N gauge Peco code 55 points and Cobalt motors

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PinkNosedPenguin
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N gauge Peco code 55 points and Cobalt motors

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:29 pm

I've just bought some of both and I'm wondering where to connect the Cobalt actuator wire to the tie bar on the point :D i.e. the tie bar has a hole and small post on either end, but nothing in the middle! Do I need to drill a small hole in the centre of the tie bar (where there seems to be small number 2 on the underside)?

locoworks
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Re: N gauge Peco code 55 points and Cobalt motors

Postby locoworks » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:48 pm

no, just make a slot in the baseboard underneath one of the existing holes in the tiebar. it gives you 4 options for point motor placement.

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Zunnan
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Re: N gauge Peco code 55 points and Cobalt motors

Postby Zunnan » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:36 pm

We use Cobalts under code 55 pointwork on the club layout, they've been reliable for 2 years and plenty of abuse. You need to remove the spring from the tie bar to allow a smooth throw, and depending upon the type of point (Peco changed the tie bar design and assembly) you may also need to insert a shim of styrene to stop the motor from pulling the point blades from the closure rails over time. This can also be sorted by bending the point motor actuator slightly to push the point blades back into position, but I prefer to shim it with the motor acting on one side of the tie bar rather than centrally. Other than that, just use the provided holes at the edge of the tie bar and even if the motor isn't perfectly square below the point it'll throw reliably; as long as you address the tie bar self dis-assembly issue caused by the over center spring removal.

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PinkNosedPenguin
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Re: N gauge Peco code 55 points and Cobalt motors

Postby PinkNosedPenguin » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:36 pm

I installed and wired up my first Cobalt and am very happy with the result :)
Yes, the obvious answer is to use one of the existing holes at the tie bar ends :oops: - which is what I did.

A few things I found a little strange about the Cobalts:
1. although they (oh so handily) supply an extra screw with every one (?) they are too long for 9mm ply (and who uses thicker board than that?) so I had to buy some shorter screws
2. the lengthy instructions on their website fails to mention trimming the actuator wire or positioning the slider with the holes in it - so I did the obvious again and cut the former at the same height as the little plastic post on the point tie bar, and pushed the latter to the top as I figured N gauge requires the smallest 'throw' of the actuator
3. I don't like the push-in wire connectors - it makes the motor very deep (only just fits within the 69mm of my softwood baseboard frame) and I found that if you don't bare enough wire (i.e. a lot!) it doesn't make the connection. Wouldn't tags for solder connections have been smaller and more reliable? My soldering isn't great but very few modellers get away without ever doing any surely?

Anyway, enough griping, I'm happy with it. I used the Cobalt template to drill tiny holes through the ply from above, so the motor installed very easily into what seems the correct position. I pushed the point spring out at one end (didn't bother to actually try to remove it) so that the point now throws nice and slowly and smoothly. The motor is a bit noisy but not a problem really (and certainly nicer than the loud thwack of the peco solenoids I used on my last layout 30 odd years ago!). I also used one of the built-in switches to supply power to the frog (but have not modified the point in any way) and my locos pass over the point nicely at slow speed. Also nice to be able to use a standard DPDT switch to control the motor (i.e. no need for passing contact) - I plan to put the switches on a mimic track plan so that the switch stalk indicates the position of the point on the layout (no need for leds).
Yes they are expensive (the Cobalt motors I mean) but I am pleased with the result, and I don't need too many.

Thanks for your inputs above guys.

locoworks
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Re: N gauge Peco code 55 points and Cobalt motors

Postby locoworks » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:42 pm

i had a bit of grief with the wire connectors when trying to use a digitrax DS44 decoder. the wiring harnes supplied uses really thin wires and some carefull stripping and bending was required to get a half reliable contact. i ended up swithing the wiring harness supplied with the one used on the DH123 mobile decoder as they have the same plug connection but a heavier wire gauge.. on the new club layout we too have the depth issue after using ex 3x1 for the framing. what we are going to do with the cobalts ( we only need 4 ) is desolder the quick connector ( not going to be a fun job ) cut the PCB down in length/height to just leave one lot of holes left over from mounting the quick connector, and solder direct to the pcb like you can with a tortoise. it may be better to cut the pcb first then only have half the desoldering to do?? it is going to be a bit of a fiddle but we won't have to worry about relying on spring contacts to conduct electricity that may get disturbed during moving the layout around. we just want to make sure we have 4 correctly working cobalts before we vandalise them and loose any warrenty, not that external changes affect inside but with some suppliers if theres half an excuse not to fix/replace something regardless of whether the changes are related the actual problem? it could be used as an excuse.. not saying it would be the case, but experience suggests it could be.


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