GM Seep or Rails PM ?

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Too Tall
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GM Seep or Rails PM ?

#1

Post by Too Tall »

Hi all,
Currently forward planning my next layout, and due to around 30 points in the current plan, would be looking at Seep point control to keep cost down. I wondered how reliable are the GM seep points, or what looks to be a variant of the Peco version made for Rails by DCC concepts ?
(the Rails one look more enticing to me as they come with pre soldered wires and what looks to be a more user friendly mount).

I will be looking at the GM DCC Autofrog to power the frogs, so no need to rely on point motor switching.
Although I will be running DCC, I want the Points to be independant and "analogue" :)

Secondly, apart from the Peco (or Hornby) passing levers, are there any switches that will stay in up/down position suitable to use ? ( I prefer my switches to indicate the point position - up for straight on, down for turnout) as the above 2 are also quite pricey for a switch !
(and trying to avoid adding more wires with things like LED indicators :oops: )

And finally, can I hook 2 point motors to one switch, for the likes of crossing pairs ? (Yes I intend to use a "heavy duty" CDU).
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Brian
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Re: GM Seep or Rails PM ?

#2

Post by Brian »

Too Tall wrote: Wed Apr 10, 2024 10:29 am Hi all,
Currently forward planning my next layout, and due to around 30 points in the current plan, would be looking at Seep point control to keep cost down. I wondered how reliable are the GM seep points, or what looks to be a variant of the Peco version made for Rails by DCC concepts ?
(the Rails one look more enticing to me as they come with pre soldered wires and what looks to be a more user friendly mount). Seep PM 1, 2 or 4 solenoid motors work fine but do need precise alinement to the point above. The change over contact on the PM 1 or PM4 is at best crude and nothing more than a little washer held down onto the Seeps PCB by a spring. There are far better solenoid motors available - Peco PL10 etc Also worth considering are Slow motion motors (costly though!) or Servos.
Note: Seep PM1 has a built in change over set of contacts. The PM2 does not have any contacts and the PM4 is a mechanically latched solenoid motor suitable for points without an over centre spring and this motor also has built in change over contacts.


I will be looking at the GM DCC Autofrog to power the frogs, so no need to rely on point motor switching.
Although I will be running DCC, I want the Points to be independant and "analogue" :) The GM Auto frog is a relay-based device and works well with most DCC systems. All electronic frog switching devices are IMO better but cost more! Points operated by non DCC are fine. Just ensure the operation and return wiring for them is kept separate from the DCC wiring.

Secondly, apart from the Peco (or Hornby) passing levers, are there any switches that will stay in up/down position suitable to use ? ( I prefer my switches to indicate the point position - up for straight on, down for turnout) as the above 2 are also quite pricey for a switch !
(and trying to avoid adding more wires with things like LED indicators :oops: )
AFAIK there are no toggle style switches that offer latching lever but internal momentary contacts. For solenoid you MUST use levers or switches that do not remain in the On position. Or you could have a 'press to operate' momentary press to make push button if locking switches are used for each point switch but IMO that is way to much and is yet another area of possible electrical problems! Using a latching switch as a feed for LED indication is IMO a waste of time, as all the LED shows is that the switch has moved It does not show the actual point has moved! Use the change over contact on the Seep PM1 or PM4 (Pads D, E and F) or a Peco PL13 or PL15 switch on a PL10 for indications if the switch is not used for frog switching. .
And finally, can I hook 2 point motors to one switch, for the likes of crossing pairs ? (Yes I intend to use a "heavy duty" CDU). Yes in deed you can. Ideally run the four operation wires (two per point motor) back to the lever or switch rather than link from one motor to the other. As linking one to the next can cause the first motor to "Grab" all the power leaving the second motor with insufficient power to move the point over. Also try to keep the four operation wires to roughly the same length. Use 16/0.2mm wire for all solenoid motor feeds and their common return. Increase the common return wire size where more than two motors move together.
Hi
I have replied to your questions next to the question as it was easier. Hope it helps?
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Too Tall
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Re: GM Seep or Rails PM ?

#3

Post by Too Tall »

Thank you Brian.

Yes the Peco PL10 looks to be what the Rails ones are based on, but they come with a metal underboard mounting plate attached and a lower price tag so are what I am likely to go with unless I hear any horror stories.

I used servos on the TT layout, but what I am not keen on is the rod rises and falls during its motion due to the way these work, and they need a controller at around £66 for 12-14 points, so the low cost of the servos is negated by that.

It looks like I'll have just have to suck it up on the Peco switches cost then. :lol:
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Brian
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Re: GM Seep or Rails PM ?

#4

Post by Brian »

Hi, I just noted that you mentioned Hornby point levers (R044 Black). Please note that these do not work at all well with a CDU due to their very dated means of working the momentary switching, See my web site for further explanation about this lever and a CDU. https://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Electri ... otorwiring just scroll down a little to the heading "Inside the Hornby R044 Black passing contact point lever switch...."
The Peco PL-26 lever is fine with a CDU. :D
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Too Tall
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Re: GM Seep or Rails PM ?

#5

Post by Too Tall »

Noted, thanks :)
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Re: GM Seep or Rails PM ?

#6

Post by The Sligo Rover »

Brian, a lovely easy to understand reply.
Would you suggest running separate wires for a pair of Tortoise point motors for a crossover to work from one switch or can they be just linked together please?
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Re: GM Seep or Rails PM ?

#7

Post by Brian »

Hi
As Tortoise motors are very low current (unlike solenoids) there should be no problem linking one to another.
You can use Alarm cable if wished as that has 4 or 6 cores and has flexible wire inside. Or use something like 7/0.2mm equipment wire. :D
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The Sligo Rover
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Re: GM Seep or Rails PM ?

#8

Post by The Sligo Rover »

Thank you, I will use the 7/0.2 mm which I have already run and link the two point motors together.
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