Ground throws

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by joefryfry, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. joefryfry

    joefryfry joefryfry

    Jan 12, 2006
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    I had tortoise switch machines in HO, but then again I never had a yard. I want to use ground throws on my new layout for the yard. Suggestions? I don't care if they aren't the most realistic, I only care that they work well and are reliable. I am using Atlas code 55 #5 turnouts. Do I need to power the frogs? My only engine as of now is a Proto RS-2. I won't have anything shorter than that. Thoughts? Thanks.
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    You may want to look at caboose industries line. Get the "sprung" variety - easier to install and adjust. As for powered frogs - those are great, but I would test to see if the extra effort is necessary in your case. I havent had much success with caboose industries' ground throws with electrical contacts. The design seems unreliable.
  3. pjb

    pjb Member

    Dec 22, 2000
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    The elegant switch stands with standards and
    lamps (eitherLEDs or glass jewels) do not suffer
    operations well, if they are having the handle upon
    them used to throw their switches manually.
    On the other hand, if they are simply attached
    correctly to a turnout that is powered electrically, pneumatically, or via choke cables (e.g. piano
    wire and Eschelman links) they make exact,
    :thumb:, representative models.

    If you are going to throw the switch manually,
    then sturdy out of scale metal ground throws
    are the way to go. Since there is but one scale
    for fingers, anything smaller than 'O' gauge
    trackwork is going to be worked with metal,
    oversized, and usually unlamped, fixtures.
    I have seen portions of what, I believe, were
    Century Metal Product's dwarfs mounted unto
    those big weighted handled units. Lots of work,
    for small gain in appearance in my view, - but
    that is why there are other opinions.
    Caboose industry's low stands, that have a metal
    rod with lead ball at end of the handles work well..
    ... but are short on appearance.

    You might consider some more elegant appearing combination of low switch light riding along
    on a remotely thrown switch panel.
    Take the control rods and sections of your: yard
    ladder; junction and interchange yard switches,
    or a similar track/turnout concentration and
    make a cassette type unit for the controls that,
    in effect, plugs into the layout fascia.

    Use ModraTec switch box panels , if you wish
    a good appearaance and have a yard panel
    with centrally located control handles.
    Or choose some cheaper way to do the same.
    In any case, the option of using low ground
    throws mounted on the turnouts means sacrificing
    appearance, if reliability is the guidon.
    It should be, since crappy operations make
    appearance beside the point; on all but non-
    operating dioramas.

    Another factor, in my experience, is that
    reaching in and throwing the turnouts can often
    upset cars, and even damage scenic items
    that may be in the area.
    Peter Boylan
  4. platypus1217

    platypus1217 Member

    Feb 28, 2007
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    I have used the Caboose Industries ground throws on my layout. I have used the sprung kind and they have worked wonderfully. I found I had to raise them up with a piece of styrene. Other then that the were very easy to install, much easier the the Atlas under the table switch machines I also have on my layout.
  5. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    Dec 20, 2003
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    The biggest disadvantage to the Caboose Industries throws is that they are way oversized for N Scale. If you're willing to overlook that, you'll have no issue with them in terms of reliability.