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Electrifying Points with Gaugemaster Electrics

Warren Kerfoot

WARREN KERFOOT looks at the options in the Gaugemaster Electrics range for electrifying points.

When considering moving to the next level of layout operation the point motors are going to be the first thing on the agenda. For years I have used Peco solenoid motors and believed them to be the only real way to guarantee consistent operation and they still remain an excellent and reliable unit, but there is a superb alternative with SEEP motors which are feature packed and actually better value for money.

SEEP Point Motor

The unassuming looking PM-1 point motor is actually our bestselling item!

The GMC-PM1 is by far the most useful at first glance with the built in switch. It gives so many opportunities to get other complicated switching done that can enable the modeller to have reporting via Gaugemaster LEDs with resisitors on the control panel, the simultaneous operation of colour light signals or, where live frogs are used in the pointwork, a built in change over switch. And all this is dealt with below the board, and below the point itself making wiring neat, minimalized and more reliable.

Of course the GMC-PM2 is built to the same exacting standards, but doesnít feature the switch and offers a price match with the ubiquitous Peco item, but still with two key features Iíll come to in a moment.

The GMC-PM4 is another well engineered item that gives two more features over the competition. It has latching, giving positive switching of point blades if hand or kit built points are used, or just simply where your proprietary point has lost itís over centre spring, and of course that very useful built in single pole changeover switch is included too.

But hereís the real bonus with these fine products - they donít require a Ďfitting kití of any kind, just two screws are all you need to mount through the pre-drilled PCB so thereís an immediate and tangible saving over other brands which require an add on straight away to fit them under the board. The second feature which is often overlooked is the fact that the whole unit is mounted on a printed circuit board meaning the modellersí soldering iron never has to go near the delicate coil wires of the solenoid itself, reducing the risk of accidentally breaking or desoldering the factory connections. Also the common return is already linked from each coil, so only three wires have to fitted to any of the units for their operation.

Gaugemaster CDU

CDUs store up power and discharges it in one big punch to give the motor a firm switching action.

When it comes to powering the point motors, regardless of whose solenoid point motors are used, the Gaugemaster Capacitor Discharge Unit (GMC-CDU) is a must have item - delivering the Ďkick in the pantsí the field coils of the point motors perform best with. Only one is usually required for a whole layout and by using this superb item, more than just single points can be thrown simultaneously to create route setting and so on, and adding an extra dimension to the layout operation. It also is the one item that will virtually eliminate the risk of burning out point motors through over energising.

Gaugemaster MCDU

The MCDU comes with a wall mounted transformer, eliminating the need for a separate AC power source.

Just recently, Gaugemaster has introduced a personal favourite item of mine with the GMC-MCDU. It is a cased version of the standard CDU, but comes hard wired to a plug-in-the-wall power pack making the modellerís need for an extra power supply unnecessary to run the layoutís pointwork motors. This is going to be the panacea for those without an AC power source, and offered at a bargain price of under £25.00. And for those unsure of the merits of this well thought-out system, the GMC-PCSET offers the modeller all he needs in a box to motorise three points; the MCDU itself, wire in 3 colours and non-latching toggle switches.

Just look at what Gaugemaster has to offer for every layouts point operation: the package is superb, from push to make switches, toggle switches, GM11 wire in a range of colours, the variants of the CDU packages and an industry leading range of mains power supply products. No other company I can think of does so much to make this fundamental element of the layoutís operation so easy, cost effective and reliable.

There are a few different articles already published on a similar theme, CLICK HERE to read James' article on Mimic Panels, and CLICK HERE to view Craig's introduction to the Gaugemaster Universal Relay Switch.

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