Operating LGB electric switches without official switch boxes? (answered)

P

playmofire

Registered
23 Oct 2010
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North Yorks
If you are using electric points, -bbbb, you need to be sure that they are set for the direction of travel of the train as "push through" where the points are set against the train doesn't work (or at the least is reduced).
 
-bbbb

-bbbb

Registered
21 Dec 2017
276
65
Idaho
If you are using electric points, -bbbb, you need to be sure that they are set for the direction of travel of the train as "push through" where the points are set against the train doesn't work (or at the least is reduced).
Have you found a way to integrate them with the playmobil semaphore signals (eg. the 4394 or the 4353)?
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
View attachment 261007

I use toggle switches, momentary ON - OFF - ON. They are mounted in the track diagram.

The wiring is pretty simple. The wires on the left go to the momentary switches, the diodes are in the middle and the wire on the right goes to the LGB switch motor.

View attachment 261009

My wiring is all color coded (I use the standard resistor color code, ie. switch 1’s wire is brown, switch 2’s is red) to help in troubleshooting.

View attachment 261010
You can see the various colors. To get higher than the colors for 0 - 9, I change the color of the spade connector and start the sequence again.
Nice neat wiring job.
 
-bbbb

-bbbb

Registered
21 Dec 2017
276
65
Idaho
Yes, they are capacitors, on the improved version. - Note they are a little like diodes, in that they are polarity sensitive!
I've ordered some diodes. But what difference do the capacitors make?
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,938
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
I've ordered some diodes. But what difference do the capacitors make?
Capacitors can add an extra whumpf to the juice going to the point motors in cases helping to change more than 1 point at a time. In UK we talk about ‘Capacitor Discharge Units’ . Link to just one available in UK that gives a good description of what they are.

 
L

LGeoB

Registered
12 Dec 2017
94
13
Perth, Western Australia
I'd always use a capacitor discharge unit - can use very thin wire and it works over wires many metres long.
 
John Russo

John Russo

Registered
24 Sep 2015
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PA
LGB switch (point) motors are just that, motors. If they were not mounted inside their housing and 18V DC is supplied to them they will spin like any motor.

If you open the unit up, you will see that the motor is mounted in the housing such that it can only turn about 1/4 of a revolution (perhaps less). there is gear attached to the the motor shaft which sets in a gear rack. The 1/4 turn of the shaft causes the rack to slide back and forth depending on which way the motor is turning. The track is connected to the rack which achieves the back and forth motion to change the track.

18V for 300 milliseconds (3/10 of a second) is the default pulse when using a DCC supply. If you you are using a manual switch, you can achieve that by a quick push and release. The LGB 51750 is the unit designed to control the switch motors. They can be had for $50 on eBay.




Each unit has four momentary rocker switchers and therefor can control 4 switch motors independently. You can wire two switch motors to one rocker switch, however, the two switch motors will be simultaneously activated when the rocker switch is thrown. Keep in mind that LGB signals use the same switch motor to operate. So you could wire a signal and switch to the same rocker switch and when activated the track and signal will change together.



If you are only going to control the two switches, the LGB box would be the easiest way to do it, If you are going to end up with many switches and signals, wiring as others suggested can save some money.

The LGB 51750 uses the an AC input and then converts that to DC output (using the diodes) which is connected to the switch motor. If you do your own switch you can either replicate that or just start with DC and not do any conversion.
 
John Russo

John Russo

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For anyone with interest, the very short video below shows an LGB switch being operated using some IOT components.

It is prototype work I have been doing in an effort to completely bypass DCC.

In the video I am using a smartphone (not sown) to send a signal via WiFi to an ESP8266 WiFi microprocessor. Software on the ESP8266 interprets the signal and in turn controls a L293D chip. The L293D passes 18V DC to the switch motor. Using the software and the capabilities of the L293D, the polarity sent to the switch can be changed to achieve the straight and diverging switching of the track.

ESP8266 - $6
L293D - $3
Power Supply - Old discarded laptop
Software - Loss of hair and risk of heart attack

 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
23 Feb 2018
2,384
445
65
Weston-super-Mare
For anyone with interest, the very short video below shows an LGB switch being operated using some IOT components.

It is prototype work I have been doing in an effort to completely bypass DCC.

In the video I am using a smartphone (not sown) to send a signal via WiFi to an ESP8266 WiFi microprocessor. Software on the ESP8266 interprets the signal and in turn controls a L293D chip. The L293D passes 18V DC to the switch motor. Using the software and the capabilities of the L293D, the polarity sent to the switch can be changed to achieve the straight and diverging switching of the track.

ESP8266 - $6
L293D - $3
Power Supply - Old discarded laptop
Software - Loss of hair and risk of heart attack

John, really like the looks of this as a RC (WiFi) system, could be what I am looking for, if only somebody could develop it "ready to go".
 
John Russo

John Russo

Registered
24 Sep 2015
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John, really like the looks of this as a RC (WiFi) system, could be what I am looking for, if only somebody could develop it "ready to go".
Here is another video wherein I am doing track feedback.

I use fritzing.com to work up a printed circuit board for the loco units. I have yet to submit the design for fabrication.

This may end up begin a pipe dream for me but it is a fun dream.

If I ever get things to where I want, it holds the promise of:

  • Battery operated trains with no DCC
  • 700+ speed steps
  • Real-time changing of CV settings. (I.e I can change those on the fly while operating the trains)
  • Low cost sound boxes with the ability to record your own sounds.
  • Control from multiple phones, tablets, laptops simultaneously
  • Automated routines with unlimited options.
  • Control of all lights and accessories at a fraction of the cost.

 
-bbbb

-bbbb

Registered
21 Dec 2017
276
65
Idaho
LGB switch (point) motors are just that, motors. If they were not mounted inside their housing and 18V DC is supplied to them they will spin like any motor.

If you open the unit up, you will see that the motor is mounted in the housing such that it can only turn about 1/4 of a revolution (perhaps less). there is gear attached to the the motor shaft which sets in a gear rack. The 1/4 turn of the shaft causes the rack to slide back and forth depending on which way the motor is turning. The track is connected to the rack which achieves the back and forth motion to change the track.

18V for 300 milliseconds (3/10 of a second) is the default pulse when using a DCC supply. If you you are using a manual switch, you can achieve that by a quick push and release. The LGB 51750 is the unit designed to control the switch motors. They can be had for $50 on eBay.




Each unit has four momentary rocker switchers and therefor can control 4 switch motors independently. You can wire two switch motors to one rocker switch, however, the two switch motors will be simultaneously activated when the rocker switch is thrown. Keep in mind that LGB signals use the same switch motor to operate. So you could wire a signal and switch to the same rocker switch and when activated the track and signal will change together.



If you are only going to control the two switches, the LGB box would be the easiest way to do it, If you are going to end up with many switches and signals, wiring as others suggested can save some money.

The LGB 51750 uses the an AC input and then converts that to DC output (using the diodes) which is connected to the switch motor. If you do your own switch you can either replicate that or just start with DC and not do any conversion.
Thanks for the info. I'm going to try to rig my own set up with diodes and switches for a few dollars. Once I get the switches working I'm going to try to devise a way for the playmobil semaphores to move in conjunction with the switch, using only the switch motor... Maybe a diagonal cut-out attached to the switch to change the sideways motion of the switch to an upward/downward motion for the semaphore handle.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,938
837
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Here is another video wherein I am doing track feedback.

I use fritzing.com to work up a printed circuit board for the loco units. I have yet to submit the design for fabrication.

This may end up begin a pipe dream for me but it is a fun dream.

If I ever get things to where I want, it holds the promise of:

  • Battery operated trains with no DCC
  • 700+ speed steps
  • Real-time changing of CV settings. (I.e I can change those on the fly while operating the trains)
  • Low cost sound boxes with the ability to record your own sounds.
  • Control from multiple phones, tablets, laptops simultaneously
  • Automated routines with unlimited options.
  • Control of all lights and accessories at a fraction of the cost.

Little warning to originator of this thread (-bbbb.), the Motors are easily dismantled but have a specific way of going back together, get it wrong and they will not work properly. Sure you know this John.

Interesting concept and nice to see both systems working for those who are into PC working. I can see a use for this with a Warning Light latched on, plus a button is pressed to turn it off with perhaps an additional Audible Warning (Buzzer) both with individual turn off options. Buzzer on its own or both light and buzzer. This would work nicely at the entrance to my Shed to give any operators inside the Shed a warning that the next Train is waiting acceptance into the Shed. I think I could even manage to wire it up with a diagram but big issue is space for the Computer and I do not have a modern enough PC being a Mac man, also my Mac laptop is past it these days.
 
John Russo

John Russo

Registered
24 Sep 2015
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PA
the Motors are easily dismantled but have a specific way of going back together, get it wrong and they will not work properly. Sure you know this John.
Yes. I endured the pain of putting one back together incorrectly.

I am now in the habit of liberal use of the cell phone camera to counter my failing memory. :)