up with the layout it works.

Only a single power feed is needed with C-track which can be connected anywhere on the layout as power is none-directional, it goes everywhere.

 

Just as well really as I got befuddled watching a youtube video about how to wire up a Peco 100 electrofrog double slip !

 

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Edited by maico
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2 hours ago, maico said:

 

Is there a metal film sandwiched in the green material ?

Yes, the green material is not conductive. On a board as simple as this I'd expect there to be just one layer with copper traces.

 

Regards,

 

John P

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48 minutes ago, maico said:

Funnily enough there is a small problem with the green one, there is no current reaching the metal frog

 

 

I wonder if that is the design issue I was alluding to.

 

Look about 1/3rd the way along the top of the green board (starting from the left) - there appears to be a mounting hole that has cut straight through one of the PCB tracks. Following that track through it appears to go to the blue wire that looks like it goes to the frog.

 

In the corresponding place on the lower points' mirror image PCB the tracks have a little kink to steer them around that hole.

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13 minutes ago, maico said:

If the green board's track is damaged I suppose I could run a cable from that nearby positive spade connector and poke it down into the frog hole ?  No soldering needed.

 

I suspect there's some sort of switch under the covered area on the right that you would have to join the jumper wire to.

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The top one looks like a "good quality" PCB with solder mask.

 

The bottom one looks like a cheap one made on the sort of plain copper clad board you would buy from RS or Farnell for etching at home, with no solder resist.

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OK, I've had a closer look at the green one with a loupe. None of the tracks are punctured by holes. The frog power track runs from behind the mechanical switch cover on the far right, across the top of the board then down to the black plug. Comes out of the plug to that big blob of solder which is normally covered up with tape.

 

The tracks to the white plug, for the optional motor, go around the mounting hole.

 

I'll have to have a poke around under the cover. There are warnings in the instructions not to take it off, and in the past when I did it's tricky to get back on. The point switch levers are held in place by it.

 

( the older gold track may of been made in Marklin's traditional factory in Germany. They then switched track production to their brand new facility in Hungary.)

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30 minutes ago, maico said:

The tracks to the white plug, for the optional motor, go around the mounting hole.

 

Looking at it magnified on my work computer with a pair of 22" screens, rather than on my 4" phone screen I can see the copper going round both sides of that hole now! 

 

:blind: <-- Should have gone to SpecSavers. 

 

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16 hours ago, sharris said:

The top one has a green laquer protecting the tracks.

 

The bottom one looks designed slightly better as the mounting holes don't go through the tracks.

 

Isn't it the same board, turned over with the components mounted on the underside?

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3 hours ago, sharris said:

 

Looking at it magnified on my work computer with a pair of 22" screens, rather than on my 4" phone screen I can see the copper going round both sides of that hole now! 

 

:blind: <-- Should have gone to SpecSavers. 

 

 

Still looks to me like the track is broken on the green board. On the plain board the tracks are joggled to go around the mounting hole.

 

2 hours ago, RLWP said:

 

Isn't it the same board, turned over with the components mounted on the underside?

 

They are mirror image for left and right hand points. They are different boards as the materials are different. They may be of the same design, with tracks on both sides.

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19 minutes ago, Crosland said:

Still looks to me like the track is broken on the green board. On the plain board the tracks are joggled to go around the mounting hole.

 

A heavily magnified and contrast enhanced version of the hole under question - it appears that copper does actually go all the way around the hole - I still prefer the joggled version though. 

 

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Quote

They are mirror image for left and right hand points. They are different boards as the materials are different. They may be of the same design, with tracks on both sides.

 

I did wonder whether they might put the same tracks on both sides and flip them so they only had to stock one part whether fitted to left or right turnouts. Double sided boards do cost a bit more, but then so does inventory storing two different parts. 

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1 hour ago, Crosland said:

 

Still looks to me like the track is broken on the green board. On the plain board the tracks are joggled to go around the mounting hole.

 

 

They are mirror image for left and right hand points. They are different boards as the materials are different. They may be of the same design, with tracks on both sides.

 

 

What I might do is send Marklin the photo, and although the 2 year warranty is up (manufactured in 03/17) they may send me some new turnouts gratis !

The possible break in the track is to the white plug for turnout motor. The one to the black frog plug with prongs is intact. It is there so you can switch the frog off by moving it down one notch.

 

I did clean the switch. The area is lubricated at the factory and can collect dirt. Getting the spring back on was fun and games but nothing seems amiss there.

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Edited by maico
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19 hours ago, sharris said:

 

I suspect there's some sort of switch under the covered area on the right that you would have to join the jumper wire to.

 

Yes, a bit of brain fade from me. The frog is directional on the switch. Straight ahead the frog is + pos and set to turnout it changes to - neg. If it didn't the loco wheels would short the track.

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2 hours ago, Crosland said:

 

They are mirror image for left and right hand points. They are different boards as the materials are different. They may be of the same design, with tracks on both sides.

 

If you design a 'left hand' one and turn it over, you'd have a right hand one. Only it's likely the material finish is different side to side. So one board with the components fitted either side and you have what i think I'm seeing

 

Richard

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5 minutes ago, RLWP said:

 

If you design a 'left hand' one and turn it over, you'd have a right hand one. Only it's likely the material finish is different side to side. So one board with the components fitted either side and you have what i think I'm seeing

 

Richard

 

I lifted the board and no they are different material and one sided.

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BINGO !

 

I bent those 2 copper prongs in the switch up to a steeper position to put them under more tension moving across the board and everything now works.

 

Conclusion:  new-fangled electrikery is the work of the Devil...

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15 hours ago, maico said:

 

I lifted the board and no they are different material and one sided.

 

As I said, and another posted said, you can tell from the original photos that they are different materials (I design PCBs for a living :)).

 

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In an earlier post I said the switch area was lubed at the factory. Taking the cover off a couple of new curved turnouts bought recently shows that is incorrect. It appears someone else had previously had a go at repairing it and failed dismally.

I tend to buy most things new these days as used model railway stuff often seems to come with small niggles...

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