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I got tired of fooling with the big clumsy single control for my Mianne Lift Gate, so I replaced it.  On each side of the lift bridge I placed a 10A DPDT center-off switch. The switches are recessed into the fascia and I used 1 1/2" desktop wire pass-thru grommets to dress them up.  They're mounted on 1/16" fiberglass sheet bonded to the inside of the fascia.  I used #16 5-conductor rubber sheathed  cable to run from each switch to my junction box.

I picked up a 4 x 4 x 4 junction box at HomeDepot and wired up the circuit below, very simple really, I'm just paralleling the two switches and removing the one in the control box.  The motor cap is the existing one from the big yellow control box.  The existing cable to the original control dongle comes in, and I simple wired the two switches with 5 conductor #16 wire to the junction box.  All internal connections inside were made using the existing spade connectors and for good measure I covered each connection with heat shrink.  The PTC was added in the off chance that people were on both sides of the bridge trying to run it up and down at the same time and creating a short.  Not a likely scenario, but easy to protect against.

Click on graphic for expanded view.

Mianne Lift Bridge Dual Control Addition

The remaining question is, what can I use this for?   Anyone need a spare for their lift-gate?

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Last edited by gunrunnerjohn
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The yellow contraption was the control for the lift-gate.  However, there was only one, and it was on a long cable.  The problem is, there are two sides to the lift-gate, and you want to be able to raise and lower it from either side.

The black square is a thumb switch that runs the bridge up and down.  The large motor capacitor was inside the round part.

John:

Great work!

My layout is small enough that I have no real need to lower or raise the liftgate when I am inside, but you have solved the problem for those that do.

I was able to tuck the yellow controller under the I-beam next to the liftgate:

IMG_6113IMG_6114

I am wondering how many out there are going to follow your excellent example that you provided with diagrams and instructions and do the same.

Thanks for posting!

Stan

 

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In my case, the bridge is four feet wide, and my control panel will be inside, so I really need the two switches.

I was going to build something a bit more exotic with relays, but then I realized that I was probably gilding the lily so to speak.  The only downside of this is of someone one side tries to raise the bridge and on the other side tries to lower it, it creates a short.  However, in the real world, I don't think that's a major concern.  I am planning on putting a PTC or two inside the junction box to address that possibility, but I wanted to get it working.

I don't doubt that a number of people have done this Sean, it wasn't exactly rocket science.   I just figured that there's probably lots of people that haven't considered it or aren't sure how easy it would be to accomplish.

Yeah it is definitely worth doing.  Like you said,  I had same issue where the controller was not accessible from both sides and that cord was too short.  Having switches on both sides works great.  I know Mianne just provides the winch pretty much as is, but this is an easy upgrade that really makes it so much easier.

@JerryB posted:

Weighted cord on each end which pulls the controller over a guide line. Low tech, but it’s within reach and I don’t have pull it off the floor.

 

Jerry...doesn't Mianne recommend that there be some kind of panel over the R-L sides of the unit that the motor raises.

Maybe I'm "remembering " something that does not exist.

In any case, I like your solution.

 

I finally wrapped up the lift-gate mods, go the wire for my enhanced lower limit switch and wired it in.

Mianne Lift Bridge Lower Limit Switch Enhancement

FWIW, I also identified the source of the winch itself and posted a diagram of the internal wiring for the curious.  I was curious myself at to exactly how it was configured.

Mianne Lift Gate Winch Wiring Diagram

I finally wrapped up the lift-gate mods, go the wire for my enhanced lower limit switch and wired it in.

Mianne Lift Bridge Lower Limit Switch Enhancement

FWIW, I also identified the source of the winch itself and posted a diagram of the internal wiring for the curious.  I was curious myself at to exactly how it was configured.

Mianne Lift Gate Winch Wiring Diagram

Thanks, John. I'll pass this along to my 'construction consultant."  The unwinding of the cable really has been a problem.

 

In my case, the bridge is four feet wide, and my control panel will be inside, so I really need the two switches.

I was going to build something a bit more exotic with relays, but then I realized that I was probably gilding the lily so to speak.  The only downside of this is of someone one side tries to raise the bridge and on the other side tries to lower it, it creates a short.  However, in the real world, I don't think that's a major concern.  I am planning on putting a PTC or two inside the junction box to address that possibility, but I wanted to get it working.

 

 

You should be able to find a switch guard/cover of the right configuration and size  to install over the switch and protect against accidental switching. Maybe something like this ....?

https://www.amazon.com/TayMac-...92925676&sr=8-55

 

 

@Alentown posted:

Thanks, John. I'll pass this along to my 'construction consultant."  The unwinding of the cable really has been a problem.

Yep, it only had to happen once for me to decide to come up with a solution.  I think someone may have bent the limit switch actuator arm to cause it, but I never did like the way it worked, too sensitive of an adjustment.  It's a simple mod, but one that I'm sure will pay dividends over the years.

@Richie C. posted:

 You should be able to find a switch guard/cover of the right configuration and size  to install over the switch and protect against accidental switching. Maybe something like this ....?

https://www.amazon.com/TayMac-...92925676&sr=8-55

I'm not really worried about accidental activation, the switches are actually pretty stiff, and they don't project much from the fascia.  Like I said, it's only if two people, one on each side, deliberately activate the switches in opposition.  That seems pretty unlikely when I thought about it, so I decided that some simple circuit protection will solve the problem.  I'll be including a PTC in the hot lead through the switch, this is a painless and automatic resetting solution

@AlanRail posted:

2 sided control without a short could you use a 3-way switch?

I suspect that would take more wires, I didn't look at that option.  I was originally thinking of a couple of relays in the box and two SPDT switches to do the motion control, that would have allowed me to build an interlock.  However, practically took over and I took the easy route.

Yep, Mianne recommends a covering on the inside of the lift-gate, I used Masonite.

I used peg board which is the same that I used on the back of the control area.  The pic. is of the left side of the lift-bridge looking out.

I also put piano hinges on the R-L sides so that I could open the gate's peg board sides to access trains stored on shelves behind.  Held closed by magnetic latches.  That way, I don't have to stop trains from running to access part of the "inventory".  

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