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Author Topic: Humbledon  (Read 11663 times)

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Online degsy_safc

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #510 on: June 29, 2020, 08:08:44 PM »
Hi all,

Had some time upstairs in the loft again today, and wired up the points that I fitted yesterday.

Iíve kept the DC wires (pink / slate) terminated the same way on both the control panel and the cobalt motor, even though I knew that some would need to be reversed to ensure the point traveled the correct way I wanted it to. However DCC Concepts have added a little micro switch to reverse the polarity on their cobalt IP analogues which works a treat for this.

I did manage to get the DCC bus wiring reversed on the motors for the first crossover, which caused a short when checked with the multimeter. However swapped the wires round on the Ďfaulty sideí and that sorted it. That meant the next crossover was a doddle as it just needed to be wired exactly the same as the previous one. Checked the travel of the blades to make sure there were no obstructions preventing full movement back and forth, all seemed well apart from one motor which needed to be shifted by the slightest of margins to take a bit of pressure off the rod. Clipped the rods with a heavy duty pair of side cutters and pushed a MK1 green & cream highlander coach over all of the points to prove the rod wouldnít foul the coach.

Then I moved on to fitting the 8 motors at the very back of the baseboard, to do this I removed a couple of the leg bracings to allow me to crawl around under the boards with a bit more ease. Got all of them fitted and the DC feeds wired up, checked that blade travel was correct for corresponding switch position, and finally tested them and checked for full blade travel, clipped the rods and checked with the MK1 coach which was all OK. I havenít wired the DCC droppers into those just yet as I ran out of time, busy all day tomorrow, so hopefully Iíll get some time up there on Wednesday to continue.

Once those are wired with the DCC droppers, then Iím half way to completing point motor installation on the full layout. Plus the remaining points are pretty much in the middle / front of the layout, which should make things a bit more comfortable while working underneath the boards.

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

Online degsy_safc

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #511 on: July 01, 2020, 08:29:16 PM »
Hi all,

Hopefully I can explain this issue well enough for someone to understand and advise whether it is a genuine issue or itís normal..

So, Iíve wired enough point motors to allow a train to drive round the full up and down loops on my layout.

Iím using Cobalt IP Analogue Motors that are fed with a regulated DC power supply via switches on my control panel. This feed is used to move the respective point/s. As Iím DCC I also have a DCC +ve & -ve feed Wired into the second switch of the cobalt and the frog wire from the points into the common of switch 2.

Iíve wired the motors then tested them with a multimeter to make sure that the correct polarity is applied to the frog depending on the switch blade position, so if the switch blade is on the rail with the red wire, the frog shows short when I touch the probe to the red on other parts of the layout plus the red on the toe end of the point. Thatís how I understand it should work. Also where I have follow on points Iíve check them to make sure nothing shorts out and this is the case.

So to my Ďissueí;

If I drive a train from the up line into the first siding in the fiddle yard at the back of the layout and through the point at the far end to rejoin the up line and let the train carry on its journey.

I then change the switch on the control panel which changes the point that would lead into the first siding to move the blade back to a straight ahead position. I hear the 2 cobalt motors moving the blades which they are supposed to do as they are linked as a pair. However just before the motors finish their travel a short occurs and the train stops.

Iím assuming this is to do with frog switching / speed of point change, but cannot for the life of me work out how / what is needed to rectify the issue?

I must also add that not all of the point motors are wired on the full loop, so frog switching only applies for the points that are wired on the back edge & at the far left edge at the front of the board. However the points that needed the hand of god operation were set in the correct direction for the loco travel.

Does that explanation make sense and if so, does anyone have any suggestions how to resolve it please?

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

Offline jpendle

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #512 on: July 01, 2020, 10:57:49 PM »
Hi Derek,

This a really common issue with slo-mo point motors, I have had the same issue with my Tortoise motors. It's to do with the internal motor and the point blades not moving in sync with one another. This is generally due to too much throw on the actuation wire, or a misaligned point motor, or a combination of both. BTW I am assuming that the frog rails are isolated with IRJ's

First I would separate the point wiring so that just one point is moving.

Then operate that point and see whether it gives you a short, then repeat for the second point. Now you should know whether it is one or both points that have problems.

For the problem point you need to adjust the fulcrum on the motor to make it break blade contact sooner.

If all else fails you can always simulate dirty track (which is why you are using frog switching) and paint the sides of the blades on the offending point so that it never makes contact with the stock rails. :D

On my layout I can look at the lighted carriages on my Pendolinos, or at the LED's on the controller to see if this is happening, after I have installed a point.

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 degsy_safc

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #513 on: July 01, 2020, 11:30:54 PM »
Hi Derek,

This a really common issue with slo-mo point motors, I have had the same issue with my Tortoise motors. It's to do with the internal motor and the point blades not moving in sync with one another. This is generally due to too much throw on the actuation wire, or a misaligned point motor, or a combination of both. BTW I am assuming that the frog rails are isolated with IRJ's

First I would separate the point wiring so that just one point is moving.

Then operate that point and see whether it gives you a short, then repeat for the second point. Now you should know whether it is one or both points that have problems.

For the problem point you need to adjust the fulcrum on the motor to make it break blade contact sooner.

If all else fails you can always simulate dirty track (which is why you are using frog switching) and paint the sides of the blades on the offending point so that it never makes contact with the stock rails. :D

On my layout I can look at the lighted carriages on my Pendolinos, or at the LED's on the controller to see if this is happening, after I have installed a point.

Hi @jpendle John,

Firstly many thanks for the reply  :thumbsup:

Iím a bit confused now, as I proved the wiring with the multimeter by throwing the switch, then checking the frog polarity was correct based on the switch rail. Then throwing the switch the opposite way and testing the frog polarity was connected to the other rail, but this was done without track power applied?

Iíve now got approx 20 points wired up to the DC Switch feeds which are also connected to the DCC bus feeds. As the problem seems to be a timing issue, Iím assuming itís linked to the DCC feeds only. So I donít need to worry about the DC feeds that swaps the polarity of the motors, or do I need to disconnect all of those so I have only one point at a time moving?

Assuming that I can leave the DC feeds alone, I need to disconnect all of the DCC feeds bar 1 and start to prove them point by point? If that is the case then this will be relatively straight forward as they are all connected via your brilliant recommendation - Wagoís  :claphappy:

To prove the point motors one by one, Iíll need to keep the Z21 powered up and then throw the corresponding control panel switch, if there is a short, the Z21 LED will turn red. If no short, I can leave the DCC wires connected and move onto the next point?

Iíve got the slidey bit on the cobalts towards the bottom of the motor, I.e. nearest the bit that slides back and forth, to get the blades to separate sooner does it need to be nearer the top?

Everyone of the frog rails are isolated with IRJís, even where points follow points, as someone (possibly yourself)  recommended for simplicity to include them on every point, so thatís what I did.

Once again John, many thanks for your help..

Cheers Derek

« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 11:34:49 PM by degsy_safc, Reason: Additional text »
Cheers Derek

Offline lil chris

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #514 on: July 01, 2020, 11:47:44 PM »
Yes all frog rails need insulated joiners unless you are using unifrog points, unless you have a crossover with two districts, a mistake I made. The slider is usually near the top unless you have a point where it is not traveling far enough over for the switch rail to make contact, then sliding the slider down until you get good contact. You should not need to slide it down to the bottom unless you point motor is not central, if that is the case I would move the motor over slightly. I have not had timing problems with my Cobalt motors, are you sure you have not missed a insulated joiner on one of the frogs, I take it the track between the two points has its own feed wires.
Lil Chris
My new layout here, Irwell Valley Railway. https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=47127.0

my old layout was East Lancashire Lines.

Offline jpendle

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #515 on: July 01, 2020, 11:58:06 PM »
Hi Derek,

This almost certainly isn't a wiring issue, it's purely mechanical, so don't go pulling all the wires just yet.

The only wires that you should pull are the DC feeds that cause the two points to operate together, and that's just to make life less confusing, i.e just have one point moving rather than two at the same time.

Yes, you do need to have you track power turned on, otherwise you won't see the momentary short.

As @lil chris says, the fulcrum (slider) needs to be nearer to the top, i.e nearer to the baseboard so that you get 'just enough' mechanical movement. What's probably happening now is that the point blades are making contact before the internal switch has changed over.

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 degsy_safc

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #516 on: July 02, 2020, 12:08:04 AM »
Yes all frog rails need insulated joiners unless you are using unifrog points, unless you have a crossover with two districts, a mistake I made. The slider is usually near the top unless you have a point where it is not traveling far enough over for the switch rail to make contact, then sliding the slider down until you get good contact. You should not need to slide it down to the bottom unless you point motor is not central, if that is the case I would move the motor over slightly. I have not had timing problems with my Cobalt motors, are you sure you have not missed a insulated joiner on one of the frogs, I take it the track between the two points has its own feed wires.

Hi Chris,

Everything on a single district controlled by my Z21. Every section of track has a DCC dropper. Iím 98% sure that the IRJís are all in place, I was quite paranoid about this when track laying, but I will certainly check them again, it wonít take too long anyway as nothing to get in the way. There is no guarantee the motors are not central, but having never fitted this type of stuff before I cannot really confirm one way or another. Iíll slide all the slidey plastic bits nearer the baseboard and see what happens..

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #517 on: July 02, 2020, 12:13:54 AM »
Hi Derek,

This almost certainly isn't a wiring issue, it's purely mechanical, so don't go pulling all the wires just yet.

The only wires that you should pull are the DC feeds that cause the two points to operate together, and that's just to make life less confusing, i.e just have one point moving rather than two at the same time.

Yes, you do need to have you track power turned on, otherwise you won't see the momentary short.

As @lil chris says, the fulcrum (slider) needs to be nearer to the top, i.e nearer to the baseboard so that you get 'just enough' mechanical movement. What's probably happening now is that the point blades are making contact before the internal switch has changed over.

Regards,

John P

Hi John,

Thanks, will change the slidey plastic bits to be nearer the baseboard. Unfortunately having to remove the DC feeds will be a bit of a chore as I have to slide around under the boards to do that, but all of the linked points do have a Wago to join them so it wonít be totally horrendous..

Will report back in due course..

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

Offline Innovationgame

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #518 on: July 02, 2020, 08:17:09 AM »
The simplest way forward, to my mind, would be to disconnect both frog droppers from the Cobalts and then check that both points operate correctly. If the short still occurs, you almost certainly have an IRJ problem.   Then check the voltage on each frog in each position (i.e.straight ahead or turnout).  If you slide a very thin piece of card  between the stock rail and the switch blade the frog should be dead.  If not, there is still an IRJ problem.  If all is OK at this stage, reconnect the frog leaving the card in place on each stock rail and then change the points.  If the short still occurs, there is an IRJ fault.  It the points switch OK, remove one card and try the points again.  If the problem recurrs, it is either a switch polarity error or the Cobalt is switching too early or too late.  As has already be said by others, this can be addressed by moving the fulcrum slider along the operating rod.  Then remove the other card and repeat the exercise.

I hope this helps.
With kind regards
Laurence
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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #519 on: July 02, 2020, 03:43:16 PM »
The simplest way forward, to my mind, would be to disconnect both frog droppers from the Cobalts and then check that both points operate correctly. If the short still occurs, you almost certainly have an IRJ problem.   Then check the voltage on each frog in each position (i.e.straight ahead or turnout).  If you slide a very thin piece of card  between the stock rail and the switch blade the frog should be dead.  If not, there is still an IRJ problem.  If all is OK at this stage, reconnect the frog leaving the card in place on each stock rail and then change the points.  If the short still occurs, there is an IRJ fault.  It the points switch OK, remove one card and try the points again.  If the problem recurrs, it is either a switch polarity error or the Cobalt is switching too early or too late.  As has already be said by others, this can be addressed by moving the fulcrum slider along the operating rod.  Then remove the other card and repeat the exercise.

I hope this helps.

Hi Laurence,

Unfortunately Iíve just read your message, but had tried a couple of the things youíve suggested anyway. The piece of card between switch blade / stock rail was one thing I tried and the other was to prove the continuity on the frog when the points were changed to make sure that the DCC feed into switch 2 was passing the correct polarity based on point orientation.

Iím going to stick in another post to cover the testing so will leave the detail for that post.

But thank you for the great advice - plenty of options to try if I have problems for the next set  :thumbsup:

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #520 on: July 02, 2020, 04:17:41 PM »
Hi all,

Ok so Iíve just spent about 6 hours manipulating cobalt point motors to get them to work in harmony when paired up for passing loops, the 2 crossovers that have been wired so far have worked perfectly from the start.

Anyway, applied track power and switched each set of points in turn, this was for a total of 8 points which cover 6 tracks. It looked like 3 tracks were going to need some form of further adjustment, 2 on the up line and 1 on the down line. As the up line is right at the back and more awkward to reach, I decided to start with those issues.

Disconnected the link wires between the 2 lanes so I was operating points singularly, 1 worked fine the other showed a short. Messed about with the fulcrum on the shorting point and it seemed to clear the issue, reconnected the link wire and that seemed to work OK.

Onto the next one, replaced the link wire and messed about with the fulcrum for a bit, on a couple of instances I thought it was fixed but then it would fail again. Checked the IRJís to find everything was where it should be, then disconnected the DCC wires and fault disappeared. So I assumed something wrong with the cobalt switch, took the motor out and checked operation - fine  :veryangry:

Started to scratch head at this point, then remembered that @jpendle & @lil chris had mentioned motor alignment, at this point I assumed that this was all it could be. However rather than use the motor Iíd just removed I used a new one. Point centralised and motor fitted so rod as straight as possible, through centralised tiebar, then rewired, tested and seemingly working fine, threw a coupe of switches at the same time and fault back  :censored:

Fault on same line as that one I thought Iíd just fixed, fortunately all that was required was to change the fulcrum slightly on the other point and now all of the up line was working perfectly  :claphappy:

Now onto the fault on the down line, Worked through the tests one by one, until I noticed while I was under the baseboards that there was a slight bow in one of the rods. Out with the screwdriver, whip off the motor (those sticky pads are pretty strong), reseat the motor, on with the power, throw the switches and bingo fault gone..

So Iíve still got 1 crossover and 3 passing loops, where pairs of points are controlled via single switches, however after that the rest are all single switch points. Plus Iíve now learned how important it is to get the motor positioned so that there is no pressure on the rod in any plane when fitting them. This isnít as easy as it seems while lying upside down under an L shaped baseboard, but the last few are closer to the front so hopefully it will be a little easier.

Not sure when Iíll get the rest installed, but it was good to have the class 20 driving round the layout and being able to throw any switch and it keep going without grinding to a halt  :thumbsup:

Thanks again for everyoneís help and ideas, without you Iíd probably have given up by now..

Cheers Derek
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 05:54:26 PM by degsy_safc »
Cheers Derek

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #521 on: July 02, 2020, 05:06:50 PM »
Derek,

Glad to see your problems are getting sorted, who said railway modelling was a relaxing hobby, youíve got to have some pain before the gain.

Bet it was good to run a loco

Stay safe

Mike H

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #522 on: July 02, 2020, 05:48:32 PM »
Well done Derek glad you got there in the end. I find it is always best to get the point motor central whichever type of motor you are using if only to get correct operation of the switch for frog polarity. With the Cobalt motors when I first bought my anolouge classic motors You used to get a template for the motors with a box of six or more, it was universal for all gauges. It was actually wrong for n-gauge because it assumed the rod went through the centre of the tie bar when it is offset for n-gauge. I modified mine so I could use it, you placed it above the baseboard and drilled through for the holes, handy piece of kit.
Lil Chris
My new layout here, Irwell Valley Railway. https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=47127.0

my old layout was East Lancashire Lines.

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #523 on: July 02, 2020, 05:51:38 PM »
Derek,

Glad to see your problems are getting sorted, who said railway modelling was a relaxing hobby, youíve got to have some pain before the gain.

Bet it was good to run a loco

Stay safe

Mike H

Thanks Mike, Iíve had them moving before but to get them doing complete circuits and running into the various tracks via the points thrown at the control panel, was a real treat.

Iíve got about 9 points to fit and wire and then Ďadjustí and a bit of tidying up and I could have them running round both loops, the branch and the parcels sidings - thatís if I had enough stock to do that  :smiley-laughing:

However, itís a good bit of progress in my book  :thumbsup:

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

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Re: Humbledon
« Reply #524 on: July 02, 2020, 08:04:03 PM »
Well done Derek glad you got there in the end. I find it is always best to get the point motor central whichever type of motor you are using if only to get correct operation of the switch for frog polarity.
Thatís bang on Chris, the one I had that had a slight bow in the rod didnít look much, but it was never going to work in conjunction with its mate at the other end until I unscrewed it from the baseboard and refined it to take the bow out.

With the Cobalt motors when I first bought my anolouge classic motors You used to get a template for the motors with a box of six or more, it was universal for all gauges. It was actually wrong for n-gauge because it assumed the rod went through the centre of the tie bar when it is offset for n-gauge. I modified mine so I could use it, you placed it above the baseboard and drilled through for the holes, handy piece of kit.
I found a sheet of cobalt templates, that were linked from this forum on a club site, so I printed them off and tried to use them, long before the motors arrived, unfortunately I soon realised that they were designed for use on OO Gauge, even shifting them to the side for N Gauge the holes were not in the correct place. Fortunately I didnít drill holes using them.

Itís certainly been a learning curve, especially as Iíve never done this kind of thing before, oddly, as I used to cable and wire up telephone exchanges - the wiring of the motors has been dead easy..

Cheers Derek
Cheers Derek

 

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