Guidelines on fitting & wiring a point motor



On the left is a point motor from the Peco range which consists of a metal bar passing through two coils. When a 16 volts AC supply is connected to one of the coils the metal bar slides to one side. When the same 16 volts AC is to the other coil the metal bar moves in the opposite direction.

The sliding bar is connected to the point by the vertical thin pin passing through the hole in the moving tie bar of the point and the feet of the motor fit into the slits in the frame of the point.

When fitting a Peco PL10 point motor to a Peco '00' gauge point fold over or cut off the centre pair of tags and only use the four outer tags. When fitting a Peco PL10 to a Peco 'N' gauge point use the centre pair of tags and a pair at one end. The pair at the other end are not used and can be cut off or bent over.




If the point motor is mounted directly under the point a 'cutout' must be made in the baseboard big enough to allow the point motor to fit through. The unit can be fitted to the point and tested before the point is installed on the baseboard. Although the best it is not always possible because of timber supports directly below the point position.




An alternative to the above is when the point motor is mounted on an plate which is screwed directly on to the underside of the baseboard and positioned so the pin on the point motor passes throught a small hole around 6mm and into  the hole in the point tie bar.

As this requires a point motor with a longer pin  you will need a PL10E. Your dealer will know what you mean; just say you are mounting it under the  baseboard. 



 There also a point motor available from Gaugemaster which is designed for underboard mounting and has a built in switch and only requires a small hole through the base board to allow movement of the point tie bar.

It is known as a Seep point motor.


 This is a Peco PL10 mounted directly onto the base of a Peco streamline point.

The mounting tags have been bent over to secure the point motor to the point.



If any of the above are not suitable you can mount the point motor on the top and to the side of the point. This way involves less work but you do have to hide the point motor in a lineside building or follage. A possible advantage is when you connect the wires to the point motor all can be seen without laying on your back often in the dark. If this is preferred a different mounting plate is required. 


 The above point motors can have switches fitted if you need to operate control panel indicators or switch 'frog' connections. Some models of 'Seep' have a built-in switch but the Peco models have to be purchased as an extra part. see below 


 One pole two way (Peco PL13)

 Two pole two way (Peco PL15)








 The two point motors below do NOT have add-on switching facilities.

Because it is smaller and weaker than the larger points motors it is recommended to use a capacity discharge unit (CDU) . This point motor has a part code of PL11

This point motor is suitable for both streamline and setrack '00' gauge points and is reversable so will fit both right and left hand points. It can be used with 'N' gauge points with slight modification like raising the track by approximately 2mm. and cutting the plastic locating strips.



Designed to be positioned either side of any Hornby point this surface mounted point motor allows for the convenient electrical operation of points.

Can be used with the Hornby R8216 digital point/accessory decoder for DCC or for DC analogue operation. This point motor has a part code of R8243



Wiring Point Motors 

For best results in operation use a larger than normal sizewire like three core mains cable (as shown below) or three single flexable wires when connecting point motors to switches and supply because there will be less volts drop because of the high current required to operate the point motor coils. 




For a point motor to operate correctly it requires a suitable switch. The switch must have two position so the point can be operated to either position. As the point is basically a pair of selonoid coils the supply to each coil must only be for a very short time otherwise the coil will burn out. There are two types of switches which are shown below. 



This switch is a two way switch from Peco which has a lever so to operate the point you move the lever away from you and towards you and can be mounted in a console which holds six switches.


This switch from the Gaugemaster or Expo range is in the form of a standard toggle but is biased to the centre so to operate the point you push the switch in the required direction and when you let go it returns to the centre position.


This kind of switch is  suitable for a control panel where a diagram produced on a computor showing the track layout in the form of a map and placed onto the panel. A hole is drilled through the panel where the point is and this push button switch is fitted.


The wiring between the switch, point motor, and supply is shown below



 Wires are soldered to the four coil end tags using black as the common connection on one side and two different colours to each coil tag as shown below.

Try to stick to a wire colour code for all the point motors to make the connections to the switches etc easiler.

The image is a Peco point motor part code PL10



This product ensures the point motors operate firmly and giving you the oppotunity to operate more than one point from one switch which is usefull for passing looks and track crossovers install a Capacity Discharge Unit (Gaugemaster shown on right) 

A heavy duty CDU is available from All Components capable of switching around 10 points in one go.

It provides a burst of power to ensure point blades move fully and also acts as a safety device as they will not re-operate untill the switch is returned to the rest position. This eliminates any posibility of the point motor coils not burning out.

Although these CDU units can work on a 16 VAC supply they work better on a 24 VAC supply.  



Point Motor Diode Switching Matrix

 For those of you who would like to switch several points at the push of one button; for example, setting a route there is a simple system for anybody with a knowledge of basic electronics and soldering using 'veroboard', edge connectors,  components called  diodes, tinned copper wire, and some sleeving. 

The only tools required are a small low power soldering iron, wire cutters, and a small pair of pliers.



The main part of the board is made up using 'vero board' which is an insulating board covered on one side with narrow strips of copper. The complete board is perferated with holes with a grid size of 0.1 inch.

The link wires are used to connect one track to another with a diode in series so the current only flows from the push button switch strip to the point motor connection strip.

By using this system one push button switch can switch as many point motors as required to set routes.

As the system is powering several points at the same time it is important to install a CDU (capacity discharge unit) in the supply to ensure all points operate.

Full details are in the Peco 'Wiring a Layout' booklet - Part 2 which is available from all good model shops.

 The connections between the board and the cables going to the switches and points are made via the edge connector attached to the side of the board.

When planning ensure you label all cables as they are routed from switches and points under the layout to the position of the matrix board.