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Saturday, 17 February 2018

Turnout control

 I knew once I looked at the price of Tortoise machines x 40 turnouts that it was going to be too much cost and opted for this method which I had used on one of my other layouts with a few changes. The DPDT slide will hold the points in place.

  1. I started with a double pole double throw slide switch.
  2. I had originally intended to have one set of contacts wired to a red/green LED in the fascia. Once I had finished doing all the soldering for the feeder wires under the layout, I had had enough of being under there so it has not happened yet.
  3. The pictures below aid in the description.
  4. I epoxied the switch to a small block of wood that I ripped from some 3/8 plywood. They ended up 1/2" wide and 2" long. It has to be long enough to leave room for adding the 2 screws that attach it to the plywood under the turnout.
  5. NOTE I did have the epoxy let go on a few as they are not straight in from the fascia and there was more torque on them so I made 2 angle brackets from some cheap flat decorative aluminum bar stock and bent them to 90 degrees, drilled 2 holes and screwed them to the mounting holes of the switch and then attached them to the underside of the layout.
  6. Next I drilled the slider on the switch and installed a short piece of brass tube OD .06 with an ID of .056. It is 1.5" in length which is long enough to be lower than the throw bar. The tube gives extra support to the piano wire and provides a means to connect the drilled dowelling.  
  7. The piano .055 wire goes up through to the throw bar on the points. I did it this way to make the connection as stiff as possible and still be able to maintain the small size of the wire. This also gives more rigidity for the ⅛ inch dowel to work against.
  8. I drilled a hole 1/4" in from the end of a length of dowel so it would side over the brass tube.
  9. I drilled a corresponding hole in the fascia straight out from the switch that is one size bigger than the dowel.
  10. The dowel is inserted from the fascia side, I pulled the brass tube down and mounted the dowel. I then marked the dowel just 1/16 " longer than the fascia, removed it and cut it to length. I then drilled a hole in the end for the push pin to go into as a tight fit.
  11. The dowel is then put back in, attached and then the push pin is glued in with CA. It is rare to have a push pin come off the end of the dowel. If it does I just re-glue it and it is ready to operate in seconds. The face of the push pins stops the dowel from going past the fascia.
  12. The wire inside the brass tube can be adjusted up and down and once fitted it is held in place with a bit of white glue.
  13. The slider on the switch has just enough throw to work the points from one side to the other but must be centered properly.
  14. The brackets are screwed in with #4 screws. I made the hole in the bracket for the switch just a bit larger so that there was room for some lateral adjustment.
  15. Once everything is in place I put a drop of CA on the wire to hold it to the throw bar.
  16. The cost for each one is approximately $3 depending on the cost of the DPDT
  17. I made labels in Open Office using CN fonts which you can get from the CN Lines web site printing them in CN #11 yellow with a CN #11 green background with settings that I got from the net. The labels are then cut out and glued to the CN green #11 fascia with a kids glue stick. Removal is easy using a wet cloth, once they are damp they just wipe off. Use a little soap on the cloth to remove the glue residue.
 Shows an installed unit.The yellow wire goes to the frog and the other 2 are from the track bus. I just used the top row of pins. The bottom row of pins would be used for lighting the LED.

This shows the wood block that I used to start with. The only problem here is that the epoxy let go on a few that had too much torque on them and I switched those out to the metal angle bracket below.

This shows a switch mounted with the brass angel brakets

This picture shows the rods coming through the fascia with the push pins attached to the end of the rod and the lettering that is used.

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