Turnout and Route Automation
As I posted in a few places I have been using servo motors to control the turnouts on my layouts as an alternative to Circuitron Tortoise motors to save space.
While attending the International N Gauge show this year (and meeting up with Andy (a.k.a. Texhorse)) I discovered a small vendor offering some some very interesting, practically plug and pay control boards for turnout control...
Dave that runs the operation with his wife (I never got her name) gave very clear helpful demonstrations of their product line, which can control up to 192 turnouts through linked boards, or 192 programmed routes using a panel processor.
Accessory boards can be chained to the system to power frogs through relays, or provide auxiliary controlled power based on the throw.
How far I will go with this option is not clear, but at Â£50 to control 12 turnouts, and an additional Â£60 if I want to add automated power routing (which I am also testing via a double or triple pole toggle switch to drive the turnouts). The system is modular, so I can easily "just" power the servos at present, and add the relay cards if I wish to add route control later, without having to do a major electrical engineering project.
At the current exchange rate it means I can save about $45 dollars on twelve installations, and just over the cost of the twelve single control boards I can add the relays and have a foundation for route control.
Where might this lead?
Single boards are great for the mainline away from the control panel on the larger layout. The MegaPoints system lends itself to the more congested yard areas and smaller layout. I'll have to doodle with routing to determine how far I might want it to go, but certainly lends itself to freight and passenger yard operation, to pick from up to 192 routes through a statin and freight yard for example.
I plan to do some testing with the servos I already have mounted to see if the operations are the same, and will post a summary of the findings after.
Last edited by dckuk : 09-30-2016 at 02:02 AM.
Reason: English challenges me some days too!