Author Topic: Servo motors and switch machines  (Read 768 times)

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daniel_leavitt2000

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Servo motors and switch machines
« on: January 21, 2016, 07:18:52 PM »
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Not sure if this is the right place, but I'm sure Ed won't loose any sleep over moving it to the proper forum...  :trollface:

Has anyone used cheap servo motors instead of Tortoise switch machines? These things can go for as little as $5, which is a major advantage since I will need about 120-150 of them.
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wcfn100

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Re: Servo motors and switch machines
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 07:30:15 PM »
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Perhaps a forum search for 'servo' is in order.


Jason

peteski

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Re: Servo motors and switch machines
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2016, 07:34:45 PM »
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What Jason said.  :trollface:
Servo is not like a switch machine. It needs either modifications or auxiliary electronic circuitry (and added cost) to make it into a properly functioning switch machine.
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mmyers

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Re: Servo motors and switch machines
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2016, 07:46:02 PM »
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I have one of the original Tam Valley Singlets. i tested it but have yet to install it. I plan to use it (and order a few more) on my oNetrak modules.

Martin Myers

Jim Costello

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Re: Servo motors and switch machines
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2016, 09:15:58 PM »
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So far I have installed more than 150 servos on my layout and am very happy with the results. The servo requires a electronic circuit to move the servo arm from side to side and can be used on all types of turnouts either above or below the baseboard.Like all above motors you have to hide it.
All my turnouts are scratch built,some off a fast tracks #8 jig, the others to fit the requirement, all with live frogs so I needed an operation that gives me a slower movement that is not going to destroy the point blades.
As I do not need to hold the point blade tight against the stock rails for powering purposes (done by the PC ties) the pressure of the blade can be adjusted accordingly. By the way I use the Tam Valley System and cannot find fault with it. I use the Quad Pic that will allow for DCC operation in the future,relay control to power the frogs and the adjustable throw component. The Quad Pic operates 4 servos. I have many single crossovers and the standard R/C servo 'Y' connectors allow both turnouts to be operated together by a single push button. My mounting bracket for the servo is that made by Motrak Models.These are cast urethane,mounted below the baseboard and  can be cut/trimmed  to fit a space, reversed where you use two turnouts front to front and designed for the 9 gm micro servos. If you use these make sure the mounting screws fit the bracket as we have had mounting screws of different sizes. I am also going to use the Octopus 111 servo controllers on another part of the layout. This unit can operate up to 8 servos, relays and a DCC panel can be added in the future.
Turnot /servo operation can be by pushbutton,toggle switch. I have opted for a fascia mounted pushbutton with individual Leds that indicated direction of throw.

I looked briefly at the ANE system many years ago (and dismissed it due to cost,)which I understand is the basis of the Peco (UK) system. I believe the Tam Valley system is much better and here,down under,is a cheaper method.  Prior to being informed on the Tam Valley system by a customer I had already made a template for fitting of the Tortoise motors,however I would have had to make up some interesting rod arrangements because of their footprint. So far I have not had that problem using the Motrak bracket and they are cheap.

I would recommend anyone contemplating using servos to look at the Tam Valley web site.

Jim
Modelling in N the New Haven down under.

C855B

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Jim Costello

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Re: Servo motors and switch machines
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2016, 09:31:53 PM »
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One thing I did not mention and is important....there is NO Soldering  involved in installing servos and  with the Tam Valley products.  All connections are standard R/C three wire push in plugs and sockets. 'Y' connections can be purchased in 150,300mm lengths, your
standard leads come in 100,150,200,250,300,500and 1000mm long lengths and possibly others all from a R/C Hobby shop. Makes working under the  layout so much easier.

Jim
Modelling in N the New Haven down under.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Servo motors and switch machines
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2016, 09:43:40 PM »
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I like consistent, standard installs, and years ago I settled on Tortoises and NCE switch-it's. However, there is a section of my layout where I daylighted a helix where the upper and lower deck separation is quite tight. Tortoises would not work there because of their size. Tam Valley servos to the rescue, their thin profile is perfect! See pics below. If I were to start over again, I would think hard about using them elsewhere on the layout.
Otto K.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 09:52:21 PM by Cajonpassfan »

bbussey

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Re: Servo motors and switch machines
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 12:13:16 AM »
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Yes, I use them with Tam Valley Singlet controllers (which work in either DC or DCC).  You can get servos from China for as little as $2 ea if you hunt eBay.
Bryan Busséy
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Servo motors and switch machines
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 05:16:37 AM »
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Tam valley is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the tip!
'In my great and unmatched wisdom'