Turnout control

Do consider slow and powerful and inexpensive turnout machine controls -
Roto-Motor, Scale Shops, Tortise, etc.
Some less than $7.00 in kit form ----
Bruce
Reply to
Bruce .h Stull
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I remember seeing a switch motor in an article in Model Railroader about 30 years ago. It was about half-a-thumb in size, looked like a silver cylinder, and was actuated by compressed air. The author said that he got them from military surplus dirt cheap. It sounds like a natural for a garden railroad, or for anyone who likes to get stuff dirt cheap. Does anyone know anything about these little switch motors?
Reply to
videochas
I think that the name was Belaire or something like that. They work very nicely when electric power isn't desirable. They used freon for the air pressure source. You can make them eaisly from some tubing and you will want to put an o-ring in ther to keep the air in. The actuators are single action - pressure puts them one way while no pressure puts them the other way. They run on a few lb. of pressure so slip-on connections are sufficient to keep the connections from coming loose.
-- Why isn't there an Ozone Hole at the NORTH Pole?
Reply to
Bob May
That's "Del Aire", and as far as I've been able to tell they are now out of business. Pity, I used them and was very happy with the product - it was dead simple to add in semaphore signals and multiple motors from a single throw.
There are similar pneumatic motors available now from another manufacturer: See
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Freon was not involved at all - simply compressed air. A 2 liter pop bottle could be used for a small layout - I used my airbrush compressor for a while until I got a larger air tank.
The motors are spring-loaded - the application of air pressure overcomes the spring holding it in place and throws the turnout. There are indicators and slow-motion valves available, but I just set up the panel so the toggle showed the direction of the turnout and used a piece of plastic rod with a #80 hole in it to slow down the motion.
Electrically operated valves and matrices were available, but quite expensive.
Reply to
Joe Ellis
When we used the Del-aire machines we used a second cylinder in parallel with each turnout to actuate a slide switch to provide the electrical contacts.
Another thing to watch is NEVER leave a car spotted over a turnout because when you shut off the air at the end of an operating session all the turnouts throw to their "normal" position! :-)
Don
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Reply to
Trainman
Why did you stop using the Del-aire machines?
Reply to
videochas
Well, as previously indicated, Del-Aire is out of business...
Reply to
Joe Ellis
The club disbanded when the owner of the host layout divorced and the layout had to be torn down.
Don
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Reply to
Trainman
On the aforementioned layout, we built some of our own cylinders.
Someone is still making the Del-aire cylinders and valves, but the name escapes me at the moment.
Don
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Reply to
Trainman
As I said upthread...
Reply to
Joe Ellis
Did you need to use the second cylinder because the single cylinder was not powerful enough to throw the turnout and the switch too?
Reply to
videochas
Never tried it. The second cylinder was mainly because there was no need for any fancy linkage (the throw of the switch and the turnout were not necessarily the same length), and it let us mount all the electrical switches on one panel simplifying wiring.
Don
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Reply to
Trainman

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