Manual turnout controls... I love them !

Hello everyone,
I have been experimenting with the DPDT slide switch method of
turnout control. After a few hours of tinkering I decided the I
needed a mounting bracket that was adjustable. What I came up
with was a simple bracket made from 1/16" aluminum angle.
I added some pictures of them to my home page... they are at the
bottom of the main railroad page.
Reply to
Kelly
Loading thread data ...
Must be something in the air - I just finished making a bunch of wooden brackets myself. No pictures yet.
Reply to
Larry Blanchard
Great page and a great design. I am a little unclear as to how the coat hanger moves the slide switch back and forth horizontally. Might you add more images and/or help to clarify that aspect of the design.
Thanks! Matt
Reply to
Matt & Kathleen Brennan
Matt, I believe the first picture shows the hanger wire pointed down. In operation the hanger wire would be set screwed to be horizontal and would peek through a hole in the facia board of the bench work with a nice handle or knob to dress it up. Nice job Kelly.
Lynn
Reply to
Lynn Caron
Nice design. Clean, simple, adjustable. Thanks for sharing your design and photos. I'll be making use of that idea.
Not needing a DPDT for most of my turnouts, I've recently done some pushrod experiments of a similar nature. I'll try to do the ASCII-art version.
1. Cut short piece of music wire for the throw bar actuator. Bend it into L-shape as needed to reach turnout from bottom of benchwork.
| | | +---------
2. slide small piece of 1/8 brass tube over one end to make a hinge
| | | +===----------
3. Make a 2nd bend to form a lever arm.
| | | +===+ | | |
4. Knead a small bloblet of epoxy putty (plumbing department, Home Depot), and use it to smack the brass tube onto the bottom of the benchwork.
5. Add pushrod -- I've been using another piece of larger diamater music wire with a loop in the end and similar brass tube scraps as guides.
---==-+ | +0
-dave
Reply to
Dave Curtis
Err....whats your homepage addy?
Reply to
Gene
The December MR had a nice example of yet another manual throw. All of them use a similar concept, but they all offer a nice variation to meet differing needs.
Thanks for sharing your design!!!
I will certainly rely on one of these designs or a combination when we begin laying our track.
Reply to
Matt & Kathleen Brennan
Sorry if I caused confusion by leaving too much of Kelly's original message in my reply post. Kelly is the one with useful pictures on his home page, and his URL is in his sig in the original post.
-dave
Reply to
Dave Curtis
Matt, I added 2 more pictures showing the complete setup. The last picture in the group is a turnout that is very close to the front edge of the layout. Even with the 45 degree bend in the actuator wire it works great.
Hope that helps.
Kelly Regan Home Page:
formatting link

Matt & Kathleen Brennan wrote in news:3fddb8e7$1 snipped-for-privacy@newspeer2.tds.net:
> > > Kelly wrote: > >>Hello everyone, > > Great page and a great design. I am a little unclear as to > how the coat hanger moves the slide switch back and forth > horizontally. Might you add more images and/or help to > clarify that aspect of the design. > > Thanks! > Matt >
Reply to
Kelly
That is the system I used on my first N scale railroad with twin coil switch machines mounted under the layout.
There was a how to artical many years ago that I followed.
snipped-for-privacy@arrl.net (Dave Curtis) wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com:
Reply to
Kelly
It's....
formatting link

"Gene" wrote in news:_bpDb.83898$ snipped-for-privacy@wagner.videotron.net:
Reply to
Kelly
And another a few years ago... that is where I got the idea. But the one in december he was glueing the switch to the underside of the roadbed... I am to impatiant to wait for glue to dry! ;)
Matt & Kathleen Brennan wrote in news:3fde62ed$1 snipped-for-privacy@newspeer2.tds.net:
Reply to
Kelly
Wonderful! Thank You! I was confused by the downward angle of the coat hanger until you provided these last two images. It's a great design. I look forward to creating one to play with.
Most Appreciated!!! Matt and Kathleen
Reply to
Matt & Kathleen Brennan
No problem,
But I can not take credit for the original idea, just wanted to share the bracket I made...
One of the guys over on the LDSIG group posted about using bike spokes instead of coat hangar wire. That would make for a stiffer control rod, but cost more.

Matt & Kathleen Brennan wrote in news:3fdf9dd3$1 snipped-for-privacy@newspeer2.tds.net:
Reply to
Kelly
Which is the advantage of epoxy putty. It can be molded and will hold it's shape once you have things all positioned, and the epoxy kicks in about 5 minutes. Not for those that demand neat appearance under the benchwork, though :-)
-dave
Reply to
Dave Curtis
I've wondered about bike brake and derailleur control cables. They'd seem to be good for long complex runs around underlayout support obstacles, but I don't know how well they'd work in push rather than pull. They do come with teflon linings.
As to control knobs, how about wooden beads (approx. 3/8 to 1/2 inch dia.), or the old standby drawer pulls?
Reply to
Steve Caple
You mean the wound wire tubing around a wire rod? Same idea as the RC model airplane control rods. The sheath forces the rod to perform the push/pull motion.
We've used RC airplane control cabling at the club with great success in several wierd/complex/no space situations. Attaching the cabling to the Tortise is a little wierd. These situations violate the "quick change out" methods we have for other switch machines, but are still fairly simple to change out.
Yes, the idea is fabulous for those situations.
Paul
(A switch will always fail during a show and almost never on a play night.)
Reply to
Paul Newhouse
Actually, the bicycle _cable_+ is just that: a woven cable inside a teflon tube inside a plastic coated wire spiral sheath for rigidity; the usual bicycle component moved by these (a derailleur or a brake) has springs pulling one way, eliminating the need for the cable to "push", merely pull against the spring.
How expensive are the a/c control rods?
Reply to
Steve Caple
Depending on wher eyou buy and exactly what you buy you should be able to find 20-25 ft of push rod and tubing for $15-$20 USD. The clevises are $0.75-$1.25 each (you'll need a pair per switch). (If memory serves me ... which it may not be doing? ;) For those -*special*- situations it's a bargain.
You need to anchor the tubing at each end and we usually anchor it in the middle also (just to keep it from flopping around).
What does the derailleur control cable usually run, cost wise?
Paul
Reply to
Paul Newhouse
Do consider powered machines-
Swithchmaster, Scale Shops, Tortoise and more -
Bruce
Reply to
Bruce Stull

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.