Using servos for turnout operation

News from the Manchester Area Group (Linked to the Manchester Model Railway Society
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Tony W
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:42 pm

Using servos for turnout operation

Postby Tony W » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:26 pm

In a recent posting updating the progress of the Manchester Model Railway Society layout Slattocks Junction I promised to post a recent article written by Mike Bolton on the use of servos for turnout operation which was published recently in the MMRS in house monthly magazine, 'The Link'. Copyright of the article remains with Mike and I'm grateful for his permission to reproduce it here in its entirety.

Use of Servos for turnout operation.doc
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Hopefully Mike will put pen to paper again on further elements of the electrics on Slattocks including his development of the CBUS system for DCC operation.

Tony

Richard Harper
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:17 pm

Re: Using servos for turnout operation

Postby Richard Harper » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:11 pm

Thank you very much indeed - most helpful - much appreciated.

21C141
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:15 pm

Re: Using servos for turnout operation

Postby 21C141 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:45 am

Being a new member (and from N. Wales) I'm not sure if it's appropriate to post here, but I thought members interested in servo control of turnouts may be interested in these units.

http://www.tamvalleydepot.com/products/ ... coder.html

I've used these in my 00 layout and will probably use them when i get around to building my P4 layout.

They can be used with DC or DCC layouts the latter being able to be used like an accessory decoder.

There are two micro push buttons for manual control and indicator leds to show position.
Setting up is simple. Upon first power up the servo centres, changing a link on the board initiates an auto align procedure where the servo hunts (slowly) for the two turnout end stops. Once set-up it remembers these positions.

Under DCC there are a range of CV's that can be changed to control the end points, colour of leds (tri-colour), servo speed etc.

Hope this is of help.

Ray.

Lindsay G
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:16 am

Re: Using servos for turnout operation

Postby Lindsay G » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:32 am

I'm (currently at least) a big fan of operating many things from servos including turnouts, signals, magnet uncouplers, and more. The starting point for that infatuation was the a signals article in MRJ and thereafter the cost factor for turnout operation compared to Tortoises. For point operation, one has to add to the cost of the servo whatever it takes to mount that servo, then to control it, and then change polarity by whatever means (mine is via relays to avoid introduction of electro-mechanical means which seems a backwards step).

The Tam Valley Depot (TVD) units are a different approach to others (such as the MERG units) and at first intrigued and nearly attracted me on a couple of fronts me - but (without so far getting into a cost-benefit analysis) it would seem that the costs would soon mount up when you add the cost of each of the TVD component together and then multipy that by the number of turnouts (or whatever) on your planned layout.

One factor in that cost would be whether everything is to be worked from DCC or not - presonally speaking I prefer keeping track operation separate from engine operation (even in a one-man operation environment), so do not see the need or beauty in DCC'ing all layout operation. However, one man's food......before this last remark sparks a great debate!

Lindsay
Last edited by Lindsay G on Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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grovenor-2685
Posts: 3060
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: Using servos for turnout operation

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:21 am

one has to add to the cost of the servo whatever it takes to mount that servo, then to control it, and then change polarity by whatever means

Agreed, its easy to lose the cost advantage if one is not careful. Even with the MERG kits the mount is the most expensive part. IMHO just a little ingenuity and effort and you can build DIY mounts for much less and will do the job better.
Regards
Keith


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