Making the Switch – Slow-Action Basics

SB1 Servo Base-1

We looked at solenoid motors and how they operate, and in this issue we concentrate on slow-action motors and how they can be used on the railway. Slow-action motors add to the realism on your layout by replicating the operation of real points. They work by way of a motor, which slowly moves the point blades from over, just like the real thing.
One thing that you will need to do if you are choosing slow-action motors is to remove the over-centre spring in the point, otherwise the blades with simply try to “snap” over to one side which defeats the look and realism of the slow action motor.

Signalist SB1 Servo Base & Servo
An easy to install servo based point motor (includes servo) with lots of handy features. It is a simple drop-in replacement for Peco PL10 point motors mounted on Peco PL9 (below baseboard) or PL12 (surface) bases and can be controlled by the SC2 servo decoder or any other servo controller.
Has provision for mounting a pair of microswitches for position feedback (or frog polarity switching if not using an SC2 decoder). Powerful precision cam mechanism limits movement to 5mm to even if the servo rotates 360°.
Available to purchase via this link.

Peco Smart Switch
Peco released the Smart Switch, and it uses a 9g servo to pull and push the tie bar on the point in the desired direction. The servo is controlled by a control board and operated by a simple on-off switch.
Once the switch is turned on, the servo slowly moves the tie bar on the point. To set the point in the other direction the switch just needs to be turned off.
All that is needed to power this system is a 12v DC supply and the control board. The board has four outputs which will power four servos individually, or eight if you have cross-over sections where two points need to be powered together.

DCCconcepts Cobalt Motors
The Cobalt motor is a sturdy machine that comes in three different designs all with their own different outputs and internal switches. All the Cobalt items are available as singles, six-packs, and twelve-packs.
The Omega is suited for Analogue model railways, and has two internal switches for frog polarity and interlocking if needed. It can be powered by 6 to 18v DC from a DC power supply or DCC Decoder. There is a switch on each motor to let you choose the appropriate voltage range for your supply. Nothing else will be needed as there are two built in changover switches for point frogs and other uses.
Cobalt Omega Point Motors

The DCDCP-CB12DIP Digital iP is the same as the IP motor above, but with a fitted DCC Decoder. Power for this motor can be supplied straight from a digital layout without the need for additional decoders to be added in to the circuit. With Cobalt iP Digital there is no need for added switching or an added decoder to drive them – it is all built in and this point motor is suitable either with DC or DCC.

Cobalt iP Digital Point Motors
The wiring of these Digital Slow Action Point Motors couldn’t be simpler, as they just require two wires from the power supply and the switch is then attached to the motor. Both the Omega and the IP motors can be switched by a single pole double throw switch set up to reverse power polarity to the motor or by push button switches set up in the same way.
The digital motor can be switched by either a DCC command from a controller, or by the same switch as the other two motors. Cobalts are larger than solenoid motors so are ideally suited to under board fitting to hide them from view. They are all fitted with spring clips to insert the wires into so no soldering is involved. Other switch methods are available such as the Alpha Switch System.