Battery powered RC point motors?

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Gardenbahner

Gardenbahner

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10 Jul 2013
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I have a cunning plan! Now that I'm giving up my DCC system and moving over to battery power, what do I do with point motors? Well, why not battery powered point motors?
Most of my points are in easy reach so manual operation of these is not a problem. But a couple will be out of reach so I had this brainwave. A waterproof plastic box + 2 x PP9 batteries in series (18v) + a couple of momentary switches on the top should be able to power the motors for a while. Or even better is using the above for RC operation with equipment like this Radio control for layouts Or am I wasting my time and money?
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

Railways, Aviation, Caravanning....
26 Oct 2009
32,261
49
Cambridgeshire
www.gscalecentral.net
You could try a leisure battery which should last quite a while before a recharge?

I know of one G scaler who has done this....
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,507
174
Tamworth, Staffs.
Not really difficult, but you do need to sort interfaces and linkages, yourself..
Solar-cell on a building roof.. Charge controller, and perhaps a sealed lead-acid (think burglar alarm, standby) battery.. Rx105, and you can either switch relays for existing motors, or drive servo's. - You can make the change prototypically slow, add signalling, and even 'bounce' with the Deltang Rx105 'out the box'

You would probably want to isolate the 'electronics' from the battery-side of things, for long periods when not using? - Damp, and small electrical currents, can cause copper-track to migrate over time.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,455
203
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
I have a cunning plan! Now that I'm giving up my DCC system and moving over to battery power, what do I do with point motors? Well, why not battery powered point motors?
Most of my points are in easy reach so manual operation of these is not a problem. But a couple will be out of reach so I had this brainwave. A waterproof plastic box + 2 x PP9 batteries in series (18v) + a couple of momentary switches on the top should be able to power the motors for a while. Or even better is using the above for RC operation with equipment like this Radio control for layouts Or am I wasting my time and money?
Or you could look at Air Points. Not the cheepest kid on the block but has been Powered from a Lemonade Bottle and even a Car Tyre pumped up with a bycicle pump. I prefer a Compressor, but if you are wanting to go native could be an option.
 
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Fred2179G

Fred2179G

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Gardenbahner

Gardenbahner

Registered
10 Jul 2013
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Or pneumatics, as we call them over this side of the pond. They are quite effective and only need one thin pipe to each location. Even better, there's hardly anything at the remote location to go wrong, so maintenance is much simplified.
Sunset Valley is one supplier.
https://www.sunsetvalleyrailroad.com/pneumatics.html
Grfeg has a whole page on his website about them:
Air Operated Switches
If I was starting from scratch, this would be worth considering. However, my track has been down a few years now and much ballasting and fettling means it runs pretty smooth and I wouldn't want to disturb it especially the points (turnouts). Besides this, I already have the electric point motors available. What I'm contemplating is controlling the motors with Radio Control. The kit is available to do this (see the link in my original post). For now, I have sourced one of the LGB 4 way switch boxes to put in a waterproof box with a couple of 9v batteries.
 
ge_rik

ge_rik

British narrow gauge (esp. Southwold and W&LLR)
24 Oct 2009
9,551
99
Cheshire
www.riksrailway.blogspot.com
Hi
You won't be able to use the Rx105 directly with LGB point motors. As Phil suggests, you can replace the point motors with servos and use the output dircectly from the rx105. However, if you want to stick with your LGB motors, you can use Picaxe to convert the output from the rx105 into something which will operate LGB point motors. I've been using this system for several years and find it very reliable. See - How I operate some of my points by remote control

Rik
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,410
58
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
You would not need to disturb your line - The SVRR (Sunset Valley) pneumatic point motors are a direct fit to the LGB/Piko point motor mounts. Simon Wenmouth at Anything Narrow Gauge are SVRR's UK agent. You can offset the cost by trading out the old motors, that's what I did. Even tied in the operation of one of my bracket signals to a set of points using the same pneumatics and feed.

Do you get the impression there might be some fans of this type of operation around here :D A blessed relief after the vagaries of LGB electric point motors, associated wiring, TE momentary switches and the long term effects of British weather on their reliable operation. I used to use my Train Engineer (TE) R/C TX to operate localised momentary switch RX's. It worked quite well for a few years bu I prefer my pneumatic set up now - much more positive and reliable operation to my mind. Jon was very helpful when I first looked into them. Max
 
Martino

Martino

Kit bashing, The UK narrow gauge, The GWR, Aviatio
Probably not suitable for your line, and you already have an interesting solution, but I have just replaced my electric and manual point motors with cable operation using bike brake cables - Bowden Cables. I’m not operating the points from a great distance, but it saves me having to bend down to ground level, appears to operate reliably and is easy to do. It didn’t require lifting the points, just removed the motors or manual switches. There’s a separate thread on it recently.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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8 Mar 2014
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San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Reinforcing what Max said: having the electric point motors already does not eliminate the maintenance and work to keep them going! The air motors are extremely simple, impervious to weather, and can be powered from something as small as a 2 liter soda bottle. I found 5 gallon "air tanks" that go to 125 psi, and with a cheap 30-40 psi regulator, run the system for quite a while.

Depends on your priorities, reliability and virtually zero maintanance, or ?? (also there are simple air operated toggle switches, and a single air line to the "motor"





Mine are all powered by remote air valves all located safely out of weather, some of my air line runs are 70 feet.

System is dead simple and reliable and maintenance free.. water just helps keep things clean, as opposed to killing electric switch motors.

Greg
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,455
203
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
You would not need to disturb your line - The SVRR (Sunset Valley) pneumatic point motors are a direct fit to the LGB/Piko point motor mounts. Simon Wenmouth at Anything Narrow Gauge are SVRR's UK agent. You can offset the cost by trading out the old motors, that's what I did. Even tied in the operation of one of my bracket signals to a set of points using the same pneumatics and feed.

Do you get the impression there might be some fans of this type of operation around here :D A blessed relief after the vagaries of LGB electric point motors, associated wiring, TE momentary switches and the long term effects of British weather on their reliable operation. I used to use my Train Engineer (TE) R/C TX to operate localised momentary switch RX's. It worked quite well for a few years bu I prefer my pneumatic set up now - much more positive and reliable operation to my mind. Jon was very helpful when I first looked into them. Max
Reinforcing what Max said: having the electric point motors already does not eliminate the maintenance and work to keep them going! The air motors are extremely simple, impervious to weather, and can be powered from something as small as a 2 liter soda bottle. I found 5 gallon "air tanks" that go to 125 psi, and with a cheap 30-40 psi regulator, run the system for quite a while.

Depends on your priorities, reliability and virtually zero maintanance, or ?? (also there are simple air operated toggle switches, and a single air line to the "motor"





Mine are all powered by remote air valves all located safely out of weather, some of my air line runs are 70 feet.

System is dead simple and reliable and maintenance free.. water just helps keep things clean, as opposed to killing electric switch motors.

Greg
Have to say that I have been into air (pneumatics for the boys over the pond) since around 2000 and would not go back to Electric at any price. Quick to set up, ok possibly more expensive at first buy but as Max and Greg say simple to do changes and as reliable as the Sunrise. My switches and motors have been outside as well for that time with no failures other than 1 lever that got broke probably due to a clumsy hand. All of my kit is from various US Suppliers via UK retailers. Del Air, Easy Air and now Sunset Valley. Shuttle Valve allow remote control from a Central Panel or Local Control from a Station, very usefull in a big layout or Station. An element of Interlocking can be supported by say only allowing Air Supply to a Signal Switch depending on how the Point is set. This was my first essay into such things back around 2000. You as Greg says do not even need a Compressor but life is much simpler with one. A modest small Industrial one with a reseervoir like I have is just fine.

Air Operation is something that once you have gone down that route you wonder why you ever faffed about with Electronic Points in the first place.