New point motors for turnouts – May 2015

While waiting to complete the station’s overhead line installation, which requires a lot of time and patience, we will use a few free hours to install the new  AKA Models turnout point motors.
These devices wich we designed for Aka are available in three form factors, adaptable to all needs. They are all equipped with their own DCC decoder and can be analog driven with traditional buttons. They also provide a connection for frog polarization and have different parameters that can be set both through the on-board button and via DCC. In addition, they offer the possibility of connecting two LEDs showing the turnout status, to be positioned in a possible synoptic.

The replacement of the Peco solenoid motors at the left gosth station entrance has been scheduled for some time. Too noisy and too power-absorbing compared to the more efficient servos. We therefore remove the coils to install the AKA point motors, provided with a standard adaptor

Peco solenoid motors
Peco solenoid motors

The AKA engine is a smaller yellow box in comparison to similar products but comes with all the features. It provides two different ways of connection:
1) to be welded or via standard 2 mm pitch connector
2) via standard RJ45 LAN cable
We will choose the latter for practical reasons.

AKA Models point motor
AKA Models point motor

The AKA RJ45 standard provides a connection box for four-point motors. The AKA Junction BOX has terminals for connecting power supply, DCC signal, LEDs and buttons for an analog synoptic. We will only use the DCC power and signal inputs. As you can see from the photo, the installation is much cleaner and simpler than with the Almrose boards previously installed. We just need to connect two cable couples and use normal LAN cables to connect the motors.

Almrose decoder replacement
Almrose decoder replacement

The replacement of the PECO motors it is quite smooth. Because of the small and residual space in height for one of the turnouts, we use a different AKA Point Motor . This no longer consists of a single box, but of two different containers. One small one, which houses the servo and has a PECO standard adaptor and the other, housing the electronic board and the connection over RJ45 LAN cable. To replace it we simply insert the adapter pins into the turnout slots.

AKA Models motor installation
AKA Models motor installation

Once the pins have been inserted in the PECO turnout slots we bend the pins to join the motor to the turnout. Then we connect this to the Junction Box, we power the system and get ready to set the DCC address. It is easily operated by pressing the button on the box side once, it will then flash. By pressing the same button a little longer the LED will begin to flash quickly. The device is now ready to receive the canonical DCC accessories command on the address chosen on the command station. There is no need to configure other parameters, the motor speed and swing factory settings should all be fine.

AKA Models motor installation
AKA Models motor installation


Now let’s move on to replacing the Roco solenoid motors at the right ghost station entrance. The current set up, definitely looks inelegant. Let’s remove the Almrose board and the Roco side motors.

Sostituzione decoder Almrose
Almrose decoder replacement

Cutting a slot under the turnout stretcher is needed for a sub-board installation. We get some measurements and mill the layout board from below. We then immobilize and center the turnout blades. The AKA point motor automatically centers itself when first powered up. We insert the pin into the stretcher hole and fix the box with two screws. In this case the PECO adaptor is obviously not necessary. Installation and positioning would be easier with the template provided in the package package but in this case,there is no room in height to drill the screw holes.

AKA Models motor installation
AKA Models motor installation


And here is the final installation sub-board. These motors are easily removed, and the cables are sturdy. Everything is more orderly and pleasing. After installation the parameter settings can be performed directly from DCC, but even in this case there is no need to intervene. Eventually all the motors of the hidden parts of the layout will be replaced.

 AKA Models motor installation
AKA Models motor installation

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