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John Dew
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This is very much in the planning stages but I have rescued an old Fleischmann Turntable from the shed set up I had in Granby II and I am thinking of installing it in the Storage Yards of Granby III

I am trying to get my head around the logic and feasibilty of setting it up

There is a wiring diagram in the TC help section and shortly I would appreciate some help in understanding the relays required to control direction of travel and polarity

But for now I would like some advice on hooking up IR Dots to my Lenz System.

I want the turntable to operate automatically and stop at a designated exit road......I understand exactly how to do that with RR&Co using TC switches and a flagman............but the flagman has to be triggered by something which tells it the bridge has arrived, or is about to arrive, at the exit  

The RR&co forum talks about Reeds and Magnets but I am not keen on that and wondered about IR dots so:

[1] Could I set up an IR Dot to track the arrival of the bridge (I realise that I would need an IRdot for each exit)....any ideas on how I coud do that physically?

[2] If so....this is probably a dumb question but how do I hook it up to my Lenz System.........can I feed it from the Power Bus and hook it up to one of the 8 contacts on an LB101 feedback controller......then it would have an address that TC would recognise just like any other contact indicator 

Kind Regards

Geoff R
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Hi John, LDT supply a contact sensor interface for s88 and for Lenz. I don't know the LB101, but if that can take a simple open collector input to ground, then that is the same.

The IRdots are fairly simple devices. The main output is an open collector transistor which closes to ground when something is detected by the IR pair. That should work as you suggest, provided that you can position the detection pair so that they only detect when the TT is in the correct position. Not sure at the moment how you would do that, as they would detect the TT well, unless you drilled holes in the well and poked the detectors through so that they normally had nothing above them, until the table deck turned over the top of them.

Sounds like an interesting project.

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I've got IRDOTs on my level crossing, John.  These ones rely on reflection from the bottom of the loco as the pair are set up between the rails.  I have found them to be unreliable, as one loco will set them off and another identical loco will not.  I've tried several kinds of reflective tape, paint and silverpaper under the locos; but they remain as perverse as ever.

I've got a Cornerstone indexed turntable, so I can see how they work.  Good luck with it.  The Cornerstone has only one detector.  It looks like a light sensitive LED, and the turntable calculates the stopping position from an initial self calibration procedure.  There is also a "dead" spot at right angles to the detector, where the rails on the bridge change polarity.  As it passes this spot, the sound and lights go off and on momentarily.

The decoders are set to resume the same commands in the event of a power stoppage, so that's not a problem.

The Cornerstone turntable is able to be operated by a decoder, although mine is still manual at this stage.  At the moment it's a very expensive (A$450.00), icon in a diorama around the roundhouse.  :lol:

I hope some of that helps.

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John Dew
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Thanks for getting back so soon Geoff........I am embarrassed to admit I dont know what a "simple open to ground collector" is:oops:

The LB 101 is described as a feedback controller and is normally used to collect the input from LR 101 occupancy detectors




Its the one labelled #3 72. The occupancy detectors (4x2) are on either side of it so there are 8 individual connections (ie contact indicators for blocks) at the top plus a common (green)......is that what you call "ground" ?............sorry to be so dumb

At the bottom it is powered separately from the point bus (orange and blue) and the only other connections are to the Lenz Xpressnet (Brown and Yellow) 

I am assumming that the IRdot has 4 connections.....2 for power (from the track or point bus) and two for feedback so I would connect to the green common and one of the available 8 individual connections and when the bridge is detected the circuit wold close  and this information would be fed back thru Xpressnet..........sorry to go on but I find it helps if I write the sequence down

I would prefer not to drill the TT Well......RR&Co has a command to stop at the next exit so I wondered if I could mount them vertically prior to each exit...........I will worry about disguising them later!


Last edited on Sat Feb 12th, 2011 08:24 pm by John Dew

John Dew
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MaxSouthOz wrote: I've got IRDOTs on my level crossing, John.  These ones rely on reflection from the bottom of the loco as the pair are set up between the rails.  I have found them to be unreliable, as one loco will set them off and another identical loco will not.  I've tried several kinds of reflective tape, paint and silverpaper under the locos; but they remain as perverse as ever.

I've got a Cornerstone indexed turntable, so I can see how they work.  Good luck with it.  The Cornerstone has only one detector.  It looks like a light sensitive LED, and the turntable calculates the stopping position from an initial self calibration procedure.  There is also a "dead" spot at right angles to the detector, where the rails on the bridge change polarity.  As it passes this spot, the sound and lights go off and on momentarily.

The decoders are set to resume the same commands in the event of a power stoppage, so that's not a problem.

Thanks Max. The Fleischmann isnt indexed which is why I need some form of detection.

Polarity change is a separate issue ........there is a wiring diagram that is supposed to deal with it but I am afraid I am a bit thick:roll: .......I will be asking about that shortly
The Cornerstone turntable is able to be operated by a decoder, although mine is still manual at this stage.  At the moment it's a very expensive (A$450.00), icon in a diorama around the roundhouse.  :lol:
So there is your next R&RCo project......dont wait for your box cars......get cracking!:mutley:mutley

 

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Fortunately it's on my main layout, which hasn't been infected with RR&Co, John.  :mutley

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Yet:pedal

Geoff R
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Hi John, been watching a film in the cinema!!

I have looked up the LR101 and I see that it requires a non-current carrying contact for its inputs. That is not what the open-collector (a transistor) provides, but for a couple of £ more, Heathcote sell an IRdot with a relay on board which will give you a simple switch contact which should be fine for the LR101.

I am not sure about mounting the detectors vertically above the turntable deck, though. They are quite sensitive. They will operate in a tunnel, however, provided that the roof is black so as not to reflect too much of the infrared. Might be best to get hold of one and experiment a bit. You can buy them with the detector on a flying lead instead of attached to the board, which might suit you best.

How do you control the TT currently? How do you get the tracks aligned?

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I used to have a Peco TT on the layout and I motorised it and started to work on indexing. I have dug out a couple of photos:-




I fitted a small bar magnet under each end of the deck as shown above.




Then I fixed a reed switch to the outside of the well. Only a crude set up, but it worked faultlessly. The beauty of it was that everything was hidden. The reed has a very narrow operating range, so it would be easy to set several up alongside each other for different exit roads. If you are going to add some intelligence within TC, then it perhaps does not matter how accurately you fix each reed as you could perhaps make "adjustments" within the TC setup?

Last edited on Sat Feb 12th, 2011 10:20 pm by Geoff R

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Thanks Geoff

I bought the TT secondhand about 15 years ago and used it briefly on Granby II (DC) .......when I dismantled that layout I kept the shed module intact in the hope of incorporating it into Granby III (circa 2013) but recently decided that wouldnt work so I have dismantled the module and rescued the TT and am now raring to go on another distraction:roll::roll:

The tracks automatically align .....its quite neat

Thank you for being being so patient with me on the wiring.......and I do appreciate you taking the time to post the photos

You now have me thinking that the reeds/magnets might be a better option......that is what Pete Turvill uses on the RR&Co Forum .............but I guess the reed is current carrying so I would still need to send the signal to the LB 101 through a relay?

I have only just discovered TT and RR&Co when I was started I used the "need to know" philosophy and skipped the entire section..............now I have read it and played a bit with the screen it looks very powerful.....lots of potential once I overcome the initial hurdles

Kind Regards

 

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Hi John and gang, i was going to a fit a Peco TT but unfortunately i only got as far building it and having no space to fit it yet.

I put the control problem to an electronics supplier we use at work, we had a discussion over it and came up with a plan.

The motor for the TT would be driven by a timer board he designed which would be fed from track AC via a loco decoder.
Detection was by a single magnetic reed switch at the mouth. My turntable was only for turning the locos so there was only one road in. As the timer board detected the alignment it basically cut the power to the motor to stop the bridge. After teen seconds the timer board reset ready for the next rotation. The speed of the bridge was controlled by the loco decoder (a cheapy Bachmann).

I was going to use TC to control and time the rotation of bridge and allow a couple of seconds over so.
Thats as far as i got never got it fitted.

Simples really.

Not too impressed with the strength of the PECO TT though was condsidering the new Heljan ready built and balanced.

Pete

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Hi Pete, well I did a very similar thing with my Peco. I had more than one road and used a 5v motor to drive the deck, but I stopped it in much the same way, using a function only decoder to set up a couple of relays that were used to start and stop the motor. Motor overrun was a problem, but so too was the lack of reliability of turning - table getting stuck, etc.

So a couple of years ago, I bought the Heljan. It is wonderful. I have designed the electronics to drive it from DCC, but not got around to building it, so I still push the button - but it is great to watch it turn and align.

John - if your table aligns automatically, what is the detection for? A reed switch will be fine as an input for the LR101, you wouldn't need any relays.

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Thanks Geoff i thought i was the only one that thought Peco was flimsy. Yes sticking was a problem i had as well.

Peco needs balancing and micro bearings fitting to be reliable for auto operation and that was something i would considered.

I think the Heljan is the way to go if i can find a place for it. The new DCC version seem s to get rave reviews.

Pete

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I'd like to know what they have done to make the Heljan DCC. Have they just changed the control box - which is what I have in mind replacing myself - or have they come up with something more sophisticated? The problem with just replacing the control box is that although you can command the table to turn to the next exit, you cannot easily tell it to go to a particular exit as there is a lack of information available in the control box.

The other big thing is the connections to the deck rails. The original just has copper circles under the deck which rub on wipers in the well. It works very well! and makes a solid connection except that there is a break to allow for reversing the rail polarities. That would not be necessary for DCC provided the track was driven from a reverser. I cannot see how to modify the original, because it really needs a copper circle for each rail rather than the two halves fitted.

If you see one, please take a look under the deck to see. If it is still a split ring, then sounds will stop during a full turn.

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Geoff have a gander at this might answer some of your questions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FznsQj7Z-JU

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Thanks for the link, Pete. It does look exactly the same, but the control box is radically different. From what is on it and seeing how it works I think the electronics under the deck must have been changed as well. For a start the deck on mine shuffles back into line after turning to overcome any hysterisis, but that one doesn't seem to need to from the video. Also the fact that you can alter the turning speed, suggests more complex interaction with the control circuitry. I guess everything is sent via a serial comms link to keep the number of contact rings beneath the deck to a minimum.

One of the comments added does say that the tracks still have a split ring feeding them, which is a shame, but I guess that would have required re-work to the mechanical side of things as well as the change to the control electronics. It has got me thinking again about converting mine.

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Glad I started this thread.....lots of interesting stuff

Geoff R wrote:
John - if your table aligns automatically, what is the detection for? A reed switch will be fine as an input for the LR101, you wouldn't need any relays.

I want to be able to tell it to stop at a specific exit (even though I am only planning 3). The plan is that a schedule involving exit 1 would turn on a TC switch. The reed will trigger a flagman so when flagman 1 is on if switch 1 is on it will stop

Thanks for the advice about reeds....thats great..... now I just have to sort out the operating wiring. TC suggest operating the fleischman thru two sequential outputs of a point decoder which fire a Double Pin latching relay to control direction of travel (and polarity?) and a second single pin relay to turn on and off the TT motor......I may need help with this:roll: I am going to try and work it out on my own first but I suspect you will be hearing from me

The Heljan looks very interesting and as I understand it has a DCC address for each desired exit so it should be very easy to operate with TC. Incidentally it is the same as Walthers Cornerstone except it has some sort of US structure at midships on the bridge..........they are quite expensive but there are some deals where they are a lot cheaper than the Heljan.....I have seen $200!!!   When I build the shed (2013) I will put one in as a second table

Kind Regards 

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John Dew wrote: Thanks for the advice about reeds....thats great..... now I just have to sort out the operating wiring. TC suggest operating the fleischman thru two sequential outputs of a point decoder which fire a Double Pin latching relay to control direction of travel (and polarity?) and a second single pin relay to turn on and off the TT motor......I may need help with this:roll: I am going to try and work it out on my own first but I suspect you will be hearing from me
I shall watch with interest. Just shout if/(when) you need help with the latching relay circuit.
The Heljan looks very interesting and as I understand it has a DCC address for each desired exit so it should be very easy to operate with TC. Incidentally it is the same as Walthers Cornerstone except it has some sort of US structure at midships on the bridge..........they are quite expensive but there are some deals where they are a lot cheaper than the Heljan.....I have seen $200!!!   When I build the shed (2013) I will put one in as a second table

I think the Heljan may be exactly the same as the Walthers because the "sort of US structure" came with mine as an optional add on part - it is still in the box!! The new one is on sale in the UK for £200 !!!!!

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Last edited on Mon Feb 14th, 2011 07:18 pm by Geoff R

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I spent the morning working on this with mixed results

The turntable has two sets of wiring as does the switch which powers the motor and controls the direction of travel

The turntable  has 2 wires  which supply power to the track on the bridge......for now we can ignore this ......it works and I know how to switch polarity

The second Turntable set.... 3 wires.....Red, Yellow and Grey is connected to the Red, Yellow and Grey wires attached to the switch.

Connect the remaining two wires on the switch to the DCC power bus..................turn the switch clockwise......and the turntable moves clockwise....release and it stops. Anyiclockwise it moves anticlockwise

I want to discard the switch and turn the Table automatically by using a relay as per this diagram printed in RR&Co Help: Fleischmann Turntable




  Its not a super clear shot but the idea is to use a double pin latch relay to control the direction of travel and a second single pin relay to turn the motor on  and off 

I have got the relays to work after a fashion......ie output from a point decoder will switch polarity however I cannot get the motor to work:twisted:   I assumed I just needed to find some combination of the three wires (the switch is a sealed unit) and from the wiring diagram I yellow and grey looked the best bet, to comnnect to the power bus..............but no luck

With the switch connected it works........if I eliminate the switch and try and to power up the motor directly (no relays) using red, yellow and grey in combination with the power bus......nothing

Very frustrating.......amateur that I am, it should be simple..........is there some sort of electronc gizmo in the switch that I am missing?

Any help, suggestions, work arounds much appreciated

 

 

 

 

 

 

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John,

The diagram shows a DC supply, and NOT the DCC bus!!!! This suggests that the switch includes a rectifier to change the incoming alternating waveform from the DCC bus to DC.

If the diagram is correct, then if you connect the red wire directly to the positive of a DC supply - I presume 12v will be fine - and then connect the yellow to the negative of that DC supply, the motor may turn in one direction. If it does not, then also connect the grey wire to the yellow wire. If the motor does run without the grey connected, then it should stop when you connect it to the yellow.

I say that, because I cannot tell from the diagram whether connecting the grey to the yellow starts the motor, or stops it.

To get it to turn in the other direction, swap the red and yellow wires at the DC supply, and then do the same as before with the grey wire - still connecting/disconnecting with the yellow.

What I interpret from the diagram is that a DC supply is being fed to the motor through the Red and Yellow wires, and then the connecting/disconnecting of the grey wire to the yellow is starting or stopping the motor - this may be some form of internal contact arrangement for the motor, or it may be that the motor does NOT have a permanent magnet like you are used to in your locos, but instead, requires a permanent DC voltage (from red and yellow) for its field coil, and then has its armature switched in and out by the grey wire connecting to the yellow.

If this works off a DC supply, then we can consider what you need to make it work off the DCC power bus.



Last edited on Thu Feb 17th, 2011 10:59 am by Geoff R

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Thanks Geoff

That makes perfect sense.....why didnt I think of that.:brickwall. I have to go out for most of the day but will try it as soon as I get back

DCC will not be a problem. If the table turns it will be told to do so by input from the DCC bus into the LS150 which will fire the relay

I have some mechanical (?) relays which are 4 pin so I can feed the DC power for the motor into two and the DCC for the bridge track into the other two.........if I need to (with another relay for the yellow grey as shown) 

The table is going at the end of the fiddleyard there and are only two movements..........Locos enter from the arrival road the TT turns clockwise thru 165o and they exit via the departure road..............the TT either clockwise 15o or anticlockwise 165o to index the arrival road ready for the next loco...................if I use the latter solution ......the Great Way Round:lol:  I can match the bridge track polarity switching with the motor switching

However I am wondering if I need to power the bridge track at all other than by contact with the entry and exit track

Will get back to you later.......many thanks for your help

Kind Regards 

John Dew
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It works:Happy:Happy:Happy

I squeezed in time before my meetings and quickly wired it to a 12v DC Transformer..........Grey and Yellow start the motor.....remove the Grey and the motor stops

I just have to play with switching the polarity of the input to change the direction of turn..........wire up the relays.....hook up the LS150 and get it going in RR&Co where hopefully I will be on safer ground!

Because of the way I plan to operate I dont think I will need the reeds after all....time will tell

Once again many thanks Geoff............I know......elementary my dear Watson:oops::oops:

Incidentally thank you for that wiring diagram for a 3 way that you posted on another thread.....that will shortly save me a load of fret

Kind Regards

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Glad it works, John. Sometimes it helps to be further away from the problem to be able to see a solution.

Pleased to be of help.

As for powering the tracks on the table, I would be trying to have them fully powered while it is turning if you can. That way any sound equipped loco will keep its sound going while the table is turning. If you want to use a relay to change the polarities rather than an automatic reverser module, then I guess that you would just do so at the end of a the 165deg turn. (Hopefully the relays will move over quick enough not to worry any sound chips - Max may know more about what is possible?)

 

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I've got a Cornerstone 130 foot with all of the bells and whistles and even it pauses the sound as it passes the changeover place.  I've set up my Loksound decoders to resume what they were doing after a power interruption.  The sound goes off momentarily and comes back on again.  QSI and Tsunamis have it built in, so it shouldn't be a problem.

I understand that the Zimo decoders have dealt with this issue by using a capacitor, but I'm not up to that bit in the book.  :oops:

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MaxSouthOz wrote: I've got a Cornerstone 130 foot with all of the bells and whistles and even it pauses the sound as it passes the changeover place.  I've set up my Loksound decoders to resume what they were doing after a power interruption.  The sound goes off momentarily and comes back on again.  QSI and Tsunamis have it built in, so it shouldn't be a problem.

I understand that the Zimo decoders have dealt with this issue by using a capacitor, but I'm not up to that bit in the book.  :oops:

I shouldn't be hijacking John's thread, but how do you do that with the Loksound, Max. All the Bachmann and Hornby sound locos I have are using Loksound 3.5s so I would like to do the same thing if I can. By the way, Lenz also use a capacitor as an add on attached to special pads on their Gold decoder.

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That's right, Geoff.  The Gold is a non-sound decoder, so it doesn't apply here.  A couple of the other better brands have followed suit as I understand it.

The second last pane on the Lokprogrammer does it.




Check the top four.

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Thanks for the input Guys

Sadly I dont have to worry about sound.......I am far too deaf....too much competitive shooting in my youth......so sound is like working semaphores.......not an option on Granby III

The plan is to have a RR& Co schedule:  Block Arrival via Block TT to Block Departure

A schedule specific operation will invoke the Turntable Command "move clockwise to next stop" when the loco stops in Block TT and then at the finish of the schedule a second TT command will " move anti clockwise to next stop"

I believe these commands will be the same as pre setting a point......ie the LS 150 will send a burst to throw the relay.......although thinking about it if I power the bridge I may have to build in a delay and that would mean a third relay?

One step at a time......tomorrow I will wire it up properly and report back

Cheers

 

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Geoff R wrote: I shouldn't be hijacking John's thread, but how do you do that with the Loksound, Max. All the Bachmann and Hornby sound locos I have are using Loksound 3.5s so I would like to do the same thing if I can. By the way, Lenz also use a capacitor as an add on attached to special pads on their Gold decoder.
Further to the hijack.  If you don't have the LokProgrammer you can set a LokSound chip to ignore (some) interruption by setting CV 124 to a value of 6.  This sets two bits in the CV to tell it to maintain its state and also continue at last set speed.  This helps a lot with power interruptions resetting the sound state.

Cheers
Dave

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Hi John, saw your frustrated note on Pete's "switchbored :lol:" thread. When I am in similar situations with relays or other electronics that is not doing what I want it to do, I usually work with two or three crocodile leads. (wires with clips on each end if the term does not translate). I would try disconnecting one or two leads at a time, and "hard" wiring to check things out.

For example:- hard wiring the red and yellow as a pair to the DC supply and then just using the relay on the grey to start and stop the table will give a degree of info about correct working. Swapping the supply around to the red and yellow (ensuring that the yellow always also goes to the "grey" relay, should give you direction of turn change.

When that is sorted, I think I would forget about the grey relay and hard wire the grey to the yellow - which should make the table turn continuously - and then try to operate the latching relay from TC (or even from the Lenz) to make the direction change. There should not be any problem doing that whilst it is rotating as it is an electrical change, not a mechanical one.

Happy to discuss further if you wish.

 

John Dew
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Thanks Geoff

I was going to email you but then decided that I was using antiquated relays.......I have to leave right now but will post a photo and chapter and verse when I get back in about an hour

Kind Regards

 

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Ok I am back

I am attempting to use 2  relays that I bought many years ago for an abortive train detection system. I think they are 4 pole but I am attempting to use them as double pole and single pole.......which may be the problem







They are single coil




As you can just see the pins are numbered.......from the top

                                 16                             9                      10

                                  14                            15                       8

                                 13                               6                        7

                                 11                             12                        5   

                                                                                               *     5  pin has a mark under it??                                                                                                                           

                     4                     3                            2                     1

To a bumbling amateur like me it looks like an advanced form of Sudoko.

Anyway this is what I have worked out 

 Contacts 1 - 4  are like the contacts on a point motor.........4 and 2 are common and 1 and 3 are connected to the + and - outputs on Point "A" of  the LS 150 Point Decoder. 

By trial and error I have deduced that 5, 6 and 7 are a set.....similarly 11, 12 and 13

                       13      DC +            6  Red            7      DC  -         

                        11     DC -             12  Yellow             5     DC + 

When I tested this seemed to work in that when I threw the notional point A with the Lenz controller the polarity of red and yellow changed......................there is no current on any of the 6 unconnected contacts

On the second relay I connected the Yellow to 6 and the Grey to 7 and again this seemed to work in that I could turn the TT on and off from the Lenz Controller..............incidentally I have checked connecting the grey directly to the yellow and that does start the TT

I understand the logic of the Fleischman switch as:

    Turn it to the left and polarity for Red and Yellow is set for CW rotation and Grey is connected to Yellow and TT turns CW

    Turn it back to Centre and the G Y Connection is broken and the TT stops 

    Turn it to the right and polarity for R and Y is set for ACW rotation and GY are connected

RR&Co attempts to emulate this so that when you click the CW button in the TT Window Point A is thrown setting the polarity and then Point B is thrown starting the TT

Press the stop button and only Point B is thrown breaking the GY connection

Separately using the Lenz Controller the relays seemed to do what they should but once I started using them through RR&Co I started getting "unexpected" results.....ie pressing the stop button would not stop the TT..... I had to press the start button and so on

When I went back to testing I found that throwing Point B would not always start the TT and the polarity of Grey would remain unchanged.......similarly with Point A......one could throw the point a couple of times and the polarity of Red and Yellow would remain unchanged

I do wonder if my yellow connection is correct.....you can see it on the photo; I run it from both relays join it together then send a single yellow to the TT......could this be the issue?

Failing that........I have wired the relays incorrectly

                          The relays arent working

                           They are the wrong relays

Hence my decision to take a break and buy two new solid state relays as specified by RR&Co .....they are only a few bucks and although retired I still put a notional value on my time

Having said that I see I have just written an essay:roll:

Any help or suggestions appreciated:oops::oops::oops::oops: 

PS The soldering isnt great but I am satisfied nothing is touching

   

 

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last edited on Sat Feb 26th, 2011 06:10 pm by

Geoff R
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John, I think your yellow connection is correct, and, indeed, I think that all of your contact connections are correct. I suspect the problem is in the way that the relay is being driven.

As latching relays, they will need only a pulse on each coil to turn on or off. When you tried it from the Lenz, were you just pulsing the decoder?

If you disconnect from the decoder, can you make the relays work by momentarily connecting 12v across first one coil and then the other?

Last edited on Sat Feb 26th, 2011 07:26 pm by Geoff R

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If you disconnect from the decoder, can you make the relays work by momentarily connecting 12v across first one coil and then the other?

When I first started trying to work it out I hooked up 2 and 4 to the common of my point bus then I just momentarilly touched either 1 or 3 with the positive wire from the point bus. I could hear the relay buzz and could measure changes in polarity.....but I probably didnt do it systematically enough

Then I hooked it up the decoder and activated it with the Lenz controller just like any other point.....I get a buzz every time but not always a  polarity change.......does that mean it isnt latching?

As latching relays, they will need only a pulse on each coil to turn on or off. When you tried it from the Lenz, were you just pulsing the decoder?


There is only one coil per relay.....is that the problem?

 It has to work like a twin solenoid point motor...qiuck burst one way and the polarity changes I assumed with 6 contacts that would work even though there is only one coil 

Thank you for your patience on this Geoff :cheers

 

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John Dew wrote: When I first started trying to work it out I hooked up 2 and 4 to the common of my point bus then I just momentarilly touched either 1 or 3 with the positive wire from the point bus. I could hear the relay buzz and could measure changes in polarity.....but I probably didnt do it systematically enough

I would start with trying this again, John, but with the contacts connected to the TT and the 12v DC supply as you already have them. Just unplug or disconnect each relay from the decoder outputs. Connect the grey and yellow together to get the TT moving without having to worry about that relay, and then do the momentary touching on the other relay to see if the TT changes direction. If it does, then the relay is working fine. If it does not then the relay may be a problem.

There is only one coil per relay.....is that the problem? 

I don't think so, because there are 4 contacts. I suspect that one coil is wound inside the other in the opposite direction, so to the eye you only see a single coil. Because one is wound the opposite to the other, it will energise the armature in the opposite direction. I presume there is a simple mechanical latch which the energy in the coils overcomes when they are powered.

 It has to work like a twin solenoid point motor...qiuck burst one way and the polarity changes I assumed with 6 contacts that would work even though there is only one coil  

Your assumption is correct. The number of contacts does not matter at all. I remember "playing" with early telephone exchange equipment where there were a dozen or more contacts on a single relay.

Thank you for your patience on this Geoff :cheers

Only to happy to try to help. I find it quite fascinating trying to work out a solution to a problem someone has more or less the other side of the planet, and who I have never met, but with whom I share a similar passion. In this case trying to control a model railway with a few electronic components and a computer program.

John Dew
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You have probably gone to Bed by now.....its only 5.30pm here

I think we have narrowed the problem down to the on off relay

Touching the yellow with grey (hard wiring) causes the TT to always start in the required direction:thumbs

Touching the contacts on the first (polarity change) relay cause the TT to consistently change direction as anticipated :thumbs

Touching the contacts on the second (on/off or Yellow Grey) relay causes inconsistent results (an understatement:roll:)

Sometimes the designated start wire will start and the designated stop will stop.......other times two applications of the stop wire are required (even though the relay is activated twice) other times the start wire will cause the TT to change direction ie the Red and Yellow Polarity are changed even though Red is not associated with this relay:roll:

So that would tend to suggest the relay doesnt like operating in single pole mode..............I find it hard to believe that the TT cannot cope with the input from 2 relays after all I am just carrying out the set up printed in RR&Co albeit with Heath Robinson relays

I may try another relay tomorrow (I have a few) but I am inclined to think I should just get the right equipment.

As we used to say in the 8th of Foot ......Nec Aspera Terrent...........

 

 

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John Dew wrote: You have probably gone to Bed by now.....its only 5.30pm here

Indeed, I had. 8hrs ahead made that 1:30am for me - well in the land of nod!
I think we have narrowed the problem down to the on off relay

Touching the yellow with grey (hard wiring) causes the TT to always start in the required direction:thumbs

Touching the contacts on the first (polarity change) relay cause the TT to consistently change direction as anticipated :thumbs

Touching the contacts on the second (on/off or Yellow Grey) relay causes inconsistent results (an understatement:roll:)

Sometimes the designated start wire will start and the designated stop will stop.......other times two applications of the stop wire are required (even though the relay is activated twice) other times the start wire will cause the TT to change direction ie the Red and Yellow Polarity are changed even though Red is not associated with this relay:roll:

So that would tend to suggest the relay doesnt like operating in single pole mode..............I find it hard to believe that the TT cannot cope with the input from 2 relays after all I am just carrying out the set up printed in RR&Co albeit with Heath Robinson relays

I may try another relay tomorrow (I have a few) but I am inclined to think I should just get the right equipment.

Good bit of fault finding. It does seem like the on/off relay is faulty - maybe sticking.

The changing of the other relay sometimes while operating the on/off relay could be due to electrical noise - commonly called spikes - which will occur as the power is removed from the relay coil. A voltage spike equal to the voltage applied to the coil occurs, but in reverse so it appears on top of the 12v rail - making a 24v spike. It won't last long, but it could easily be enough to fire the adjacent polarity changing relay. This is a physical property of a coil, so it is nothing to do with the relay being faulty. You can stop it happening by connecting a diode (like a 1N4000 series) across the coil opposite to the normal flow - i.e. cathode connected to the plus 12v connection and anode to the 0v connection. I am not sure which connection you have permanent and which is switched?

There is nothing wrong at all with only using a single pole - the contacts are controlled by the relay armature but their use does not affect its operation. I suspect that the latching mechanism may have got "sticky" over the years and that is causing the irregular performance. Another may be fine - as proved by the polarity changing one.

As we used to say in the 8th of Foot ......Nec Aspera Terrent...........


It wouldn't be half as much fun if it was easy.

John Dew
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Geoff R wrote:
The changing of the other relay sometimes while operating the on/off relay could be due to electrical noise - commonly called spikes - which will occur as the power is removed from the relay coil. A voltage spike equal to the voltage applied to the coil occurs, but in reverse so it appears on top of the 12v rail - making a 24v spike. It won't last long, but it could easily be enough to fire the adjacent polarity changing relay. This is a physical property of a coil, so it is nothing to do with the relay being faulty. You can stop it happening by connecting a diode (like a 1N4000 series) across the coil opposite to the normal flow - i.e. cathode connected to the plus 12v connection and anode to the 0v connection. I am not sure which connection you have permanent and which is switched?


 

Thank you for such a clear explanation Geoff you do make it possible for me to grasp some of the logic of all this. The spike makes a lot of sense because it would account for the TT starting occasionally when I change polarity. The sticking would account for the random affect

Would it help if I separated them and set them further apart.....say 3'?

If not I am afraid I will need some help with the diode .....

[1] Could you amplify on the 1N4000 desription. I believe I have a variety of Diodes acquired over the years but I dont know which is which other than by colur and stripes:oops::oops:. I use them in the LS150 for the output to the Tortoi......would they do?

[2] Which end is the cathode?:oops::oops::oops:

[3] I would need to put 2 diodes on both relays ie 4 diodes in total ?

There is nothing wrong at all with only using a single pole - the contacts are controlled by the relay armature but their use does not affect its operation. I suspect that the latching mechanism may have got "sticky" over the years and that is causing the irregular performance. Another may be fine - as proved by the polarity changing one.


I will try another relay later today

It wouldn't be half as much fun if it was easy.

True but the ratio could be corrected right now:lol:

Once again many thanks

Kind Regards from a very snowy Vancouver

Geoff R
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Hi John, take a look at this:-




The diode you need is like the one on the right, not the one on the left as that type is not powerful enough to discharge the spike. It is a bit like a capacitor discharging, but in this case it is an inductance - the coil. The Cathode should be indicated by a band on the body like the one in my picture. This is the end that needs to go to the positive end of the coil. In my little circuit diagram, when the switch is opened, if there were no diode, that end of the coil would go up to 24v, but with the diode, it is limited to about 12.7v with the diode taking current to disperse the "energy" that would have been in the spike.

Yes you will need to do this across each of the two coils on each of the two relays - 4 diodes altogether. Be careful to get them the right way round. If you get them reversed, they will simply conduct and act as a short circuit across the coil. I suggest that you check the relays work after fitting just one diode at a time, and do it by touching a wire to the open end of the coil like you have been doing to test things, and NOT with the decoder attached. Then, if you do get a diode the wrong way round, you will just short out the power supply and not damage a decoder output - hopefully you are using a supply with some output protection??

By the way, separating the relays might help a little, but a lot of energy is released when the switch opens, so the generated spike can cause interference for quite a distance. I fit supression diodes to all of my relay circuits. If any logic chips are nearby or running of the same supply they are essential.

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Thanks Geoff

That was quick..........I have just checked and the diodes I use on the LS150 are 1N4001 so they will work

Your comment about circuit protection was very timely. My main power bus is well protected as I all too frequently notice! However I have a separate power bus for points and that is unprotected........so I should address that ASAP........I dont think I need anything as sophisticated as the DCC Supplies Breakers that I use but some form of re settable breaker immediately downstream of the transformer........have you any suggestions.

Something bizarre happened last night with the TT which I forgot to tell you about. In the railway room all the power transformers are on a powerbar so at the end of a session I have this routine where I turn the power off from RR&Co, save and close RR&Co and finally turn the Power Bar off.

 I Did all this about 5.30 last night after my abortive testing and went upstairs to email you........about 7pm when we were having dinner my wife said there is a funny noise downstairs and it isnt the washing machine..........downstairs I go......and the TT is merrily turning round and I suspect it had done so since 5.30!. It is at the other end of the room by the door and has an independent 12v DC supply (once finalised I was going to fit a switch and light as a reminder) Either it physically stuck and became unstuck or this is further confirmation of the sticking relay!

I will try and report back before your bed time! 

 

 

 

  

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John Dew wrote: Your comment about circuit protection was very timely. My main power bus is well protected as I all too frequently notice! However I have a separate power bus for points and that is unprotected........so I should address that ASAP........I dont think I need anything as sophisticated as the DCC Supplies Breakers that I use but some form of re settable breaker immediately downstream of the transformer........have you any suggestions.




Have you looked at this one:-

https://clarahost.clara.net/www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/pd1213346381.htm?defaultVariants={EOL}&categoryId=110

It is not expensive and has a variable trip setting allowing you to set it low if it is just in the bus to the points. Do you use this to power the points, or just to provide a DCC signal to the decoders? Set it to the minimum current trip for the latter, and to a suitable value depending on how many motors you have runnning at once if the former.



 I Did all this about 5.30 last night after my abortive testing and went upstairs to email you........about 7pm when we were having dinner my wife said there is a funny noise downstairs and it isnt the washing machine..........downstairs I go......and the TT is merrily turning round and I suspect it had done so since 5.30!. It is at the other end of the room by the door and has an independent 12v DC supply (once finalised I was going to fit a switch and light as a reminder) Either it physically stuck and became unstuck or this is further confirmation of the sticking relay!
I reckon that is almost certainly a sympton of a stuck latch coming off when all was quiet. Either that or there is someone or thing else in the basement that wants to play trains :lol:

Last edited on Sun Feb 27th, 2011 05:19 pm by Geoff R

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:brickwall:brickwall:brickwall

Cracked it!!!!!!! ........well the first part.

Tried another of my antique mechanical relays and had similar problems. Said "Oh dear"  or similar and drove 5 miles to the electronic store.....Lots of DPDT relays....... but latching:........"no demand"......"can order one in $80 (50 UK Pounds:twisted:) ...... "better to design and make your own electronic flip flop switch " (I thought flip flops were footwear :roll:)

Not good. Drove home fuming.......while driving and fuming I decided, when I got home, to do work in another area where I am laying a load of points.......made mental note to be sure I checked polarity was ok on Point#45......................about $100 in pennies dropped from a great height (probably heaven).

    Firstly :Switching Polarity is not rocket science and does not require fancy relays......I do it every time I lay a point.

    Secondly RR&Co actually telling me to set up two dummy point addresses was a pretty big clue that I had managed to ignore:oops::oops:

I now  have two Peco point motors wired up side by side.....one has a DPDT switch mounted to change polarity and the other a SPDT switch with only one connection as an on off switch (I know I whine a lot about the latter but it is in a very accessible position) 

Enter Point #88  in the Lenz Controller click + and the TT starts  ............click - and it stops

Enter Point #87 click + and when I click  #88 it starts Clockwise......click - on  #87 and it will start anti clockwise

Go to the Computor and Murphys Law kicks in big time........ click on start Clockwise .....NOTHING.....

Click stop and it starts......swap # 88 point wires in decoder.......click start Clockwise and it starts.....great...... but anti clockwise........

Swap #87 point wires and all is sweetness and light......:thumbs   Make mental note not to back any horses in the near future

Dog and SWMBO are thrilled......I am quite pleased

Next challenge is to get it to stop at the designated track :roll::roll::roll:

To be continued.......but I have checked that a reed and magnet will fire a contact indicator


Have you looked at this one:-

[url=https://clarahost.clara.net/www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/pd1213346381.htm?defaultVariants={EOL}&categoryId=110]https://clarahost.clara.net/www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/pd1213346381.htm?defaultVariants={EOL}&categoryId=110[/url]

It is not expensive and has a variable trip setting allowing you to set it low if it is just in the bus to the points. Do you use this to power the points, or just to provide a DCC signal to the decoders? Set it to the minimum current trip for the latter, and to a suitable value depending on how many motors you have runnning at once if the former.


Thats about the same price as the ones from Tonys Trains that I use on the Power Bus.......so I will get another next time I put an order in

The DCC signal comes from the Power Bus but the power to throw the points comes from a separate 16v AC power bus and I use this to power other ancillary functions LB 101

 Either that or there is someone or thing else in the basement that wants to play trains :lol:
:mutley:mutley:mutley

Kind Regards from Vancouver where a huge storm is imminent

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Well done John :doublethumb

I always think you learn less if it works first time

Chris

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Glad to read that you have got things working, John. After all, a Peco point motor is just a two coil latching mechanism itself. I have actually used a couple in the past out of their normal environment. It was one of the earlier incarnations of my grandson's layout when I wanted to replicate in a simple control box the position of a thrown point, and the simplest seemed to be just to use a second point motor and switch. They can be quite useful devices, and are generally much cheaper than $80 a time!!!

I will now be very interested to see how you get on with indexing.


                 

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