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SEEP PM1 Point Motors


ColinR

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I have just returned to Modelling after a 40 year absence and I would be grateful to hear of any experience using the SEEP PM1 to switch LEDs for route indication on a mimic panel.

 

I use the PM1 to operate my PECO "N", Code 55, Finescale, Electrofrog points. They operate well using a Gaugemaster 18VAC nominal (actually runs at 16.9VAC), 1.5 Amp (I think) M2 transformer unit. They work well via Stud & Probe and also, some of them, via Guagemaster Prodigy DCC30 Accessory Modules but only if I leave the PM1 slightly loose under the baseboard. As soon as I tighten up the PM1, the Point operation is much more "iffy".

 

Not a problem except that then the LEDs, switched by the PM1, are impossible to adjust for reliable operation.

 

Has anyone found a solution to this? I have 103 points so would like to have a reliable indication that they are set correctly.

 

I did consider Tortoise Motors but, with 103 points they are a somewhat "gold-plated" solution and I would have to re-lay much of the track to avoid cross beams under the baseboard.

 

 

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Hi Colin

 

In order for the switch to operate correctly you must ensure that the SEEP motor is mounted so that when the turnout blades are at mid-position, the armature of the SEEP motor is also at mid-position. Your problems when the SEEP is tightened may be due to several factors: The slot for the operating wire is not long or wide enough so that the wire is fouling or, the armature of the SEEP motor is not inline with the tie bar of the turnout or, the baseplate of the SEEP motor is deforming (because of the melted stubs of the plastic casings for the coils) when you tighten the screws. Some modellers use a scrap piece of cork as cushioning between the motor base and the underside of the baseboard to deal with the last problem.

 

Regards

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Hi Colin

 

In order for the switch to operate correctly you must ensure that the SEEP motor is mounted so that when the turnout blades are at mid-position, the armature of the SEEP motor is also at mid-position. Your problems when the SEEP is tightened may be due to several factors: The slot for the operating wire is not long or wide enough so that the wire is fouling or, the armature of the SEEP motor is not inline with the tie bar of the turnout or, the baseplate of the SEEP motor is deforming (because of the melted stubs of the plastic casings for the coils) when you tighten the screws. Some modellers use a scrap piece of cork as cushioning between the motor base and the underside of the baseboard to deal with the last problem.

 

Regards

 

 

Thank you for your advice Bill.

 

I made a template to drill the slot in the baseboard and to mount the SEEPs and they are centred mid-position on the point and aligned with the tiebar as you suggest. The SEEP has a total throw that is much greater than the approx 2.5mm needed by the PECO points so, even if I was off centre slightly, it should not have any real effect as far as I can see.

 

The slot is overwide & overlong, if anything, so fouling is not the problem.

 

I will try a piece of 3mm cork (a double depth used for covering my baseboard before tracklaying) in case the PM1 is deforming.

 

The annoying thing is that I bought 6 SEEPs as a trial and they worked well with a bit of fettling. e.g. use slightly smaller screws to allow the PM1 to be moved along the tiebar axis so that the LEDs would operate. So then bought 97 more. Of the 97, only about 30 to 40% work so, whatever it is, it is a variable. I suspect that the fact that the point throw in "N" is only approx 2.5mm (so 1.25mm either side of centre to operate the switching effect)) doesn??t help as it makes everything much more temperamental.

 

Regards.

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Hi again

 

It may be worthwhile putting a test meter on each of the switches to check that they actually work!

 

Bear in mind that the switch on the SEEP motors is only a metal washer (which is quite loose on the operating pin) rubbing on the printed circuit board - not very hi-tech!

 

In our club we gave up on them many years ago in favour of Peco solenoids but now we only use slow motion motors such as Fulgurex.

 

Regards

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Hi again

 

It may be worthwhile putting a test meter on each of the switches to check that they actually work!

 

Bear in mind that the switch on the SEEP motors is only a metal washer (which is quite loose on the operating pin) rubbing on the printed circuit board - not very hi-tech!

 

In our club we gave up on them many years ago in favour of Peco solenoids but now we only use slow motion motors such as Fulgurex.

 

Regards

 

 

 

Thank you, once again, for your info.

 

I have checked several of the ones that do not switch the LED on and they do work so I am fairly sure it is because I cannot adjust the position of the SEEP in relation to the point throw. The first six were no problem as I just slackened off the screws, moved the SEEP axially by less than a millimetre and then tightened up the SEEP again. God knows why the subsequent batches cannot be tightened up.

 

I realise now that I should have gone for a more robust but expensive system from the beginning but, starting from here, it would mean re-laying quite a bit of the 300yards of track and junking GBP400 worth of SEEPs. I live half way up a mountain in the Pyrennees and there are no other Modellers in the area to check these sorts of queries with. Hence the trial which seemed a success. I have a wonky spine so cannot fit SEEPs et al on my own but my friend is coming up on Wednesday and we will try your idea of fitting a piece of cork to stop deformation.

 

If I cannot get the SEEPs to work then it is a case of seeing how reliable the Point Operation is. If they fail to switch one time in a thousand operations, then I can do without the LEDs but, if it is one in ten I will have to think of biting the bullet and changing the entire Layout. The notion fills me with dread after spending hundreds of hours tracklaying.

 

I much appreciate your time in trying to help me.

 

Best Wishes.

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I've used SEEPs for my last 4 layouts, and have had the same problems trying to get a reliable switching action. I've found it very difficult to get a reliable on-on switching action from them - so on the latest layout, I've gone for trying to get an on-off action, and using this to switch a relay (giving frog switching, and an on-on switch for mimic displays). This seems to be much more reliable.

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