Turnout choices


---In WiringForDCC@..., <lamont7777@...> wrote :

This thread causes concern on my part.  I am in the building state of my layout.  I have purchased code 83 and code 70 track but no switches yet.  I have yet to purchase any switches yet.
What switcher/company should I be looking at?

There is no perfect turnout brand or model style that suits everyone. Your choice of scale, looks, functionality and cost... and how you plan to control them... add to the selection confusion process. Be sure to review what Allan has on his wiringforDCC website under the subject and explanation for turnouts and compatibility with DCC. [All those same issues were there for DC... you just didn't notice them that much.] You don't need to necessarily make every turnout 'DCC friendly' to be useful on your layout. and they certainly don't all need to be the same brand or style. but be aware that all those diagrams and pictures may not be what is available today at the store. Some of the early units sold as 'DCC friendly'... weren't because the isolating gaps were too close to the frog and let oversized wheels short circuit between rails of opposite polarity. You may want to put better looking turnouts with all steel power routing construction up front on your mainlines simply because they look more realistic, but they also need careful consideration of where to put isolating gaps and using an aux switch or frog juicer to select the right polarity instead of actually trying to power the frog rails through the points. Dead frogs work also unless you will be running short wheel based locos. Manual or motorized throw bars is also a consideration related to usefulness and cost. Also compare the style and looks of the turnout compared to your choice of track. None of them are inexpensive.

My suggestion is to decide what style of turnout you will want to go where, after looking at the projected installed cost, including how you will control them, and then ask for hints on how to best utilize them on your layout to minimize issues.


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