Slightly later than thought

Those who have followed from the days of Modellers United, may by now have noticed that my predictions for completing the wiring and have something move under power, are , well, lacking. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never won a lottery.

Happily, all the point motors in the station throat are now fully wired and working as required, feeding back to the panel for route indication. Work is progressing relatively quickly through the traction feeds. I find that working upside down under a baseboard, having a target of one feed per session is easily obtainable allowing for issues, there have been a few – computer extension cables frequently, and the time required to get back “topside” to check electrical continuity. I’ve also decided to replace the original thin and narrow  copperclad  tiebars with a variation of those used by Dave Franks on his Wharfside layout. The first two originals failed at the hole drilled through them within a couple of hours testing. Not a good omen!


LEDs and cameras, never a good mix. Panel indicating an arrival fron Down Main to platform 6, and an ecs movement from platform 3 to the carriage headshunt. The indicator under the signal gantry shows which carriage siding the manually operated points are set to. Replacing tiebars isn’t likely to delay full running, still have the rest of the layout to build first!

In one of the forums, there has been comment recently with unsatisfactory  experiences with certain pointmotors. On Princes St I use a combination of Fulgurex Lemaco and Colbalt IP. The Cobalts were purchased due to the non availability of the others, and do seem a bit slow compared to the others when they all use a stabilised 11.6V supply ( that’s the voltage that made the others run at what I consider a realistic speed) The Lemaco’s are the best part of 30 years old, and have never given a problem. The Fulgurex are up to 34 years old and have suffered only two failures – a diode and a stalled motor that wasn’t noticed for twenty or so minutes, by which time the motor case was too hot to comfortably touch. After this the motor always needed help to start running in both directions, taking about a minute to get to normal speed with no load. It then would be fine that night. A replacement motor resolved that.

I’ve also had a couple of additional auxiliary switches need attention. These were bought at Exhibitions, and are not moulded in the same colour as the original switches. The holes for the mounting screws didn’t clear the screws. On one switch the outer contacts were misaligned so that it didn’t act as a changeover switch. On the other the common wiper was free to move in the moulding. I did feel that the exhibition bought switches required a greater force to get them to throw.  Recently I discovered and purchase more auxiliary switches from Rapid Electronics ( these appear as good as the originals, and will be used as required.


Author: Ian Norman

Modelling railways for nearly 50 years. Currently modelling part of a forgotten Edinburgh railway terminus in the late 1950s, early 60s.

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