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Manual Point Control - Layout Design, Trackwork & Operation. - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Mar 26th, 2013 07:24 am
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GreenBR
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Hello,
That is a great piece of kit
Regards



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 Posted: Tue Mar 26th, 2013 11:19 am
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gormo
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Thanks Peter & Br
I think now we should back track. What you have seen so far is the lever which is the result of many trial and error lever designs and as you know I have resorted to having them professionally cut.
What you must be wondering, is how these levers control and connect to a point. This is an element of the design which has not changed very much through the course of the system development. It has just been improved as I have moved along through the process.
I had been trying to develop the manual system for a couple of years. The stumbling block for me was the mechanism below the tie bar. It doesn`t sound that hard does it???......but I wanted something simple and reliable and robust. I was trawling through the other model railway forum, where I am a member, and I happened upon a topic about manual point control, which was discussing different methods of actuating points. One of the contributors, Graeme Inglis, from Victoria Australia, volunteered a method used by his model railway club. The method was to use half of a brass hinge with a sliding rod passing through it. At a right angle and connected to the end of the rod is a wire that passes up through the baseboard and through the tie bar of the point. The hinge is screwed into place below baseboard.
That was the solution for me!!!!......absolutely brilliant and elegantly simple. The rest just fell into place because.......thanks to Graeme and his mates......here was a simple , cheap and robust system. Just to qualify that.......my test rig has done about 10,000 movements and the tie bar actuator has not given any trouble at all.
So I would like to bore you with my first video, produced for the other forum, because it shows very clearly how the hinge works. You will also see the early lever design ( hand cut ) and early bellcrank design. The bellcrank is made a different way now.....but more of that later........Enjoy.
                               http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8K1bgantIs
Cheers Gormo



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 Posted: Tue Mar 26th, 2013 01:07 pm
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aberdare
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Thanks for that Gormo, that is just so simple and easy I will do something very similar depending what I have tucked away in my shed. The levers are really good but I think mine will be something far simpler.
Thanks for posting.

Jim



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 Posted: Tue Mar 26th, 2013 05:47 pm
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DAVE1562
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Hi Gormo..a brilliant,informative and interesting topic and top marks for build..:pathead

..Dave

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 Posted: Thu Mar 28th, 2013 12:51 am
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Marty
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Excellent. Thank you.
Keep it coming.


Marty



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 Posted: Thu Mar 28th, 2013 12:38 pm
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gormo
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Manual Point Control Stage 5
G`day Folks ,
I would like to talk a little now about the bellcrank. If you watched the video you would have seen the original version made from Aluminium. The main problem with the Aluminium version is the labour. One point lever may require up to 3 bellcranks, in most cases probably 2. Therefore, a lot of cutting out.
The method of manufacture was to buy a length of 2mm thick x 25mm wide Aluminium flat bar. Cut from this were 25mm square pieces. The diagonal was marked across the square and cut into 2 triangles / bellcranks. The triangles are then rounded off with a file and holes drilled in appropriate locations.
The choices were obvious.......persevere ( I don`t think so )........buy commercially available cranks ( my hand starts to shake a little ).......focus on the problem and find another way because cost is also an issue.
The answer my friends ,was sitting in my garage ,just waiting for me to work it out. Plastic moulding.....in NSW Australia we call it quad. I t`s also available as a timber moulding. The plastic quad comes in 2400mm lengths for about $8 or $9 Australian. If I could cut 3 or 4mm wafers out of the moulding I could make a lot of bellcranks for very little money. Provided they are strong enough to do the job.
Here is a pic of an Aluminium bellcrank




Here is a pic of part of a length of quad.



One of the first wafers cut and ultimately sacrificed in the name of reliability



A size comparison.........there`s not much in it.......it`s worth a go.


3mm holes drilled with a pin vice......this is so much easier and quicker.




And now we start trials to see what it takes to break these little fellars.






I used Loctite on the 3mm screw threads when attaching the terminal block inner to the bellcrank. This stops the screw from loosening with the backwards and forwards movements. The plastic material has almost a nylon quality, in that you can bend it back and forth and it won`t break. Obviously it will break if you try hard enough.
The picture above shows my first mistake. The screw which is acting as the pivot,has quite a course thread, and consequently wears away at the plastic with each movement and in the end we have, component failure.......back to the drawing board.
On that note folks......I will leave you to wonder how Gormo will solve this problem. It`s getting very late in Oz.......and Gormo needs his rest.
Cheers for now.......have a happy and safe Easter.........Gormo



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 Posted: Thu Mar 28th, 2013 03:12 pm
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GreenBR
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Hello,
I assume you are going to have to use some sort of sleeve perhaps made out of steel or brass tube. (do I get a star or do I have to stand in the corner)
Regards
stephen



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 Posted: Thu Mar 28th, 2013 04:37 pm
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bike2steam
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Love it !! It's what I would've done, given the time, full manual point, and signal operation along with interlocking, real operation of a layout the way it should be for the period represented ;-) . 



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 Posted: Fri Mar 29th, 2013 03:51 am
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gormo
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G`day Folks,
BR gets a gold star for lateral thinking!!!!........but a sleeve is not the answer.
The answer is a new pivot post design where the thread on the post is very fine, the same as the thread on the screws for the terminal blocks. The terminal block screws have not caused any issues with the bellcrank.
I decided to use a modified bullet head nail.





The nail will be inserted pointy end first into the baseboard to about a depth equivalent to about 90% of the thichness of the baseboard.........18mm boards in my situation.
Therefore calculations need to be done to establish how much is required above baseboard for clearances and fittings. Once you are sure of your measurements you can cut the nail to length and add a thread.





Now we drill a 2.7mm hole in the baseboard for the pivot post and gently tap it into position. It is a firm fit. Firm enough to hold it securely but it also allows easy removal. Next I added a Nyloc nut as a spacer , then the bellcrank, then a flat washer and two locking nuts. I trialed two on my test rig set up in a typical arrangement.



The system is connected with coat hanger wire ( 2mm ) . Plastic cable clips ( 4mm ) act as guides for the wire. I kept a tally of movements on the board and checked for wear and tear as it progressed.



The results were as follows. At 6,000 movements bellcrank # 1 nearest the lever had slight play in it. Bellcrank # 2 had none. At 10,000 movements no change. At 20,000 movements slightly more play.At around 25,000 bellcrank # 1 failed at the pivot post connection.
I was quite happy with that result and decided that this is the way forward. The ideal thickness for the bellcrank is 3.5mm. I can make over 600 of them for about $8 plus fittings and a bag of nails.
Champagne all round after that result.
I made a jig to fit on my scroll saw ( Electric Fret Saw ) so that I could do repetition cutting of the cranks and therefore achieve consistent results in thickness. I have made myself a lifetime supply so that`s another job finished.So that`s basically it..........there is still room for refinement but the basics are there and proven. Graeme Inglis from Victoria has developed his own version of my lever frame and it appears to be quite good. So between the two of us, we`ve come up with what I think is a cheap , effective method of manual point control.    
Cheers Gormo

    












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 Posted: Wed Dec 18th, 2013 04:56 pm
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Ed
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Hi Gormo

Reference your link to this topic in 'Great Chesterford Juncton' earlier this month, I've read through again over the last few days (I'd already scanned through it some months ago), and I also found and read through your thread on 'the other forum'.

 Suitably inspired, I'm now sitting with three old umbrellas and some cheap cycle brake cable from Hong Kong at my feet, amongst other bits and pieces.

I've also managed to order a GEM Universal Point Lever at a slightly reduced price from a certain internet auction site, but I might not get that until after Christmas.

Now for some testing over the holiday.


Ed

PS Think the Polar Express looks even better under the tree.

 



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 Posted: Wed Dec 18th, 2013 06:13 pm
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toto
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Hi Gormo,

first time I've seen this thread, what a piece of engineering. this would match anything that comes from any manufacturer and the thought that there were no buyers for it. It has to be down to the lack of circulation of its existence as I would have thought anybody wishing to use manual point switching would have happily snapped that up at 2 or 3 times the price. Amazing.

cheers Toto

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 Posted: Wed Dec 18th, 2013 11:48 pm
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Wottotosed!

Doug



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 Posted: Thu Dec 19th, 2013 01:48 am
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gormo
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 G`day Folks,
                  Ed .....good luck with the bits and pieces and the testing and let me know how you get on. I am happy to help if you need it. PS.....bicycle spokes make good rods as well......they are very strong.
                 Toto.......I was only selling the laser cut levers......not a complete system.....I think that is probably the issue.   If the system could be set up into kit form, it may be a different story......who knows?????......as I have said before......I have not lost any sleep over it and may try again at a later date. 

                  Thanks to Doug as well......I think ???????........I am not familiar with " Wottotosed "?????  Is it some pre history war cry?????.......another language perhaps????........some quirky boys club secret password????........don`t know???.......
Cheers 
Gormo



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 Posted: Thu Dec 19th, 2013 02:49 am
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Tomsk
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Fantastic idea,wonderful detailed instructions.
Keep up the good work!

Tomsk

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 Posted: Thu Dec 19th, 2013 12:20 pm
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Chubber
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Thanks to Doug as well......I think ???????........I am not familiar with " Wottotosed "?????  Is it some pre history war cry?????.......another language perhaps????........some quirky boys club secret password????........don`t know???.......

Sorry, Gormo!

That's what comes of thinking everyone is thinking the way your'e thinking! Some of us, many moons ago started using WOTESED [What He Said] as a short-hand for agreeing with the sentiments of a previous poster, couldn't resist adding 'Toto' in the middle..... [I don't get out much these days]

I was signifying my wholehearted agreement with his approval of your labours.

I may also slip in 'RLW' [Red Laughing Water] [wine] and SLW [Scottish Laughing Water] although I haven't seen that used recently either.

Seasons greetings, with plenty of RLW and SLW, I hope,

Doug




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 Posted: Thu Dec 19th, 2013 04:23 pm
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gormo
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Hi Doug,
            thanks for the translation.......us convicts over here in the colonies have lost touch with the finer points of the mother tongue . It all makes sense now and seasons greetings to you and your family.
Cheers ( Literally )
Gormo



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 Posted: Sun May 24th, 2015 02:50 am
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projektmaker2008
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Hi Gormo.
I am really impressed with this and am considering having manual point control on my layout - which is at the beginning entirely. I joined the group this week and will sharing my work on my layout soon.



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 Posted: Sun May 24th, 2015 03:19 am
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gormo
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G`day Steve,
Yes I came across your new member posting. I am glad you like the manual control. It`s very effective but I must say in my case, it`s going about it the hard way. There`s a lot of work involved because I`ve had to build everything. That said.....the results are quite pleasing.
Sometimes I think it would have been easier to just use point motors but there you are....I`ve made my commitment and I`ll follow it through.
You may also find this link interesting. This is part of my thread for my railway layout...Great Chesterford Junction....it shows how I`ve connected the point levers up to the points via rods and bellcranks.
http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=11121&forum_id=21&page=21#p213867

:cheers  Gormo



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 Posted: Sun May 24th, 2015 12:54 pm
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Brian R
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Hi Gormo,

I have only just found this thread. That is a beautiful and practical piece of engineering. I look forward to seeing it in action on the layout.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2017 06:01 pm
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Allegheny1600
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Hi Gormo,
What a splendid piece of model engineering, I love it!
If I get around to needing similar, would you mind if I copied your ideas, please?
Many thanks indeed,
John.



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