Pound Foolish? I think not...

Discussion in 'Other Electronic Interfaces' started by Beetleton MPD, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. Beetleton MPD

    Beetleton MPD Full Member

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    I am coming to the end of constructing a OO new analogue layout, all track laid and tested, scenery in place and wired commisioned as far as individual track sections are concerned. All looks well...
    Now that I have built the mimic layout and controllers I have begun to wire up the tracks to the panel.
    All complete and down to the testing - commisioning, Naughty Word, Naughty Word,Naughty Word, Bu**er!
    The panel has 23 Peco point motors to actuate via sub-mini toggle biased On - OFF - On switches and 15 track sections with DPDT centre-off On - Off - On switches. Tested 2 tracks just to prove the concept and happy with the operation. Completed the rest of the panel and got down to testing individual track sections and found that 7 of these switches failed to move mechanically !!! replaced them and 2 more failed on me.
    I bought them from a major supplier in China and out of the packet they appeared to be satisfactory compared with ones that I had 'rescued' from an aircraft testing project from the end of the 20C. I'm afraid that the purchase of these new Chinese switches was based upon unit cost at the time, however I have now decided to re-build my control panel with switches from a reputable supplier in the UK (I live in Portugal) at 4 x the cost of the Chinese ones as I really do not want others to fail on me when the Layout is up and running.
    Moral - as far as I am concerned is - don't penny-pinch... a lesson hard learned...
     
    Ron likes this.
  2. Ron

    Ron Staff Member Moderator

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    You live and learn !!:thumbup:
     
  3. York Paul

    York Paul Full Member

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    Sorry to hear about your setback... most frustrating but then hey same as Ron says, I get my switching stuff from DCC Concepts or Gaugemaster you get quality and it gets posted quickly. Good luck !
     
  4. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Most switches do tend to have a high infant mortality rate (fail early on) so those that haven't failed will probably last a while, and based on your figures 23 + 15 = 38 switches of which 9 have failed that's less than 25% at a a quarter of the cost you've still made a 50% saving on buying the dearer switches. However the time to fix these, and the lack of confidence in them is probably outweighing the saving.

    Just a thought

    Paul
     
  5. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Maybe just a bad batch of switches, although again, like some recent Hornby loco offerings, factory QC needs a kick up the backside! My analogue control panel has nearly 50 mainly double pole centre off Chinese made toggle switches for point and other control, which have been in use for around 3 years now without a single failure so far. The problem nowadays is that even equipment supplied under the auspices of a known "British" brand have likely been outsourced from a Chinese manufacturer in the interests of maximising profits for the "British" companies shareholders. Buying most components these days is pretty much a "Pot luck" gamble!
    Keith.
     
  6. Beetleton MPD

    Beetleton MPD Full Member

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    I have decided on a major redesign of the Control Panel.
    The old technique of Stud & Probe for switching points/turnouts is virtually problem free in both construction and operation and served me well in my early modelling days. So I shall employ this again. I have opted also to dispense with the 'chinese' DPDT switches and use some SPST switches, for the Track Section feeds, that I 'relieved' from a Concorde Test Rig some 40 years ago at the end of our Flight Testing of the project. Indication of the selected sections will be by 3mm green 12v LEDs on the mimic Control Board. I have made a small rig to make a 'proof of concept' before commiting myself to the much larger board.
    I should have photographed my progress but this will have to wait until the final Panel has been completed...
    Thanks for your comments above.
     
    jakesdad13 likes this.

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