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Author Topic: Electrofrog PL13 problems  (Read 218 times)

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Offline N Gauge Bob

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Electrofrog PL13 problems
« on: November 21, 2017, 12:10:16 pm »
Help please. I have a large fiddle yard all using electrofrog points. Because the environment is slightly dusty I have decided to add PL13 switches to the point motors to aid contact of the blades. The rake of 8 points in one run is fed from the end of point one straight through the bank of 8 points with metal rail joiners throughout with no problems. Each yard line is collected to its relevant point through insulated rail joiners.
I have now fitted the first 2 PL13s and I an fine on straight through but when I switch to the yard line I get a short.
I have fed the PL13s from the track at the start and looped through the system.
What am I doing wrong?
I disconnected them and all was well again.
Cheers
Bob
Remember this:
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Professionals........built the Titanic!

Offline terrysoham

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Re: Electrofrog PL13 problems
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 12:42:29 pm »
The answer is twofold:
Firstly, PL13s are fiddly to get working properly.   If you take one to bits, you will see why.   The slider which does the conducting of the power has to move from one connection to the other, with N gauge the point itself doesn’t have to move very far to get the point blades closed but sometimes the slider hasn’t moved far enough to actually change the polarity.  You might try simply turning the PL13 through 180 deg.
Secondly,  and this is the reason it is shorting, whilst the point blades have themselves changed the frog polarity, unfortunately the switch hasn’t moved far enough to change the polarity.  So the electrical path through the blades to the frog is at one polarity and the path via the switch is the opposite polarity.  The cure here (if turning the switch through 180 deg. doesn’t work) is to change the PL13 for either a standard micro-switch or the Peco PL15 (I think it’s called that) which has two micro-switches built in.
Terry Metcalfe
Ely and District Model Railway Club
Owner of Neely, modern N scale representation of Ely, available for exhibitions

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Electrofrog PL13 problems
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 01:34:25 pm »
It's important to "daisy chain" the changeover switches to match the formation of the points - ie. the frog output of the changeover for the first point at the toe of the formation becomes one of the inputs to the  changeover for the next point.   Either you've mis-wired this arrangement somewhere, or as Terry suggests maybe the changeover switch hasn't actually thrown in parallel with the point blades?

Are your Peco motors directly attached to the points?

Funnily enough, I've recently found myself going back to using PL13s rather than using the twin micro-switches, I actually find the slide switches easier to set up and I don't like the way the microswitches apply a reverse pressure on the actuating rod.    My point motors are mounted under the baseboard and not directly attached to the point, so this helps ensure the motor is centered, the extra length in the actuating rod gives a little more throw at the motor end, and the slide switch can move sufficiently both ways.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 01:40:22 pm by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline lil chris

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Re: Electrofrog PL13 problems
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2017, 11:50:24 pm »
What terry and ntptntpnt have told you is absolutely correct, the trouble with PL13 switches is the movement. I had Peco Motors and the switches on my old layout, some mounted direct and some mounted below the baseboard. They were so unreliable in frog switching I gave up and changed motors to slow action Cobalt motors with there built in switches, or you could use Tortoise motors which are similar.
Lil Chris
My layout here East Lancashire Lines
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29492.0

Offline Bealman

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Re: Electrofrog PL13 problems
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2017, 01:24:53 am »
Yes, those slider switches are troublesome. I have heaps on my layout and I'm sure the restoration process is going to involve an inspection of them all.

Peco even suggested that a second switch could be piggy backed on top of the first. I tried that, and no way would it work!
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Offline N Gauge Bob

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Re: Electrofrog PL13 problems
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2017, 12:18:45 pm »
Thanks for all the responses.
1 All PL13s are new
2 They are daisy chained
3.AFAIK they all work correctly.
4. All are mounted above board apart from 2
I shall try testing connections with my tester kit and make sure contacts are all correct.
I would be happy to run without the., but it takes so long for my arthritic hands to clean pver 50 points I just thought they would help me a bit.
I'll let everyone lnow how I get on.
Thanks again
Bob
Remember this:
Amateurs..............built the Ark!
Professionals........built the Titanic!

 

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