Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

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bluechang
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Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby bluechang » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:36 am

Just have a couple of questions regarding what is in the title of this thread.

1 - If using a CDU and an SPDT centred off, would it also be an idea to add in a push to make switch to not allow the turnouts to switch unless both SPDT toggle switch and push to make are pressed or would just the SPDT toggle switch do just fine?

2 - If i were to wire two turnouts to the one toggle switch would this work (two turnouts required to change to allow movement from one loop to another) or would it depend on the CDU used and power supply attached? I am bidding on this CDU on ebay http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CDU-High-Power-Fast-Recharge-Capacitor-Discharge-Unit-/250679125199?pt=UK_Trains_Railway_Models#ht_500wt_1154

3 - I've not got a PSU for the CDU in mind however I do have a couple of the Bachmann power blocks for the DC controllers - If I were to use one of them as the PSU, would I just need to lop off the connector and hard wire the remaining cable into the CDU? Also, how will I know which wire is the pos and which is the neg? Could I not just butcher a controller for the power connector and wire the connector to the cdu, giving me the option of disconnecting the PSU from the CDU - or even buy a connector to avoid butchering the controller?

4 - If I were wanting to wire in some form of LED to indicate direction the turnouts are facing and to stay lit, how would I go about it and how complex would it be to achieve such a goal? This is not a problem really as my layout is very small (I can see all the turnouts from where I am sat) so if it is rather complex, or that I have bought the wrong point motor (I have 2 Seep PM-2 point motors so far) I don't have to go ahead and do this.
5 - Would it be worthwhile adding in a connector in the wiring to allow disconnection of the control box from the layout and if so, can anyone make a suggestion of what to use for the connector?

6 - What would be best for constructing the control box - buying in a plastic box or making something out of timber? If plastic is the best option, I have seen some people using a plastic electrical box but for the life of me I cannot remember what they were called - any suggestions?

7 - In the documentation that came with the point motor, it says the point motor has a common return wire (solder tag C, or in my case, the black wire) - could these be soldered onto a bus wire, in a similar vein to the power for the rails or would it be better to run individual common return wires to each point motor and then onto the neg terminal of the CDU?

I have not bought anything for the control system, apart from two seep PM-2 point motors and 5 reels of Peco 16/0.2 wire (as per the recommendation of the guy in the shop, even though the PM-2 only requires 3 wires (solder tags A, B and C only required)

I have also had a good read of the brian-lambert website that is always linked to from this website, so I know what I am doing (hopefully)

UK_Apollo
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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby UK_Apollo » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:33 am

Hi bluechang,

1. A SPDT switch on it's own will be fine. The CDU acts as a safeguard against holding the toggle switch closed for too long so a push-to-make button isn't required. I used a Gaugemaster CDU (£11 from Hattons) and SPDT (On)-Off-(On) switches (made by Salecom 75-0086, from Rapid Electronics, 59p each).

2. Yes, you can wire two point motors to the one toggle switch. The Gaugemaster unit can operate up to 6 simultaneously.

3. Check what voltage input your chosen CDU requires. I use 16Vac input to the CDU, which comes from the back of my Gaugemaster controller.

Cribbed from another forum... "A CDU usually relies on the input supply being AC (or in some cases unsmoothed DC) in order to charge up the capacitors to the peak voltage of the AC waveform. If the CDU will run from a DC supply and if you are using a regulated DC supply which most computer ones are, you will need one with a voltage rating 1.4x the equivelent AC voltage for good results. If you are using a high current regulated DC supply with a reasonably high voltage (20-25V) you will probably not see any benefit from using a CDU unless you are using very thin wiring from the power supply to where you would have the CDU."

If using DC input to the CDU I'm not sure that it matters which is the positive or negative wire. Someone else can verify this.

I suspect you will need to solder the input wires to the CDU.

4. If you can see all the points from your viewing position it may not be worth adding turnout indications on the control panel. The basic method would be to wire LED's to an auxilliary switch on the point motor. See http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Electrical-2.htm for details.

5. If your control panel is permanently attached to the layout, or perhaps quite simple, it could be hard-wired in. However, if it's large or complex, I'd recommend making it detachable. I've used 25 pin D connectors (socket 15-0160 56p, plug 15-0110 56p, cover 15-0240 40p, from Rapid Electronics) with 16/0.2 equipment wire. You'll end up with more wires than you think!

6. I made mine out of plywood/MDF so the shape could be custom designed, but plastic ABS boxes could also work. Perhaps metal boxes are not the best idea.
ABS boxes: http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Fasten ... Enclosures

7. You can use a bus rail (common wiring) for the point motor return wire. Your 16/0.2mm wire will be ideal.

Regards,
Apollo

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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby Flashbang » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:42 am

bluechang wrote:Just have a couple of questions regarding what is in the title of this thread.

1 - If using a CDU and an SPDT centred off, would it also be an idea to add in a push to make switch to not allow the turnouts to switch unless both SPDT toggle switch and push to make are pressed or would just the SPDT toggle switch do just fine?

2 - If i were to wire two turnouts to the one toggle switch would this work (two turnouts required to change to allow movement from one loop to another) or would it depend on the CDU used and power supply attached? I am bidding on this CDU on ebay http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CDU-High-Power-Fast-Recharge-Capacitor-Discharge-Unit-/250679125199?pt=UK_Trains_Railway_Models#ht_500wt_1154

3 - I've not got a PSU for the CDU in mind however I do have a couple of the Bachmann power blocks for the DC controllers - If I were to use one of them as the PSU, would I just need to lop off the connector and hard wire the remaining cable into the CDU? Also, how will I know which wire is the pos and which is the neg? Could I not just butcher a controller for the power connector and wire the connector to the cdu, giving me the option of disconnecting the PSU from the CDU - or even buy a connector to avoid butchering the controller? If your CDUs power supply is ac then it doesn't matter which way around the wires connect to the CDUs input. If its dc then you will need to determine the correct polarity. Using a multimeter on its dc volts range will tell you Or another simple method is to use a LED with a a 1K or 1.5K OHM resistor connected to the LEDs shorter lead. The longer lead of the LED is Positive, so the LED will only illuminate when positive is applied to its longer lead and negative to the free end of the resistor.

4 - If I were wanting to wire in some form of LED to indicate direction the turnouts are facing and to stay lit, how would I go about it and how complex would it be to achieve such a goal? This is not a problem really as my layout is very small (I can see all the turnouts from where I am sat) so if it is rather complex, or that I have bought the wrong point motor (I have 2 Seep PM-2 point motors so far) I don't have to go ahead and do this.
5 - Would it be worthwhile adding in a connector in the wiring to allow disconnection of the control box from the layout and if so, can anyone make a suggestion of what to use for the connector?

6 - What would be best for constructing the control box - buying in a plastic box or making something out of timber? If plastic is the best option, I have seen some people using a plastic electrical box but for the life of me I cannot remember what they were called - any suggestions?

7 - In the documentation that came with the point motor, it says the point motor has a common return wire (solder tag C, or in my case, the black wire) - could these be soldered onto a bus wire, in a similar vein to the power for the rails or would it be better to run individual common return wires to each point motor and then onto the neg terminal of the CDU?

I have not bought anything for the control system, apart from two seep PM-2 point motors and 5 reels of Peco 16/0.2 wire (as per the recommendation of the guy in the shop, even though the PM-2 only requires 3 wires (solder tags A, B and C only required)

I have also had a good read of the brian-lambert website that is always linked to from this website, so I know what I am doing (hopefully)

Hi
Some good questions being asked
I'll answer them in order to my opinion (which may not be everyone else's!).
1) If your using SPDT sprung to cengtre off toggle switches there is no purpose in adding a further push to make switch.
If you want to use SPDT (or even DPDT) locking toggle switches so as the switches toggle lever helps to indicate the set direction of the point then you will have to add a momentary non locking push button per toggle switch. Always seems to me to be a rather pointless method! The push button switch being wired BEFORE the connection to the change-over toggle switch.

2) Yes two solenoid coils can be simultaneously operated by that CDU - It says its capable of operating 3 at once. Do ensure the wiring to the motors is of the correct minimum size conductor. 16/0.2mm is the minimum for one motor and where two are operating together consider 24/0.2 or better still 32/0.2mm feed and return wires.

3) The Power supplies you have are probably rated at 12 volts dc? If so, they are rather on the low side for point operation even with a CDU. I wouldn't use anything less than 16 volts and you can go up to 24 volts. A Hornby C990 16 volt ac PSU (wall type unit) is ok and will recharge a CDU ok or there are more expensive units from suppliers like Gaugemaster. The other option is to use a former Laptop power supply with a output of 20ish volts dc. This will work well and can often be obtained new on ebay for around £8 - £10
3A) As for the moulded low voltage plug on the end of the lead you have two choices... One obtain a same sized in-line dc socket or a chassis dc socket and wire that to the layout side and onto the CDU or simply cut off the moulded low voltage plug and connect the wires directly to the CDU or via two piece terminal block connector. Example of the in-line dc socket [url]http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=43091/url]

4) LED indications can be fed to the control panel (mimic panel) by using change-over switches operated by the point motor or the points moving tie bar. These can be of the Peco PL13 or PL15 type or where Seep motors are used their PM1 motor with built in switching contacts. The other method is to use microswitches operated by the moving tie bar. There are also commecially made indicator units sold such as these produced for example by Heathcote Electronics http://www.heathcote-electronics.co.uk/PtIndicr.htm.

5) Connectors (Multipin plug/socket) are an ideal way of making the panel removable from the layout. I recommend using 'D' connectors. Made up with your own flexible wires to form the cable. Do not use ready made computer leads as the wires inside these are far to thin! The 25 way D connector is often used for this. Don't forget you'll need the covers (shells) for the removable plug end.

6) Panel boxes and their tops can be made from ready made consoles, but these normally tend to be a little on the small side! Or you can if your carpentry skills are ok make your own. I have used both 9mm plywood and 9mm MDF to construct the basic sloping front box shape and then used various materials for the panels top. Aluminium, white face hardboard, foam board (used for advertising boards) all have been used.

7) Do not use a DCC bus wire for point motor return connections. The DCC system and the point motor feeds and returns are separate where analogue point control is used.
You can run a 'common return' wire around the layout of suitable sized conductor - I recommend 32/0.2mm would be my minimum size wire choice this will allow several motors to be operated simultaneously without or very little any volt drop occurring. Then tap onto this wire from the point motors return connection wherever needed. The common return wire going to the CDU negative output terminal.
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bluechang
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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby bluechang » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:01 pm

Thanks to you both for the extensive replies to my questions.

In reply - Flashbang - I wasn't meaning I was planning on using the neg of my BUS wires for the powering of the rails as the return for the point motors - I was thinking of running a single separate wire looped around the circuit of the layout, with each common return wire off the point motor connected to it returning to the neg- connection of the CDU. All other wires connected to tabs A and B for the operation of the motor would be fed separately and directly to each individual motor.

Uk_Apollo - Rapid electronics - are they quick to deliver and more importantly, are they reliable? The prices you have mentioned are fairly cheap, as I was looking at the same sort of thing on ebay which were working out (inc delivery) at over £1 for each toggle switch. I did have a look at the ABS boxes you mentioned, and I agree with you regarding the size of the boxes they sell, but then again, they weren't designed with us railway modellers in mind were they :)

I will have a look though what timbers I have left in the cupboard upstairs and see what I can do to make a box of my own. I do know one thing though and that is that I don't have any 9/12mm MDF upstairs that could be used - only 18mm and I think that is a little thick for what i need it for. I could probably use it for producing the sides of the box and then get a small sheet of 3mm hardboard for the top and bottom (cut out the holes for the toggle switches) I could also do with making it so the box can be opened using a hinge of some description to get into the wires underneath easily, but then thats complicating matters.


I missed out on that CDU by £0.70 which was a pain in the backside. I will probably just go and buy the gaugemaster one from Hattons and also pick up one of the Hornby PSU's as well just to keep things simple.

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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby Flashbang » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:34 pm

Hi
There are other and cheaper,but equally as good, CDUs available . Example...http://www.heathcote-electronics.co.uk/CDUpage.htm

A totally separate common return wire run around the layout is ideal. But do ensure its of a large enough wire size to allow everything connected onto it to return without a problem. 1.0mm or 1.5mm solid or 32/0.2mm flexible wire should be ok.

I wouldn't use any boarding larger than 9mm for the panel sides, as it will become far to heavy!
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UK_Apollo
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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby UK_Apollo » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:20 pm

I've used Rapid Electronics for two orders and they were excellent. Many of the traders at exhibitions have stuff for sale with the "Rapid" labels still showing! Giving due respect to this excellent web site, I should point out that New Railway Modellers have their own online shop here too and sell toggle switches etc.

I've uploaded a couple of photo's of my control panel:
http://i649.photobucket.com/albums/uu21 ... 070345.jpg
http://i649.photobucket.com/albums/uu21 ... 070347.jpg

I used 8mm ply for the base, back and sides, with 6mm MDF for the panel top attached by a couple of 38mm butt hinges. The control panel box sits with it's DC controllers on a small table with caster wheels that lives under the layout and is pulled out for operation.

Apollo

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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby bluechang » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:51 pm

looking at the second photo Apollo, I now understand why I am going to need a large box for the control panel!! Out of curiosity, what are the five rectangles affixed to the bottom of your control unit for?

another question - How have you managed to supply power to each individual toggle switch without having 20 or 30 wires coming from the CDU? My box won't need to be as big as I only require at most 12/14 toggle switches and an on/off switch to switch the power off (although I'm thinking of using a light switch I have in my box of bits - Don't know why its there but if it comes in handy for something I'll try and use it.

Flashbang - would a box constructed of 18x18 planed square edge with hardboard sides be sufficient? not got any 18x18mm but it shouldn't cost too much for a length and a small sheet of 3mm hardboard and a bit of wood glue

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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby UK_Apollo » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:45 am

The rectangles are solder tag strips.
RS Components, 433-703, 5 for about £1.20

They allow you to make easy multiple connections without soldering loads of wires onto one small connection point, and by labelling make fault finding much easier.

This answers your question about the CDU wires...one wire from the CDU goes to a solder tag on one of the strips. This solder tag is electrically connected (using stripped 16/0.2 wire) to lots of other adjacent solder tags, with one wire from each heading to it's respective point motor control panel toggle switch.

I have 17 points on the layout controlled by some 13 toggle switches so similar to your plan perhaps - all the other switches are for isolation sections with LED's to indicate live/dead. At some point I'll get some coloured plastic covers for the switch tops to help differentiate between points and isolation!

Bear in mind that I'm using DC (and cab control with 4 cabs), which I suspect involves a whole lot more wiring than is required with DCC.

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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby Flashbang » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:43 am

bluechang wrote:looking at the second photo Apollo, I now understand why I am going to need a large box for the control panel!! Out of curiosity, what are the five rectangles affixed to the bottom of your control unit for?

another question - How have you managed to supply power to each individual toggle switch without having 20 or 30 wires coming from the CDU? My box won't need to be as big as I only require at most 12/14 toggle switches and an on/off switch to switch the power off (although I'm thinking of using a light switch I have in my box of bits - Don't know why its there but if it comes in handy for something I'll try and use it.

Flashbang - would a box constructed of 18x18 planed square edge with hardboard sides be sufficient? not got any 18x18mm but it shouldn't cost too much for a length and a small sheet of 3mm hardboard and a bit of wood glue

Hi
You use a common feed wire inside the panel. The wire is of reasonable wire size and starts at the CDUs positive output terminal and runs to the common (central) wiring tag of point switch 1 then onto point switch 2 and onto point switch 3 etc etc.

18 x 18 is rather shallow in top to bottom height. All the panels I have built have been sloping front affairs with approx 35mm at the front edge and 60mm or more at the rear. This allows room for the LEDs,LED resistors, Switches, Input and Output sockets and wiring all to sit inside neatly.

A word of warning re your proposal to use a light switch which I assume is to turn on/off mains power....It is not recommended to allow mains voltages to appear inside a panel. In fact using a conventional wall type light switch isn't the normal practice anyway.
Alway keep mains and the safe extra low voltages used to run the model railway totally separate.
Use a specially made power supply unit which has the mains power input and the mains to extra low voltage transformers inside as a separate unit. Then use 'umbilical' style cables to feed the extra low volts from the PSU to the panel. Gaugemaster produce power supply units such as their M1 unit.
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bluechang
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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby bluechang » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:26 pm

Flashbang wrote:
bluechang wrote:looking at the second photo Apollo, I now understand why I am going to need a large box for the control panel!! Out of curiosity, what are the five rectangles affixed to the bottom of your control unit for?

another question - How have you managed to supply power to each individual toggle switch without having 20 or 30 wires coming from the CDU? My box won't need to be as big as I only require at most 12/14 toggle switches and an on/off switch to switch the power off (although I'm thinking of using a light switch I have in my box of bits - Don't know why its there but if it comes in handy for something I'll try and use it.

Flashbang - would a box constructed of 18x18 planed square edge with hardboard sides be sufficient? not got any 18x18mm but it shouldn't cost too much for a length and a small sheet of 3mm hardboard and a bit of wood glue

Hi
You use a common feed wire inside the panel. The wire is of reasonable wire size and starts at the CDUs positive output terminal and runs to the common (central) wiring tag of point switch 1 then onto point switch 2 and onto point switch 3 etc etc.

18 x 18 is rather shallow in top to bottom height. All the panels I have built have been sloping front affairs with approx 25mm at the front edge and 40mm or more at the rear. This allows room for the LEDs,LED resistors, Switches, Input and Output sockets and wiring all to sit inside neatly.


I really shouldn't post messages when I am tired as mistakes happen! :oops: I was meaning I was going to construct a box out of 18x18mm planed square edge timber and then board the box out using 3mm hardboard - I was planning on making the box approx 250mm high, 250 deep and approx 300mm wide.

Regarding the common feed wire to feed pos power to the toggle switches - could I not do the same thing as what Apollo has done with his common return wire (CRW) - feeding all the CRW's onto a solder tab board and have one wire returning to the CDU?

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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby bluechang » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:29 pm

Flashbang wrote:
bluechang wrote:A word of warning re your proposal to use a light switch which I assume is to turn on/off mains power....It is not recommended to allow mains voltages to appear inside a panel. In fact using a conventional wall type light switch isn't the normal practice anyway.
Alway keep mains and the safe extra low voltages used to run the model railway totally separate.
Use a specially made power supply unit which has the mains power input and the mains to extra low voltage transformers inside as a separate unit. Then use 'umbilical' style cables to feed the extra low volts from the PSU to the panel. Gaugemaster produce power supply units such as their M1 unit.



I won't be using the light switch at all - it was just a thought that came to me, but passed almost as quickly as it arrived. If I put a switch in, it will be a toggle on/off switch, but then again that is adding another area that could cause faults and the idea for me is the KISS method - keep it simple stupid! The on/off switch at the PSU wall socket is enough to switch the power off for me

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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby Flashbang » Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:43 pm

bluechang wrote:........
Regarding the common feed wire to feed pos power to the toggle switches - could I not do the same thing as what Apollo has done with his common return wire (CRW) - feeding all the CRW's onto a solder tab board and have one wire returning to the CDU?

You certain can do that way.
That way means every point switch has a separate feed wire running from the switch back to a common tag strip. Its more wasteful on wire than linking from one switch to the next.
Otherwise its basically the same! :D

BTW Technically its not a 'Common Return' its actually a 'Common Feed' - positive feed from CDU linking switch to switch or tag strip to each switch. :wink: :wink:
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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby bluechang » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:40 pm

Flashbang wrote:
bluechang wrote:........
Regarding the common feed wire to feed pos power to the toggle switches - could I not do the same thing as what Apollo has done with his common return wire (CRW) - feeding all the CRW's onto a solder tab board and have one wire returning to the CDU?

You certain can do that way.
That way means every point switch has a separate feed wire running from the switch back to a common tag strip. Its more wasteful on wire than linking from one switch to the next.
Otherwise its basically the same! :D

BTW Technically its not a 'Common Return' its actually a 'Common Feed' - positive feed from CDU linking switch to switch or tag strip to each switch. :wink: :wink:

:) which one are we talking about? the positive being the common feed or the negative being the common return? I'm confused! :?

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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby Flashbang » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:24 pm

Hi
I have been stating in my recent posts about the Positive output from the CDU going to all the point switches. e.g. Positive CDU terminal to first point switch then second point switch and so on until it reaches the last point switch where it stops. - A common FEED wire.

There only needs to be one return wire back from all the points. It runs around the layout in a largish size of wire and each motors return is connected onto it. It then runs back to the main panel and connects to the CDU negative terminal. - A common RETURN wire.

Neither of these methods require any tag strip connections!
However, a group of tag strips or even a group of terminal blocks can be wired in all the switches output wires in the panel - two connections per switch (used for a testing place), then from each tag or screw terminal a wire runs onto the multi-pin socket(s) and then out to the layout and onto finally the respective motors coil.

I simply tried to correct your statement where you said...."Regarding the common feed wire to feed pos power to the toggle switches - could I not do the same thing as what Apollo has done with his common return wire (CRW) - feeding all the CRW's onto a solder tab board and have one wire returning to the CDU."

I also placed a warning for anyone contemplating building a panel about allowing mains voltages (230Volts in the UK) inside the control panel. - Its not a desirable feature!
There is great risk of electrocution and even possible death if live mains connections are easily accessible, as inside a control panel. Especially while anyone is concentrating on a possible fault etc on a extra low voltage circuit and accidentally makes connection to the mains power!

Hope this all helps and clears any confusion. :D
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Re: Point Motors, CDU, SPDT + push to make switches - questions

Postby UK_Apollo » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:59 pm

Having re-checked my point motor wiring carefully, I see I have actually done as Flashbang descibes, using a common wire daisy chaining from one toggle switch to the next. The tag strips are used, as he says, as intermediaries between switches and the back panel D connectors (and also as I previously mentioned, making multiple wire connections easy, at a very cheap price).

Look at this photo (http://i649.photobucket.com/albums/uu21 ... 070347.jpg ) close-up and you'll see the point motor toggle switch wires:

Green - 'positive' common feed from the CDU, daisy chaining from the centre of each toggle switch to the next
Blue & Yellow - individual wires from the outside contacts of the toggle switch, each one heading to it's respective point motor
(Red/Black are rail feed/return and Purple are 12Vdc for the LED's)

Flashbang's recommendation that no mains voltage enters the control box is spot on. Don't do it!


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