Cobalt point motors

Post all your model railway electronic problems, solutions and discoverys here.
Brian2
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:01 pm

Cobalt point motors

Postby Brian2 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:59 am

I have recently bought some of these for the new layout. But as ever things are never straightforward. For two of the points I haven't enough room under the baseboard. I have some Gem wire and tube and was thinking that might provide the answer. DCC and Tortoise do provide a remote linkage both of which are complicated and expensive. I was thinking in terms of mounting the motor in the remote location and then just cutting a channel in the cork, bending the wire to engage the tie bar of the Peco code 75 Bullhead points and......now here's the question.....How to attach the other end of the wire to the actuating arm ( wire) of the point motor?

Any ideas.

Incidentally none of my points are more then ten inches from the proposed position of the point motor.

Mike Parkes
Posts: 671
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:25 pm

Re: Cobalt point motors

Postby Mike Parkes » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:09 pm

What if you mounted them further off the bottom of the baseboard possibly using a right angle adaptor - I have a number of Cobalts and only one that is fitted in the basic form direct to the bottom of the baseboard. One is positioned using the right angle adaptor on top of another point motor of as different make due to space issues.

Brian2
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:01 pm

Re: Cobalt point motors

Postby Brian2 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:40 pm

Mike, the main problem is I am at an age where delving under baseboards is rather difficult. Mounting the motors at the edge of the baseboard and running wire in tube across the surface would be so much easier. I believe that mounting the Cobalts on their side and using piano wire bent in a loop around the fulcrum wire is one way to go. However I have a load of Gem tube and wire which I don't think that wire could be used in that way. One "lashup" I can think of is a chocolate type connector screwed on to the operating arm with the Gem wire bent and screwed in to the top. But a slightly more sophisticated way of doing it would help.
PS Re the above , the Gem wire is a bit stiffer then I thought, hence sticking plaster needed for a punctured thumb. :)

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 11800
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Cobalt point motors

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:32 pm

Yes GEM wire should carry an 'elf and safety warning. On one of my baseboards I have GEM wire in copper tube running under the boardtrapped at the end below the points by a wooden block. There's an L shaped bit of paperclip one end slides in the bottom of the block, the other sticks up through the board into the tie bar and the GEM wire is just wrapped tightly around it just below the surface, the other end has a plastic bobble on it as an operating knob. For the rest of my layout I found a large supply of 300mm long 1mm steel rod, plastic coated. Combined with the brass bits out of 1A choc-block connectors they operate all of the points and signals from below.
Put your point motors anywhere you can hide them and put wire in tube as straight as possible to the point.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

Brian2
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:01 pm

Re: Cobalt point motors

Postby Brian2 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:07 am

Yep really lethal.

I think I might have solved the little problem. Bend the fulcrum wire at the baseboard height 90 ", then butt joint the Gem wire using 1/2" of the Gem tubing using some super glue to make the joint permanent.

Should work, fingers crossed.....avoiding sticky plaster.

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 11800
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Cobalt point motors

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:11 am

It's important that any springiness in your link can overcome the centring spring of the points. Although I'd be loath to do it, taking out the over centre spring and relying on the spring of the link might be a solution.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

Brian2
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:01 pm

Re: Cobalt point motors

Postby Brian2 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:25 pm

All springs removed as per DCC Cobalts recommendation, Been playing around and discovered my Gaugemaster DC output controller isn't ideal, seems a dedicated power supply is needed.. Think a phone call to Settle in the morning is called for.....more expense.

Mike Parkes
Posts: 671
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:25 pm

Re: Cobalt point motors

Postby Mike Parkes » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:02 pm

Brian2 wrote:Mike, the main problem is I am at an age where delving under baseboards is rather difficult.

I have a way around that picked up from exhibiting layouts and that is make each baseboard detachable so that you can turn it on its side to undertake any wiring work etc.

Brian2
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:01 pm

Re: Cobalt point motors

Postby Brian2 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:06 pm

Indeed Mike, but in all truth this layout just runs around supported on book cases, I never intended using rather large slow motion motors and the real problem is lack of space under the baseboard. There is a good 6" of clear space in front, plenty of room, it's just that it means the motors are a little removed from the points.

DavidSteward
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:34 pm

Re: Cobalt point motors

Postby DavidSteward » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:14 pm

For all linkages from point motors to the turnout I have always used code 75 or 100 rail, or steel/brass rod 3mm. They still need containing every 100-150mm to stop bending. I like to have the point motors where I can get to them easily at the side of a layout. I recommend that any motor motors are mounted on a plate with a common connector, and have a spare ready made up. This means that a point motor can be changed in a jiffy.

With regard to Cobalt motors in general I am not a fan. I bought a large amount intending to use them throughout a layout. I had many troubles: over winding, intermittent behaviour and short working life. They are very sensitive to the power supply. I build my own electronics and automatic systems and yet I those very helpful fellows at DCC Concepts blamed my wiring and handling of the units. I shall not use them again!

I now use Little Jemmy point motors. (I do not know if they are still available though) Yes they need additional electronics for DCC but they are small, efficient and long lasting. I use DC but I made a simple diode matrix additional plug on unit to control the throw.

Brian2
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:01 pm

Re: Cobalt point motors

Postby Brian2 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:02 pm

It's been a bit of an uphill struggle.

Decided in the end to go for the CobaltSS surface mounted motors. Only thing is they don''t work with the Gaugemaster PCU2 switches. I then asked re the Alpha control unit and sniffers but they don't work with the SS units.

Actually I can't understand re the PCU2. DCC recommend Spring STDP switches, which I believe the PCU2 also uses, seems the problem is something about the common return. Bit of a mystery, after all using SEEPs the return isn't to the PCU2, it's daisy chained to the CDU.

Oh and on the subject of power supply it seems the Cobalts need a " regulated" output, the Gaugemaster 100MO doesn't suit.


Return to “Electronics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests