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Monday, 12 May 2014

My motor won't switch Peco N gauge turnout

I find this is a common problem for 00 and N gauge. If you build a capacitive discharge unit* to drive the point motor the usual remedy is to increase the charging capacitance, but that does not always work. After trying that I then made a serious error of judgement by increasing the input voltage, which blew the drive transistor!

The correct solution was to weaken the spring tension in the Peco turnout. On examining the N gauge turnout I could not see any built in method to achieve this. What needed to be done was to space out the two spring fixing points by sliding the sleepers on one side slightly away.

There is a web that joins the sleepers either side of the tie bar. Simply cut this where shown by the red arrow in the photo (both rails) and slide the sleepers on the right hand side away until the motor can move the switch blades fully home in both directions. The cut and adjustment can be done with the turnout in place.

Now that the sleepers are free they may need fixing with glue or pins to stop movement due to the remaining spring tension pushing them out further when the motor operates.

* search for circuit designs on the web or in electronics magazines.

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