finger to move points of turnout ?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by peekaboo1, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. peekaboo1

    peekaboo1 New Member

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    i was going to use caboose industry ground throws on my turnouts. for the heck of it i was experimenting with just using my finger to move the points of the turnout. they are
    n scale atlas code 80 turnouts. i then ran an engine and a couple of cars back and forth through the turnout without any problem and repeated this with the points on the other route without a problem. all my turnouts are on the front-side of the layout and i do not need to reach over any structures or such to get to them. also i am using foam so figured i would not need to secure the ground throws into the foam (tough to use screws in foam) if i use my finger to control turnouts, do you feel there are any issues i should be aware of before going this route ? thank you for your response.
  2. radar

    radar Member

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    with no stand or machine to hold the switch points they could and will move on you in the middel of a train!!!!! just when you are showing of the lay out to somebody
  3. peekaboo1

    peekaboo1 New Member

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    good point ! i will probably just go ahead and install the ground throws.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    You can also make a spring from thin gauge "piano" (i.e. stiff) wire. With a few bends you get a spring that holds the points to either side. Sort of a do-it-yourself Peco. Using balck wire hides the spring reasonably well. Some of the guys at the modular club use them, and they work well.

    Basically, you want to anchor the spring with a leg in a tie near the throw bar. Then you want a 90 degree bend at 45 degrees to the track, with the other leg in the throw bar itself. THe idea is that the 90 degree bend will force the points to either side, but not allow them to "float" in between. I hope the diagram helps - it's a tricky thing to explain, but is really very simple. The red line is the spring - it is dashed where it goes straight down into the ties.

    Andrew

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  5. peekaboo1

    peekaboo1 New Member

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    thanks for the diagram on the homemade spring.
    that is a good idea, my problem is that with atlas
    code 80 turnouts, the hole in the tie that moves
    the point rails is on the side and if i drill in the center
    of that tie to create a hole, i will hit parts of the point rail
    that (i assume) makes it insulated. i guess i could run an
    experiment and see what happens.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    No problem. As for the hole in the throw bar (the tie that moves), as long as you do not connect one side to the other electrically (thereby causing a short) you should be ok. But experimentation is fun...! Be sure to get a picture or two to show us...

    Andrew