!!

Not Registered?

Welcome!  Please register to view all of the new posts and forum boards - some of which are hidden to guests.  After registering and gaining 10 posts you will be able to sell and buy items on our N'porium.

If you have any problems registering, then please check your spam filter before emailing us.  Hotmail users seem to find their emails in the Junk folder.


Thanks for reading,
The NGF Staff.

Author Topic: Newbie, point frog change and led indication  (Read 343 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Spanners70

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« on: May 07, 2020, 11:48:17 AM »
Morning all. Still knocking layout ideas around and after some help. I知 going to fir point motors to all my points. I want to be able to control them from mimic panel with switches , straightforward, but at the points end I知 looking for ideas help suggestions. When I flip the switch on the panel, I want the point motor to obviosuly move the point, but then I also need some sort of switch on it so it will swap the frog polarity and send a signal back to the panel to have an led indication on the mimic panel. To an electronic newbie, think I need two switches to operate when the point moves, or maybe the basic standard one switch on the point theat then controls a double pole relay one output for frog one for the led? I知,looking at using deep or peco solenoid motors for cost, I知 going to have to do around 80 or so points I cart run to using tortoise or similar motors with double switch output, I知 sure there must be a cheaper way using seeps and some sort of basic electronic wizardry ! I知 competent  with the soldering ideas etc just not a Wizz creating circuits.
Thanks for any ideas, I知 sure many will have solved this problem I carnt be the only one wanted led indication and frog switching. Be using peco 55 track.

Online Malc

  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 21878
  • Posts: 4808
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2020, 11:56:51 AM »
Seep point motors do have a switch included, but to be honest I found the switch to be a bit of a mixed blessing. The motor has only to be a fraction misaligned for it to stop working. You would also need some sort of latching circuit or a relay to give you an indication.
It might be worth looking on the MERG web site and see if they do anything.
https://merg.org.uk/
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 11:58:29 AM by Malc »
The years have been good to me, it was the weekends that did the damage.

Offline Bealman

  • Moderator
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 23151
  • Posts: 19552
  • Country: au
  • Gender: Male
  • Promotion remains in the future
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2020, 12:04:59 PM »
Peco reckon you can gang two accessory switches onto the same motor, but I've never had any luck with that. Shame, because that would be the easy way out.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online chrism

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1555
  • Country: gb
  • The Coniston Railway
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2020, 12:29:05 PM »
Seep point motors do have a switch included

Not all - Seep PM1s have a switch, as do the the self-latching PM4s for unsprung points.
PM2s, however, have no switch.

Quote
You would also need some sort of latching circuit or a relay to give you an indication.

A double pole latching relay, like these;
https://www.jprelec.co.uk/categories/electro-mechanical/relays/hongfa--miniature-pcb-relays/hongfa-hfd2-latching-dpco-relays/product/hongfa-hfd2-latching-dpco-relays/820-230~820-230

can be used for driving 2 LEDs off one pole, as I do on my control panels. I trigger them using the point change impulses from my stud and probe panels, but there's no reason why they couldn't also be triggered by double-throw centre-off switches or pairs of pushbuttons if those are one's preferred way of changing the points.

If necessary the other pole could be used for frog switching, although I haven't yet needed to do this.

Note, the same relays can be had cheaper off the likes of eBay - but sellers there don't usually include a link to the spec sheet which gives useful things like the pinout diagram, hence why I've linked to this supplier.

Offline Nigel Cliffe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 775
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2020, 12:34:03 PM »
To what extent "must" this be Seep or Peco motors.   Because there are other ways which are likely to be cheaper, and certainly simpler to get direction indication on a panel, and polarity switching at the same time. 
And, to what extent should the panel just indicate what has been requested (ie. show what the user asked for), or should it really feedback the layout actual turnout movement ?   The latter involves more wires, and I'd argue unnecessary for an N gauge model. 


Example approaches away from Seep/Peco solenoids, far from exhaustive:

Tortoise (mentioned) and similar motors (Cobalt, Hoffmann, and others) which use a change over switch.   This simplifies wiring, because the switch itself can indicate direction.  Either a toggle switch, or a rotary switch,  so no LED needed.   If a LED is wanted, it can be wired with the motor feed, so no extra switch channels needed.    Frog polarity either at the motor end, or on another pole at the switch.

Servo motors.  SG90 servos are really cheap.   Control electronics for them is cheap (Peco's solution is stupidly expensive).   
As with the Tortoise (etc) motors, the switch can indicate position (rotary or toggle), or (as with Tortoise) the setting switch pole can also switch LEDs.   Polarity of frog either at the switch, or with an additional microswitch installed beside the Servo, or as a feature within the servo control electronics. 


If alternative motors are on the cards, then more details can be offered. 


- Nigel




Online ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4757
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2020, 12:44:23 PM »
Peco point motors can be used with their twin microswitch kit and mounting plate, that would give you 1 changeover pole for the frog and one for the LED indicator.  To be honest though I've kind of gone off the microswitches, I find them fiddly to set up accurately with N points and really they need more throw to be reliable.

Peco also do a slide switch which glues to the bottom of the motor. Unlike @Bealman I've had success ganging two of those together on the same motor. Make sure you use a CDU to drive the motors with a decent brief "thump"

I have no knowledge of the new Peco Twist Lock point motors so I don't know what auxiliary switching arrangements they can support.

I agree with @Malc with regard to the reliability of the changeover switches on SEEP motors. Again it's down to the small throw of N points. There's no provision to add a second switch to a Seep, you'd have to rig up a way of mounting a microswitch so it can be activated.

@Nigel Cliffe makes some good suggestions for alternative types of motor.  Where these can be controlled by a standard toggle switch (not a biased type) then the switch itself indicates the way the point was last thrown (not quite the same as actual feedback of the current state, but generally close enough).

Do you really need indication of the way each point is set?  I had it for a couple of hidden points on a previous layout, but generally I don't find it necessary.  Before carrying out a movement I run along the route on the mimic diagram and fire any points, set any cab control section switches and then set signals.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 12:46:20 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Knigshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Platy767

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 6332
  • Posts: 146
  • Country: au
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2020, 12:49:49 PM »
or maybe the basic standard one switch on the point theat then controls a double pole relay one output for frog one for the led?

That will work. Back of the napkin circuit for you to follow is attached. Apologies for scratchy handwriting.

Mark
PS. Actually for the frog polarity I would make the "Controller Output" connections to the "Section Feed" rather than directly to the controller.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 12:54:24 PM by Platy767, Reason: Clarify frog polarity connection »

Offline stevewalker

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 554
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2020, 12:55:48 PM »
Is your (loco) control DC or DCC. If it's DCC, it should be possible to use a SEEP to switch a point and its in-built  switch to switch the frog. A single wire from the frog (or SEEP) could then feed two LED indicators, one side of both connected to the frog wire and the other sides of each connected to the A and B rail supply respectively. When the frog is switched to rail A, the first LED will be across A and A and will be extinguished, while the second will be across A and B and will light. When the frog is switched to rail B, the first LED will be across A and B and will light, while the second will be across B and B and will be extinguished.

I am currently experimenting with spacing the SEEPs further below the board, allowing the inherent slop in the system to permit more movement at the motor than occurs at the point, so as to provide reliable switching of the frog.

Offline springwood

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 155
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2020, 01:03:48 PM »
When I flip the switch on the panel, I want the point motor to obviosuly move the point, but then I also need some sort of switch on it so it will swap the frog polarity and send a signal back to the panel to have an led indication on the mimic panel.

This is exactly what I have done on my layout. My attached sketch diagram shows two points in a crossover formation. So, the obvious requirements are two point motors (I have used Peco PL-10e's throughout), a controller that can produce 16v AC, a decent CDU, a Heathcote standard point indicator board (which has built-in resistors and comes with LEDs), spring-loaded momentary SPDT switches, wire etc. The diagram should hopefully be self-explanatory, but note in top left corner where I state the differences between pushing the switch one way, then the other. I find this works really well. Note that there is no frog polarity switching in this set-up, but prior to installing my points I carefully soldered a single wire to the frog area on the underside and allowed this to go through a hole in the baseboard to give me the option to add GM500 universal relay switches should I need to in the future.


Offline Spanners70

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2020, 08:48:03 PM »
Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas chaps. Due to needing about 80 points ( 48 will be for 24 track storage yard) I started looking into peco or seep as the cheapest motor as cobalts or similar  at 15 or so each, More digging today you can get a double switch for the peco but buy the time you buy that and the motor maybe easier to just buy cobalts. Going to have to have a rethink on this ! Led on the panel and powering the frog be nice, but as the yard will be partially hidden in the V of a modern truss house the led is a must or a ball ache to keep checking which points is where on the ladders of points. But 1200 or so of point motors is ouch...

Online ntpntpntp

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4757
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2020, 10:06:50 PM »
I fitted LED indicators to my fiddleyard when built back in the mid 90s.  Over the years and 70+ shows some of the changeover switches (Peco microswitches) have become less than 100% reliable but we've also found that we don't refer to them anyway.  We just press the required point buttons for the desired route, and it just works without needing to see the current setting of the points. 

I used diode matrices  for route setting, so a single button throws all the points required for the selected yard track.  I split the yard tracks in half to accommodate two shorter trains if desired, so each track has an entry and exit button.

Here's one of the panels
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Knigshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Spanners70

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2020, 04:38:07 PM »
Bit more digging and reading, leaning now towards using the merg servo mounts and the small servos, looks like servo for 4 quid or so, then about a quid for a mount to which I can add micro switch too which could be used to operate a Double pole latching relay one for the frog one for the led indication on a mimic panel. Guess I知 gonna have to sign upto the merg site to get onto there forum for more research, not sure which of there kits to use to control the servos as heading towards out my depth on the limited info as a non merg member, but looks like going that was I can have a slow moving servo point doing both the frog and indication for around 8 quid a point, or less than half the cost of cobalts or tortoise. And the fun of building it all. For my storage tracks, I知 looking at 24 tracks so 48 points, so wondering about mounting them on the top of the board and cable in tube to save the agro of working underneath, and would look pretty cool a bank of 24 servos at each end with the electronics, assuming I can wire it all neatly..

Offline kirky

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 18171
  • Posts: 1770
  • Country: 00
  • Gender: Male
    • Facebook
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2020, 05:31:05 PM »
I would thoroughly recommend MERG. Yes it can be very high powered stuff but there is plenty of information for less experienced/electronically challenged. There is a controller from MERG known as the SERVO 4 which control 4 servos, and also a pocket money kit to control one servo. Both are kits to build and are 」5.98 and 」1.22 respectively. For the more adventurous there is CBUS.
The annual fee for Merg is 」16 per annum for UK residents. The Merg forum is usually very helpful.
Hope this helps.
Kirky
Northallerton will make its next public appearance sometime after LOCKDOWN

Layout: Northallerton: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=1671.msg16930#msg16930

www.northallertonngauge.co.uk

Cleveland Model Railway club website: www.clevelandmrc.club

Offline Nigel Cliffe

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 775
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2020, 05:50:40 PM »
Bit more digging and reading, leaning now towards using the merg servo mounts and the small servos, looks like servo for 4 quid or so, then about a quid for a mount to which I can add micro switch too which could be used to operate a Double pole latching relay one for the frog one for the led indication on a mimic panel. Guess I知 gonna have to sign upto the merg site to get onto there forum for more research, not sure which of there kits to use to control the servos as heading towards out my depth on the limited info as a non merg member, but looks like going that was I can have a slow moving servo point doing both the frog and indication for around 8 quid a point, or less than half the cost of cobalts or tortoise. And the fun of building it all. For my storage tracks, I知 looking at 24 tracks so 48 points, so wondering about mounting them on the top of the board and cable in tube to save the agro of working underneath, and would look pretty cool a bank of 24 servos at each end with the electronics, assuming I can wire it all neatly..

You don't need "latching relays".

Servos at side of layout, with operating wires or wire-in tube to the tie bars works fine.  You may find it neat to put the servo just below baseboard, with the actuating arm/head poking above, so the operating wire is flat to the turnout tie-bar.   Have a good spring (omega loop) in the operating wire to take up any over-throw of the servo. 

The most common MERG servo board is the "Servo 4".  You also need a way of setting the servo movement, which is either a serial cable to a PC and some Windows software, or the Servo Settings box.   Build the settings box, it is a lot less hassle than the PC method.
There are alternatives though, in the Pocket Money Kits there is a single servo board,  or there is a PCB for a single servo with integral frog relay board (a bit more advanced to put together). 
Plus there are several more advanced boards, including one which is a DIY version of the Megapoints board, and a number of options within both Cbus and EzyBus - both of which could save you a lots of wire from control panel to layout.   EzyBus might be a good option for 48 turnouts, but will need a bit of reading to get it all working. 



With just the Servo4 option:

Method 1 - if switches are not difficult to wire to the frogs.   Use a three pole change-over switch, which could be a rotary switch - though a rotary switch will give an indication of direction without needing LEDs....
Pole 1 - operating the MERG servo4 board
Pole 2 - changing LEDs on panel
Pole 3 - changing Frog.

Method 2 - Two pole change over switch on panel, plus micro-switch at servo.
Switch pole 1 - operate MERG servo 4
Switch pole 2 - change LEDs on panel
Microswitch moved by servoarm - change frog

Method 3 - two pole change over switch, swap microswitch for relay board
Switch pole 1 -  operate MERG servo 4 and relay board on same output wire. 
Switch pole 2 - option for LEDs on panel
Relay - frog, if using several relays, then LED indicators or other things could be added.
( Cheap ready to use 5v Relay boards are available on Ebay/Amazon, they'd just "work" with the Servo4.  Almost zero hassle in the above arrangement. ).



- Nigel

Online rob_au

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Country: au
    • Awards
Re: Newbie, point frog change and led indication
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2020, 12:19:48 PM »
While I am not anticipating to incorporate the same number of points, I have chosen to employ DCC Concepts ADS-8x and ADS-4x solenoid point decoders for my layout (with only nine single-throw points). These units allow for the integration of control with my DCC system, but also incorporates support for:
  • Front-panel push buttons/switches and indication LEDs (thereby allowing for both DCC and manual control of points)
  • Frog polarity control for electro-frog points
  • Integrated capacity discharge unit (CDU)
While this might not be a cost effective option given the number of points that you are looking to employ, it would seem to meet your requirements with respect to managing frog polarity and providing front-panel control/feedback.

Layouts under Construction

 

Please Support Us!
July Goal: £60.00
Due Date: Jul 31
Total Receipts: £15.00
Below Goal: £45.00
Site Currency: GBP
25% 
July Donations

SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal