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Hello all, getting back into N scale model railroading after a long absence and so far so good. One problem I sure can use some help on is with a Peco pl-11 turnout motor. I used a Peco curved turnout and wired a PL-11 switch motor to it, trouble I am having is that switch motor will not move the switch, just seems to stutter. I rechecked wiring and I don't know if it is a problem but I used an Atlas switch controller. It seems that the switch motor just does not have the power to throw switch, just kind of stutters and quickly get hot. Switch seems to able to move okay manually. Any ideas on what is wrong or what I may of done wrong? Any other switch motors available to switch a Peco curved turnout? Do you think possibly that the switch motor was bad from the beginning and I should try another? Anyhow, I would really appreciate any opinions or help I can get.
Thanks to all, Mike
 

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Peco turnouts are sprung. I'll bet that little motor is not strong enough to overcome that spring. Remove the spring and you should be OK.
 

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The Peco switch machne is a twin coil machine that is strong enough to overcome the Peco turnout's built-in spring. Don't remove the Peco turnout spring because the switch motor does not have one by itself. Your problem is that you don't have enough power to operate the switch motor, a Capacitor Discharge Unit will do the trick.
 

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Wow, so sorry for the bad advice on that spring. What the previous poster said you should do and NOT listen to me.

I thought I read somewhere where that spring needed to be removed for certain applications but it only makes sense NOT to do that here.

Bad medicine is worse then no medicine at all.
 

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I have found that the HO version of the Peco twin coil
motors work better with DC power. I use a typical
home door bell transformer putting out 18 volts ac,
rectified and thru a Capacitor discharge unit.

I had tried the twin coils with AC accessory terminals
of a MRC DC power pack and they performed similarly
to what the OP has found.

Don
 

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Atlas "switch controller"?

Hello all, getting back into N scale model railroading after a long absence and so far so good. One problem I sure can use some help on is with a Peco pl-11 turnout motor. I used a Peco curved turnout and wired a PL-11 switch motor to it, trouble I am having is that switch motor will not move the switch, just seems to stutter. I rechecked wiring and I don't know if it is a problem but I used an Atlas switch controller. It seems that the switch motor just does not have the power to throw switch, just kind of stutters and quickly get hot. Switch seems to able to move okay manually. Any ideas on what is wrong or what I may of done wrong? Any other switch motors available to switch a Peco curved turnout? Do you think possibly that the switch motor was bad from the beginning and I should try another? Anyhow, I would really appreciate any opinions or help I can get.
Thanks to all, Mike
Mike;

I'm not familiar with Peco's product numbers for their turnout "motors", but I'm assuming the "PL-11" you mention is a normal Peco twin-coil solenoid that clips directly onto the bottom of the Peco turnout, is that correct? If so, then it should be plenty powerful enough to move the points of the turnout. Try this simple test. Unclip the solenoid from the bottom of the turnout. Try moving the points & throwbar by hand. They should move easily, and spring to the other position with the point rail held firmly against the stock rail. Make sure this works well repeatedly, on both possible routes through the turnout. If it does, the your turnout is OK. If it doesn't then the throwbar, or point rails may have some dirt, ballast, or other gunk keeping the throwbar from moving freely. Use an X-acto knife, or tiny screwdriver, to clean out the narrow slots on either side of the throwbar. Once you get it moving, you can add a single drop of plastic compatible oil if you want. Usually this wont be needed.

The next test is to operate the twin-coil solenoid by itself, while it is separated from the turnout. It should snap instantly from one side to the other with an audible sound and obvious smack when it hits either end of it's travel.
By the way, disregard any advice about removing the spring from your Peco turnout. Doing that makes sense when using a Tortoise, or other "stall motor" switch machine, Those motors hold the point against the stock rail without need for a spring. The Peco twin-coil switch machine does not hold the point against the stock rail. That's the reason why Peco installs the spring in their turnouts.

Next, and very important. Completely disconnect, and dismount, that Atlas switch controller. ( I'm guessing you mean the blue button in a big black plastic case type that comes with Atlas remote controlled turnouts.) Now grasp the switch controller in one hand, and proceed immediately to the nearest trash receptacle. Drop that absolute piece of junk into the place where it belongs.
Those blue button controls have often been known to short out, even when operating the wimpy Atlas twin-coil switch machine. In fact they're pretty notorious for doing just that.
The Peco switch machine is much more powerful than the Atlas one. The Peco draws more electric current, which is more likely to help that Atlas P.O.C. to weld it's internal contacts into a permanent short circuit, which will, in turn, fry one of the coils in your Peco switch machine, rendering it useless forevermore.

To protect your Peco switch machines from this sort of thing, get the Stapleton company's 751D turnout control with a built-in CDU (Capacitive Discharge Unit) Use it to replace the Atlas blue button thing. The CDU feature makes it impossible to short out a coil. DonR can give you more info on the Stapleton control.

Hope that helps you;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Umm, wrong

Peco turnouts are sprung. I'll bet that little motor is not strong enough to overcome that spring. Remove the spring and you should be OK.
CV-62;

The Peco "motor" is actually a twin-coil solenoid that clips onto the bottom of a Peco turnout. It is very powerful, and has plenty of power to move the points and overcome the minor resistance of Peco's built-in spring. That spring is essential to hold the point against the stock rail, when using the Peco twin-coil solenoid. Unlike the Tortoise, Peco's switch machine does not keep on pushing, like a stall motor. That is the reason for the spring.

Regards;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

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CV-62;

The Peco "motor" is actually a twin-coil solenoid that clips onto the bottom of a Peco turnout. It is very powerful, and has plenty of power to move the points and overcome the minor resistance of Peco's built-in spring. That spring is essential to hold the point against the stock rail, when using the Peco twin-coil solenoid. Unlike the Tortoise, Peco's switch machine does not keep on pushing, like a stall motor. That is the reason for the spring.

Regards;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
Of course. I spoke out of turn. I got myself confused with the Tortoise motor which, of course, is a whole different ball game. That however, is no excuse to giving wrong information. Wrong information is hundreds times worse then having no information at all.

Life goes on, right? In the meantime, I have been doing some research on these momentary type switches and have found a vendor that makes them with circuitry to facilitate having LED's to indicate switch position. I would not be needing many but a few utilized in longer then arms reach switches would save me from getting up off my derriere. :appl:
 

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CV -- if you haven't yet purchased your controllers, may I suggest that you have a look at the servo-based solutions from Tam Valley Depot (www.tamvalleydepot.com). Very plug and play, and eliminates a lot of headaches with the twin-coil units.

The mini servos are powerful enough to throw a Peco turnout with the spring intact, but you don't need it , because they come with a hardened steel wire actuator that is springy enough to hold the points firmly in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you, Thank you

Wow! Excellent stuff here, I really appreciate all the help, especially since I really need it!! Going to look into some things and will let you know what I figure out. Hopefully you guys will be around to help me out again as I have a few questions about N scale cars and their manufacturers, thanks again, Mike
 

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CV -- if you haven't yet purchased your controllers, may I suggest that you have a look at the servo-based solutions from Tam Valley Depot (www.tamvalleydepot.com). Very plug and play, and eliminates a lot of headaches with the twin-coil units.

The mini servos are powerful enough to throw a Peco turnout with the spring intact, but you don't need it , because they come with a hardened steel wire actuator that is springy enough to hold the points firmly in place.
Thank you CT. I am impressed with the general overall opinions of Tam Valley products and will look into those. I have not purchased anything yet. Still doing research to insure I buy the right stuff the first time. Lord knows this hobby is expensive enough without buying stuff twice. :D
 

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You're welcome

Wow! Excellent stuff here, I really appreciate all the help, especially since I really need it!! Going to look into some things and will let you know what I figure out. Hopefully you guys will be around to help me out again as I have a few questions about N scale cars and their manufacturers, thanks again, Mike

Mike;

You are quite welcome. I'm glad we were able to help you. I recommend you follow DonR's advice and use DC rather than AC current on your Peco switch machine once you get it working. Don is one of our "Elder statesmen" here on the forum. Besides being very smart, and a nice guy, he also has plenty of personal experience with Peco turnouts, and the Peco switch machines he uses to operate them. He has been using both those Peco items quite successfully, for many years. Don made his own Capacitive Discharge Unit (CDU) He can provide you with info to make one, and/or info on the Stapleton controls with a built-in CDU.

Since you're new or actually starting back up, and "thirsting for knowledge" (yeah right) I'm going to recommend a few sources for basic info on model railroading.

The first is a book called "Getting Started in Model Railroading" by Jeff Wilson. It covers many model railroad topics in simple text and color photos. You can order a copy from https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/products/books

The second is the files attached below. I wrote them specifically to help "newbies" building their first layout. There's an awful lot of info in them, so just take in whatever appeals to you, and ignore the rest. If you do read them, take your time, and take it in small bites.


The third is our "Beginner's Q & A" section here on this forum. It has lots of useful information for new modelers.


Have fun;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:


View attachment WHERE DO I START 3.pdf

View attachment 1 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 2 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 5 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 6 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment All AboutTurnouts.pdf

View attachment MODEL RAILROADING ON A BUDGET.pdf

View attachment Model Railroad Terminology 2.2.pdf

View attachment N-scale cars for sale.pdf

View attachment How I scratch build turnouts new(8).pdf

View attachment Introductory letter for $5 switch machine.pdf

View attachment Assembly instructions for $5 switch machine..pdf

View attachment Paintbrush Pine Trees.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hello good people, me again. I did go and visit the Stapleton and Tam Valley sites. I like them both and am thinking on trying them both and seeing which one I prefer (easiest!) I did send an email off to Stapleton for info on purchasing the 751D unit. Regarding the Tam Valley, I went and looked at the items there and liked what I saw but I think I confused myself looking at everything, so again, I need help. Can somebody tell me what I would need to order from Tam Valley to get my first turnout going, after that I should be okay getting the rest to follow suit. Again I do thank all of you for the help, got the first track almost done and got some good ideas for the second track.
 

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I can help with the Tam Valley stuff. If all you want to do is control one turnout, then you want a micro singlet and servo combination. This includes everything you need to operate the turnout. Mount the servo under the turnout with the activating wire through the throw bar, attach the singlet PC board under the layout somewhere, and mount the fascia push button controller at the edge of your layout. If you need longer cables, you can buy standard RC futaba cables on eBay or Amazon or a dozen other places. They are available in several lengths from 9" to 3'; by daisy chaining the cables together, you can mount the components up to 40' apart.

However, those units are kind of pricey for multiple turnouts. For that, it's better to get an Octo III, which will control up to 8 servos. Then you can purchase a micro-switch machine (with or without a switch to power frogs or run signals) for each turnout, and a fascia controller switch for each turnout. Mounting and hookup is the same as for a singlet.

I also recommend a remote alignment tool, as it's much easier than fiddling with little jumpers under the layout. Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask!
 
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