3 way 0 gauge points, how to motorise?

Discussion in 'Hand built track' started by Keith M, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm considering the possibilty of building a Marcway 3 way point kit and altering my proposed track plan to suit, but it then occurred to me "how do I motorise it"? Obviously a solenoid won't be suitable as it's only one side or the other with no mid point for a 3 way, and hand operation with wire in tube is a no-no for this layout so anyone any suggestions/ideas? Possibly it could be done with a servo, I've no experience with Tortoise type motors so no idea if one might do the job. Has anyone successfully motorised a 3 way in any gauge and if so how was it done please?
    Keith.
     
  2. Walkingthedog

    Walkingthedog Full Member

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    6FEEFA2F-FF51-4CC6-912A-007B9334AA8A.jpeg Surely a 3 way point only has two sets of switch blades and they both throw fully one side or the other, there is no half way, unless Marcway points operate differently from Peco.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
  3. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    You should have two tie bars Keith about three sleepers apart which would allow two solenoids to fit in there in parallel.
    The most important part of a three way is the throw sequence ( relies on you ) ......one set of blades will have to move before the other. Once you have that clear in your mind, it`s simple.
    :tophat:Gormo
     
  4. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi Keith

    I'd use servo's - no surprise there :whatever:.

    The MERG Servo 1R (you'd need two of them per 3 way), includes a relay for the V polarity. The servo 1 doesn't have the built in relay, and is aimed at signals.
    There is also the Servo4 - I have used a few of these (it has been recently updated to be 12V supply only). There are also the servo mounts, which can take micro switches to do the polarity switching.

    On my todo list is to have a go at designing a rack and pinion servo mount.

    Paul
     
  5. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    I use DCC Concepts Cobalt IP units on my turnouts but as Paul says servos would do the trick. The Cobalts are slow acting and you just need to set the thrust from the mid point position. A three way point is where both sets of turnout blades sit on top of each other ... I suspect your point kit will build what is called a Tandem Turnout which means one set of turnout switches are located in front of the other set... its a common misunderstanding in calling a tandem a three way. So just treat these as two pairs of points only they sit inside each other. I have a DCC Concepts diagram for wiring a tandem if its of use I'll root it out and send it to you or copy it so you can refer back. Wait till you build up an outside double slip :facepalm:
     
  6. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I've never actually looked closely at 3 way points or how they might operate so it's a steep learning curve for me. I can see from what Brian has pictured and Gormo has said that it's somewhat different to how I thought operationally, though if I do go for a Marcway 3 way kit, then actually building it will give me a better understanding of how it operates. Paul L's mention of the MERG servo kits is something I've already used for level crossing gate automation using the 'Servo 4' kits together with the 3D printed mounts which can have microswitches added (which is why I have some 'spare' to possibly use for point frog switching), though I've not used the Servo 1R. The tandem wiring diagram would be useful when you have the time Paul(York). Thanks to all for help.
    Keith.
     
  7. Walkingthedog

    Walkingthedog Full Member

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    Basically both set of blades switched right train goes left, both left train goes right, one left one right( can’t remember which ones) train goes straight on.
     
  8. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Keith, I've fitted two servos to my 3 way, they have to be thrown in sequence or they get knotted up. Wiring is fairly straight forward, one crossing "v" is wired same as a normal point, the other two are wired as a pair, they operate together, using one changeover switch on the tiebar on the nearest pair of switch blades. If I can dig it out, I will try and show you how I've wired mine.

    Cheers, Pete.

    Ps, mine is a Marcway point.
     
  9. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Right, hopefully this will be self explanatory, I've taken a few photos of the point and the servos. First up is the whole point.

    IMG_2667.JPG

    It is built as per a standard point with the two outer rails electrically isolated by slitting the copper clad rails.

    IMG_2668_LI.jpg
    Above is the crossing "V" isolated in the usual way shown by the blue line.
    Next is the other two "V"s.
    IMG_2669_LI.jpg
    As can be seen the two "V"s are treated as a single unit within the blue line and fed with a single power supply from the micro switch I've used for switching. The next two photos are of the servos and micro switches and the orange wires I've used for the frog power supplys.
    IMG_2670.JPG
    IMG_2671.JPG

    Hope this is of help mate, any questions, give me a shout.

    Cheers, Pete.
     
  10. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Pete, what brand of unit have you used for operating the servo's? I have a spare MERG 'Servo 4' unit but as that will run 4 servo's, it's a bit overkill for this job, may have a look at the MERG 'Servo 1R' that Paul L mentioned unless what you've used is available/cheaper/simpler. I'll be making a trip to Marcways when they're open and we're allowed out to play again!:giggle:
    Keith.
     
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  11. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Keith, I use a megapoints unit, it will operate up to (if I remember right) 12 or 16 points and or signals etc. A bit overkill for what I need but I didn't know I could get a smaller one at the time. As for price I think I paid around £60.

    Pete.
     
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  12. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Pete, MERG have a MegaPoints 12 Channel Servo Controller kit for £30 and Megastta Remote Setup module kit for £4.27, you'd show a profit buying one unit including your years membership.

    The Servo 4 units are £4.94 each, with the optional ServoSet 2 setting box - not required but makes life easier setting the servo's up is £14.68.
    Servo1 Single Servo driver (for signals - has bounce builtin) £3.79
    Servo1R Single Servo driver with Relay (for frog switching) £5.95
    Setting Box for Servo1 £10.19

    Clipped from the website membership costs are

    upload_2021-3-20_0-24-48.png

    If you only buy the kits it's a good saving, but you also get a quaterly magazine, access to the technical bulletins, forum etc, etc, for me it's well worth the annual fee.

    Paul
     
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  13. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    If Pete does go down the MERG route, I have the Servoset setting box which (since He's not far from me) He's welcome to borrow.
    With reference to the Servo1R, though I'm aware of it, I doubt this would be much use to me on my intended layout as the relay changeover wouldn't be fast enough to beat the short-circuit cutout on my Lenz setup. Sol mentioned about that a while back, so I bought a couple of dual Frog Juicers as He mentioned, for the 2 crossovers I have and I'll probably stick to microswitches for the points.
    Keith.
     
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  14. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Paul, thanks for the heads up regarding the Merg option. I'm not certain of the cost of the MegaPoints unit I bought, I have probably got it wrong but I may take up the Merg membership, from seeing their demos at shows I have the impression it's all witchcraft, I am very much a technophobe however I'm open to being proved wrong, we'll see.
    Thanks Keith for the offer of the loan of your Servoset unit though I have no idea what it is mate.:scratchchin::avatar: Once we are let out, I will have a run over to your gaff and we can do some chin wagging!

    Cheers, Pete.
     
  15. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    You're welcome Pete.:thumbup:

    Keith.
     

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