Pneumatic (Air Compressor) Controlled Point / Signals

Neville

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24 Apr 2011
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Hello all,

I am looking for some help/ advice.

Now I am heavily embarked on my first outside railway project and after 9 months of basic civil engineering, am now getting to the railway detail bits ( actually getting the track out ).

One thing I had planned on (after being shown a while ago ) was a Pneumatic control system for controling points and signals - Along with being highly recommended, it seams so simple... That is apart from getting hold of it !!!

I have found 2 sources. Brandbright - who import a USA system (Easy Air), which they tell me is no longer made (further enquires in US confirmed this and a sad tale to boot). Brandbright to their credit were helpful pointing me at another system produced again in the US by SVRR, which does have a UK distributor (B2B6). This seams very expensive, and early indications are this is is not stocked locally. (Along with this I need to check actuators dimensions, which may be too large for some of my locations).

Does anybody know of any other solutions as I really hesitant to switch to electrics for this ?

Many thanks
Neville
 

400Parker

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18 Nov 2013
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How about mechanical means Neville? In other words a lever frame and rodding for points (and signals). Obviously there's a physical limit which isn't necessarily the case with the pneumatic system.
Steve
 

Neville

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24 Apr 2011
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Hi Steve,

Thank you, and something I would consider for a future lcoal operating area certainly, but unfortuately in this case some of the distances are simply too great this solution. The layout design was made with the EasyAir system in mind...

Lovely pics btw.

Neville
 

400Parker

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18 Nov 2013
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I thought that might be the case. An alternative is to use radio control. Maybe that's what you meant by your "hesitation to switch to electrics", but if you simply meant not wanting to run lots of wires long distances then a cheap r/c system might be the solution.
Thanks for the comments about the pics. The second picture was taken on a frosty morning so it's a good one to look at to cool down!:)
Steve
 

MR SPOCK

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25 Oct 2009
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If you get and scan through the RS componants catalog the easy air replacements solonoids were listed I cant find the part number but these are a industrial standard unit that was adapted for any use, also a robotics supplier may help, I am also going to use air switching at some point as nothing else will work, I tried it, most factory installations use air as a control as it is much more reliable for repetitave linear motion, let me know how you get on,
Neville said:
Hi Steve,

Thank you, and something I would consider for a future lcoal operating area certainly, but unfortuately in this case some of the distances are simply too great this solution. The layout design was made with the EasyAir system in mind...

Lovely pics btw.

Neville

 

MR SPOCK

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What a super pic, plenty of atmosphere here,
335b3fa7f5d54d1c9eb3b258b478e14a.jpg
 

Cliff George

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24 Oct 2009
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Hello Neville,

I agree that Easy Air was a great system, pity it is not made anymore and wasn't more popular when it was. I use it. Its a pity C&OCR had to close down.

Here is the web site for the SVRR system, http://www.svrronline.com/PneumaticSwitch.html

It is still possible to get all of the pneumatic bits from the Easy Air system from here http://www.clippard.com < Link To www.clippard.com if you know exactly what you need, there was a discussion about which bits on one of the American forums, if you need details PM me. Apparently they don't like small orders. They don't make the bits that hold the actuator to the point but I think they would be easy to make yourself or you can still get the original version from here http://www.llagastrack.com/ .

I once ordered some bits from a UK based pneumatic company because the US and Europe have different pneumatic connector standards and I needed to connect my Easy Air system to a compressor and they had a convertor, Easy Air later started supplying these bits themselves. I seem to remembers this company was a bit like Clippard and I'm sure you could make up your own system with bits from them. I can't remember who the company was, ask if you really want to know and I'll find it.

I hope that helps.
 

Cliff George

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Just remembered I got the bits I needed from Norgren, but a quick google seems to indicate quite a number of UK based companies who can supply pneumatic parts.
 

wpandyr

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26 Oct 2009
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Southampton

wpandyr

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26 Oct 2009
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Southampton
Parts fron Clippard etc, are available in 10-32 or M5 threads, brass and plastic fittings. I think they are better quality than the Easy Air components.
 

Westcott

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24 Oct 2009
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Philbahn

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24 Oct 2009
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Glad to have been of help. Thought the prices were good as well.
Anther approach could be Lego pneumatics, althoug I've no experience of using them or how they would stand up to it

Westcott said:
PhilBahn,
Thanks for the link - it's a real Aladdin's cave of useful bits.
I found a few more cylinders with shorter strokes, down to 10mm.
http://www.sourcingmap.com/10mm-bore-10mm-stroke-cdj2b-mini-pneumatic-air-cylinder-p-116161.html

Were the Easyair cylinders single or double acting?
 

Cliff George

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Westcott said:
Were the Easyair cylinders single or double acting?

Single, the compressed air is switched on at a value and forces the actuator open which opens the point. When the value is switched off the trapped air goes to the exhaust and a spring in the actuator closes it and brings the point back.
 

Philbahn

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24 Oct 2009
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think double actings better although you would need 5/2 valves to control them.
Or you could use 3/2 with 2 dunp exhausts on the cylinder
 

MR SPOCK

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