How To Motorize A Playmobil Point?

idlemarvel

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This is a question rather than a how-to!

Playmobil points are 45mm gauge, made completely of plastic (apart from 3 screws) and are quite cleverly designed IMHO.

point_above.jpg

You set the direction from C using the knob. The only moving rail is shown in red. However it is set, though, you can approach the point from A or B and the moving rail will be pushed aside but resume its position once the loco has passed. So there is no possibility of derailment, which makes it ideal for children.

The mechanism is very simple with only two moving parts, revealed by removing the base plate held in place by three screws; the control knob, and a plastic link marked in yellow connected to the point blade. The plastic link is flexible to allow locos to push the point blade aside but return to the set position.

point_below.jpg

So far so good. Now I would like to motorize the setting of the point. I would like some suggestions of how to do this. Ideally I would like the motor to fit inside the point, under the base plate. There are a couple of recesses marked A and B which might be candidates. They are about 5-6mm deep, and you can judge the size from the 5mm square paper background.

point_detail.jpg

Ideally I would like it to be radio controlled. Perhaps I could fit a radio receiver in one of the recesses under the point, but any battery pack would have to be external I guess. But I would consider other forms of remote control.

Maybe this has been done before, in which case I would like to know, but I would welcome any ideas and advice from the forum. Thanks.
 

playmofire

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I think Walts-Trains on PLaymofriends (aka Walter Turner and also on this forum) has done this or, at least, knows how it can be done.
 

idlemarvel

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Thanks playmofire I'll email or PM Walt and report back if there is an answer.
 

korm kormsen

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i would do it with a LGB point motor.

like that:

point-idea.JPG
 
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idlemarvel

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Thanks for the suggestion Korm. If you connect the motor directly to the pin that moves the blade you lose the flexibility of the point in terms of allowing the blade to move aside temporarily for locos coming from A or B in the first diagram. I could connect it to the larger pin connected to the control knob, which would then retain that flexibility. But as I said ideally I would like the motor to fit inside the point if that's possible, otherwise it will have to be an external g-scale point motor.
Thanks, Dave
 

stockers

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I cant see there being room inside the point.
 

korm kormsen

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that is, why i suggested a LGB point motor.
because i know, that these motors can be changed in their direction by trains cutting open the point.
 

Madman

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I agree with Alan about the LGB point motor being too large to fit inside of the Playmobil turnout body. Have a look at those small gear motors. Type this into the search bar on Ebay....
Large Torque 12V 30RPM 35mA DC Geared Motor
 

dunnyrail

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Another option might be Linear Servos. I have two on order from Ebay. But arrival between 19 Jan and 8 Feb. so cannit say if small enough. I would power the sort of T Shaped Arm with a Servo roughly at B if it would fit. The convinient Slot might be suitable for a Conncetion to the Servo. Though you may need to get clever with this Connection if you wish to retain Wrong Line passing through of the Point.
JonD
 

ntpntpntp

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How much force is required to change the point? I notice there are detents to lock the knob and mechanism at the end of throw? I was going to suggest you investigate some of the thin/flat point motors readily available in the smaller scales Such as those by Fleischmann, Roco et al (they might fit under the point), but probably won't shift it and of course wouldn't be fit for outdoors.
 

idlemarvel

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How much force is required to change the point? I notice there are detents to lock the knob and mechanism at the end of throw? I was going to suggest you investigate some of the thin/flat point motors readily available in the smaller scales Such as those by Fleischmann, Roco et al (they might fit under the point), but probably won't shift it and of course wouldn't be fit for outdoors.
Very little force is required Nick especially if I can use the lever effect. I'll look at those motors. This is not for outdoor use.
 

idlemarvel

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Another option might be Linear Servos. I have two on order from Ebay. But arrival between 19 Jan and 8 Feb. so cannit say if small enough. I would power the sort of T Shaped Arm with a Servo roughly at B if it would fit. The convinient Slot might be suitable for a Conncetion to the Servo. Though you may need to get clever with this Connection if you wish to retain Wrong Line passing through of the Point.
JonD
That's an option I was considering Jon. There is a another recent thread covering linear servos but the ones mentioned seem slightly too big. I'll have a google for smaller ones. When yours arrive if they are 6-7mm or less in depth perhaps you could let me know? Thanks
 

idlemarvel

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Thanks playmofire I'll email or PM Walt and report back if there is an answer.
Walt replied to me via email:
"I remove the control knob of the point then I use a Peco point motor with adaptor base placed under the point. These are screwed into the point. Takes a bit of setting up to get it in the right position. I have been using them on the exhibition layouts for a number of years and the last ones to be installed were on the Christmas layout for the Warley show in October."
Thanks Walt.
Of course this would protrude below the point and requires a cutout in the baseboard to accommodate.
but it protrudes below and so requires a cutout in the baseboard.
but it protrudes below and so requires a cutout in the baseboard.
 

dunnyrail

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That's an option I was considering Jon. There is a another recent thread covering linear servos but the ones mentioned seem slightly too big. I'll have a google for smaller ones. When yours arrive if they are 6-7mm or less in depth perhaps you could let me know? Thanks
Will try to remember fir you.
JonD
 

idlemarvel

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Beddhist

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Will an N scale motor have enough throw?
 

stockers

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or enough power?
 

idlemarvel

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Both valid points (hah!). I think the power and throw will be enough, but we will see.
I'm trying to source the servos in UK rather than from US. I need to get the cost down a bit. But enough for now, thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.