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Temporary loss of power - Peco point and Seep motor. - Electrics - DC - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Tue Jun 15th, 2021 08:09 am
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col.stephens
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Here is a problem to get you scratching your head. I am using DC and am using Peco points and Seep PM1 motors (the ones with the built-in polarity switch).  The wiring is connected via choc-block connectors.  On one of the points the loco travels through with no problem, and this may happen two or three times.  However, without warning the loco stops dead on the crossing vee (or frog) section of the point. If I remove the loco and apply a track tester, the frog is dead but there is power to the track either side. When the loco stalls, if I throw the point and throw it back again the loco moves off again.  I have checked all soldered joints to the point motor and that the wires are firmly connected to the choc-block connectors.  All wiring is in accordance with the Seep instructions as far as I am aware.  I am not relying on fishplates, dropper wires connect every piece of track to its neighbour.  A second point occasionally exhibits the same problem.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


With thanks.


Terry

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 Posted: Tue Jun 15th, 2021 09:04 am
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Sol
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I have read that the in-built switch on Seep units is temperamental.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 15th, 2021 11:19 am
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col.stephens
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That's interesting Sol.  I might have to consider replacing the point motor to see if there is any improvement.  Fortunately I have a spare.  Many thanks.
Terry

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 Posted: Tue Jun 15th, 2021 11:34 am
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Barry Miltenburg
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Hi Terry

Sol is right in saying that SEEPs can be inconsistent.  The operating arm of the motor must be dead straight or the switch does not properly engage and the frog polarity if not changed - the switch ends up in a dead spot between contacts.  It seems to happen if the operating arm is allowed to revolve and seems to be worse for older, second-hand units.  New ones I have are fine but I have had to discard a few bought cheaply in a used condition.  I wonder if the arms work loose with time???

You could try rotating the arm of the dodgy switch you have first or, when it is removed, try rotating the arm until you get good contacts than add a drop of cyno to hold it in position.

Barry



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 Posted: Tue Jun 15th, 2021 12:07 pm
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col.stephens
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Thanks Barry.  The point motors were all bought new.  This particular one is the most problematic.
Terry

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 Posted: Fri Jun 18th, 2021 12:14 pm
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fourtytwo
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This problem is quite common in N gauge due to the limited stroke but your OO I think, looking at your layout thread I wonder if it's to do with the extra long operating wire going through the wooden mounting blocks causing a bit of spring back at the end of the stroke.



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 Posted: Sun Jun 20th, 2021 04:32 am
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col.stephens
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Thanks for your reply Roger.  The operating rod has not been extended in any way so one would expect the motor to work correctly. I also sought advice on another forum and the opinion there was that this is a common problem with Seep point motors. It was recommended to 'fettle' the contacts.  Strictly speaking 'fettle' is not the right word in this context as it means to clean up rough castings, but I understood what they meant.  I ran a flat swiss file a few times over the contacts followed by a clean with a glass fibre pen. There was an immediate improvement in performance although the main offender has failed a couple of times since.  Replacement with an alternative make of point motor was advised and will be acted upon in due course.
Terry

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 Posted: Sun Jun 20th, 2021 05:24 am
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fourtytwo
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Hi Terry, the other alternative is to avoid point motor switches altogether by using an extra pole on the front panel switch though this does involve more wires to & fro between the panel & layout, also depends on being able to use simple toggle switches to operate the motors.
Roger



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 Posted: Sun Jun 20th, 2021 01:05 pm
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This seems counterintuitive, but do not screw the motor rigidly to the underside of the baseboard. The overlap for the contact wipers is negligible, any microscopic misalignment results in an open circuit. Use 2mm screws in the 3mm motor holes and DO NOT TIGHTEN COMPLETELY. (Excuse shouting) The armature will be able to make a full travel, the wipers will make best contact and Robert will be your sisters brother.

Doug



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 Posted: Thu Jun 24th, 2021 08:28 am
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col.stephens
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Thanks both.  I might try Doug's method and loosen all of the screws slightly.
Terry

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 Posted: Thu Jun 24th, 2021 10:04 am
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Barry Miltenburg
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Terry - just a thought

SEEP recommend that their point motors are used with a capacitor discharge unit to ensure a complete throw of the solenoid - do you use one?

If so, forgive me

Barry



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 Posted: Thu Jun 24th, 2021 04:17 pm
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col.stephens
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Hello Barry. That's interesting.  I don't use one but thanks for that. I may have to investigate this course of action.

I am currently using a Gaugemaster 100M controller but do have a Morley controller standing idle.  Morley controllers come with a built-in CDU, so I may swop them over and see what happens.

Terry

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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2021 12:49 am
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Colin W
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If planning to change, then the advice I've received from "those in the know" is that you need look no further than a PECO PL10 (or PL10E) combined with the PL 13 polarity switch - with a long record of reliable working.

I believe the PL 15 offers a double switched option (polarity and indicator lamp)

I've now had 6 years of trouble free use from my various PL 10s and old hands report 30+ yrs use on big layouts doing the UK show circuit.

Adding a CDU made a big difference for me, especially when I switched to an AC input supply with it's higher peak voltage (reasons understood by those above my pay grade)



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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2021 10:00 am
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col.stephens
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Thank you Colin.  The trouble with the Peco PL10 is that it is made to clip onto those totally unrealistic wide sleepers with slots therein on Peco points.  I actually reduce the width and length of those sleepers to get rid of the slots to make the point look a bit more realistic.  With those big 'spikes' on the PL10 I can't see how it could be attached to the underside of a baseboard if the intention was to not attach it via the slots in the sleepers.

Terry



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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2021 12:39 pm
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Sol
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Terry. Peco PL10 can be attached to the underneath of baseboards by using PL-9 mounting plate




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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2021 03:42 pm
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col.stephens
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Ah, that's very interesting Sol.  Thanks for that. Is the operating rod that goes to the tie bar long enough to pass through the baseboard, or is an extension piece required?

Terry

Edit - I see that the baseboard is shown as five-eighths of an inch thick.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2021 10:49 pm
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Sol
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Terry Pl-10E is available and one can extend the standard pin on PL-10 using these
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/PECO-KIT-2-Extension-Pin-Kit-for-PL-10-Standard-Point-Motor-x-6-Sets-1st-Post-/360686176038



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 Posted: Fri Jun 25th, 2021 11:26 pm
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Colin W
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Talking to SRMan the other day he told me he has yet another way of underside mounting which avoids the use of the mounting plate. I'm keen to get a photo next time I visit him so I can do likewise on my new layout when it gets going.

Colin



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 Posted: Sat Jun 26th, 2021 03:04 pm
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col.stephens
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Sounds interesting Colin.  Thanks for your earlier recommendation re Peco point motors. This looks like the way to go.


Sol - thanks for the link, although a bit on the expensive side.  It must be possible to source the required small pieces of rod and tube far cheaper than the example shown.


Terry

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 Posted: Sun Jun 27th, 2021 12:51 pm
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Abandon the a.c. output of the various controllers and get some more volts in there. I have habitually used an ex printer power supply, regulated at 18 volts, so however many point motors you are firing at once the unit steps up to the mark. They must stop be available somewhere, as must other regulated P.U s.



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