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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:19 am 
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I haven't finished my first turnout yet(but did build a few sections of straight track) but am trying to think ahead on this project and plan accordingly. I have been considering ways to throw the turnout and also have control over frog polarity. I have 26 turnouts to build so cost, ease of construction and reliability are major factors of consideration. I have previously discussed with a few folks on how to connect up the CI ground throw to the FT N Scale turnout. No matter what it has become apparent that this is not going to be a plug and play operation. Mostly folks have recommended to drill holes in the throw bar tie and use the CI connector piece with the smaller diameter pin or bend up some sort of connector piece out of wire. However, that would require a mighty large hole for such a small tie. Using a HO narrow gauge tie has been recommended and would make drilling the hole somewhat easier than in the N Scale tie but I would still have to come up with some sort of jig or other means to insure drilling the hole in correct spot centered on the tie.

In the meantime, waiting on my turnout supplies to show up from FT, I have thought about various connection methods and came up with the following. I have used a regular circuit board track tie and CI 220S ground throw to demonstrate. I took a short piece of 14ga solid wire and cut it to about 1/2" length and stripped the insulation. I fluxed and tinned one end. I trimmed the ends of the wire using track cutter pliers to get a good, square cut on the end of the wire piece(a little filing might square it up better). I also fluxed and tinned an area on the end of a N Scale circuit board track tie(simulating the turnout throwbar). Using a "third hand" I aligned and positioned the wire piece squarely with the throwbar tie and soldered in place. I then trimmed the wire piece to a suitable length. The wire piece on the end of the throwbar tie facilitates connecting it to the throwbar on the CI ground throw using the CI connector piece with the hole in it. The 14 ga wire is just slightly smaller in diameter than the hole in the CI connector piece. I won't know how well this will work until I get my first turnout built and actually test this. The wire piece soldered to the circuit board tie seems to be fairly solid, but only actual operation over time will prove this out. This is somewhat dependent on how well the copper layer is bonded to board layer beneath it.

I'm still looking for better ideas on how to do this connection and if anyone is willing to share please respond. I am going to try and put some pictures with this post of what I have done so far.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:58 pm 
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I suspect that the stress of the points movement will break or disengage the soldered wire plug. You will really need more mechanical 'fix'. You will likely have to drill a hole and use a smaller wire (and-or a wider tie bar) to get a firm leverage arm.

If you construct the points with a virtually stress free hinged set up (fairly tedious to do for N scale turnouts) - then you might get by with the approach you are working on. Even with N scale smaller rail - the continuous points 'flex' will have a very noticeable stress.

-ed-

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COSLAR RR - http://www.coslar.us/
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PROTO & FINE Scale Coordinator
I estimate I have about 5 pounds of coupler springs somewhere in the vicinity of my workbench.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:37 pm 
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ed,

Thanks for your comments. I have had the same thoughts. I am suspecting that if this connection fails in operation it will probably pull the copper foil loose from the layer beneath. The wire piece is very short and I don't expect a lot of stress at the solder joint being exaggerated by the lever action of the wire(the wire being a very short lever arm of sorts). The CI ground throw seems to have a lot of overtravel and I was hoping that it was longer than the distance of travel by the point rails. I think if it is that would reduce the forces acting on the wire piece quite a lot. There seems to be an internal spring of sorts in this particular ground throw that seems to hold the point rails in place rather than the moving throw bar in the ground throw. The throw bar has a lot of spring movement. I did push and pull on the soldered wire piece with my fingers and it feels really solid, but nothing will take the place of evaluating it in actual operation.

I'm going to work on the drilled hole in the tie version next and then do some comparison once I have some actual turnouts completed.

Thanks,

Inprinter

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:46 pm 
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I struggled with this problem also - I have't found the answer yet but one path is to solder an extension or wire to the bottom of the PC throw-bar. You could get close to the same results with more strength as you have indicated by bending the brass rod and soldering one leg to the bottom with the other leg pointing up to join the CI throw/ There is more space on the bottom and no conflict with rail solder.
On another list someone suggested soldering the throw-bar rails after the turnout was installed to get the best operation. I haven't tried this.
Artarms


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:06 pm 
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Artarms,

I like your idea about soldering the connecting piece to the bottom side of the turnout throw bar. You got me thinking. Larger connection surface that way and should be stronger since the forces are acting in line with the connection versus at a right angle the way I have it now. I really think the pin soldered to the turnout throw bar will probably last a long time, but since I still haven't received my turnout supplies from FT I haven't yet built a turnout and actually tested it in operation. With the spring action in the CI ground throw(220S) I can't imagine that enough force could be developed to break the soldered pin off of the turnout throw bar. Some of these ground throws don't have the spring action and in that case you could probably exert more force against the soldered pin. I did try breaking the pin off with my fingers but could not get the metal film to separate from the fiberglas layer of the throwbar. I got to think that this would be a more severe application of forces to this piece than it would encounter in actual operation. The proof is always in the pudding though. I'll know once I get my first turnout constructed.

Inprinter

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 11:03 pm 
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Ok, I just finished my first N Scale #7 turnout earlier today. I had a few trouble spots and had to go back over a couple of steps, but overall things went along fairly well. I have identified some areas on N Scale turnouts that need a little more attention to detail than what I saw when watching the instruction videos of HO scale turnout construction. Everything is just smaller and requires some adaption of techniques to the scale size. I adding a few pictures of the turnout along with the installed Caboose Industries 220S ground throw. I used the vertical pin soldered to the turnout throw bar as I did in the example above and it seems to work just fine. I have a couple of close up shots and one long shot of my test bed layout for testing this first turnout. So far, the points are throwing just fine and I don't see any undue stress put on the throw bar. The spring action in the ground throw takes up the overtravel and exerts enough pressure to keep the point rail in contact with the stock rail. I just hope the electrical switch in the ground throw holds up over time.

I have to admit I have learned a lot working on this over the past few days. I think I watched all 12 instruction videos 3 or 4 times each this weekend(I have watched all of them several times before this weekend as well)with even more playbacks on certain parts as I was constructing the turnout. The videos are invaluable in understanding how to do this. I think a set of videos specifically for N Scale would be something for management to consider for the future. Once or twice during the process, I just couldn't get things to work like the video until I was able to adapt the process to the scale size. For one thing, you just got to have a finer solder tip than what is used in the video. I really struggled, but did get along, using a solder tip the size of the one in the video. The spaces are a lot smaller and you do need a smaller tip. I can't wait until my jeweler's saw arrives. I just can't imagine cutting those frog isolation gaps any other way. I thought I had a saw blade small enough but it was just to thick for this scale. I cut them with it anyway since this was my practice turnout, but the wheel bumps over the gap, not bad, but they do bump. Can't have that in the real layout though.

Well, we'll see how things go from here on. Got lot's of turnouts to construct for my N Track Staging Yard modules. I think my next turnout will look and work better than this one for sure, and this one does work.

Inprinter


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 2:03 pm 
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INprinter,

You really should get a much smaller (thinner) cut off disk to make the gaps. Ultimate preference would be the jewelers saw that Tim uses and recommends. Those frog gaps will make for some rough running with N scale wheels.

-ed-

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-ed mccamey-
COSLAR RR - http://www.coslar.us/
NMRA Standards and Conformance Department
PROTO & FINE Scale Coordinator
I estimate I have about 5 pounds of coupler springs somewhere in the vicinity of my workbench.


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 2:39 pm 
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ed,

Thanks for your comments. I do appreciate getting feedback and any critiques that will help me along with this process. However, I will refer you to paragraph 2 and my comments on the jeweler's saw. Once again, thanks for your feedback and I welcome knowing any other things you might see in the pictures that would be of help to me. It's good when folks share their information.

Inprinter

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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 4:54 pm 
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looks good - I think your idea will work out very well. The pressure on the pin is at the bottom near the solder surface so the load is mostly shear and not bending. I have been worrying about drilling a hole in the throw-bar - the solution you have shown is to drill the hole in the connector and solder the pin on the throw-bar.

I think you can get an appropriate saw cheaper in a hardware store - I did - unless you live a lot closer to fast-tracks than I do - their shipping cost is substantial.

Artarms


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 10:59 pm 
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I found a similar jeweler's saw on the internet at a reasonable price here in the States. Yes, those shipping costs from Canada are a little steep for us Yankees. However, Fast Tracks does sell some rather unique products that I haven't seen available here in the States. I probably will buy what I can here in the States and the unique items will just have to come in from Canada.

Inprinter

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 5:07 pm 
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Believe it or not but one of the Atlas Rail saws or the Xacto Rail saws work very well and can even be done with the turnout in place. The bonus is that both of these saws have blades that are in the .010 thickness range.The only caution is that you will have to take care in how long you strokes are so you don't damage the rest of the turnout.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:20 pm 
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It has been some months now since I finished my turnouts and installed them on my N Trak Yard Modules. The wire pins I soldered onto the ends of the turnout throwbars are all doing just fine so far after using the modules in 3 shows now. I have had some point rails come loose from the throwbars and I think that is probably due to wanting a "pretty" solder joint versus having one that will hold the point rail in place. The Caboose Ground throws have worked pretty well with the exception of the plastic retainer piece that holds the switch slide in place. Those little pieces keep popping out and allowing the metal slide piece to go flying away. Actually both pieces go flying away. I have resorted to gluing that little retainer piece in place and that seems to be working. I don't think these were intended to get the abuse of a portable layout.

Inprinter

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 5:35 am 
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Slidebar travel of 0.165" makes these usable for both HO and N scale. The SPDT contact can be used to power a turnout frog, a signaling system, or a relay coil. A shim to raise the stand to tie level and five different end fittings to connect to most turnout are provided. Hook end for ATLAS, blade for ROCO, hole for PECO, Sm. Rnd. pin for Micro Eng. and round pin for SHINPHARA and others.Image

119R................................................$5.58 220S................................................$5.80
224S..... N scale code 55..............$5.90

OPERATING GROUND THROWS

All offer these advantages:

Molded of strong, self-lubricating black delrin.
External cam provides maximum life and travel.
Cam design provides lock on both ends of the throw from 10� above horizontal to the extreme down position.
Direct connection to the turnout through a pin on the slide bar.
Detent to assist in holding the handle horizontal.

The 200S series are internally sprung stands. Stainless steel springs take up the overtravel and maintain tension to hold the movable points agianst the stock rails of the turn out. These springs make the machines easy to mount to the turnout.

The 210S has operating targets...even numbers 1 thru 9 are included so yard tracks can be numbered. The ground throw is assembled ready for use and ABS target parts are included for the modeler to assemble the display.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:30 am 
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They look really cool!

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