Suggestions for turnout control?

I'm working on a new layout that will be used as a display at shows. Here is the problem I'm trying to decide - the layout will be used mostly as an
operating display, but it also have the option of being used as an actual layout with switching capabilities. I'm trying to decide what to do for turnout control. I've never been overly fond of Caboose Industries ground throws from a visual standpoint even though they are probably the easiest to install. And I don't know if I want to be constantly reaching into the layout to throw them when the layout is used for operation.
On the other hand, I'm not thrilled at the idea of installing about a dozen Tortoise switch machines under this very compact layout. Since it's mainly going to be used as a display, that would be a lot of extra wiring, electrical switches, etc that would have to accompany the layout. There is also a variety of elevations, so that would complicate things even more.
Any thoughts on what else I could do? Or any reasons in favor of one or the other?
I've even thought about using cables, but I'm not familar enough with them to know the pros and cons.
The other possibility is to use Tortoise machines at the important turnouts and something else on the lesser used ones.
I'd sure appreciate any ideas.
Jim
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Ctyclsscs wrote:

Jim, If you have no clearance problems under the switches, go for the tortoise motors. The wiring is simpler than using a twin coil, and the hole for the throw wire is only a quarter inch. For easy installs, I have been able to place and wire 6 motors in about 3 hours. That does not include the prep work on the switch control panel.
If you are worried about breaking toggle handles, you can recess them by drilling a hole in the facia large enough for your finger and mount the toggle on a piece of masonite and screw it to the inside of the facia.
I use 15 volt 1000miliamp wall wart transformers for my motors and wire it to terminal strips and the DPDT toggles.
Over the last year I believe that I have installed close to a hundred motors at the Gratiot Valley club. Many of them near the edge, by my self. The rest, away from the edge, I had help to let me know that the points seated firmly against the stock rails.
To install themotors, I first soldered a length of wire to reach from under the switch to where the control panel would be. Then I put two pieces of double face foam tape on top of the motor. I went under the layout and sighted up the hole and put the throw wire through the throw bar, pushing the motor firmly against the layout. Then I tested the throw and adjusted as necessary. After the throw was good, I put in screws and tested the throw again. Once that was done, I wired it to a barrier strip that was set up before I started motorizing an area.
I did it this way so it would not disrupt operating sessions. Each motor was working before I went to the next one.
If you are in the Mt. Celmens, Michigan, area on a monday night, come to the club and take a look.
--
The Gratiot Valley Railroad Club bi-annual train show and sale
November 7, 2004, at the Macomb Community College Sports
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

There's always the old DPDT slide switch method. A lot cheaper than Tortoise and, unlike the ground throws, provides power routing for the frog and for indicator lights.
Yes, I know you can buy ground throws with contacts, but they're really ugly :-).
Of course, if you put the slide switch on top, it's kinda' ugly too :-). Here's an example:
http://www.mtco.com/~ngntw/Switchthrow.jpg
Essentially a ground throw with hidden contacts. And the metal part of the slide switch can be disguised pretty well.
But normally the slide switch is mounted under the layout and a wire run up through the roadbed. If you're as clumsy as I am, rig up an adjustable mount so you don't have to get it precisely right on the first try :-).
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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Ctyclsscs wrote:

There's these remote throw levers, which were reviewed in the June MR. http://www.humpyard.com /
A bit on the pricey side IMO, and possibly prone to breakage on a layout that is to be moved around. The web site does have many pictures showing possible ways of recessing the controls so damage could be kept to a minimum.
--

Rick Jones
Remove the Extra Dot to e-mail me
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Ctyclsscs) wrote in message
7. bend ring up perpendicular to pushrod. |------ <--- lame attempt at showing ring coming out of page
8. put in another end about 1 1/2 inches from the ring. +--------- -> too fascia | --+ <- ring is down here
9. slip some scraps of tubing onto the pushrod for support and routing. You can turn mild corners with this.
10. Mix up a wee bit more putty. Slip the ring over the lever of the actuator. Smack the pushrod guides onto the bottom of the benchwork.
11. Where the pushrod exits the fascia, cut to length and fashion a plain or fancy handle to taste.
YMMV -- do some experiments first before trying this for real. In my own experiments, I discovered that you really need two sizes and two pieces of music wire to make installation practical. Also, you need a quick setting adhesive that holds the tube in position while it is drying, your you will go nuts, thus the expoxy putty solution.
Truth be told, this is not a whole lot different from the slide-switch-and-music-wire solution, except no slide switch.
-dave
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snipped-for-privacy@arrl.net (Dave Curtis) wrote in <snip>

Jim, I have pictures on my web site that shows how I built my manual turnout controls with a simple DPDT slide switch and some coat hangar wire for pusrods. It is real simple, provides for power routing if you need it, and it is cheap.
--
Kelly Regan
Home Page: http://mysite.verizon.net/the.regans/index.html
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I can't access your site, Kelly.
I get this message; Locked The requested resource is currently locked. The lock must be released or proper identification given before the method can be applied.
--
Brian

I love being married. It's so great to find
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snipped-for-privacy@NovaScotia.Canada says...

I get the home page OK, but then get the locked message when I click on any of the top bar buttons.
I'm using Netscape if that matters.
--
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I'm using Mozilla Thunderbird and it looked fine just now.
--
Steve

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It seems to be a broblem with verizon web server. Most of the time it works, but somtimes it gives that message.
I have contacted Verizon about it, but you know what good that does!
--
Kelly Regan
Home Page: http://mysite.verizon.net/the.regans/index.html
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net says...

Boy, are you right! I tried again and got a 404 on your index page, but then it loaded right below the 404.
2nd try: 404 only
3rd try: locked message
4th try: it worked
I'd look for a new ISP :-).
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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I was able to access your site this morning. But, when trying to view the photos, I get the Locked Message. A little bit every couple of days is better than nothing at all <g>.
--
Brian

A balanced diet is a chocolate chip cookie in each hand.
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One other thing, I forgot to tell everyone that the pictures are locaed under the "follow my progress" page in the December 14th section.
--
Kelly Regan
Home Page: http://mysite.verizon.net/the.regans/index.html
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Ctyclsscs wrote:

In the past I've used an over-center spring under the baseboard directly under the turnout. This allows the turnout to be set simply by flicking across the point blades. It also allows a train to trail through a turnout accidentally without derailling, which is a useful feature when operating a layout while talking to viewers!
The "overcenter spring" consists of four parts: - a rigid wire in the tiebar going through the baseboard. - a nail or screw under the centerline of the point pivots. - a piece of steel wire looped around the nail as a pivot and extending past the tiebar wire. - a small spring looped between the tiebar wire and the loose end of the pivoting wire. Both the tiebar wire and the pivoting wire need a kink to hold the spring.
If you want to operate from the front or the back at different times (eg home vs exhibition) then the bowden cable/steel wire scheme is good.
If you want route control then electric point motors are easiest.
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Consider the simple music wire toggle spring that was used for the Model Railroader Alkali Central project layout (December 1995 page 105 figure 8, with correction shown February 1996 p. 34)?
It was used to hold "manual" turnouts in place -- i.e the turnouts were moved by pushing the throw bar with your finger. The spring was intended to snap to either the left or right, keeping the stock rail and point rail in contact. The bent wire (kind of an inverted "U") extends just above the top of the ties, with the legs of the inverted "U" sticking into 1) the moveable throw bar and 2) into a stationary tie next to the throw baar. Nothing extends below the baseboard.
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Mark Mathu wrote:

I've used that. They are easy to install (no under table crawling) , cheap, and invisible. You just flick the points to the desired direction with a finger and it's done. The points serve to route power, which works for me.
David J. Starr
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I REALLY appreciate all of the suggestions! Even though I'm not thrilled about having to reach into the layout, I must admit that the simple music wire toggle seems the most tempting, especially on seldom used sidings.
The slide switch method is pretty neat too and could work for me.
A friend mentioned a fairly simple way to throw electric switch motors. I think it's used by the Midwest Mod-U-Trak group (or however they spell it). Instead of having a control panel with a track plan and switches, they simply install a sub-miniature toggle switch on the layout near the turnout. It's smaller than a Caboose ground throw and can be flicked with a finger. What appeals to me is that you could probably hide the switch behind a shrub or even behind a small structure. Of course, it still entails installing and wiring more motors than I would like.
Since I'm not clever enough to invent something completely new, I'll likely use one of the methods that all of you suggested. Thanks again! (and feel free to keep adding any ideas not already mentioned!)
Jim Sacco
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about
toggle
Yes - you were very clear about not reaching -- especially consider the height of your layout, if it's anything like your current display. And the music wire toggles do require that. So I threw the idea out to r.m.r with a question mark after it.
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