Peco turnout help

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Anachron, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. Anachron

    Anachron Member

    I really need to know how to clean a peco turnout...

    I have wheaterd and ballasted my peco turnouts but now they dont deiliver power properly
    I have cleaned the section where you switch the turnout, but that dousent seem to have worked... :cry:
    some of them works and others don't

    Any other ones have the same problem as I do??
    and what to do about them? :confused: :cry:
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There are two areas to check.
    First where the point blades contact the stock rails. Check that you haven't put any paint or glue on either part of the mating surfaces. You may have to use some sort of cleaner or sandpaperon those surfaces.
    Check that you haven't got any ballast in there. If the points don't make full contact, you don't get a circuit.
    If there is a little extra contact, make sure that it is clean and not being blocked and isn't catching on anything. Does pushing it over with your fingers do anything?
    See if anything runs if you put a piece of wire over the points and stock rail. that'll tell you if the problem is there. Use a light bulb to see if you have electricity in the rails and where you don't.
    You may have weathered into a rail joiner somewhere. Also, where the points are pivoted; some of them use rail joiners for that.
  3. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Paint is the major problem with any turnouts, I never paint a small area where the contact is made. I suggest you use some very fine wet/dry 800 to clean off any paint around the contact area's.
  4. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    A folded piece of very fine sandpaper (600-1000 grit) from an auto parts store (used for body repair finishing) can be dragged through the points while closed against the stock rails. But the problem will return eventually.

    For permanent no-hassle operating many railroaders link a small single pole double throw microswitch mechanically to the throwbar to duplicate the electrical switching action of the points in a reliable manner. These can also be added to some switch motors. The trick is to adjust them so they switch at the same time that the points are in mid travel so they don't 'fight against' the points electrically and cause short circuits.

    See this thread on this forum for more info:
    Peco Electrofrog turnouts - HO vs N contact
    08-28-2003 10:57 AM

    Photos below show one way to make a linkage using 5/64" brass rod through a 3/32" styrene tube bushing (evergreen scale models #423). The rod fits snugly enough in the bushing to rotate without wiggling sideways, use a little loco gear grease for long term smooth action. The hole for the styrene tubing is round 7/64" diameter (3/32" is too snug on the styrene and pinches the brass from turning easily).

    The throwbar hole should be 'ovaled' slightly as the rod swings in a slight arc and you don't want to push the throwbar sideways because of rod tension (parallel to the rails).

    The microswitches are 2 amp low force (25 grams) from Digikey. Only one is needed to power the frog, but 3 can be used for other functions such as reverse power routing.

    The beauty of this method is that it can be added AFTER the turnout and ballast is installed (ie, i goofed) since the hole is round and to the side rather than a slot directly under the turnout. Or a micrswitch can be hidden inside a structure and linked to the top of the table - many ways.

    The problems are if any dirt or glue gets into the styrene bushing it binds the rod. Also over time the Peco turnout springs loose some of their tension and have a hard time holding against the multi- microswitch pressure even at 25 grams each. Next i want to try small ceramic magnets glued to the rod to help latch the points in either position. Or use fast relays.

    Attached Files:

  5. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    The brass rod on top

    Attached Files:

  6. zeeglen

    zeeglen Member

    The microswitches. A later method that makes them easier to adjust independently is a 'T' rod soldered to the rod protruding from the styrene bushing, with a heat sink (pliers with handles rubber-banded) clamped to the rod to prevent melting the styrene. This lets switches mount at both ends of the 'T'. Also removed one of the mounting screws to let the switch pivot on one screw for adjustment, then locked the switch with a screw and washer on the outside end of the switches.

    No magnets shown, but you can imagine one glued to the rod and snagging onto either other magnets ar steel screws driven into the wood. Lots of room for experimentation.

    Attached Files:

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