Points position LED indication wiring and other questions...

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Dogtooth
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:32 pm

Points position LED indication wiring and other questions...

Postby Dogtooth » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:26 am

Hi folks.

First time poster and complete newbie to model railways so please be gentle. My question involves wiring points.

I have a 16VAC transformer providing power to the 2 Peco point motors on my small layout (electrofrog points, code 75 with polarity reversing switch mounted on the motor too). I also have two panel mounted toggle switches which are sprung loaded. These switches when flicked either up or down should fire the point motor, returning to a central off position by spring tension. Sorry but i have no idea what the correct name for them is. I have read lots about double pole single throw double throw triple salco etc but its all German to me. Anyhow, that’s what they are supposed to do but here is the nuts and bolts of it. The switches are going to be mounted on a simple schematic panel showing track and points but i also want to include a pair of LED’s with each switch to indicate the current alignment of the point. Now the switch only fires a brief current to the point motor so any LED in series would flash on and then go off. A capacitor would only keep the led lit for the length of its discharge and still push the same current to the point motor which is not a good things if i want my motors to last more than a few hours. So how do i wire up a pair of latching LED’s to the existing points wiring to activate an LED when a point is thrown and latch that LED until the point is thrown in the other direction when it will de-latch and the other LED will latch. The only thing I can think of is having a separate PLC with an 8 channel I/O cards and separate PSU but that seems like a massively over complication to what is a couple of LED’s and a single signal. An ancillary question and one that shows just how little i know about electronics would be, do LED’s even work with AC or am I barking up the wring tree completely?

Of course I may be on the wrong road completely here and there are better ways for conventionally wired points mimic’s so feel free to throw advice in by the spade full. I am running a DCC based system for driving loco’s but want to stay with a conventional panel for points and signal control. I would also prefer the toggle switch/LED approach over the electric pen style.

Continuing on the same vein, I also need to add motorised semaphore signals to the layout. Any help here on wiring, control and motorisation would also be most welcome...

... and finally, there are a glut of books and DVD’s out there on every subject imaginable but from my own shopping to date (books on DCC), some are better than others. Can i have some recommendations for worthy tomes on conventional wiring (turntables, signals points etc) as well as scenery building, weathering techniques and building and scratch building buildings. What i am looking for here is the ‘If you could buy one bible on each subject, what would it be’ kind of book.

Cheers in advance folks, a lot of questions i know and most no doubt have bee asked a million times before but such is the curse of new modellers coming into the hobby.

Dale.

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Rammy
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:50 pm
Location: Derby

Re: Points position LED indication wiring and other questions...

Postby Rammy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:52 pm

Hi Dale and welcome to the forums.
I have just been building my first control panel and had exactly the same thoughts about the LEDs. See here
I am using insulfrog points with Seep PM1 motors. I have used the auxiliary outputs on these motors to control bi-colour LEDs on my panel to indicate which way they are currenty set. I also use the spring return switches you are using. I have powered the LEDs seperately with an old 12V controller.
If you want any specific details or close up photos then feel free to ask.

Regards
Dave
My layouts (in progress):
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Flashbang
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Re: Points position LED indication wiring and other questions...

Postby Flashbang » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:53 pm

Hi
As you're a DCC user, you can use that power if wished to feed the LEDs on the panel whiteout any additional switching.

Circuit diagrams for both Electro frog and Insulated frog DCC point indication wiring is shown at the very bottom of this web sites DCC page. http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/DCC.htm
[Image << Click the Icon to go to my website
Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

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Silver Surfer
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Location: 16A

Re: Points position LED indication wiring and other questions...

Postby Silver Surfer » Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:09 pm

Dogtooth wrote:
Continuing on the same vein, I also need to add motorised semaphore signals to the layout. Any help here on wiring, control and motorisation would also be most welcome...

... and finally, there are a glut of books and DVD’s out there on every subject imaginable but from my own shopping to date (books on DCC), some are better than others. Can i have some recommendations for worthy tomes on conventional wiring (turntables, signals points etc) as well as scenery building, weathering techniques and building and scratch building buildings. What i am looking for here is the ‘If you could buy one bible on each subject, what would it be’ kind of book..

Dale.


Hi Dale and welcome

Motorised semaphores:
Best in my opinion are the 'Cobalt' and/or 'Tortoise' slow action motors for these. The Cobalt has a specific decoder built for it (the AD1) and wiring is very very simple - two wires in from power, two wires out to motor. as well as being dcc throttle controllable, you have the option of adding a simple push button to operate - best of both worlds throttle and panel buttons.
Motorising semaphores has always seemed like an expensive undertaking to me....
nb. Cobalts are made by DCC Concepts in Australia and they have several well known outlets here in the UK, Bromsgrove Models being one of them (very reliable service).

Books:
The best info on electrics for dcc is the one already mentioned by Flashbang - Brian Lamberts site, has a wealth of information. I know buying books keeps people employed but with the wealth of information out there on the Interweb you really don't need to buy nowadays, just search the forum or Google the subject heading you need.

Mike
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Hawkers Bridge - A work in progress
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'A Diesel engine is a machine - A Steam engine is a living being, almost human'

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Peterm
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:26 pm
Location: Bribie Island. Australia

Re: Points position LED indication wiring and other questions...

Postby Peterm » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:00 pm

Hello Dale and welcome to the forum.

As you're only talking about two sets of points, Cobalt or Tortoise slow action motors might be a better option for you.
These both have two inbuilt switches, so you can use one for frog polarity and the other for led's and operating signals that are interlocked with the points.

Using these would make things simpler, more reliable and would be gentler on your point tie bars.

In England, Bromsgrove Models are great to deal with for just about anything railways.
Pete.


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