Let’s build a turntable

Discussion in 'The Academy' started by cnw1961, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

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    Let me see if I understand this rightly. THIS was the EASY way and the phone jack was the hard way right? LOL
    OOOOO KKKKK
    I believe you :)

    Anyhow, looks good just the same. :)
  2. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    shaygetz, I hope you are right :)

    fsm1000, please stop laughing :) . I agree, if you use a phone plug as the center shaft, it is very easy to do. BUT if you try to attach it to the end of the center shaft (perfectly centered and aligned to the phone jack, or it won’t work properly when the shaft is turning) AND you have to be able to remove it (remember what I said about the bridge and the shaft), AND you have to find a way to separate the wires of the bridge track from the phone plug, AND you have to be able to assemble it all again when the turntable is installed and you are lying under your layout AND the phone jack gets in your way when you are trying to install the plug (or you have to remove the jack and install it again after you installed the plug) and you keep in mind that the diameter of the center shaft is only 1/4", THEN it is no longer easy. Think about it :wave: . And if that isn’t still enough, I can come up with some more obstacles :D .
  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Unless I've missed something, where did the 'phone jack enter into the equation? The usual method of routing power to a turntable is to use a stereo jack, mounted directly inside the centre shaft, with the shaft itself being one conductor, and the other an insulated wire routed inside the shaft. The female part of the connection is mounted permanently beneath the turntable pit bottom. Removal of the table is a simple "lift out".

    Wayne
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Wayne...

    I think "phone" jack is meant as "phono" jack, which is sometimes what those 1/4" jacks/plugs are called.

    Andrew
  5. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    Wayne, sorry if the use of the term phone jack might have been confusing, but I didn’t know it was wrong. Nearly everywhere I read about these plugs and jacks beeing used as center shafts, they were called phone jacks. But you are right, I should leave the plugs and jacks out of this equation, because I don’t want to use them. One reason is, that I can’t think of a good way to attach a 1/4" plug to my 1/4" shaft and still have the chance to lift out the shaft (and plug) through my bearings. And in my last post I listed some obstacles against the idea to make the plug removable. Maybe I am too cautious, but another reason against a plug is that I don’t like the idea to set track power to all the metal parts, including the shaft of the motor (I know it is insulated) at the bottom of the pit. I like to keep it all separated. I think I have a reliable power supply with this quite simple construction now and to lift out the bridge, I only have to remove one gear which is secured be a single screw.
  6. joesho

    joesho Member

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    just a quick question, is the track you have on the turnable the track your using for the final product? it seem a bit short
  7. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    Hello joesho, the track is only a piece of Peco track I had at hand. I will get my Atlas code 83 track tomorrow, I hope to get it right then :D .
  8. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    I found an easy way to attach the wires from the bridge track to the metal rings. I drilled small holes into the styrene shaft for the wires. Then I put the wires into the holes and removed the isolation at the end of each wire. Then I applied some super glue to the shaft and pushed the metal rings on the ends of the wires. Sorry, I can’t explain it any better, this picture might help. The right ring is already in place, the left is still to be done.

    [​IMG]

    I feared that the glue might have neagtive effects on the contact of the wires and the rings, but as the next picture shows, everything is fine.

    [​IMG]

    Before I glued the plastic shaft to the center shaft, I cut the wires to the right length and soldered the ends to be able to solder them to the track without anything getting too hot.
    If I apply some solder to the track before I put it on to the bridge, it will only take a short touch of the soldering iron to connect wire and track.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I am close to the finish line now. Only the bridge track and the wood planks for the deck are still to be done.
  9. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    An important change to my last post

    A fellow member of our forum sent me a PM to warn me that electrical contact between the wires and the brass rings (see my last post) may fail due to oxidation on the inside of the rings. Even though I checked oxidated brass with my multimeter before I decided to use brass rings, he is absolutely right to suggest that I should change the method to connect the wires. No need to take any risk.

    As a first attempt I soldered the wires to the sides of the rings. After I filed the soldered parts to make them fit through my bearings, there was so little solder left, that it didn’t look very reliable to me. That’s why I decided to solder the wires to the inside of the rings. First I flattened the ends of the wires and applied a little solder.

    [​IMG]

    Then I applied some solder to the inside of the rings and filed it until only a thin layer was left. Then I soldered the wires to the rings.

    [​IMG]

    I carefully filed away some solder and some plastic of the styrene tubing until I could slip the rings on to the plastic tube. I secured the rings with super glue.

    [​IMG]
  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Great improvement, Kurt, and the only place in your construction where there may have been any room for improvement. In my opinion, this is the best construction article on building a turntable that I've seen anywhere, and that includes over 30 years worth of model railroading magazines. :thumb: :thumb: A well-considered choice of materials, coupled with solid design and executed with great workmanship. An excellent job!

    Wayne
  11. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    I concur with the Doc...Great piece of work & a great tutorial to go with it. Maybe it deserves a "sticky" in the Scratch building forum. Just a thought.
    Congratulations on an excellent project...!!!
    Can't wait to see the finished product...!!!:thumb:
  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    I've already earmarked it for "The Academy" since it has gotten :thumb: :thumb: (two thumbs up ;)) from everyone... :D

    Andrew
  13. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

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    Kurt, just to add fuel to the fire, I will be trying a totally different method myself. I was gonna do the PHONO jack idea myself but because of the type of motor I got [a 2 rpm at 24 volts so 1 rpm at 12 volts :D] I will have to do the split rail method.
    Anyhow, what you did is great though just the same. I really like this tutorial. Keep up the good work. :)
  14. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    Wayne, that’s a big compliment, WOW. Thank you. Glad you cannot see me blush :oops: . Gus, Andrew, thank you for your very kind words. fsm1000, sounds interesting. Please post pictures of what you are doing :wave: .

    Didn’t get much done yesterday (sometimes life disturbs the modeling :D ). I got my Atlas code 83 track and now I can finish the deck of the bridge. I cut the track for the bridge .040" shorter than the diameter of the pit. Before I glued the track to the bridge. I applied some solder to the spots on the outside of the rails where I wanted to attach the wires. After the track was in place I bent the wires to the right position for soldering and secured them by adding some glue to the insulation of the wires. I used cardboard strips to protect the girders against accidental contact with the soldering iron. Now it only needed a short touch of the soldering iron to fix the wires.

    [​IMG]
  15. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    I only have two things to say

    1: This is hands down the best tutorial ever done on TT construction, you make it look as easy as woodland scenics scenery. Thank you.

    2: What are you, some kind of Rocket Surgeon??? sign1
  16. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

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    Another great result of this project is that if you don't have a need for a TT or it is too advanced to take on now (that would be me)......there is so much to learn just about scratch building in general and the "way to go about it". Just flat out GREAT STUFF!!!
    Also I agree with Gus....this needs to be a sticky or in The Academy
  17. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

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    Steve, start off slow, get a couple of kits and make something different by combining them. That is called kitbashing, and after you mess up a couple you get out the hammer and start bashing :D LOL.
    Anyhow, start small and you will do fine. Considering the stuff I have seen you do already I think you will do well. :)
  18. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    Liven_letdie, Steve, thank you for your nice words. :wave:

    After I glued the track to the bridge, I painted the rails and the space between the ties. Then I cut .180" x .040 strips of wood for the deck of the bridge. I made little cuts each 1 1/4" to make it look like single planks.

    [​IMG]

    Then I glued the strips together to form the three parts that make the deck.

    [​IMG]

    Before I fixed them to the bridge, I wanted to paint them. It is easier to make changes if I didn’t like the color after the paint dried if the parts were not glued to the bridge.

    I didn’t like the clean look of the stripwood. To give it a more weathered look, I painted it dark grey and after the paint had dried, I used a knife to scrape it off again. Then I sanded the parts and applied some greyish brown paint.

    [​IMG]
  19. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    In this pic you can see that the deck is well above the rim of the pit.

    [​IMG]

    This is something special with the design of my turntable. At the Redondo roundhouse (the prototype I try to model) all tracks that lead to the turntable are built as street trackage, with the tarmac lying on top of the concrete pit wall. This extra height gives me the chance to model the crumbling edge of the tarmac.

    [​IMG]

    For a more common design, I would glue a strip of styrene (I love that stuff :D) to the wood ring to match the height of the ties. This strip makes the narrow concrete rim of the pit, that you see on most turntables.

    [​IMG]

    Or just build a lower bridge to get a turntable with a broad concrete rim. (I hope not to insult anyone with these simple suggestions :))

    [​IMG]
  20. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member

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    No insults at all, its always the dang easy stuff that gets me in trouble any how!!!:D