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Author Topic: Frog switching and position LEDs  (Read 466 times)

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Offline cudders

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Frog switching and position LEDs
« on: January 01, 2020, 09:01:48 PM »
Hi all,

Just starting a small test board.

I want to switch frog power and position LEDs for each point at the same time.

I have a pile of Peco motors and code 55 electro frog points.

I've heard tth PL13s are not much good for N and assume will only do one thing at once.

Can anyone give any advice on how to achieve this?

Thx,

Cudders
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 09:02:51 PM by cudders »
Hoping to make a start on the layout before Xmas!!

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Frog switching and position LEDs
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2020, 09:36:23 PM »
I've certainly doubled up PL13s occasionally, to provide frog switching and position indication.   As long as the point motor is driven by a decent CDU and everything is lined up accurately (no stickiness) then I've found it works fine.

The problem with N points is they simply don't have the same amount of throw as OO, so it's trickier ensure the PL13 is lined up centrally. I've found the Peco code 55 slips and 3-way have even less throw than the other pointwork, so I ended up making a homebrew "lever" mechanism to use along with the PL13.




Other alternatives include:

Using the PL15 microswitches which will give you two poles, but although I used a bunch of them years ago for my fiddleyard I found them less reliable for N due to the limited throw of the points and the springy "back pressure" they apply to the point motor itself.

Using other 3rd party microswitches and mounts. I've recently bought a pack of 3D printed mounts and lever microswitches to try as an alternative to my "homebrew" thingy, but I've not played with those yet.

Using an electronics board which "remembers" the last direction each point was thrown. Personally I don't like that idea as it's not actually physical feedback of the point's position.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 09:42:16 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Online Bealman

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Re: Frog switching and position LEDs
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2020, 09:40:26 PM »
I'm afraid I've never been able to successfully double up those switches.

Because the single switches are tied up by the signalling system, all points on my layout rely on blade contact.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline jpendle

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Re: Frog switching and position LEDs
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2020, 12:25:41 AM »
 Dump the Peco solenoid motors, and use Tortoise or Cobalts instead. Both have built in switches.

Regards, John P
Check out my layout thread.

Contemporary NW (Wigan Wallgate and North Western)

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

Online Bealman

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Re: Frog switching and position LEDs
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2020, 12:35:03 AM »
Expensive exercise, though, especially when the OP says he has "a pile" of Peco motors!
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline JanW

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Re: Frog switching and position LEDs
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2020, 07:33:40 AM »
How will you control the layout? DC or DCC?
If you use DCC you can use the polarity of the frog to drive the LEDs.
I've made a very simple drawing (basic drawing app on my tablet), sorry for that  ;)
Make sure that the cathodes (the short pin of the LED) are connected to the frog, otherwise both LEDs will always light up.




Offline Chris Morris

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Re: Frog switching and position LEDs
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2020, 09:32:26 AM »
I use a DPDT self latching two coil relay. The power to the relay is taken from the power to the point motor. Works fine so far and at around £3 per relay very cost effective. I use one of the poles to power the frog and the other to power the insulated track past the point. Yes I'm using old fashioned analogue and unifrog points but I found this to be a neat and cost effective solution. The second pole could easily be used to control a light on the control panel.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 09:33:39 AM by Chris Morris »
Working doesn't seem to be the perfect thing for me so I'll continue to play.
Steve Marriott / Ronnie Lane

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Frog switching and position LEDs
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2020, 10:12:13 AM »

The problem with N points is they simply don't have the same amount of throw as OO, so it's trickier ensure the PL13 is lined up centrally.

There is a relatively inexpensive 3D aid to centering Peco and Seep point motors. Contact member Only Me for further info...........

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=59536

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Frog switching and position LEDs
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2020, 12:46:37 PM »

The problem with N points is they simply don't have the same amount of throw as OO, so it's trickier ensure the PL13 is lined up centrally.

There is a relatively inexpensive 3D aid to centering Peco and Seep point motors. Contact member Only Me for further info...........

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view;id=59536

Yeah, or just use a couple of bits of scrap plasticard.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline cudders

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Re: Frog switching and position LEDs
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2020, 07:46:58 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys.

I'll go going DC on my main layout. Will have at least 50 Points as its going to be about 16ft x 9.5ft with a centre aisle. It's all steam so don't really need DCC.

I do have a soft spot for BR Blue and have started to collect some stock so may go DCC with that one.  :D

Cudders
Hoping to make a start on the layout before Xmas!!

Offline Chris Morris

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Re: Frog switching and position LEDs
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2020, 08:50:41 AM »
This is what I have done with latching relays. My layout is under construction so, whilst this works at the moment, it has not had years of use to prove it is good. Previous experience using latching relays on my garden railway has shown them to be reliable, although those were a different brand. I have to admit I am not sure about what voltage coils I need for the latching relay. The choice for this make is 12 volt or 24 volt. I went for 24 volt originally and these work fine on the points close to the CDU but were a bit hit and miss on the points further away. I am sure I could have resolved this by using thicker wiring but, as the point motors were throwing fine and I already had lots of wire I decided to buy some latching relays with 12 volt coils. These work very well at the far end of the layout and, despite me trying my best to break them, they are working fine. The voltage from the CDU must be more than 12 volts but I guess it is such a short pulse that it doesn't damage the coils. If others who know about electronics would like to comment I would be pleased to hear from them on this subject.

Anyway here is my wiring diagram. Its simpler than it looks if you break it down into what each wire is doing. I have used a "chocolate bar" connector for all the wires soldered to the latching relay so it can be easily replaced if necessary.



Working doesn't seem to be the perfect thing for me so I'll continue to play.
Steve Marriott / Ronnie Lane

Offline chrism

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Re: Frog switching and position LEDs
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2020, 09:32:57 AM »
latching relays with 12 volt coils. These work very well at the far end of the layout and, despite me trying my best to break them, they are working fine. The voltage from the CDU must be more than 12 volts but I guess it is such a short pulse that it doesn't damage the coils. If others who know about electronics would like to comment I would be pleased to hear from them on this subject.

These are very useful little relays. I use them to switch my point indicator LEDs, also "fired" from the CDU impulse to the point motors. Mine are also 12v coils and since my CDU is also within my control panel I suspect that they are getting more of a belt than yours - haven't had any complaints from them as yet so I think that, as you suspect, the brevity of the pulse is such that even at somewhere in the region of 24v it's not enough to damage them.

I haven't used them for frog switching (haven't as yet found a need for it) but have droppers in place so I would have not qualms about using them if the switches on my point motors don't prove to be reliable enough.

I also use these relays, tripped by magnets and reed switches, to reverse the track polarity on Coniston's turntable, in a sequenced array of five to control the motors driving Woodland's level crossing gates from a single flick of a switch and two more to control the track power either side so that trains can't mash the gates if they are closed to rail traffic.

BTW, they are considerably cheaper than £3 from eBay - the last lot I bought were £14.99 for ten and were the same as I'd previously been paying around £3 for, the only difference being that the item code marked on them indicated RoHS compliancy which the more expensive ones didn't.

 

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