My Manual Turn-out Controls

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Gary S., Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Loren: That is great! Looking real good. How about a close-up of the pivot point?

    Andrew: I was out of town for several days, haven't had a chance to think about your question. Are you still looking for input?

    As for me, last night I wrecked out the two switches I messed up and put in new ones. Wasn't too hard, so everything is okay, although I am not pleased that I destroyed the two switches.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Gary...

    Yes please! If you have any thoughts on this, I'd appreciate hearing (reading ;)) them.

    Andrew
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Gary, sorry to hear about those switches. Those things are not cheap. At least they were not ballasted in yet ! Anyhow, here is a picture of the pivot point(sorry it is so blurry) I am stiil trying to figure this new camers out.
    I found that a 3/32 hole was the right size. Also, the location of the hole is CRITICAL. A hair off to one side( gotta be be precise here) puts all the tension on one side. I elongate the switch mounting holes to adjust the location. I also drill all the way through the handle, bend the wire in a L shape, and epoxy the wire on the top and bottom for added strengh.
    I just realized I forgot the picture:oops:
    Loren

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  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Loren, with the pivot point, when you pull the knob out, it selects the front track, when you push in, it selects the back track? To me, this is the way it should work = intuitive.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Gary, I am not sure what you mean by front and back tracks:oops: . When I have the nob pulled out, it selects the straight thru track. If I push the nob in, it selects the diverging track(the one that curves). Thats not what I was hoping for, but I will live with it just to get rid of those ugly switch machines.:D

    Loren
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Loren,

    If you drill the hole first and mount the switch after, you sshould not have to worry about precision drilling.

    By front and back tracks, I think that Gary means pushing the knob in should select the route furthest away, while pulling should select the route closest to you (if that is not the case Gary, please correct me!). Regardless of which route is technically the "diverging route" this is most intuitive (again... to me ;)).


    Andrew
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Loren, here are some examples of what I mean. The first experiment I did with the electrical switches didn't have a pivot and worked exactly opposite of what I am showing in the diagrams. By using a pivot, my switches now work like the diagrams. It doesn't really matter, but it is my feeling that my arrangement is easy to understand and operate the switches. The way your controllers have pivots, I am assuming that they will work exactly the same way that mine do.

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  8. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Andrew, I still haven't given thought to your situation yet. The first thing that crosses my mind is could you recess the knobs into the front of the modules? Use a hole saw to cut a hole in the facia big enough for the knob to "sink" into? The hole would have to be big enough diameter to get your fingers in to grab the knob.

    Like I said, I haven't given much thought, but if the recess was possibile, I feel it would be the most simple and aesthetically pleasing arangement.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    I think the recess option might be ok, but it depends on how much of the frame has to be cut away. The frames are generally 4 to 4.5" high, with 1.5 to 2" foam set into them. That means there is as little as 2" or as much as 3" of space under the foam. My particular frames have 2" foam in 4 and 4.5" frames. Some of the styrofoam decking can be cut away - many of the guys with Tortoises do this with no ill effects.

    I am going to haveto make a mock up to see how it works... Thanks for the ideas - if any more come to you - please let me know! ;) :D

    Andrew
  10. shortliner

    shortliner Member

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    Find some plastic tops from cosmetic sprays or similar - drill/cut hole of suitable size and fit the cap - drill hole through cap and run link. Also works for recessing switches
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  11. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Andrew, it concerns me also about how much of the frame would have to be cut out. If a fairly small knob was used, the recess could be fairly small too. I'm thinking of the little metal drawer knobs that are sold at Home Depot... maybe about 1/2" in diameter... the hole could be around 1.5 inches in diameter to let your fingers grab the knobs?

    Of course, those metal knobs are around $2 each if I remember. You could fabricate something to keep costs down?
  12. shortliner

    shortliner Member

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    Cycle wheel spokes (with screw-on nipples) for operating rods. Take a wooden bead, drill VERY CAREFULLY deep enough to take the head of the nipple, and then epoxy the nipple into the bead - leave to harden and screw the nipple onto the spoke. BTW cycle spokes are HARD - don't try to cut them with your favorite rail nippers!
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Gary, the way mine work now is like this diagram. Pushing the nob in selects track 1 and pulling the nob out selects track 2.

    Loren

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  14. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Bicycle spokes could definitely work.
  15. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Loren, that is how mine work also. Is the straight leg og your turn-outs at the front of your shelves and all the diverging routes heading off toward the back? Or do you have some of the diverging routes going to the front of the shelves like the second diagram I posted up above?
  16. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    I have turnouts going in both directions.
    Andrew, what if you put couplings on both ends and used the eyelets for nobs too? Maybe flatten the eyelet so it doesn't stick out so far.

    Loren
  17. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Andrew was talking about using coat hanger wire, so the eyes could simply be bent in the wire on both ends. That would definitely be the least expensive method.

    Loren, glad to see everything is working out for you. Man, we should team up and write an article for the railroad magazines before someone else does!

    I am planning on running trains tonight!!!
  18. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Gary, enjoy running trains tonight. Man, writing a article? What an idea ! Don't know what to say. If I do any running tonight, I will just be shuffling cars around to test the track. But it is all fun.

    Loren
  19. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Shortliners suggestion of plastic tops is a great one, and one I use. Although I make my own by cutting plastic pipe and gluing sheet styrene to the bak, same thought process, I couldn't find tops that matched hole saws I had! Mine have toggle switches in them to control motors, but they could easily house your knobs. And, they are recessed so Andrew could use them too. I like the recess because I found knobs can catch your shirt or whatever when you need to lean in for whatever reason. Here's pic of mine. Nerermind, it will follow next post as I have once again used quick reply!
  20. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Here you are:

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