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LBSC123

Seep point motor problems

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Posted (edited)

Hi all, 

 

I'm wondering if you could all help me with a problem I've got getting some point motors to work, having failed to find the source of the problem myself. The problem is as follows. 

 

I've got Seep point motors fitting under the baseboard (which is 5mm foamboard) wired up to passing contact switches, 24volt AC and a CDU, frog polarity is controlled by Gaugemaster relay wired into the Point control circuit.

 

The problem is that the motors don't seem to have enough 'go' to get the points switched from one direction to the other. On the recommendation of a friend, I've already beefed up the power supply to 24volts to no avail and have a larger CDU on its way. 

 

I've tried removing the relays from the wiring system but this doesn't seem to make a difference. The points are freely moving, and will 'throw' when you push the rod from the point motor to the tiebar by hand, they also aren't gummed up with anything (yes, I am the person who stupidly ballasted the track before checking this). I have removed one of the motors from the bottom of the board and it does throw via the switch, so it doesn't seem to be an issue of power not getting to the motors. 

 

The only remaining things I think I can of being a problem are:

 

1) Needs a larger CDU to give more kick to the throw. 
2) Foamboard baseboard too flexible absorbing/defecting the throw of the motor, although I can't see any deflection when I try and throw the point. 
3) Other unknown wiring/electrical problem


Any thoughts on how best to fix this? The only thing I can think of is replacing them with servos!


Thanks,

Will

Edited by LBSC123

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SEEP point motors require very accurate installation to work perfectly. The movement of the solenoid bar has to be in perfect alignment with the point tie bar in both planes. The point operating wire must be completely clear of the sides of the hole through which it passes.

 

Check that the brass contact (if you are using PM1s) does not stick at either end of its travel. There's a bit more about this problem here:

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/151137-easton-isle-of-portland/page/18/&tab=comments#comment-4049210

 

 

You could also try adding a tiny drop of lubrication in the slots through the solenoids that take the bar.

 

I have 38 of these in my fiddle yard, and once all the above points (sorry) were addressed I have had no further problems with any of them, mechanically at least.

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What passing contact switches are you using?  The Hornby ones aren't very good for use with a CDU, the Peco ones are far better.

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2 minutes ago, smokebox said:

What passing contact switches are you using?  The Hornby ones aren't very good for use with a CDU, the Peco ones are far better.

 

That's an understatement.

Hornby's passing contact switch is useless with a CDU & this is why:

 

When you throw the switch, it passes 2 contacts. The 1st pushes the motor the way it was already set. The CDU gives it a kick. The second throws it the way you want. The CDU will be discharged at this time so the current applied to the motor will be very low.

You could test this by pausing the switch halfway for a second or 2 as you throw it. This will give the CDU time to re-charge & provide the power you need. When you complete the throw, the point should move.

 

Peco's passing contact switch is a more complex. It has a clever mechanism which makes a momentary connection as it nears the endpoint you set it to.

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A reason why my layouts use the ancient Peco Solenoid motors with PL13 switches, I found the SEEP turnout motors almost impossible to align perfectly and gutless in their ability to reliably shift a code 75 turnout.
 

Cheers and Stay Safe

 

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Thanks all for the replies.

 

In the intervening period the larger CDU has arrived, which was duly fitted. One of the points would switch in one direction only, but not the other, so to rule out it being an alignment issue I've taken them off and will look at this when it's a bit less hot(!) 

57 minutes ago, Mick Bonwick said:

SEEP point motors require very accurate installation to work perfectly. The movement of the solenoid bar has to be in perfect alignment with the point tie bar in both planes. The point operating wire must be completely clear of the sides of the hole through which it passes.

 

Check that the brass contact (if you are using PM1s) does not stick at either end of its travel. There's a bit more about this problem here:

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/151137-easton-isle-of-portland/page/18/&tab=comments#comment-4049210

 

 

You could also try adding a tiny drop of lubrication in the slots through the solenoids that take the bar.

 

I have 38 of these in my fiddle yard, and once all the above points (sorry) were addressed I have had no further problems with any of them, mechanically at least.

Thanks Mick, 

I've not got the PM1s, but have tried lubrication to no avail. The wire is also completely clear of the sides of the hole. 

 

 

54 minutes ago, smokebox said:

What passing contact switches are you using?  The Hornby ones aren't very good for use with a CDU, the Peco ones are far better.

 

42 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

 

That's an understatement.

Hornby's passing contact switch is useless with a CDU & this is why:

 

When you throw the switch, it passes 2 contacts. The 1st pushes the motor the way it was already set. The CDU gives it a kick. The second throws it the way you want. The CDU will be discharged at this time so the current applied to the motor will be very low.

You could test this by pausing the switch halfway for a second or 2 as you throw it. This will give the CDU time to re-charge & provide the power you need. When you complete the throw, the point should move.

 

Peco's passing contact switch is a more complex. It has a clever mechanism which makes a momentary connection as it nears the endpoint you set it to.

 

I'm not using Hornby Switches, I'm using switches identical to the ones below, I may have used the wrong name for them. They're the same switches that I've used without problems on my OO9 layout. 

 

564908662_ScreenShot2020-08-08at18_14_18.png.272e3004a6c5efbe94f009750a94e36a.png

 

28 minutes ago, Jack Benson said:

A reason why my layouts use the ancient Peco Solenoid motors with PL13 switches, I found the SEEP turnout motors almost impossible to align perfectly and gutless in their ability to reliably shift a code 75 turnout.
 

Cheers and Stay Safe

 

This is interesting, I'm currently leaning towards some servos, if I can't get this fixed!


Another point I'm wondering is whether it's the hot glue I've used to hold them in place being too flexible... 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, LBSC123 said:

Another point I'm wondering is whether it's the hot glue I've used to hold them in place being too flexible... 

 

That might allow too much movement or 'shock absorbtion'. You could try inserting a couple of screws to fix them in place.

 

Sorry. I've just realised that you said you'd used foamboard as you baseboard. Wally! :rolleyes:

Edited by Mick Bonwick
Stupid comment!

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3 minutes ago, Mick Bonwick said:

 

That might allow too much movement or 'shock absorbtion'. You could try inserting a couple of screws to fix them in place.

 

Sorry. I've just realised that you said you'd used foamboard as you baseboard. Wally! :rolleyes:

 

Hi Mick, this was my thoughts too.

 

I have attempted to re-mount on with PVA on the flat faces and a more extensive bead of hot glue around the edge to hold it in position while it drys, initial results suggest this might have cured the problem, but I'll wait until the PVA is fully dried before trying this on the rest of the points. 

Thanks,

Will

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A lesson learned the hard way, try using 2or3mm ply as a reliable base for mounting just about anything that will require any input of movement. Even my 5-pin DIN socket and sprung loaded DPDT micro switches are mounted on ply. 
And for the record, all the good old reliable Peco turnout motors are mounted on ply bases, the  Keith Harcourt article in RM 01/2000 explains why, so no need to reinvent the wheel.

 

Cheers and Stay Safe

 

 

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4 minutes ago, kevinlms said:

Just had a look at that reference and it doesn't say a great deal about mounting point motors at all.

What it does say is:-

"Point motors can't be screwed to foam core board, but they can be bolted to hardboard sub-bases with the nuts on the underside. The sub-bases are then glued, using impact adhesive, into position under the layout. The result is that the motors can always be unbolted if they give trouble."

Doesn't mention the point motors used, but the photos appear to be of SEEP's.

 

No mention of how you line up the sub-base, to glue it accurately in position. This sounds like the problem the OP is having. As others have already stated, the key to using SEEP point motors, is that they MUST be correctly lined up in both planes, to have any chance of working.

 

I've never used foam board, so maybe I'm missing something important?

Thanks Kevin,

 

In future, I will keep my experience with using foamcore board to myself rather than share with others.

 

Well done.

 

Cheers and Stay Safe

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Jack Benson said:

Thanks Kevin,

 

In future, I will keep my experience with using foamcore board to myself rather than share with others.

 

Well done.

 

Cheers and Stay Safe

 

 

Sorry, I was only asking a question.

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Just thought I should update this again to give a full account of what the source of the problem was.
 

After glueing the motors back in place, I still wasn’t satisfied with the way they threw the blades. A fair amount of problem solving and head scratching eventually sourced the problem to the 2m long 25pin to 25pin cable, which I had been using to join the control board and baseboard. With one of the switches wired directly to the point motor the motors operated perfectly. I’ve got a shorter cable on order, but may have to re think the whole way I was connecting the baseboard and control board.

 

So the problem seems to be wiring related and not the foamboard! 
 

Now to tidy all of the wiring up...

 

Thanks all for the help. 

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4 hours ago, LBSC123 said:

Now to tidy all of the wiring up...

 

Thanks all for the help. 

 

A missing piece in the jigsaw! I'm not sure what the rating of your cable is, but if you're using a 25-pin D-plug and socket I suspect that the wires aren't up to the job of carrying the current needed to zap a solenoid. It's more likely to be the diameter of the wire than the length of it that is the source of your problem.

 

Well done for tracing the fault, though. Seems none of the advice you were given was as good as your own troubleshooting.

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1 hour ago, Mick Bonwick said:

 

A missing piece in the jigsaw! I'm not sure what the rating of your cable is, but if you're using a 25-pin D-plug and socket I suspect that the wires aren't up to the job of carrying the current needed to zap a solenoid. It's more likely to be the diameter of the wire than the length of it that is the source of your problem.

 

Well done for tracing the fault, though. Seems none of the advice you were given was as good as your own troubleshooting.

The advice given is normally correct for SEEP point motors, i.e. alignment issues.

But yes, those 25 Pin DIN ribbon cables are a bit suspect. Using multiple pins/wires will halve the resistance of course. That solution depends on if there are spare wires available obviously.

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