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Sticking point

Author

Tom Cunnington

Date

7th November 2016

Reading Time

2 minutes

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There are six points on Minories, all operated with Tortoise slow action point motors with Exactoscale baseplates transferring the movement of the motor through a tie-bar under the baseboard to wires soldered to the underside of the switch rails. b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_5758.JPGThere are stretcher bars between the switch rails, and although these do provide some mechanical joints between the two switch rails, the core drive is from the under-baseboard tie bar. If you want to find out more, these instructions via the C&L website might help:

 http://www.finescale.org.uk/pdfs/Tortoise%20instructions1.pdf

Over the last decade, a couple of the dropper “wires” from the switch blades have come loose, and despite being fiddly to put back in are fairly easily repairable. Visitors to the Doncaster show on the Sunday morning in 2015 were treated to a demonstration of how to fix the most difficult one to access. Other than that they have worked faultlessly. Until the Fareham show in October when two of the points started sticking, getting worse over the weekend. We tried everything we could think of at the show, but in the end had to minimise use of Platform 3 and keep the most offending point set to platform 2.

On the way home another thought came to mind, which on getting the layout on its side back at home proved to be the cause – ballast had fallen down the hole that the drive passes through and got stuck between the tie bar and the mounting plate as seen here, just to the left of the lower piece of brass tube, near my thumb.

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The result was that the Tortoise tie bar was locked in place, and our trying to free it had probably made it worse. The motor was moving as designed, but the wire wasn’t able to move the tie bar. Luckily it was easy to rectify, removing the base and tie bar, removing the lose ballast and replacing. A quick job with the layout on its side, probably rather more difficult at a show. And whilst at it, I did some preventative maintenance on the other motors. This is the holes for the drive wires from the underside, showing a little ballast that has fallen through and been “trapped” above the adaptor plate.

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So now we are hopefully ready for Royston, on the 19th of November.

 

 

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