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Point motor problem - Layout Design, Trackwork & Operation. - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Sep 11th, 2016 06:34 pm
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Ian
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I have just tried to wire up my first peco electro frog point using a seep pm1 point motor with the polarity switch and I have a problem.I am using a separate power bus for the sole use of the point motors and a double throw switch to activate.The motors were tested before fitting under the base board and worked fine but once fitted the point wouldn't throw, I read some where about removing the point spring and this has worked and the trains run through nicely even at slow speeds.I have fitted the second point motor and again it works well when testing  but again once fitted doesn't have the power to throw the point with the spring in place.Do I need to remove the spring? Is there not enough power? I am using a 12volt dc transformer to supply the bus.I am happy with the wiring, soldering etc.  What am I missing ?  Can anyone help please.

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 Posted: Sun Sep 11th, 2016 07:09 pm
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Brossard
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Ian, there are others on here that might know more than me.  SEEP motors have an integral over center spring IIRC (easy enough for you to check), so the PECO point spring is probably redundant and the extra resistance could be defeating your power supply .  You don't mention a Capacitance Discharge Unit (CDR) which is commonly used to give the PM a jolt to get it to move - this is what you could be missing - Gaugemaster do them.

John

 



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 Posted: Sun Sep 11th, 2016 07:28 pm
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Silver Fox
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I agree with John, you do need  a cdu with seep motors
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 Posted: Sun Sep 11th, 2016 07:30 pm
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Brossard
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CDU - CDR meh!  Someone actually agrees with, yay!  :doublethumb

John



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 Posted: Sun Sep 11th, 2016 07:47 pm
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Ian
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Thanks JohnAs this was my first attempt at fitting a point motor I assumed it was straight forward.I don't have a discharge unit, do you need one per point motor or do they work several

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 Posted: Sun Sep 11th, 2016 08:10 pm
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Silver Fox
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one will do more than one motor,not sure how many but you can get twin cdu`s if needed
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Owen



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 Posted: Sun Sep 11th, 2016 08:37 pm
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Brossard
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I think it depends on how many motors need to fire at once.  Some people have route selectors set up so that one button will change several points at the same time.  For a handful where you only fire one motor at a time, one should be enough.

John



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 Posted: Sun Sep 11th, 2016 09:52 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Ian,

Any self respecting power supply should run half-a-dozen SEEP or Peco solenoids before CDU's are required. If you need to change several turnouts at the same time that's when you need the CDU. The issue may simply be the bus power - a 12v DC bus is probably not enough (especially a rectified one and with low amperage), try 16v-24v (16v AC is the external auxiliary output of most DC controllers, mine is 17v AC). The spring should not be removed from the Peco turnouts, the only SEEP model that latches the switch blades is the PM4, which is internally sprung. If you have missing or faulty springs in the turnouts Peco will supply 6 or so if you ask them.

If the solenoid is working off the 12v supply before installation but not after installation it could be as simple as the pin not being in a central position when installed (and the switch blades need to be central as well, wedge them open with plastic shims on both sides), or the hole/slot for the pin needs to be larger. SEEP motors used to be a bit temperamental, screw them too tight to the baseboard and they wouldn't work or worked erratically (well documented issue, the contact is a washer sliding over a circuit board). I suspect yours are not working because of binding when installed.

Have you checked the actual output of the transformer? (V/amp). CDU's work best at 24-36v input in order to keep the recycling time down. You'll need at least 16v for the one from Gaugemaster, or get their mains powered version which comes with the transformer. Or just change the transformer on the bus for something more powerful.

Have a look at http://www.cravenmodels.com/SEEP.htm for the common problems and solutions.

If you only have a few turnouts I'd try a higher voltage/amperage on the bus before starting to install CDU's (which is simple to do but even more wiring, soon starts to look like spaghetti). With a 12v DC bus installed I'd personally use a stall motor (Tortoise, Cobalt) with built-in frog polarity terminals rather than a solenoid motor, especially if you will have a lot of turnouts (which means a lot of CDUs). More expensive but no CDUs required, and much simpler wiring. They have low current draw and operate with very little noise. From memory the Tortoise draws less than the Cobalt (could be wrong, haven't looked at the specifications recently). A 0.5 amp 12v DC transformer will drive at least 10 of either brand. No springs required in the turnout either.

Nigel



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 Posted: Sun Sep 11th, 2016 09:53 pm
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Sol
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CDU   .... outside of this site e which is full of good info    http://brian-lambert.co.uk/Electrical%20page%202.html#CDUs

more
http://www.siliconchip.com.au/Issue/2013/March/Capacitor+Discharge+Unit+For+Twin-Coil+Points+Motors
http://www.simplytrains.com/pages/hints&tips/cdu/cdu.htm
http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/CDPSU.html


available in the UK from  if you didn't want to make your own
Hattons
Kernow Model rail centre
Hereford Model centre -  just a few



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 Posted: Sun Sep 11th, 2016 10:00 pm
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Sol
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Ian, a CDU that is good to use, is one that has a fast recharge so I suggest one like the advanced design on Brian Lamberts site. I found this is satisfactory for one of my stations that had 13 solenoids.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2016 09:51 am
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RFS
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The Seep PM1 does not have an internal spring, so removing the spring from the Peco point means you are at risk of the blades drifting out of alignment and causing a derailment.  It's the PM4 that is self-latching and hence with that version you can remove the springs.



You may well need a CDU though even if you are changing only one motor.  The Seep can take 3-4 amps of power so unless you are using a transformer that delivers this type power (eg a recycled laptop power supply) you will have issues as you are seeing.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2016 10:49 am
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I agree with Nigel...completely.

I will now resort to didact mode....

I have never used a CDU with Seeps*, even when firing two at a time on a crossover. I used 11 Seeps on Bear's End. [OO BLT] Volts are important, I used an old printer power supply [the sort on a lead that plugs into the wall, then on to the printer] as it is a 'regulated' supply, meaning that if it is supposed to be 'X' volts output, then the internal circuitry will augment or decrease the output to the right voltage, trying to stop it dropping away as the load is applied.

Typically, an Epson power supply unit kicks out 18V DC.

There are several other little tweaks to get the best out of them.

1.   Ensure they are centralised when fitting, see

 http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=3303&forum_id=21&jump_to=57239#p57239

I use small scraps of 40/1000 to keep the point blades above centralised whilst fitting the motor below.

2.  And this is probably the most non-intuitive suggestion...use 2mm screws in the 3mm mounting holes and DO NOT TIGHTEN THEM right up. Over-tight screws are a recipe for distorting the paxolin bases, & as there is a lot of solder and metal on the bases, they may not straighten out perfectly. If you leave a little play in the mounting arrangements, the inertia of the wired up motor will ensure the wipers on the switch really do cover the appropriate contacts instead of just impinging on them. It will still move the point blades.


3.  Finally - the motor is a machine - the armature will benefit from a slight coating of light oil, not WD40 as it dries out, Singer sewing machine oil is perfect.


Hope this helps, no disrespect to other contributors but it's written from experience,

Doug


*I have never used a 'ladder' with multiple road setting.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2016 01:06 pm
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Doug's experience - exactly my experience with 4 SEEP motors a few years ago. My conclusions - plenty of volts (at least 16v) and amps (lot of resistance in all those windings, basically a big electromagnet), no CDU for only 4, they need careful centering, do not screw tightly or they bind. Cheap and cheerful maybe, cost effective? Probably not. That said, other folk have had them working for years. Luck of the draw. My understanding is that SEEPs were not originally designed for turnouts, but for semaphores (I could have misread that one).

Peco now do a low current solenoid motor for N/OO. Presumably with smaller windings and less oomph (and noise!).

All of which is not that helpful for Ian's problem.

Ian, make sure the pin is centered and try slackening the holding screws and see what happens.

I forgot to ask, are you DC or DCC or planning on going from DC to DCC? If DCC is in the plans or already installed stall motors would probably be a better option long-term, especially if you want to control them as accessories. You can of course go DCC with solenoids if you want.

Nigel




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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2016 01:49 pm
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Sol
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CDU's are prefect when using diode matrix for a ladder/yard set of turnouts.
http://rail.felgall.com/dm.htm



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2016 06:45 pm
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Ian
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Your comments are very helpful. Thanks
I am sure it's a,power supply issue and I know without looking the transformer is light weight. I will see if I can lay my hands on something else if not I will have to purchase something. I am using dc but is ac going to be better?
I am sure that the the motor is centralised as I read a lot before starting.
I am running a dcc system with a Lenz 100 unit but decided to use seep point controls with switches as some how it seems more hands on.
Having wired up the 3 point motors that I have the wires in this one area are already looking like spaghetti so much so I may have a rethink and try a cobalt and see how I get on with it.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2016 08:43 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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I don't suppose that I should mention servos, here?   :roll:



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2016 09:20 pm
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BCDR
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Well I didn't in the sure knowledge that you or Mike would.

Nigel



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2016 09:29 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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:mutley



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 Posted: Mon Sep 12th, 2016 11:24 pm
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BCDR
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Oh, the suspense. Must be a treatise brewing. Or a change of mind.

Nigel

 



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 Posted: Tue Sep 13th, 2016 01:06 am
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I've discovered that the way to make the pain stop is to not bang one's head on the wall.  :lol:



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