My Manual Turn-out Controls

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

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Hey Gary, I learned something about installing your controllers tonight. Make sure you cut off the excess wire sticking up. Luckily I was running a test train goung real slow, so there was no damage, but it sure stopped real fast !

    Loren
  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    My controllers? OUR controllers!

    I know what you mean. I had a few that I did not cut off short enough, and my locos would hang on them. Gotta snip them off real close.

    Are you using Atlas switches? Any issues? I found a couple wherethe points are not properly connected to the plastic throw piece (the piece where the spring wire goes through). Apparently the plastic pins that go down through the flat part of the point aren't long enough. I had to wittle the plastic a bit to keep the car wheels from bouncing over.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    I am using all code 100 Atlas customline #4s. Haven't had any problems yet. Of course I check the gauge and file the points a little before I install them, that seems to help. The track is all Atlas code 100 also.

    Loren
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    I have seen the use of ABS end caps for recessing switches in facia before. I think that the movement required might be small enough that it could work within the cap. Gluing something like that into the facia would restore what strength might be removed by cutting the hole...?

    Work/ideas for a mockup continue...! Great stuff guys! And my vote re: an article is "go for it". ;) :D Even if MR or other "mainstream" publication doesn't want it, I know that Ed (eightyeightfan1) would appreciate it for The Gauge "E-Mag" or we can add it to The Academy. :thumb:

    Andrew
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Gary,

    I can't remember where it was, but I recently saw a "push button" turnout control made with the guts of a retractable ("click") pen...

    That's something that I might have to try! I think it will lend itself nicely to being recessed in the facia of my module(s), while eliminating the need for a huge hole to get fingers and thumb in to pull the end of the coat hanger wire (or whatever).

    Any thoughts?

    Andrew
  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Interesting idea. Do you think the "click" pen would have enough throw to get good pressure of the oints against the stock rails? Something with that type of "pushbutton" action would be just the ticket if it had enough throw.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    The throw length and force can always be adjusted via a linkage of some sort. But most of the clicky pens I have on my desk seem to have about 1/4" of throw, which should be enough.

    Now I just have to find the surface of my modelling desk (and a way to get there through my workshop...! hamr :rolleyes: )


    Andrew
  8. Spawn of Chaos

    Spawn of Chaos Member

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    Nice! NIIICE! I wish I could scratchbuild this stuff as well as you all can...sign1

    Make me 20 please? j/k
  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Andrew:

    One thing that has been swimming arouund in my brain is I remember seeing some electrical pushbutton switches that were maintained contact = push them in and the contact closes, push them again and the contact opens. These could possibly be dismantled and you could use the mechanisms. Now, this would probably be an expensive proposition because I bet those pushbuttons are not cheap.

    How are you doing on your mock-ups? Sorry that I am not being of more help to you. :oops:

    I just can't think of a simple arrangement to get the switch controls on the top without having a bunch of overly complicated linkage. Simple is best... too many moving parts means too many possible things to go wrong.

    I'm still thinking that a small knob recessed in a hole is your best choice. If the knob wasn't to thick, the recess hole wouldn't even have to go all the way through the facia/benchwork board on the front of the module. Maybe the hole would only have to be 1/2" deep.... er.... that is 12.7mm Canadian.:)
  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Hey SofC, you can do this stuff too. Just gotta experiment, and a 18 volt dewalt battery drill is a guy's best friend.
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Does that answer the question...?!?

    :rolleyes: ;) :D sign1

    Andrew

    PS - You are being lots of help! :thumb:
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Andrew, any problem with cutting small slits in you layout top? I was thinking you could use eyelets for guides, screwed underneath your table to run the wire through, bend the wire L shaped going up through the table, sticking up say 1/2 to3/4 inch for a lever. Then you would push or pull the wire to throw the turnout. Maybe find some rubber caps to put on the end of the wire, (red colored?)

    Loren
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Loren,

    Thanks for your PM. I did see this suggestion, but was mulling it over. I think that I'd like to avoid any long cuts in the decking, as it is just styrofoam, and the slot may not hold it's shape well.

    I am going to pursue the click-pen idea mounted in the facia as an alternative. On the face of it, it seems like a good idea, since it only requires a hole big enough for a finger, which I may be able to route or drill out of the frame itself (1-by pine - so 3/4" thick).

    Andrew
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Ok, Andrew, did not mean to rush you. Good Luck.

    Loren
  15. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    No problem...!

    One of the best parts of this hobby (for me at least) is the discussions and solving of "challenges". ;) :D

    Andrew
  16. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Woah! Wait just a minute!:eek:

    1-by pine??? Don't you know that you should use 3/4" plywood and rip it into 1-bys for your framing? It is more dimensionally stable. At least, SOMEONE :wave: here at The Gauge told me this about a year ago.....:D

    And I took the advice and appreciate it!
  17. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    I like Loren's idea of the slot and the bent wire. Except I'm not certain the coathanger wire would be stiff enough. Maybe better to use 10-24 all-thread rod. Put eyelets underneath to hold up the rod.... little rubber cap on top... great idea.

    But I am totally interested in seeing if the ball-point pen clicker can be used successfully. Can't wait to see your experiments, Andrew.