Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

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Suzie
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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Suzie » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:41 pm

12V is not really enough to fire a PL10 at full power. You really need 24VDC from a regulated supply or CDU to move a PL10 reliably. At 24V you will get four times as much power as at 12V.

Using a switchmode power supply is ideal. Get a 24V/2A one instead of the 12V one, and feed it through a CDU and you will find that it will all work OK. You will probably need an 8A supply if you are not using a CDU.

Changing the type of switch you are using won't make a lot of difference. The PL13 is a pretty useless switch so upgrading to the PL15 or microswitches will be a much better idea, but both of these will still add a bit of load to the motor so you will still need to improve the power supply.

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Mountain
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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Mountain » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:44 pm

Didn't Hattons do a point solenoid with a built in switch? I have never bought one though.

Monday
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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Monday » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:10 pm

Suzie -noted. I’ll get a better power supply but the turnouts themselves work fine by themselves. It’ s the extra load imposed by the PL-13’s that is the problem. I tried a CDU (Peco) but it made no difference - I did wonder if it was working. Anyway I am going to go with flashbang’s suggestion of the GM500 (or similar) relays for the remaining PL-10’s, the rest will be Cobalts. The relays, even at GM prices are not grossly in excess of the PL-13’s (£5.50 vs £3.95).

Mountain - I think the SEEP motors gave a built in switch but opinions are mixed on that as well?

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Bufferstop
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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:24 pm

Mountain wrote:Didn't Hattons do a point solenoid with a built in switch? I have never bought one though.

Yes it's an almost exact copy of the old H&M Solenoid Motor, which disappeared forever when they were taken over by Lines Bros/Hornby. If it's as well made as the H&M ones it will be distinctly better than either the Peco or the Seep. The later ones (SM3) had two built in switches one of which could be used to allow the motor to work from an ordinary changeover switch. Which made them very useful for working with relay powered signals.
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Flashbang
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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Flashbang » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:31 pm

Sorry guys but the HAT PM1 does not include any motor operated switching. See.. https://www.hattons.co.uk/185267/hatton ... etail.aspx
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Suzie
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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Suzie » Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:46 pm

A CDU you will only improve things if fed with a suitable power supply which needs to be 16V AC or better still 24V regulated DC.

You are lucky that the motors work at all from 12V regulated DC, you must have set them up well. It is no big surprise that adding a switch will be the hair that breaks the camels back.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:23 pm

Flashbang wrote:Sorry guys but the HAT PM1 does not include any motor operated switching. See.. https://www.hattons.co.uk/185267/hatton ... etail.aspx

Not such a good copy then. The original control cabinet for the large model railway in the basement at Alton Towers had H&M point motors operating the switching, along with rotary switches driven by Triang X03 motors. The later extension cabinet had ex PO uniselectors and relays. The original one lasted the entire life of the layout, the last time I saw it was around '86 and it was still going strong.
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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Ironduke » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:42 pm

Suzie wrote:A CDU you will only improve things if fed with a suitable power supply which needs to be 16V AC or better still 24V regulated DC.


With a 16V AC power supply the capacitor will still charge up to approx 24V DC because it charges up to the peak voltage of the rectified AC supply.

However, a regulated switch mode supply will be more efficient if you're using it to power a lot of things.
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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Mike Parkes » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:04 pm

If you can find a very lightly sprung lever microswitch that should do the trick with the lever arranged to be moved by the solenoid rod; Maplin sold one called if IIRC an alarm switch.

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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:54 pm

Micro switches are supposed all to be lightly sprung, but I know what you mean. The miniature type with a short lever are about right for the job. If you have Peco points with their overcentre spring in place, set the operating point to come after the overcentre spring has flipped then it won't put any appreciable load on the solenoid, and will be assisting in the return direction. It's important that only the switch powers the frog, not the switchrails as well, as the two will switch over at slightly different times with the potential for a quick short circuit
I paid 60-70p reach for mine as I went via Amazon to find a UK supply, if I'd bought from one of the Chinese suppliers on Ebay they would have come down tp 40-50p but I might have waited 10-20 days for delivery. That's the problem with the make it up as you go along method of planning anything you are going to need, needs to get here yesterday.
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gppsoftware
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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby gppsoftware » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:39 am

Ah yes, that old 'chestnut', the so called, unreliable Peco switch.

I am of the belief that the problem with these switches is very widely misunderstood. The problem is actually the PL10 point motor: http://www.mrol.com.au/Pages/Vu/PecoPointMotorsandSwitches

I have quite a lot of PL10's on my layout and probably had two situations where the slide switch wasn't moved enough to change crossover polarity.
I also have a gripe with the way the switches are attached to to PL10 - there are no clips or screws - it's a 'glue together' only affair - really crude.

Ultimately, I replace failed PL10/13's with SEEP motors with built-in switches and these have been reliable for best part of 20 years so far.

These days, there is also the option of Tortoise and the DCC Concepts 'lookalike'.

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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Monday » Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:26 pm

So the saga continues. I have bought 3x Gaugemaster GM500 relays and installed two of them. They don't work - correction, they don’t work for ME!
The wiring of the switch side is pretty simple, basically connections direct to the (Peco) point motor. So a wire to each side of the solenoids which connect back to the positive bus via a Peco passing contact switch and a connection to the negative side of the point motor. Throwing the points should then operate the relay but nothing happens. I have checked continuity between the point motor terminals and the solder pads on the GM500 circuit board so my soldering is OK. There is continuity between the frog connection and one of the stock rails but this never changes over to the other stock rail so clearly the relay isn't operating. The points change easily with a solid ‘thunk’.

I have fitted two and neither work so they cant all be duds, I must be doing something wrong? Anybody familiar with these?
One thought: I am still using my 12v DC power pack. I have a 24v on order. Previous comments have highlighted that 12v is not really enough to power the Peco motors and Pl-13’s but I can’t believe that an electronic ‘switch’ needs this sort of urge?
Another thought: are the Peco passing contact switches (PL-26?) suitable gor this usage?

Thoughts appreciated.

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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby gppsoftware » Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:12 pm

I run my Peco and SEEP point motors on smoothed 24VDC. At this voltage, and with DC, you get a nice solid 'clunk' change and no buzzing (caused by AC).
My reasons for using 24VDC is because this is the voltage my computer control hardware (MERG RPC) runs on as do the Omron relays connected to it.
Not sure why you are using relays in place of Peco switches. Relays need a power supply to switch them and usually, removal of the power switches it the other way (the default position). A relay is a switch where the opening and closing of the switch is controlled by applying power to the relay. This power circuit is electrically separate to the circuit being switched on/off, hence, different voltages can exist in the two circuits.

If you are looking to replace Peco switches, I'd suggest either using SEEP point motors wit an in-built switch or using external microswitches as others have already suggested.

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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Suzie » Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:54 pm

How fat is your wire? it may be that you are not getting enough voltage at the GM500 to switch the relay. The PL10 motor is four Ohms, so you only need to have another four Ohms in your wiring to be seeing only 6V at the GM500, and that will not be enough. The PL10 motor will take 3A if your wire is fat enough, will your 12V power supply provide 3A?

It should all work fine when you get your 24V PSU, which will need to provide 6A unless you have a CDU.

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Flashbang
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Re: Peco PL13 Polarity Switches

Postby Flashbang » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:15 am

Monday wrote:So the saga continues. I have bought 3x Gaugemaster GM500 relays and installed two of them. They don't work - correction, they don’t work for ME!
The wiring of the switch side is pretty simple, basically connections direct to the (Peco) point motor. So a wire to each side of the solenoids which connect back to the positive bus via a Peco passing contact switch and a connection to the negative side of the point motor. Throwing the points should then operate the relay but nothing happens. I have checked continuity between the point motor terminals and the solder pads on the GM500 circuit board so my soldering is OK. There is continuity between the frog connection and one of the stock rails but this never changes over to the other stock rail so clearly the relay isn't operating. The points change easily with a solid ‘thunk’.

I have fitted two and neither work so they cant all be duds, I must be doing something wrong? Anybody familiar with these?
One thought: I am still using my 12v DC power pack. I have a 24v on order. Previous comments have highlighted that 12v is not really enough to power the Peco motors and Pl-13’s but I can’t believe that an electronic ‘switch’ needs this sort of urge?
Another thought: are the Peco passing contact switches (PL-26?) suitable gor this usage?

Thoughts appreciated.

Hi

Two things to check and do...
1) Ensure the two feed wires on GM500 pads A and B are each on a positive feed coming from the CDU output (+ve) via the point operating switch/lever, and that the return connection on GM500 pad C is to the CDUs output Negative (-ve). If its reversed and Negative is being feed to the operating switch and out to the motor and GM500 pads A & B, the GM500 will not work.
Once 1) has been proved and if it still doesn't work then....
2) As supplied there are two resistors on the GM500 board. These reduce the voltage reaching the latch and unlatch relay coils. GM suggest linking these two resistors out (or unsolder them and replace both with wire links) Linking them both will allow full CDU volts to reach the relay coils.
I've indicated the two resistors and shown the two links on an image of the GM500 curtesy of Gaugemaster controls....
GM500 resistors.jpg
GM500 resistors.jpg (36.76 KiB) Viewed 32 times

The Peco PL26 passing contact lever is ideal for use with a CDU. The Hornby R044 Black lever is not really suitable for use with a CDU.
12 volts DC is a little low but if your motors throw correctly without any failures to throw, then leave. Ideally the power supply for solenoid motors needs to be either 16v AC or around 19 to 21 volts DC. 24 volts may be getting a bit too high depending on the rated working voltage of the CDU capacitors! (its stamped on their sides if you can see the capacitors) if they are rated 35 volts then all is fine with 24v DC, but if 25volt rated then I would avoid the 24v power supply! GM sell a plug in 16v AC power supply which is ideal for powering a CDU, it is their part number GMC-WM1 https://www.gaugemasterretail.com/magento/model-railways/gaugemaster-controls-brand5/gaugemaster-gmc-wm1.html
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