"Brolgan Road" – a 1960s HO layout representing NSWGR in the Central West.
Servos for Points
Points /turnouts on my layout were initially operated manually using a wire-in-tube mechanism. There are currently 44 points on the layout and I started converting to servo control about half-way through.
The wire-in-tube (WIT) method I used worked very well and is shown to the right.
The mechanism is relatively easily fabricated and the cover is removable with one screw to allow easy adjustment of the point blades at the fascia.
It will handle a second wire to allow push/pull operation of 2 points in a crossover.
If there is any interest, contact me and I will add a section on the design and fabrication of the WIT method and the fascia mounted lever frames..
I changed to servo operation for the following reasons:
with this type of mechanical operation, control panels would not be able to operate the points (there are 4 mini panels on the layout).
the system selected allows precision adjustment of each point blade; variable speed of movement; position indication
servos can be installed from the top of a 50mm (+) foam layout
points can be controlled from a central position; a local panel; by a computer; as a route by changing many points at once and other options.
the system I use is based on the UK MERG model. Circuits vary from simple to complex.
Plus – I like working with electronics.
I have had some of the servos become very noisy in operation which I believe may be due to their being relatively poor quality CLONES. This ARTICLE sheds some light on the differences between “counterfeit” and original MG90S servos.
I will report back on my findings.
MERG sells kits for the above 2 projects and they cost just £1.55ea +postage from the UK for MERG members. Almost all of the more sophisticated CBUS kits are based on professionally manufactured Printed Circuit Board (PCBs) and usually kits of the necessary parts are available or you can buy the parts locally.
There are other alternatives:
The device shown to the right is a ” MegaPoints Controller” by a UK company and could be very good for those people not confident in building PCBs themselves. I have not used it or seen it in operation but it comes ready to connect to 12 servos and has 12 corresponding switch inputs. Here is their Website and here is a YouTube Demo There are 2 videos in sequence. Cost is said to be £50 in the UK.
I also notice that DCC Concepts have an “above board” system that looks interesting for someone not interested in a DIY approach – Cobalt SS.
Born in the steam era and developed an interest in railways when given a clockwork Hornby "set". Surrounded by steam when travelling to school (by train of course) and holidays were always by steam train as we had no car. How lucky was I?
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