Points (switches), converting manual to power.

L

Lez2000

Registered
Hello all, I could do with some advice please: is it possible to convert manual points to powered? If so and it isn’t too involved, what parts would you suggest?
Any comments, including ‘buy powered points from the outset’ gratefully received! Oh, Merry Christmas!
Les.
 
P

playmofire

Registered
23 Oct 2010
7,036
North Yorks
Hello all, I could do with some advice please: is it possible to convert manual points to powered? If so and it isn’t too involved, what parts would you suggest?
Any comments, including ‘buy powered points from the outset’ gratefully received! Oh, Merry Christmas!
Les.
If you decide to go down the powered points route, you will see I have some LGB point motors for sale.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,294
Ascot
Yes L Lez2000 , LGB (and PIKO) manual and powered points are exactly the same. With LGB you just remove the manual switch (two black cross head screws usually) and replace with an LGB point motor. The manual switches and point motors are not "handed" so they work with both left and right hand points.
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
Yes L Lez2000 , LGB (and PIKO) manual and powered points are exactly the same. With LGB you just remove the manual switch (two black cross head screws usually) and replace with an LGB point motor. The manual switches and point motors are not "handed" so they work with both left and right hand points.
I didn't realise that, thank you.
Les.
 
chris m01

chris m01

Registered
24 Oct 2009
4,462
Birmingham, UK
LGB point motors are pretty reliable, I leave mine out all year and have very few problems even after they have been covered in snow.
LGB motors will fit direct to Polo and Aristocraft points. The point motor fitting seems to be pretty much universal in G gauge, except for Peco of course.
 
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peterexmouth

Registered
24 Oct 2009
59
Devon
You will need a short pulse of at least +18 volts to drive an LGB point motor in one direction, and at least -18 volts to drive it the other way. As has been said they are extremely reliable and have been working outside on my track for over 15 years, with an annual internal clean up.

Peter
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
17,832
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
As Peter said LGB Motors appear to work well outside and will suffer serious abuse by ants nesting etc. However that clean up with a pull apart is a good tip and indeed a few motors that I recovered from a long closed Garden Railway a few years back all eventually responded by returning to working order after a good clean up and the odd resoldered joint.

However it is also worthwhile to mention Air Control, probably a little more expensive than electric but so much easier to set up with no problems of maintenance to speak of. Brandbright in the good old days used to supply Del-Air but this has long gone now but Sunset Valley in the US is about the only kid on the block supplying the Air kit just now.

 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
26,535
Tamworth, Staffs.
No one has mentioned:

You can use an 18v AC supply, and a couple of diodes, to give you the plus an minus voltage to drive the point.

You can use an 18v DC supply, no diodes and a DPDT switch, to switch the point.

Both the above need wiring back to supply, and switches.


You can use DCC (digital) to control the same point-motors. In this case, the power and control, can come from the track. - You have a decoder connected to the track, which takes commands from your handset/central-station, and then feeds the point-motor. You can get single decoders (which drive one point) or you can get one unit which will drive four points. The four point unit does need wiring from itself to each point-motor.

You can use air, as Jon said. - For this you need a small compressor, but this can be indoors, and you connect to the 'air-motor' with tubing similar to windscreen-washer tubing.
You can have a central control panel (the valves look like switches, from the front) and/or local controls out on the layout.

You can use 'wire in tube' from convenient points on the layout.

You can also use radio control: Usually to a central point on the layout, with wired connections to servo's to drive the points (signals too, if you want). -This 'central location' does require a source of power. Could be battery (possibly, solar-charged), could be derived from the track.
Limited commercial 'ready to go' product for this..
 
L

LGeoB

Registered
12 Dec 2017
125
Perth, Western Australia
Hi All,

I use a capacitor discharge device for my LGB point motors. One advantage is I can get away with the thinnest of wire - I use computer ribbon cable which works over 30 feet plus.

Geoff
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
Thanks for all of the replies; there appear to be more ways of controlling the points than I thought. Further research is required me-thinks.
Les.
 
P

playmofire

Registered
23 Oct 2010
7,036
North Yorks
I've used two Duracell 9v MN1604 batteries wired in series to give 18v connected to an LGB accessory control box to operate LGB point motors.
 
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D

Dan

Registered
28 Jan 2010
317
Eastern MA
I also use the LGB booster to give better power to throw the EPL drives. Similar to capacitor discharging.
 
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