Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to operate all my points by cable rather than solenoids, the idea is to rig up a system from scratch using bowden cables or similar. I have found a supplier of ready made components, GEM can supply all the mechanical items required to achieve my aims. Has anyone tried their system or had any experience in this field?

By the way, happy new year everyone


Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
I have recently done the same thing, i have always used solenoids for point movements, but decided to to use mechanical points on my new layout, barring a few installation problems i had, i have found them to be very realistic, and more enjoyable to use, i have also used the Gem system with copper tubbing and steel inner wires, the biggest problem i had was when it came to ballasting, when applying the diluted pva glue to the ballasting, good old capillary action pulled the glue into the copper tubbing and jammed the movement of the cable through the tube, so apply a small amount of grease to the area where the steel cable comes out of the copper tube to stop this happening, i also found the the levers are a little on the soft side, they can be bent very easily, if i can be of more help on this please let me know
Regards John.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the feedback John. I was wondering if the copper conduit and cable could be replaced by bowden cable assuming I can find a supplier. I did see somewhere a site that quoted various cable sizes for modellers.

The Gem system theoretically works out cheaper than point motors, housings and levers assuming recommended Hornby prices.

Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Brian,

I experimented with mechanical point control on a previous small layout and found that it worked well over short distances. I used fine piano wire and copper tube, but I would try Bowden cable the next time.

Because I make my own track using Copperclad sleepers and soldered construction and I prefer not to use "dead frogs" or wire contacts at the tie bar, because they are unreliable, I was using slide switches to move the wires, instead of point levers. These were arranged in a bank, side by side, and a degree of interlocking with signals, which were also operated in the same way, was possible. The interlocking was achieved through brass bars bolted to the knobs of the slide switches.

I also had a Gem lever frame for operating signals through similar tube and wire.

An important consideration is the elimination of lost movement through oversize holes. If you have any angle cranks make sure that the holes are only just over-size for the wire and the pivot or you will lose motion at the point or signal.

Nowadays, I use Fulgurex point motors, because of the distances involved from the control panel.

Colombo
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top