Under baseboard point motors

Anybody got and grand idea's about aligning point motors under baseboards to ensure they are in line with the point itself, or is it not too problematic?

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I haven't tried the post point motors myself (tortoise etc) but the Peco and I believe Hornby point motors can attach to the under-side of the point itself. This worked OK when I tried it with N Gauge points, I added a slip of sand paper between the point motor and the point, larger than the 1 inch or so square hole for the motor so I could then (carefully) ballast around the thing when it was in place. You can get a switch that attaches to the Peco point motor that can be used to change the polarity of the frog, never got one to work and I have heard they are a tad flimsy. Did it the once but ended up using mechanical methods such as slider or toggle switch on baseboard edge with wire-in-tube to point, the switch changing the polarity of the frog, or plain wire/fisishing line where I couldn't be bothered with powering the frog, which turned out to be only slightly less reliable. If using the more up market point motors then others in this group know a damn sight more than I do.
Regards
Mike
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Hornby and Peco motors both have tabs that fit into slots on the point sleepers, so put them in properly and its quite a solid arrangement as well as properly aligned. Beware that (of course) Horby and Peco tabs are slightly different so although you can mix manufacturers its more fiddly and not as good. Best use Hornby with Hornby etc. Best to test fit before laying points and clean off any flash etc. Also easier if solder wires to points before fitting. IIRC when fitting in place, put 2 end tabs in then centre pin then other end tabs (then put other end tabs back in, then curse, then rest, then bang head on baseboard - yes its one of those jobs). Best if you have 3 hands with nimble fingers.
Cheers, Simon
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If it has a rotating shaft with actuating arm. Drill the hole first then mount to motor to fit. If it needs a slot then make the slot first and fit the motor aligned with the slot.
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Keith Patrick wrote:

Best: buy a point motor that includes adjustments.
Cheaper: Make mounting pad out of 5-10mm thick material, large enough to allow space for adjusting the mounting screws. Make a couple of slots in it for the mounting screws. Fasten the motor on it (glue, double sides tape, even small bolts will do.) Estimate the correct position of the mounting screws for the pad, and fasten snugly enough that friction will hold the assembly in place. Test operation, and make fine adjustments by sliding the pad back and forth.
Cheapest: Mount the motor well below the baseboard, and use thin music wire for the actuator. This will hav enough flex in it so that minor misalignments aren't a problem.
Cheers, wolf k.
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I'm installing some Gaugemaster SEEP motors. They are simple and effective; they have a long actuator and for no extra cost they come with auxiliary switch contacts. However, you have to solder on the wires yourself. Hattons sells SEEP, Peco and Hornby point motors for 4 each. I would use Tortoise motors or similar if they weren't so expensive.
The instructions say to drill a small pilot hole vertically through the hole in the tie bar with the point blades held in the centre position; insert the actuator from below and mark positions for the mounting screws. Remove the motor, enlarge the hole to around 1/4" (drill upwards with a depth indicator on the drill bit so you don't drill through the cork ballast, if that's what you use.) Use a small drill or a craft knife to cut a slot in the ballast; cut the actuator wire to the desired length, then screw the motor in place. The pad with mounting slots is a good idea, as the baseplate holes don't provide much adjustment.
--
Martin S.

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"Keith Patrick" wrote

I've generally used Seep motors under the boards, and whilst precise positioning can be a slight issue, if you elongate the screw holes a bit then a little post-fitting adjustment if possible.
Always been a job for two people though!
John.
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What I had thopught of doing was to (on top of the baseboard) drilling two hole in alignment with the point operating tie bar, but about 1" away from the point, then pencilling a line between the two (under the baseboard )to give me the correct alignment for the motor. It's so easy I could do this standing on my head which is what I'll need to if I go down this route !!.
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Further to my other post, I mark the extremes of the point movement like you and drill centrally between them. However, I drilled from the top of the board because, as I said in the other post, I affix a slotted piece of thin card to disguise the hole after.
--
Tinkerer



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"Tinkerer" wrote

That's always been my modus operandi using a 3/8" dia hole. I've never needed the slotted card infill as the whole is virtually invisible as it is.
John.
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I've just installed some (mix of Peco and Seep) on my N layout and this method worked every time. First get some thin strips of plastic or card and slide them either side of the blades to centralise the point and the hole in the point bar. Then cut a piece of plastic or card to fit snuggly between the coils of the motor. Pierce a small hole in the centre of the card to take the "back" end of the actuator rod and slide it down over the rod and between the coils. This centralises the motor. I drill the hole slightly oversize through the baseboard because it allows for some margin of error and can be covered with a slotted piece of cardboard or whatever to disguise it afterwards. To install the motor I had a light above the baseboard and, laying underneath, I could see the hole in the point bar through the baseboard hole. It was then quite easy to offer the motor up and insert the rod. I then just held the motor in place and screwed it to the baseboard. Job done. One other tip; a magnetic screwdriver and pozidrive type screws make it much easier.
--
Tinkerer



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Pretty much my method except that I use Blu-tak rather than trying to cut bits of plastic/card to the right sizes.
--

Regards

John



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wrote:

To avoid the risk of back troubles I have chosen to operate points where ever possible by tube & wire and driven by Peco motors mounted on adaptor plates. The motors are then covered by the lineside embankments or little huts etc. Where this is not possible I use peco PL11s which fit in rather neatly.
It would be nice to be able to buy a mechanical frame for points local to a control position. I have half finished one in Brass but the hours needed do not justify the result (it all requires hand working these days).
Otherwise if you feel strongly about underslung motors why not just position the point ,poke through the cross bar hole with a 0.5 diam steel wire to mark the left or right hand limit (or even both if you feel extravagent. Remove the point and drill out the marks using a 2mm bit. Cut a slot between the two hole ( or use a series of holes and file the slot to a nice finish. Replace the point and fix in position. use the 0.5 wire with a small washer soldered to one end as the operating arm -- just drop it down through the cross tie hole. On the underside , mount up a motor onto an adaptor plate and pass the drop wire through the eye of the adaptor plate arm.position the motor to coincide with the switch position + a few thou. Screw the base up to the underside using only one of the rear holes ( furthest from the operating arm. With the base thus fixed check the operation manually using the motor armature through bar. If adjustment is needed then gently swing the motor in the direction which results in the best results. When satisfied fix the diagonal screw to the original. There is plenty of flexibility in the wire and the hole in the operating arm sufficienty oversized to be very forgiving. Making slots and piddling about is really not necessary. Equally, it is a very very simple matter to remove the point when ever necessary and equally simple to change the motor. If a serious position error is made on the first attempt then start again using the other diagonal pair.
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