DCC point control

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OtleySteamer
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:50 am

DCC point control

Postby OtleySteamer » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:52 pm

I've an e-link and intend to connect point motors to it.
Have I got this right?

I could buy cheaper point motors but will need a dcc point controller (that maybe controls 4 point motors) between them and the e-link accessory circuit.
or
I can buy combined point motor and dcc modules that can connect direct to my e-link accessory circuit but these are more expensive.

I will eventually have to control about 16 points - will the e-link be able to deliver enough power for that number of points (I have the 4amp power supply).

My question is how right or wrong am I? (be gentle).

Thanks

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Bufferstop
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Re: DCC point control

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:01 pm

Not very. Cost up the options to see which costs the most overall, what the minimum you need to get started and what it will cost to do the rest later. The combined motor/decoder has a disadvantage, the best time to fit it during track laying. Separate motors and decoder units can be fitted motors first (with wires already fitted) then decoders later. I think it's the initial cost of motors and decoders that leads to many modellers using DCC for loco control and individual switches for point control.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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Suzie
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Re: DCC point control

Postby Suzie » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:45 pm

Solenoid motors typically take 4A each when activated, so you will need to use low power versions or decoders with built in CDU if you want to power them from your existing CDU.

Slow motion motors use a lot less power so will be easy to power from your existing PSU, and can use a simpler decoder. If thinking about using the motors with built in decoders you need to consider connecting them to a separate accessory bus and not just locally to the track.

If worried about cost think about using servos. This can be the cheapest option and you should be able to power sixteen from your 4A PSU as long as you don't operate them all at once!

Suzie x

OtleySteamer
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Re: DCC point control

Postby OtleySteamer » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:08 am

Bufferstop wrote:Not very. Cost up the options to see which costs the most overall, what the minimum you need to get started and what it will cost to do the rest later. The combined motor/decoder has a disadvantage, the best time to fit it during track laying. Separate motors and decoder units can be fitted motors first (with wires already fitted) then decoders later. I think it's the initial cost of motors and decoders that leads to many modellers using DCC for loco control and individual switches for point control.


Thats a very good point (haha). I wasn't thinking of it like that. Which point motor would you go for?

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Bufferstop
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Re: DCC point control

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:13 am

Which point motor would you go for?

There are so many factors involved it's almost impossible to choose a "best" The double solenoid type are all much the same, and factors like "are they to be fixed to the sleepers and dropped through a big slot beneath the points"
or will you fit them from below? become more important.
If it's from below do you need extended pin type, and can you turn the board over or on side to fit them.
Would you feel confident to make short wire or rod linkages, often necessary to fit in servo and stepper motor types, if you can,they can be accommodated above the board under embankments and buildings if you want to avoid working upside down. A particular type may offer quantifiable factors (price, power requirements) but if they require particular skills that you don't (yet) posses they are ruled out.
In my own case I had retired from a job which frequently required me to investigate cabling through false ceilings and behind desks and equipment racks, so despite having an ample supply of Peco motors retrieved from my previous layout I decided that the current one would be totally mechanical. It's U shaped, 4'6" from the floor and I operate it from a draughtsman's high chair in the centre of the U. All points, signals and some "dead end" switches are within reach fitted immediately in front of the item they control with knobs and levers colour matched to the appropriate track shown on the diagram above the section switches.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

OtleySteamer
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:50 am

Re: DCC point control

Postby OtleySteamer » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:41 pm

Suzie wrote:Solenoid motors typically take 4A each when activated, so you will need to use low power versions or decoders with built in CDU if you want to power them from your existing CDU.

Thanks for oyur reply but I'm afraid your words have gone over my head here. What is my 'existing CDU'? I'm going to be using an e-link.

Suzie wrote:Slow motion motors use a lot less power so will be easy to power from your existing PSU, and can use a simpler decoder. If thinking about using the motors with built in decoders you need to consider connecting them to a separate accessory bus and not just locally to the track.

These would be connected to my e-link accessory bus.

Suzie wrote:If worried about cost think about using servos. This can be the cheapest option and you should be able to power sixteen from your 4A PSU as long as you don't operate them all at once!
Suzie x


Servos? Where can I see examples of these please?

OtleySteamer
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:50 am

Re: DCC point control

Postby OtleySteamer » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:55 pm

Bufferstop wrote:
Which point motor would you go for?

There are so many factors involved it's almost impossible to choose a "best" The double solenoid type are all much the same, and factors like "are they to be fixed to the sleepers and dropped through a big slot beneath the points"
or will you fit them from below? become more important.
If it's from below do you need extended pin type, and can you turn the board over or on side to fit them.
Would you feel confident to make short wire or rod linkages, often necessary to fit in servo and stepper motor types, if you can,they can be accommodated above the board under embankments and buildings if you want to avoid working upside down. A particular type may offer quantifiable factors (price, power requirements) but if they require particular skills that you don't (yet) posses they are ruled out.
In my own case I had retired from a job which frequently required me to investigate cabling through false ceilings and behind desks and equipment racks, so despite having an ample supply of Peco motors retrieved from my previous layout I decided that the current one would be totally mechanical. It's U shaped, 4'6" from the floor and I operate it from a draughtsman's high chair in the centre of the U. All points, signals and some "dead end" switches are within reach fitted immediately in front of the item they control with knobs and levers colour matched to the appropriate track shown on the diagram above the section switches.


From what you have said I'm thinking of using Peco point motors fitted directly under the points (suits the construction of my layout) and then connect these to my e-link via something like the Lenz LS150 controller and the TR100 to power them. If I have 3 LS150s (to drive my 16 points) would a single TR100 be able to power them all?

Suzie
Posts: 294
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:46 pm

Re: DCC point control

Postby Suzie » Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:30 am

Sorry a typo - that last CDU should read PSU!

Here is a servo:-
Image

The Towerpro SG92R are quite readily available for a few pounds. They are quite easy to fit under or above the baseboard and link to the point tiebar. There are quite a few adaptors available to make mounting easier.

The Signalist SC2 is an excellent servo decoder which includes frog switching built in which makes wiring a lot easier.

http://signalist.co.uk/SC2.html

OtleySteamer
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:50 am

Re: DCC point control

Postby OtleySteamer » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:52 am

Suzie wrote:Sorry a typo - that last CDU should read PSU!

Here is a servo:-
Image

The Towerpro SG92R are quite readily available for a few pounds. They are quite easy to fit under or above the baseboard and link to the point tiebar. There are quite a few adaptors available to make mounting easier.

The Signalist SC2 is an excellent servo decoder which includes frog switching built in which makes wiring a lot easier.

http://signalist.co.uk/SC2.html


Thanks Suzie - very useful. I'll soon be in danger of knowing what I'm doing. 8)

Bigmet
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: DCC point control

Postby Bigmet » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:48 am

Bufferstop wrote:...I decided that the current one would be totally mechanical. It's U shaped, 4'6" from the floor and I operate it from a draughtsman's high chair in the centre of the U. All points, signals and some "dead end" switches are within reach fitted immediately in front of the item they control with knobs and levers colour matched to the appropriate track shown on the diagram above the section switches.

I run a mixed economy of point control.

Most points are mechanically operated from the layout edge, in a similar style to that which Bufferstop describes. You have to be watching a yard to shunt it, so there's no benefit in powering points, as the operator has to be there on the spot.

Relatively few points - those in the main running lines - are powered, these to allow for future planned route seting automation. For these I have used slow mo motors, of the Fulgurex type. A very economical motor because it will power two points in crossover formation, which is always the arrangement in UK standard gauge running lines; other than simple catch points which don't need powering at all.


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