I need to make some crucial decisions for my new build layout and the choice of point motors to operate Peco Code 75 points is currently on my mind. As I've only ever previously used mechanical rods under the boards, I'd be pleased to receive the benefit of your much longer experiences.
I'm not a fan of the bangs and thumps normally associated with traditional electrical devices and I also like the look of a prototypical slow throw of the point blades, so my personal choice appears to be between Colbolt and Tortoise, controlled though switch panels, not DCC.
However, to make the poll more interesting for everyone, please indicate your preference for operating your points and turnouts from the poll list above.
Please also feel free to additionally post a note of your reasons for doing so and particularly if you ticked the 'other' option, or are indeed Colbalt or Tortoise users.
Very many thanks,
____________________ At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born
I can't really help with comparisons because I have very little experience of the motors in the poll. I used solenoids on my practice planks when I first started getting into modelling - a long gap from my trainset as a child until trying to make something more permanent - which started three years ago. But, having done a fair bit of research and looking around, I went for cobalt motors. They have been a breeze to fit and programme and I have not had any of the problems some users have reported regarding losing their addresses and they have all worked consistently well with a nice slow throw which is very solid.
I chose cobalts because I liked the fact that they could be DCC operated or switched by a lever - or both - so I went with the digital versions. This has been great while I have been building things because I have not had to build the full control panel but can still have everything operational from DCC until I am ready for that task. However, I could have used analogue ones controlled by switches or levers with a separate DC power bus, which would have worked out cheaper and kept DCC for track power only.
There are also a range of things you can use the internal switches for, depending on your track plan and needs, and wiring is straightforward and soldering free. Support from DCC concepts has always been excellent, an email enquiry is usually answered within a day, often with diagrams to answer any queries and the motors are part of a wider control system which can include panels and signals which all work well together if you want to go down that route. I've been impressed that they have often advised ways of doing things which would work out cheaper too, so it hasn't felt like the advice is part of the sales drive.
Inevitably I had one point fall on a baseboard joint which I just could not work around so I have used a cobalt surface mount which is small and equally good at operations. I kept putting off fitting it as I thought it would be quite tricky, but actually it was pretty easy and works very well and can be operated just like the underboard motors.
So, I can't say that Cobalts are better than others, as I do not know the other brands, but they have certainly worked for me so far.
I have lots of cobalts Bill they are pretty good reliable motors. Not saying they are better than Tortoise but cobalts are a good reliable choice.
There are actually cheaper ways of production slow action point motors. If you have a lot of point motors to purchase then cost is an issue its worth looking at the alternative methods if only a few motors then stick with cobalt/tortoise
____________________ OO gauge DCC ECOS Itrain 4 computer control system
I've tried WIT, surface mounted solenoids with stud and prob control, under baseboard solenoids with DCC acessory decoders and currently use ground throws attached directly to the points for my 009 layout.
That's why I voted 'other', but my preference would be wire in tube with proper lever frames.
I've jst got a 'thing' about pulling levers to change points and/or signals.
____________________ Engineers just love to change things
I use 60+ Tortoise motors which are DCC-controlled using NCE Switch-8 accessory decoders. I changed over gradually from Peco solenoids, and purchased my first box of 6 just as Cobalts were announced. I didn't go down the Cobalt route because a) they were quite expensive then compared to Tortoises and b) could not be operated via DCC (and I needed that function as my layout uses RR&Co Traincontroller automation).
Very soon afterwards it became clear that these early Cobalts had some serious reliability problems, so I stuck with Tortoises. Never had a problem with any of them in the 8 years I've had them.
My 7mm turnouts are kit built and I thought long and hard about operating motors etc.
I wanted powerful slow action.
I wanted a history of reliability from other users.
I wanted them to be easily fitted and serviceable
I needed a very low profile point motor as my baseboards have a shallow profile (only 2and a half inches deep)
The only products that fitted these requirements were Lemaco and Fulgorex. Sadly no longer produced but often turn up on ebay usually new and unused.
Having read the previous posts, I ought to have voted "Other" because I use Tortoise, SEEP under-baseboard, servos and occasionally, surface mounted motors.
Most are DCC controlled although half a dozen are simple switch operated.
I voted Tortoise because I feel they're easier to fit than SEEPs and more robust. I do however, like the "thunk" when the SEEP switches - it does confirm the point has actually changed !!
As ever, there are downsides to everything - Tortoise need lots of depth below the boards therefore I won't be using them on my "top deck". My servos are (or rather, "will be") controlled via the Megapoints system which is quite expensive in itself, rather negating the advantage of the cheap servos. They are destined for use on my "top deck".
Of all the options, I think I'd go for the Tortoise although I've never used the Cobalt version ................
I slipped up and put finger, but actually my finger is very fast compared to all the others. In hindsight I SHOULD. Have put other, as I do have a megapoints system sitting comfortably in its box. . . Just waiting. . Yup one day maybe
I had quite a few Tortoise operating with no trouble when I decided to buy a 6 pack of Cobalt. They all gave trouble and I ended up ditching them and replacing with Tortoise. I will say that the Cobalts I bought were first generation and I think they've improved now, but I don't need any more motors so I'm all Tortoise now.
As a footnote: I've just remembered that a Tortoise motor stopped working. I read the label warning that taking it apart voided the warranty, so I emailed Circuitron and had a quick reply that I was OK to attempt a repair myself and if it didn't cure the fault, they'd replace it. When I took it apart I found that one of the tiny plastic welds that held one of the contacts on to the operating arm had let go. I used a tiny self tapper to fix it back on and it's still going strong.
I told Circuitron about this and the reply was that they'd had a batch of motors with some that had this problem and they had no problem replacing them if wanted. So I'm pleased with the motors and with the service given.
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