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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've been replacing my old turnouts and respective motors with peco code 80 stuff. I bought PL-10W motors and my local expert convinced me to power the frog through a PL-13 switch.

So, I attached the motor to the turnout and made some tests. Everything was ok.

Then I added the PL-13 beneath the motor and now it only switches to one side. The other direction is stuck and the motor struggles to change the point.

What am I doing wrong here? I'm powering the motor with a 16V AC power supply that can put out at least 0,6 amps. Without the PL-13 the turnout works fine.

Should I lubricate the PL-13 ? Is this whole thing (PL10 & PL13) a fraud?


Thanks for the help!
 

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While you were extremely lucky to get the point motor to work on 0.6Amps without the additional switch load, normally a power supply needs to be around 2-3 amps as the motors can take upto 4 amps for a short period of time. If you connected that AC supply to a CDU, then you will no doubt find, that then the motor, even two of them in parallel, will work.
 

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AS already recommended you certainly need a CDU to add extra umph for operating solenoid point motors. And the idea of powering the frog through a switch is a good one. However, the Peco PL-13 slider switches are notorious for being/becoming 'sticky' and need careful setting up so that the motor pin shifts the switch block to both sides. The Peco micro-switch version is a better but more expensive option. Nonetheless, a little tweaking to reduce any resistence on the point and motor combo and WD40 lubrication on the switch can help overcome problems.

G.
 

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Ah yes the Peco PL-13 switch, had nothing but trouble with them. I found the internal sliding mechanism was just not up to the job it was manufactured for. Even though the PL-10 Motor is ok I binned the lot and bought Seep motors with the switch built in. A lot better product by far. The only thing I would recommend if using Seep motors is to solder the cables on to the motor first before fitting to the turnout and then use a terminal block as a junction for the cables. Of course if you have a bit extra cash and not too many points then I would use DCC concepts Colbalt motors.
Regards Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your input.

The power supply I'm using is very very old. I might be able to get a better one if needed. Also I've yet to test this with the Ecos internal booster.

About powering the frog, I've realized there are about 300 different ways of doing so. My local hobby shop expert advised me to do it because otherwise the frog (and the points) would be powered only by the mechanical contact between the point and the stock rail.

If that bit got dirty electric contact would fail (he promised that with this setup locos would run over the turnout at speed step ONE!)

Nevertheless, I feel a little disappointed with this switch and a bit worried that these I bought might not do the trick at all
 

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Tiago.
The first thing you need is a CDU to give the points that extra thump they need. If you can't change the point then you won't be able to change the switch either.
Get the point moving first then worry about the switch. CDU's are cheap only about £10. Solenoid point motors like Peco,Seep etc need 3 or 4 amps to change the point. Trying to do it without a CDU or a big powerful power supply is just hit & miss. The power supply you have will probably power the CDU ok because when you go to change the point its the CDU which does the work. It gives out the power it has stored in its capacitors in one big lump which changes the point. The CDU then recharges itself to be ready for the next point which needs changing.
 

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The PL10 and PL13 will need lubricating for reliable operation. A quick squirt of WD40 will probably get it all moving.

That said of course, as others have already mentioned, you need 4A to reliably move a PL10, so a CDU will be a good investment to give you that.

If you have used a PL10E below the baseboard you might like to check the alignment if you are getting unreliable operation in only one direction. The PL13 will require pretty good centring of the pin which will be a lot less critical without it.

The PL13 is really now a legacy product that has been superseded by the PL15, but they are still for sale.

Some people like the Seep product, but I have used both and prefer the Peco myself.
 

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hi all,

"The Peco micro-switch version is a better but more expensive option" is this a PL15????

i'm planning to buy 9 peco motors and 9 polarity switches and passing contact levers soon for the visible points on my new layout.... primarily i'm going with peco just because they make the track and seem easy and cheap! i can't really afford to go for high end range products or dcc points. i do have a cdu though and i'll lubricate with wd40 as suggested here.

best wishes,

tim
 

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QUOTE (bluedepot @ 12 Aug 2010, 19:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>hi all,

"The Peco micro-switch version is a better but more expensive option" is this a PL15????

i'm planning to buy 9 peco motors and 9 polarity switches and passing contact levers soon for the visible points on my new layout.... primarily i'm going with peco just because they make the track and seem easy and cheap! i can't really afford to go for high end range products or dcc points. i do have a cdu though and i'll lubricate with wd40 as suggested here.

best wishes,

tim

Go easy with the WD40. It doesn't like some plastics.
 

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I've started using latching relays in conjunction with the point motors to provide polarity switching. They cost about £2.50 to put together - about the same as PL-13. But they're DPDT so only one is needed for a cross-over. Here's an earlier topic of mine where this was discussed in detail.

http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...showtopic=12262

If you're using polarity switches on Electrofrog points then you also need to isolate the frog from the switch rails. This is especially needed if you are using a relay as the relay can change the polarity of the frog before the blade breaks contact with the stock rail, which leads to a momentary short circuit.

And I'd agree with advice on WD40: do not use it on model railway equipement!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just a quick update.

I tried throwing the point with the EcoS internal booster and a Viessmann 5211 decoder, but the end result was worse. Only a faint hum from the motors.

I subsequently investigated the 5211 and found out that it can only provide 2A impulse current. This got me worried... Even though I'm using PL10W (lower current requirement), I fear that the 2A cap would't be sufficient.

To make matters worse, the instruction booklet that comes with the 5211 doesn't mention if using an external power supply increases that 2A limit.

I can't avoid feeling disapointed with this. I bought these new peco turnouts, the motors and the switches to replace old Arnold Rapido stuff that didn't work 50% of times. So I left the shop with some fancy setup that, in the end:

- Requires soldering a wire to the frog to power it properly.
- Requires an motor that must be precisely aligned.
- Requires a switch that taxes the motor even more.
- Requires an insane ammout of current.
- Will probably require me to add a CDU further complicating the layout and adding even more points of faillure.
- All in all, doesn't work


I'm sorry but I feel kind of frustrated with the added complexity of these things.

I'm still going to try using a better power supply before installing CDU's.

God forbid I'll ever ballast a working turnout
 

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Hi I have just been reading your thread. I have just gone though much the same problems as you, I had fitted Peco points with twin miro switches and was far from happy with them and this was before I had run any thing over them I found the fitting of the miro switches very poor and as they were going to be built in I did not feel they were up to the job.So I graded the bull by the horns and replaced them with the new Cobalt switches and can say I wish I had fitted them first. I hope to soon add to my layout thread some photos to show fitting of both types.

Regards

Dave
 

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Just another modeller
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*** I really do sympathise, having looked closely at the PL10 and 10W when developing our new products.

Of course I recommend our Cobalt turnout motors, but....there may be an easier and even maybe free answer.

Do you have an old dead laptop, or know anyone whose laptop comuter is no longer working - the power supply for a laptop is usually about 4 amps and between 16 and 20 volts DC - they really work well to throw solenoids (just cut off the plug and connect!)

regards

Richard

QUOTE (Tiago @ 13 Aug 2010, 22:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just a quick update.

I tried throwing the point with the EcoS internal booster and a Viessmann 5211 decoder, but the end result was worse. Only a faint hum from the motors.

I subsequently investigated the 5211 and found out that it can only provide 2A impulse current. This got me worried... Even though I'm using PL10W (lower current requirement), I fear that the 2A cap would't be sufficient.

To make matters worse, the instruction booklet that comes with the 5211 doesn't mention if using an external power supply increases that 2A limit.

I can't avoid feeling disapointed with this. I bought these new peco turnouts, the motors and the switches to replace old Arnold Rapido stuff that didn't work 50% of times. So I left the shop with some fancy setup that, in the end:

- Requires soldering a wire to the frog to power it properly.
- Requires an motor that must be precisely aligned.
- Requires a switch that taxes the motor even more.
- Requires an insane ammout of current.
- Will probably require me to add a CDU further complicating the layout and adding even more points of faillure.
- All in all, doesn't work


I'm sorry but I feel kind of frustrated with the added complexity of these things.

I'm still going to try using a better power supply before installing CDU's.

God forbid I'll ever ballast a working turnout
 

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Should've gone cobalt/tortoise from the off! When ever I am asked advice about powering turnouts I always recommend staying away from peco solenoid motors and switches as they are not robust. They require insane amounts of current to operate correctly and to provide said insane current you need a CDU. By the time youve bought all the kit, spent hours wiring it all up and then hours pulling your hair out trying to get it to work properly the extra cost of the tortoise/cobalt motors pays for itself. Its also a good way of self limiting the amount of turnouts you use and hence not over crowding in track. A saving in itself!
 

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QUOTE (wolverton bloomer @ 14 Aug 2010, 00:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Should've gone cobalt/tortoise from the off! When ever I am asked advice about powering turnouts I always recommend staying away from peco solenoid motors and switches as they are not robust. They require insane amounts of current to operate correctly and to provide said insane current you need a CDU. By the time youve bought all the kit, spent hours wiring it all up and then hours pulling your hair out trying to get it to work properly the extra cost of the tortoise/cobalt motors pays for itself. Its also a good way of self limiting the amount of turnouts you use and hence not over crowding in track. A saving in itself!

While I agree that Cobalt or Tortoise are far better than solenoid motors, Peco correctly installed & operated via CDU do the job.
I do not know about UK CDU kits but here in Aust, obtainable for just over £6.50, take about 20 minutes max to put together & 4 wires -2 in & 2 out & combined with a cheap/small 1 amp 16vAC supply, will operate at least 2 Peco motors fitted with switches at the same time.
Over the many years I have used Peco, only one PL 13 decided to drop dead.
Cost also have a part to play.
Single Cobalt cost around £16; Peco PL10W with either PL 13 or PL between £9 - 12. For just a few say 6 motors £24 extra for Cobalt
36 motors- Cobalt £528; Peco £432.

For points hand laid, definitely slow acting motors like Cobalt.
 

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I have used both Peco and Seep types. The "built in" switch with Seep seemed a good idea, but I had a "make before break" situation when the point was throwing, which in DCC made the system shut down due to the short circuit. Peco, while not the best motors/switches in the world, have never given me this problem, so I have stuck with them and they work fine. 38 out of the 40 points on my layout operate via accessory decoders so that I can set routes. The other two refused to throw without a CDU, so I wired them via a CDU and switches using the 16v AC output of an old H&M Clipper controller (they are in sidings and did not need the route setting capability).
I agree that Cobalt or Tortoise would be preferable to Peco or Seep, but as has been said, cost is a factor. It is an option on a layout with a few points, but for me, with 40, I think lottery winnings would be required (especially added to the expense of accessory decoders!)
 

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I've not tried Tortoise or Cobalt yet, so can't comment, but after 30 years putting up with the vaguaries of Peco motors I'm going to give them a miss now. I know they work after a fashion and, with a CDU they have plenty of power, but the jolt from a CDU is not good for handmade turnouts, the alignment is tricky, the accessory switches are not reliable enough. To me, reliable enough means one failure every blue moon, not every few months.
I'm considering going for manual operation where feasible using an idea from a really good article in one of the mags I saw recently on using bicycle spoke as sub-baseboard rodding, combined with sections of electrical chocolate block connectors to join them together. The movement was transferred to the tie bar with a rod attached to a simple home made brass plate soldered to a piece of chocolate block connector. It used Peco PL-32 micro switches to change the crossing polarity. It looked cheap to do, very easy to set up and 100% reliable. If anyone is interested, I'll dig up the article when i've completed my house move this month and give references to it.
 

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*** having tried to help Tiago with getting his peco point motors working well I clearly am not suggesting anyone throw out the baby with the bathwater, but have you really looked at the cost/performance difference???

Re value and price, of course they are never the same thing:

Thanks Sol, your figures prove it rather well: Its NOT a big cost difference at all considering the immediate performace improvement on operating quality. £96 in fact.... In reality for a largish layout, far from needing a lottery win, its the cost of ONE SINGLE relatively low cost non chipped loco at todays prices... and to have reliable hassle free point control with easy set-up, all the built in switching you might ever need and a reliability that will outlast almost all of us on MRF - even the young ones!

Re DCC control - I'd expect that the vast majority of users will only ever use plain old switches, just as I do on most of my own layouts, however DCC conctrol is an easy option if its wanted of course...

kind regards

Richard

QUOTE (Sol)For just a few say 6 motors £24 extra for Cobalt3 6 motors- for 36 or so Cobalt £528; Peco £432

QUOTE (Keith Underwood @ 14 Aug 2010, 15:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I agree that Cobalt or Tortoise would be preferable to Peco or Seep, but as has been said, cost is a factor. It is an option on a layout with a few points, but for me, with 40, I think lottery winnings would be required (especially added to the expense of accessory decoders!)
 

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You make some valid points Richard (no pun intended).
However, those of us who have already gone down the Peco/Seep route would need the £500+ to replace our existing setup (not to mention tearing it all up and starting again!) I agree that the £96 difference is not that huge, but it only applies if "starting out" with Cobalt from the outset.

To be honset, I could have saved money by not buying accessory decoders and just wired the existing Peco's through the old 16v AC with CDU method, (as they always seem to work better with a CDU). More wiring but, probably, less hassle in the long run. DCC for locos is brilliant and I wouldn't go back to DC for train control. But points are a different story. (Just my personal view/preference).

I now have benefit of hindsight which is a wonderful thing!
 

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QUOTE (Sol @ 13 Aug 2010, 22:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>While I agree that Cobalt or Tortoise are far better than solenoid motors, Peco correctly installed & operated via CDU do the job.
I do not know about UK CDU kits but here in Aust, obtainable for just over £6.50, take about 20 minutes max to put together & 4 wires -2 in & 2 out & combined with a cheap/small 1 amp 16vAC supply, will operate at least 2 Peco motors fitted with switches at the same time.
Over the many years I have used Peco, only one PL 13 decided to drop dead.
Cost also have a part to play.
Single Cobalt cost around £16; Peco PL10W with either PL 13 or PL between £9 - 12. For just a few say 6 motors £24 extra for Cobalt
36 motors- Cobalt £528; Peco £432.

For points hand laid, definitely slow acting motors like Cobalt.

Excellent price comparison piece Sol. Not much difference at all considering what you are buying if you are starting from scratch but the problem arises if you have already spent the £432 on the Peco motors
Don't you just love hindsight

Peco motors are really indestructible but the comparison in technology between the Solenoid & Tortoise/Cobalt type motors is like comparing a donkey & cart with a Mercedes but then again not everyone can afford a Mercedes. There really is a huge difference. The problems arise in using the old technology with modern electronics.
 
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