We have long-recognised that the standard DC solenoid motor is a favourite of modellers, and has been for decades. We also accept that as new generations of modellers come on board they do not necessarily possess the skills and confidence that was once taken for granted, so we thought it was time to take a fresh look at the design, function and installation of this important model railway accessory.
TwistLock is still a basic electric solenoid motor, for operating (in the main) turnouts. It is powered by a normal 16vDC supply (and can take up to 3 amps) and is fully compatible with all PECO turnouts up to O gauge (and can handle many other proprietary brands too). But no longer will any soldering of wires to the terminals be necessary, nor the cutting of large holes in the baseboard.
"It's the simplicity of installation that is the real winner for this new motor: a simple twist, and lock, and it's in place."
Each motor is supplied with a template, which the modeller uses to accurately mark the position of three holes that need to be drilled. The two outer holes are used to attach mounting studs beneath the baseboard. The larger centre hole is where the drive pin of the motor is positioned and threaded through the tie bar of the turnout. The motor is then simply twisted, and locked, into position and will remain firmly attached when operated.
An extra operating bar, and spacers for the studs is included with every motor, enabling the above-board mounting of the motor where needed.
There are three products in the range: the basic TwistLock motor, the TwistLock motor plus twin microswitch, and the twin microswitch on its own. So the modeller has the choice, depending whether they need to switch polarities, or to operate signals or panel lights.
The Railway Modeller February 2020 issue has an excellent 3-page step-by-step article explaining the simple method of installation, and our online TV channel, PECO TV, has a helpful step-by-step guide to watch.