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Seep or Peco


Dunmar

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How's this Mick?

 

They are the long lever types commonly sold as anti-tamper switches (about £2.60 each from Maplins). The lever acts off the drive pin. The long lever makes for easy adjustment :)

 

If you buy 30mm lever from RapidOnline they are £0.45 each (And a bit neater than those!) as per my previous post.

http://www.rapidonline.com/sku/Electronic-Components/Switches/Microswitches/Subminiature-V4-microswitches-RVFM/73543/78-2478

 

 

Seep £3.50, Switch £0.45 total £3.95 Beat that Tortoisers! (I'm not claiming that they are no good, just much more expensive).

In fact microswitch currently on offer at 18.9p plus VAT!

 

Keith

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You haven't accounted for the cost of screws and extra bits of wire, not to mention the time involved in setting it up :lol:

 

Nick

 

Or the reliability... (or lack of in Seep units ;) - see my earlier comments)

 

Andi

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Personal experience is that Peco are bombproof, Seep aren't.

 

But Peco aren't idiot proof.

 

I helped a friend out once & showed him how to mount the point motors & accessory switches.

 

During the next week or so, he fitted off the rest & wired them up the same. Couldn't figure out why he had short circuits. Thought he'd wired the contacts reversed, but no that wasn't the major problem, although the first couple we looked at were. (Sod's Law). Turned out when mounting the switches, he'd filled up the holes in the top surfaces of the switch with super glue and in most cases the actual switches had become glued up solid & so didn't change polarity.

 

Most had to be thrown out, since many had become hopelessly bent when he tested. He still couldn't really understand why his approach was so wrong.

 

 

The coils on the Seep units are held to the PCB with plastic lugs that break.

 

 

If you mount the motors directly onto the under surface, yes. But if you put a washer or similar as packer that doesn't occur. It's because the plastic lugs are sitting proud & thus under stress. So the problem is managable.

 

Dagworth has 24 Peco units and I've only ever had one fail on me and that was a wiring error on my part that led to the coil cooking, whereas I've seen multiple Seep motors fall to bits at critical moments.

 

 

Yes, with CDU's both types are reliable as they don't burn out.

 

Also the Seep ones are a ###### to get lined up accurately for the switches, unless the motor hits both ends of its travel the switch ends up in the dead spot in the middle, whereas the Peco switch fits on the opposite side of the motor allowing it a bit more play as well as a smaller dead spot. The Peco switch can also be replaced without removing the motor from the layout., the Seep one can't.

I've never had a Peco switch fail on me.

 

Peco I'd recommend, Seep I wouldn't touch with a bargepole.

(though neither are a patch on slow action machines such as the Tortoise)

 

Andi

 

Both Peco & SEEP are reliable if set up properly, especially so straight & central, if using the long shaft version. A jig helps enormously.

 

Definately Tortoise etc, much better and much less hassle, so are what I recommend.

 

 

Kevin Martin

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If you buy 30mm lever from RapidOnline they are £0.45 each (And a bit neater than those!) as per my previous post.

http://www.rapidonli...M/73543/78-2478

 

 

Seep £3.50, Switch £0.45 total £3.95 Beat that Tortoisers! (I'm not claiming that they are no good, just much more expensive).

In fact microswitch currently on offer at 18.9p plus VAT!

 

Keith

 

 

How is the rod between the motor pin and the switch attached to each other please? I use Seep only without any problems, however the Electrofrog Peco points are a pain with very poor contact I need to wire the frogs and use the Microswitches to change the polarity

 

thanks

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The operating arm of the microswitch isn't actually fixed to the pin of the point motor, it just rests against it. The microswitch arm is spring loaded and maintains sufficient contact with the pin. When the point motor moves one way, it compresses the lever arm, changing polarity, and when the motor moves the other way the tension on the arm is released and polarity is restored.

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With my current layout I'd reached 71 Peco PL10s, all mounted below the baseboard with PL9 bases and PL13 polarity switches as they're all Electrofrog points. I'm using RR&Co Traincontroller with Lenz LS150s controlling the points. You do need to ensure the motors are precisely aligned to get reliable operation but I acheived that - almost. Now and again a point doesn't fire or sticks, but I can deal with that as I can usually hear that when I set a route.

 

I did have some Seeps left over from a previous layout many years ago but they didn't last long. LS150s seem to have a habit whereby when you change a point they very occasionally don't switch the motor off and give a long pulse. It's about 2 seconds and must end due to an internal cut-off. I've had the problem both with TC and when experimenting with JMRI earlier. The PL10s just make a lot of noise when this happens but the Seeps don't - they just make smoke. Within a week 2 Seeps had burnt out so they were all ditched - the survivors fetching a good price on Ebay.

 

But now that I'm starting to automate schedules with TC, the shortcomings of solenoid point motors are coming to the fore. Firstly, TC fires all points on a route regardless of whether they're in the correct position or not and that creates a lot of noise which is distracting. But secondly, I can no longer tell when a point has not fired (and TC certainly doesn't know either) so there have been a couple of crashes as a result, meaning I cannot relax and simply watch the trains go by.

 

So I've bitten the bullet and started converting to Tortoises with the LS150s being replaced by NCE Switch8 decoders. Of my 71 points 30 form various crossovers and hence only need one decoder address, whereas with the LS150s and PL10s you need two for totally reliable operation. I did some calculations of costs on the crossovers, using both Peco and Tortoise:

 

Peco (Hatton's prices)

 

2 x PL10E @ 4.50 - £9

2 x PL9 base - £1

2 x PL13 - £5

2 x LS150 ports - £14

Total - £29

 

Tortoises (from Bromsgrove Models)

 

2 x Tortoise @ £12.50 (from set of six) - £25

1 x NCE Switch8 port - £5

Total - £30

 

It's no contest in my opinion. The tortoises are so much more reliable and above all quiet! I've found fixing my first 12 very simple compared to Peco. Wiring is greatly simplified as the Switch8 just connects to the DCC bus, and I have spare switches on the Tortoises, some of which I'm using to switch the feathers on my Traintronics signals.

 

What makes this conversion possible of course is Ebay. LS150s are fetching very good prices - more than I paid for them - and the point motors also sell well.

 

And it does surprise me when I see people buying Seep or Peco point motors because they're "cheaper" than Tortoises, and then splashing out £7 for a Hornby lever switch when all that is needed is a simple DPDT switch for Tortoises that costs less than £1.

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Everyone can come up with a price comparison to suit their own preference.

You could have a layout using 20 insulfrog points and stud and probe control.

20 x Seep @ £3.50 = £70

20 x Tortoise @ £12.50 = £250

And the reliabilty of the tortoise using stud and probe control would be far worse than the Seep.

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Time to knock this thread on the head, it's going nowhere, it's all down to personal preference.

Absolutely - along with everyone's definition of "value" and "cheap" - the value of how reliable, how easy to set up, and time - cheap" as in counting every penny or being prepared to spend what is required. There is also the "ease of use" as in a virtually off the shelf - one source meets needs compared to being prepared to get down and dirty to get equally good and perhaps more satisfying solutions.

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I detect the "holier than thou" attitude from the Tortoisers

Not "holier than thou" Keith, but as Kenton says, a reflection of how people put different values on their time, convenience and the quality and reliability of a product.

 

There are those people who are satisfied to fashion working mechanisms out of bits of bent wire and a bottle top; and if they have success then that's only to be admired........ and good luck to them.

Others will be more satisfied to buy a decent reliable product that does the whole job with minimum fuss.

 

Personally I've used a few Seep motors and have decided that crude solenoids are not for me, no matter what price.

The built-in switch is rubbish, I find the Snap action toy-like and unpleasant and their reputation for unreliability isn't that great.

Admittedly they are very cheap, but as with so many things that's reflected in what you get for your money.

If you can get them to work reliably and are happy with them, fine. Personally I wanted something better.

 

Peco on the other hand, are not cheap once all the bits are added....and you still end up with a crude solenoid switch machine for the price of a decent point motor.

Added to which, the crude addition of the electrical switches is as "Heath Robinson" as it gets. For me, this Peco set-up is a waste of money.

1950's style make-do-and-mend is alive and well and living in East Devon. rolleyes.gif

 

 

I also get the feeling that certain attitudes may be coloured by a lack of knowledge about the products that are "out there" and readily available if you know where to look. Amply demonstrated by the link to very cheap micro-switches (an excellent tip-off, by-the-way).

How many modellers are aware of the options when it comes to point motors and switch machines?

Many on here are well aware of the excellent new Cobalt and TT300 motors, but what about the wider community?

There aren't only more expensive (and better quality) alternatives though; cheaper options are available too; for example there are Slow-motion Conrad motors for £4 each available in the UK, if cheapness is the over-riding consideration.

 

Snigger? Me? never! Dedicated follower of fashion

.

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Peco on the other hand, are not cheap once all the bits are added....and you still end up with a crude solenoid switch machine for the price of a decent point motor.

Added to which, the crude addition of the electrical switches is as "Heath Robinson" as it gets. For me, this Peco set-up is a waste of money.

1950's style make-do-and-mend is alive and well and living in East Devon. rolleyes.gif

 

 

 

Before I bought my point motors I tried a sample selection. I have a Peco standard, a Peco High Resistance, Seeps without switch and with and latched. I also had some H&Ms, some old, some brand new, and a couple of CODAs.

I ruled out Pecos "clip on" mounting and modified one for below baseboard mounting a la Seep. Peco switches I completely ruled out - they seem to me to be "train set" type accessories as is the clip on mounting and work out expensive. I found the Seeps with switch but without latching to be the best, not for the switch itself, but for the fact that the switch acts like a friction shock absorber, stopping end bounce.

I already had some microswitches in my "electricals box" and found it easy to mount one or two next to a Seep. As we are all used to cutting track to length and fitting droppers etc. the little extra work putting standard microswitches in place by a point motor doesn't amount to much

 

I ruled out Tortoises mainly because of the bulk, I think they could be half the size and also I still think they are a little over priced. If they were £10 and a tad smaller I probably would have bought them!

I also have a couple of TT300s which are fine, however I found that lining them up was more difficult than the Seeps!

 

If (or when as some have forecast) the Seeps fail or I find other problems I will look again at what choices to replace them with.

 

Keith

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I ruled out Tortoises mainly because of the bulk, I think they could be half the size

That is the fairest criticism of the Tortoise and a typically American approach in my view. I have peeked inside (don't unless you are prepared to void that superb warranty) and there is oodles of space for an oriental approach to micro engineering. However I nearly always design my layouts with the depth of the Tortoise in mind. (BTW then can work perfectly well if mounted horizontally)

 

Besides the new kids on the block are smaller - though I am yet to test a TT300. The Cobalt is certainly coming up as a strong contender. A few years it may well have a reputation to match the Tortoise (it may equal it but be difficult to beat it) the claims are high but it will be difficult to get me to use them on mass. Tried and trusted plays such a big part in this.

 

.. and also I still think they are a little over priced. If they were £10 and a tad smaller I probably would have bought them!

I guess this is back to the argument on value/cost.

I don't think I have ever paid as much as £10 for a Tortoise, nut then not only do I do quite a few trips to the US but also have a number of friends in the country who are able to "import" the odd one in their kit bags. But of course I recognise this may make them cheap(er) for me than most. The big problem though is that a box of them is likely to pick up the UK Customs attention and charges along with all the hassle of paying their preferred handlers their additional charges for releasing them and delivery. Then the $:£ is nowhere near as favorable as it use to be.

Of course if you buy from a UK model shop you have their considerable markup on top, but they do need to make some profit from the transaction. I only mention that aspect because the US shop prices do not seem to add so much as a percentage (difficult to assess as the whole VAT and local taxe issue has to be factored in)

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That is the fairest criticism of the Tortoise and a typically American approach in my view. I have peeked inside (don't unless you are prepared to void that superb warranty) and there is oodles of space for an oriental approach to micro engineering. However I nearly always design my layouts with the depth of the Tortoise in mind. (BTW then can work perfectly well if mounted horizontally)

 

Besides the new kids on the block are smaller - though I am yet to test a TT300. The Cobalt is certainly coming up as a strong contender. A few years it may well have a reputation to match the Tortoise (it may equal it but be difficult to beat it) the claims are high but it will be difficult to get me to use them on mass. Tried and trusted plays such a big part in this.

 

 

 

I get the impression that Circuitron have rested on their laurels a bit, what was OK size wise 10 years ago maybe isn't quite so now. I would have expected a re-design (Tortoise MK2?) to reduce the size and possibly an option for an inbuilt DCC decoder which could have an output which could be linked to one or more non DCC fitted others for complex junctions where several points need to change at once. (I know there is the Smail - but it doesn't seem to make sense price wise when you can use external accessory decoders at much more economic price.)

 

Keith

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I'm using the NCE Switch-8 with Tortoises. These have 8 decoder ports and cost £39 from Bromsgrove Models so they work out at a fiver per port with the flexibility of being able to switch 2 or more points on the same port. One type of point motor and one type of decoder for all situations - you can't really get more flexible than that, or indeed cheaper (for a slow-motion point motor installation).

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I get the impression that Circuitron have rested on their laurels a bit, what was OK size wise 10 years ago maybe isn't quite so now

It is simple - there is (was) no competition ... the Cobalt is very much new kid on the block and IMO has a long way to go to prove itself it is merely a ME2 arriving very late on the scene and will always be compared directly with it having no unique selling point (the size is not that much of an improvement. So to the big market (the US) where they will have to be the imported product against the "built in the U S of A" product and where most modellers are used to the size of the Tortoise and (possibly like me) don't see it as a big issue.

 

The decoder "on-board" is a no point to it. For those who want DCC (probably more in the UD than here) there arleady are good alternatives as add-ons that again are already well used and familiar, and for those who are not interested in DCC they are just as useless as "DCC ready" RTR locos. Then there is the issue of the Circitron guarantee that comes with the Tortoise. Given the fickle nature of decoders and the additional complexity can you imagine the number of Tortoise being returned and the perfect reputation destroyed by the introduction of such technology? So I can see why Circuitron haven't bothered with that either.

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Given the fickle nature of decoders and the additional complexity can you imagine the number of Tortoises being returned and the perfect reputation destroyed by the introduction of such technology? So I can see why Circuitron haven't bothered with that either.

 

Well actually they have - it's called the Smail. But it's very expensive and doesn't seem to be marketed over here. Personally I prefer the flexibility (and much lower cost) of keeping them separate!

 

Circuitron Smail

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Well actually they have - it's called the Smail. But it's very expensive and doesn't seem to be marketed over here. Personally I prefer the flexibility (and much lower cost) of keeping them separate!

 

Circuitron Smail

 

I did mention that earlier today!

 

Keith

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Well actually they have - it's called the Smail. But it's very expensive and doesn't seem to be marketed over here. Personally I prefer the flexibility (and much lower cost) of keeping them separate!

 

Circuitron Smail

Yes, and I was aware of it even before you mentioned it. (but many others might not be) But the discussion was centerd around Tortoise and why didn't it incorporate one and its overall size.

My point is that why change something when there is no competition and you have already cornered the market with something par excellence?

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Yes, and I was aware of it even before you mentioned it. (but many others might not be) But the discussion was centerd around Tortoise and why didn't it incorporate one and its overall size.

My point is that why change something when there is no competition and you have already cornered the market with something par excellence?

 

On the subject of all in one units:

http://www.ztccontrols.co.uk/site/show_product.php?id=25&pgid=155

 

Personally I don't get it! Worst of both worlds?

Not cheap (approx same as TT300) but still a solenoid.

 

Keith

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  • 1 month later...

I've experienced bothe SEEP and Peco motors and have to say the SEEPs were disappointing. Their design is more elegent, but they were stiff and I had major problems getting them to throw N gauge turnouts at all, no matter how much adjustment or how much additional juice I sent through them (16V AC charging a gaugemaster CDU, or 24V AC charging the same CDU) - they just seemed weak compared to Peco ones.

 

I swapped to Pecos and have never looked back. Never had a failure (unlike SEEP which one fell apart since it's all plastic/PCB type construction) in 10 years of use. I've used the extension pins and various bizarre arrangements of bars and pivots to get round tight space locations no problem, everything throws fine and only minor adjustment needed on the initial installation.

 

On cost, some advice. Don't waste money buying the full "Adaptor bases" for surface mounting if you are using Peco trackwork. Instead buy the "mounting plates" which are a 5 or 10 pack of adaptor bases, minus the arm and spring. Make your own arm from offcuts of brass or plastic sheet in a few minutes. This has the added advantage that you can make the arm any length you like.

 

Also, I've found no problem buying bags of secondhand motors. They seem to be bombproof and I've happily used what are obviously ancient Peco motors (of the most original style with thinner bar and inverted solder contacts) and they all continue to give faultless performance, even after unknown history and bending back all the mounting lugs and the likes. Buying secondhand saves money (well, hopefully :lol: - I factored in that one or two in each bag of 5 or 6 may not work, though this proved unfounded) and invariably you'll also get a few with adaptor bases, mounting plates or accessory switches attached, adding to the value. I've had a few spares knocking about since day one and they have never seen the light of day such has been the reliability!!!

 

Another manufacturer to consider that doesn't appear to have been mentioned is Hornby - their most recent motors are a direct clone of the Peco one, albeit with marginally tidier wiring. I have one rouge Hornby motor (happened to be in a box of bits I bought :yes:) and it too has worked fine for years. They should be compatable with Peco fittings - mine is on a Peco mounting plate for instance.

 

Cheers,

Alan

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I've experienced bothe SEEP and Peco motors and have to say the SEEPs were disappointing. Their design is more elegent, but they were stiff and I had major problems getting them to throw N gauge turnouts at all, no matter how much adjustment or how much additional juice I sent through them (16V AC charging a gaugemaster CDU, or 24V AC charging the same CDU) - they just seemed weak compared to Peco ones.

 

I swapped to Pecos and have never looked back. Never had a failure (unlike SEEP which one fell apart since it's all plastic/PCB type construction) in 10 years of use. I've used the extension pins and various bizarre arrangements of bars and pivots to get round tight space locations no problem, everything throws fine and only minor adjustment needed on the initial installation.

 

On cost, some advice. Don't waste money buying the full "Adaptor bases" for surface mounting if you are using Peco trackwork. Instead buy the "mounting plates" which are a 5 or 10 pack of adaptor bases, minus the arm and spring. Make your own arm from offcuts of brass or plastic sheet in a few minutes. This has the added advantage that you can make the arm any length you like.

 

Also, I've found no problem buying bags of secondhand motors. They seem to be bombproof and I've happily used what are obviously ancient Peco motors (of the most original style with thinner bar and inverted solder contacts) and they all continue to give faultless performance, even after unknown history and bending back all the mounting lugs and the likes. Buying secondhand saves money (well, hopefully :lol: - I factored in that one or two in each bag of 5 or 6 may not work, though this proved unfounded) and invariably you'll also get a few with adaptor bases, mounting plates or accessory switches attached, adding to the value. I've had a few spares knocking about since day one and they have never seen the light of day such has been the reliability!!!

 

Another manufacturer to consider that doesn't appear to have been mentioned is Hornby - their most recent motors are a direct clone of the Peco one, albeit with marginally tidier wiring. I have one rouge Hornby motor (happened to be in a box of bits I bought :yes:) and it too has worked fine for years. They should be compatable with Peco fittings - mine is on a Peco mounting plate for instance.

 

Cheers,

Alan

 

Not the original design of the pre 1970s then, when they were a brown plastic. Now they were truly awful.

 

Kevin Martin

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