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Cobalt Point Motors Demystified

James Hickman

JAMES HICKMAN goes through the differences between the Cobalt point motor range.

Welcome to this article demystifying the DCC Concepts range of Cobalt motors. There has been a lot in the model railway press regarding these motors, but what exactly are they? A Cobalt motor is, in simple terms, an actual motor being used to operate a point rather than the traditional solenoid motors found in the ranges of many of the model railway manufacturers. This gives one distinctive advantage, a more realistic action to the throw of your points rather than the quick snap a solenoid motor gives.

The term 'Solenoid Motor' is a general term for a device that utilises two electromagnets to throw a metal bar with centre pin to change a set of points. The DCC Concepts Cobalt motors fall into a second category called 'Slow Action' or 'Stall Motors' which is a general term covering any slow action motor. The DCC Concepts Cobalt motors are smaller than other Stall Motors on the market, allowing for easier installation, and packed full of extras that no other slow action motor has come close to replicating, and that is what we are looking at here. The way a 'Slow Action' point motor works is simple; a moveable fulcrum allows easy adjustment of blade closure pressure and ensures that throw can be easily adjusted irrespective of scale, type of point-work or thickness of baseboards.

There are three types of slow action motor in the DCC Concepts range, The Cobalt Omega, The Cobalt IP, and the Cobalt IP Digital. All three of these are available individually, in packs of six, or packs of 12 for the larger projects. Between the three products any scenario can be installed and operated with ease, but what is the actual difference? To answer this we need to first look at what is the same.

Every Cobalt motor is sold with an additional pack of fixings included within the packet. This pack contains the easy alignment foam pad, fulcrum with fixing screw, and even the screws to fix the motor to the board. This makes the cost of a Cobalt Motor even better value as you won't need to be hunting for that little pot of screws last seen disappearing down the back of the workbench. Some of the other features of all three motors are listed below:

  • All models are pre-centred when they leave the factory, making it even easier to install.
  • Solder-less connections for easy connection to your layout.
  • Suitable for any scale from Z right up to G.
  • Additional Switches for Frog change-over and accessory control.
  • Large input voltage ranges.
  • Tie Bar sticker for easy disguise of mounting holes included with each motor.
  • Full set of accessories for installation also included

The Cobalt Omega Motor

DCC Concepts Cobalt Omega Motor

The Cobalt Omega is an evolved version of the original Cobalt Motor range. Although it has replaced the original motors, it works in exactly the same way, however it is packed with even more great features. These include:

  • Re-engineered components to allow for even quieter operation and the ability for the switch contacts to handle a massive 5 amps.
  • Added voltage range switch to allow control of the motor from anything from 7 to 18 volts dependant on the position of the switch.
  • Three switches on every Cobalt Omega linked to the movement of the throw-bar for clear confirmation of point throw and control of accessories, as well as interlocking around your layout.
  • Usable with any scale and DC power control. It can be used with DCC control using a suitable decoder like the DCDCD-AD2FX COBALT ip Accessory Decoder (2 Way) or the DCDCD-AD8FX COBALT ip Accessory Decoder (8 Way).
  • Low current draw. (Varies depending on voltage, but usually around 20mA)

DCDCP-CB1OMG COBALT Omega Slow Action Analogue Point Motor

DCDCP-CB6OMG COBALT Omega Slow Action Analogue Point Motor (6 Pack)

DCDCP-CB12OMG COBALT Omega Slow Action Analogue Point Motor (12 Pack)

CLICK HERE for full details of the Cobalt Omega Motor.

The Cobalt IP Analogue

DCC Concepts Cobalt IP Motor

The Cobalt IP Analogue is the bridge between Analogue and Digital motor control. It takes the best features of the Cobalt Omega and the Cobalt IP Digital Motors and combines them to form the Cobalt IP Analogue. This motor is different to the Cobalt Omega as it has inbuilt microprocessor-controlled power allowing for better performance, and redesigned electronics for actively managed drive speed. Aside from the upgraded internal components, the IP Analogue also has:

  • Wide ranging safe power input - anything from 7 right up to 23 volts from DC power supply. It can be used with DCC control using a suitable decoder like the DCDCD-AD2FX COBALT ip Accessory Decoder (2 Way) or the DCDCD-AD8FX COBALT ip Accessory Decoder (8 Way).
  • Three on board switches ''all 'Break before Make' so that they only operate if Cobalt IP has really changed. One switch is directly linked to the power input wires for direct connection of logic systems/computers, panel switches or any accessory that can be allied with Cobalt IP's drive power, and there are TWO more totally independent SPDT changeover switches that you can use for frog power, signalling, interlocking'' as well as any other accessory you can think of.
  • Direction inversion switch for easy change of throw direction.
  • Ability to be controlled from separate power bus or computer control equipment.
  • Easy digitalisation with the addition of one of the DCC Concepts Accessory Decoders.

DCDCP-CB1IP COBALT iP Slow Action Analogue Point Motor

DCDCP-CB6IP COBALT iP Slow Action Analogue Point Motor (6 Pack)

DCDCP-CB12IP COBALT iP Slow Action Analogue Point Motor (12 Pack)

CLICK HERE for full details of the Cobalt IP Analogue motor.

The Cobalt IP Digital

DCC Concepts Cobalt IP Motor

So we've covered the Cobalt Omega and the Cobalt IP Analogue, now it's time to look at the Cobalt IP Digital. Yes, as you may have guessed, it is the Digital version of the Cobalt IP Analogue.

This motor has the same functionality of the Cobalt IP Analogue with the addition of a built in on-board accessory decoder. This allows the Cobalt motor to be controlled from any leading DCC Control system. As additions, the Cobalt IP Digital also has:

  • Additional solder-free terminals for push-button or SPDT control.
  • Direction inversion switch has been replaced with a digital command, making it even easier to change the throw position of the motor.
  • The ability to activate self-centering mode when required, and deactivate when no longer needed.
  • Easy Learn ability, no programming required - switch to learn mode, send command, switch back to use mode.

DCDCP-CB1DIP COBALT iP Slow Action Digital Point Motor

DCDCP-CB6DIP COBALT iP Slow Action Digital Point Motor (6 Pack)

DCDCP-CB12DIP COBALT iP Slow Action Digital Point Motor (12 Pack)

CLICK HERE for full details of the Cobalt IP Digital motor.

As well as the Cobalt Motors themselves a selection of accessories from drill bits to templates to aid location of the motors during installation are also available, these can be found HERE:

There is so much that can be talked about when discussing the Cobalt motor range, and we have only just scratched the surface of it here. For further information and wiring diagrams for the cobalt motors, please visit www.dccconcepts.com for more information.

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