Date   

Powering turnout points

Michael Shockley
 

I think I could solder a single strand of wire from the point to the closure rail it leads to to power the points. Wouldn’t that do it?  Pardon me if I used the wrong term there. 

Mike Shockley 


Re: Turnout point conductivity

john
 

I have some 4 and 5 inch drill bits that are from 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch. There are available but they sometimes melt foam with friction and mess up the bits. I have used pieces or steel wire chucked in a drill. Run it in and pull it right out while it is running. Try it on a piece of scrap first. Get some flux called ruby fluid from your hardware store, works good on clean brass and nickle silver rail. 

It is a tedious job powering points but the results are worth it.

jd

On Friday, June 11, 2021, 02:43:25 PM EDT, Perry A Pollino <texasperry@...> wrote:


Steve, Thanks. I did not think about going all the way through the layout base. But I do have 1 inch of foam plus 1/2 inch of ply. I did struggle a little with feeder wires. even with using a piece of brass tube as a guide. But I may give it a go.
Perry

On Thursday, June 10, 2021, 05:31:31 PM CDT, Steve Haas <goatfisher2@...> wrote:


Perry writes:  

 

“It will be a time consuming project to wire all my turnouts.”

 

It may appear a bit daunting at first, but your project can be broken down into easily completed tasks.

 

 

My preferred method for this is to drill two holes for each point; one on the outside of the rail at the heel of the point, and one immediately across from it on the exterior of the stock rail.  If you are a really good solder, you can solder these on the side of the rail away from the viewer’s normal position, thus hiding it entirely.

 

You said you had 65 turnouts to do, at four holes per turnout that totals 260 holes.  I’d start at one end/town on the layout and work my way around the layout.  If you want, break this up into logical groupings, towns/yards/scenes, etc.

 

Determine the length of wire you will need from the solder point on one rail, through the roadbed, over, up the other hole and soldered to that rail. Don’t skimp on that wire length, give yourself an extra inch or two when calculating the length.

 

The next steps can be accomplished while sitting in front of the TV, watching sports if you choose, of while joining your significant other watching what they want to see <GRIN>:

 

1)    Using the two colors of wire you use for your track bus, Cut 65 of each color to the necessary length (made even easier if you can set up some type of jig/fixture so you don’t have to worry about the appropriate lengths),

2)
    Once that is done, start stripping both ends of each wire – 3/4 “ to an inch,

3)    When done stripping, form one end of the wire to the shape it needs to be to lie along the web of the rail (My method is vertical out of the hold, bend 90 degrees perpendicular to the rail, and another 90 degree bend so the tip of the wire will lie in the corner of the rail between the web and the base).

 

Tin both ends of the wires. Probably best done in the shop or the train room, your significant other may not appreciate the fumes in their part of the household.

 

Take your prepped wires and adjourn to the layout. Plug in that soldering iron and keep it hot.  Drop wires according to bus color down the pre-drilled holes.

 

Now, start working your way across the layout in a logical pattern; tin the rail where each wire will be attached, then align and solder each wire.

 

From the under side of the layout, take each wire, bend it and insert it into the other hole you drilled for this connection.  While you are down there, do an entire town, region, or other logical part of your layout.

 

Back on top, bend the ends of the wire to properly lay on the web of the rail as discussed above. Then flux and tin that rail, followed by soldering the feeder to the rail.

 

 

It sounds complicated, but if you break it down in to logical steps, and execute many of those steps in “batch” fashion, the whole process will require less effort than you expect and will be done much sooner!

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

Steve Haas

Snoqualmie, WA

 

 

 


Re: Turnout point conductivity

Perry A Pollino
 

Steve, Thanks. I did not think about going all the way through the layout base. But I do have 1 inch of foam plus 1/2 inch of ply. I did struggle a little with feeder wires. even with using a piece of brass tube as a guide. But I may give it a go.
Perry

On Thursday, June 10, 2021, 05:31:31 PM CDT, Steve Haas <goatfisher2@...> wrote:


Perry writes:  

 

“It will be a time consuming project to wire all my turnouts.”

 

It may appear a bit daunting at first, but your project can be broken down into easily completed tasks.

 

 

My preferred method for this is to drill two holes for each point; one on the outside of the rail at the heel of the point, and one immediately across from it on the exterior of the stock rail.  If you are a really good solder, you can solder these on the side of the rail away from the viewer’s normal position, thus hiding it entirely.

 

You said you had 65 turnouts to do, at four holes per turnout that totals 260 holes.  I’d start at one end/town on the layout and work my way around the layout.  If you want, break this up into logical groupings, towns/yards/scenes, etc.

 

Determine the length of wire you will need from the solder point on one rail, through the roadbed, over, up the other hole and soldered to that rail. Don’t skimp on that wire length, give yourself an extra inch or two when calculating the length.

 

The next steps can be accomplished while sitting in front of the TV, watching sports if you choose, of while joining your significant other watching what they want to see <GRIN>:

 

1)    Using the two colors of wire you use for your track bus, Cut 65 of each color to the necessary length (made even easier if you can set up some type of jig/fixture so you don’t have to worry about the appropriate lengths),

2)
    Once that is done, start stripping both ends of each wire – 3/4 “ to an inch,

3)    When done stripping, form one end of the wire to the shape it needs to be to lie along the web of the rail (My method is vertical out of the hold, bend 90 degrees perpendicular to the rail, and another 90 degree bend so the tip of the wire will lie in the corner of the rail between the web and the base).

 

Tin both ends of the wires. Probably best done in the shop or the train room, your significant other may not appreciate the fumes in their part of the household.

 

Take your prepped wires and adjourn to the layout. Plug in that soldering iron and keep it hot.  Drop wires according to bus color down the pre-drilled holes.

 

Now, start working your way across the layout in a logical pattern; tin the rail where each wire will be attached, then align and solder each wire.

 

From the under side of the layout, take each wire, bend it and insert it into the other hole you drilled for this connection.  While you are down there, do an entire town, region, or other logical part of your layout.

 

Back on top, bend the ends of the wire to properly lay on the web of the rail as discussed above. Then flux and tin that rail, followed by soldering the feeder to the rail.

 

 

It sounds complicated, but if you break it down in to logical steps, and execute many of those steps in “batch” fashion, the whole process will require less effort than you expect and will be done much sooner!

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

Steve Haas

Snoqualmie, WA

 

 

 


Re: Turnout point conductivity

Steve Haas
 

Perry writes:  

 

“It will be a time consuming project to wire all my turnouts.”

 

It may appear a bit daunting at first, but your project can be broken down into easily completed tasks.

 

 

My preferred method for this is to drill two holes for each point; one on the outside of the rail at the heel of the point, and one immediately across from it on the exterior of the stock rail.  If you are a really good solder, you can solder these on the side of the rail away from the viewer’s normal position, thus hiding it entirely.

 

You said you had 65 turnouts to do, at four holes per turnout that totals 260 holes.  I’d start at one end/town on the layout and work my way around the layout.  If you want, break this up into logical groupings, towns/yards/scenes, etc.

 

Determine the length of wire you will need from the solder point on one rail, through the roadbed, over, up the other hole and soldered to that rail. Don’t skimp on that wire length, give yourself an extra inch or two when calculating the length.

 

The next steps can be accomplished while sitting in front of the TV, watching sports if you choose, of while joining your significant other watching what they want to see <GRIN>:

 

1)    Using the two colors of wire you use for your track bus, Cut 65 of each color to the necessary length (made even easier if you can set up some type of jig/fixture so you don’t have to worry about the appropriate lengths),

2)    Once that is done, start stripping both ends of each wire – 3/4 “ to an inch,

3)    When done stripping, form one end of the wire to the shape it needs to be to lie along the web of the rail (My method is vertical out of the hold, bend 90 degrees perpendicular to the rail, and another 90 degree bend so the tip of the wire will lie in the corner of the rail between the web and the base).

 

Tin both ends of the wires. Probably best done in the shop or the train room, your significant other may not appreciate the fumes in their part of the household.

 

Take your prepped wires and adjourn to the layout. Plug in that soldering iron and keep it hot.  Drop wires according to bus color down the pre-drilled holes.

 

Now, start working your way across the layout in a logical pattern; tin the rail where each wire will be attached, then align and solder each wire.

 

From the under side of the layout, take each wire, bend it and insert it into the other hole you drilled for this connection.  While you are down there, do an entire town, region, or other logical part of your layout.

 

Back on top, bend the ends of the wire to properly lay on the web of the rail as discussed above. Then flux and tin that rail, followed by soldering the feeder to the rail.

 

 

It sounds complicated, but if you break it down in to logical steps, and execute many of those steps in “batch” fashion, the whole process will require less effort than you expect and will be done much sooner!

 

Best regards,

 

Steve

 

Steve Haas

Snoqualmie, WA

 

 

 


Re: Back-to-Back ARs?

Jim Betz
 

Michael,

  I would "re-wire" (simply re-gap?) the turntable so that it is a "split ring"
style of turntable.  Yes, this can cause a 'hiccup' in the sound as a loco
is turned.  My response is "so what?" ... as in just how often are you
going to be turning engines and do you really care?  My $,02.
                                                                                                        - Jim


Re: Back-to-Back ARs?

john
 


Turntables generally reverse their own polarity at halfway through their rotation. If you pull onto a turntable bridge, then rotate 180 degrees your bridge will be at it original N / S orientation. Your engine, if powered, will move back where it came from as if you lifted it and turned it around. An auto reverser is not required for the bridge. Unless you have a reverse loop or a "Y," you do not need a auto reverser. 

Think of it this way, Rail Roads only travel East and West and they have a North and South rail. That way it is easy to keep its orientation. 

On Monday, June 7, 2021, 10:29:41 PM EDT, Michael Boyle <boyle10017@...> wrote:


Thanks to everyone for your most generous assistance.
So the conclusion I've come to is that the turntable will be on an AR. The track from the turntable to the three-way will be on the same power district (breaker protected) as the surrounding yard tracks. The engine service tracks, to the right of the three-way, will be on their own AR.
Once again,
a sincere "thank-you."
Michael Boyle


Re: Back-to-Back ARs?

 

Thanks to everyone for your most generous assistance.
So the conclusion I've come to is that the turntable will be on an AR. The track from the turntable to the three-way will be on the same power district (breaker protected) as the surrounding yard tracks. The engine service tracks, to the right of the three-way, will be on their own AR.
Once again,
a sincere "thank-you."
Michael Boyle


Re: Back-to-Back ARs?

whmvd
 

Another (seldom mentioned) reason for not having a reversing sections with a lot of tracks (and therefore potentially a lot of locos) is, that an AR unit has its own maximum current, which is usually considerably lower than the command station's. A large number of locos with lights and sounds on is going to make a dent in the capacity.

Wouter


On Mon, 7 Jun 2021 at 15:50, Tim <tarumph@...> wrote:
You don't need to make the whole yard a reverse section. Put double gaps on all three tracks leading into the 3-way switch at the center. The reversing section would be the three way switch and the two tracks to the right of it, including the turnout. The track from the three way switch to the turntable is wired to one of the tracks on either side of it. It doesn't matter which one. Now you can safely put the second AR on the turntable.

I would use a relay connected to the switch machine on the three way switch rather than an AR to control the polarity on the three tracks to the right, but I'm allergic to ARs. :) Reconfiguring the turntable to eliminate the AR sounds like it would be a little more work.

Tim Rumph
Lancaster, SC


Re: Back-to-Back ARs?

Tim
 

ARs operate by detection of short circuits in the track power wiring, which is something I prefer to avoid. A relay connected to the switch machine insures that the polarity is correct for whatever route the turnout is lined for. In this case, only one train or engine can move into the reverse section at a time, since there's only one turnout providing access to that area. If the switch is lined properly, the polarity is lined correctly as well.

Also, a DPDT relay with a ridiculously high voltage and current rating (12 A at 240 VAC with a 12V coil) is $6 or so. Since there's never a short, there's no chance of the AR conflicting with the circuit breaker for the power district.

The reversing needs of turntables has been discussed already.

Tim Rumph
Lancaster, SC


Re: Back-to-Back ARs?

 

Thanks Tim,
That is an excellent idea. Most of the time it will only be locomotives entering that central section, the classification tracks are on either side of this peninsula. I'm interested in your preference to avoid ARs. Care to elaborate?
-Michael


Re: Turnout point conductivity

John Bishop
 

It really aint  that complicated. The frog has to be isolated, dremel or razor saw. Nothing else is reliable, trouble free, doesn't have to fooled with ever again.

I admit I am in O scale.

John Bishop 

On Monday, June 7, 2021, 07:20:18 AM PDT, Perry A Pollino <texasperry@...> wrote:


I started this thread looking for a good product  that would improve the point contact on turnouts. 
It has gone beyond that and become as much about track cleaning products. This is a subject that certainly has its camps of preferred methods and product use. If there was the "perfect" track cleaning product the discussions would be limited.

Over the years I have read so many posts about track cleaning products and methods. Sadly there is no one perfect product and certainly scale comes into play as well. I wish I had applied what I read on Alan Gartner's web site from the start. That is to put in the jumpers before I installed the turnouts. I considered it but I had read and was advised with Peco turnouts don't worry. I believe I created my problem by removing the springs from the Peco turnouts, to use switch tortoise switch machines. Had I not removed the springs I think I would be having less problems all around. I just did not think it through. I fell pray to the "it looks more realistic for points to move slow" and the fact it was recommended to remove the springs when using Tortoise. Hind site I would not do this again. Reliability is more important in this application that being realistic. Heck I found 2 more Tortoise machines that I had not modified with the stronger music wire and brass tube. Another "on the job learning" I though that was the cure. 

Since I have already tried WD40 contact cleaner with very limited success. I am going to bite the bullet and add jumper wires to about 65 turnouts in place.

FWIW I have also invested in a number of different cleaning cars throughout the years. The Atlas, Aztec, Centerline, CMX, and a kit that modifies a car and uses hardboard. My preferred cleaning train is to push the CMX with a loco, followed by the Centerline (dry wipe) and the Aztec car minus the roller just for the magnet and brush. This worked fine on my plywood pacific with Kato track in the past.
So far I have only run 91% IPA in the CMX. I fear a stopped train will let too much Acetone or Mineral sprits flow onto the layout. And the lingering odor of each.

It will be a time consuming project to wire all my turnouts. 
Thanks for all the advice.
Perry  




Re: Back-to-Back ARs?

Tim
 

You don't need to make the whole yard a reverse section. Put double gaps on all three tracks leading into the 3-way switch at the center. The reversing section would be the three way switch and the two tracks to the right of it, including the turnout. The track from the three way switch to the turntable is wired to one of the tracks on either side of it. It doesn't matter which one. Now you can safely put the second AR on the turntable.

I would use a relay connected to the switch machine on the three way switch rather than an AR to control the polarity on the three tracks to the right, but I'm allergic to ARs. :) Reconfiguring the turntable to eliminate the AR sounds like it would be a little more work.

Tim Rumph
Lancaster, SC


Re: Back-to-Back ARs?

 

Thanks Don,
If I am understanding this correctly, the yard would be on an AR and the turntable would be on another AR?
-Michael


Re: Turnout point conductivity

Perry A Pollino
 

I started this thread looking for a good product  that would improve the point contact on turnouts. 
It has gone beyond that and become as much about track cleaning products. This is a subject that certainly has its camps of preferred methods and product use. If there was the "perfect" track cleaning product the discussions would be limited.

Over the years I have read so many posts about track cleaning products and methods. Sadly there is no one perfect product and certainly scale comes into play as well. I wish I had applied what I read on Alan Gartner's web site from the start. That is to put in the jumpers before I installed the turnouts. I considered it but I had read and was advised with Peco turnouts don't worry. I believe I created my problem by removing the springs from the Peco turnouts, to use switch tortoise switch machines. Had I not removed the springs I think I would be having less problems all around. I just did not think it through. I fell pray to the "it looks more realistic for points to move slow" and the fact it was recommended to remove the springs when using Tortoise. Hind site I would not do this again. Reliability is more important in this application that being realistic. Heck I found 2 more Tortoise machines that I had not modified with the stronger music wire and brass tube. Another "on the job learning" I though that was the cure. 

Since I have already tried WD40 contact cleaner with very limited success. I am going to bite the bullet and add jumper wires to about 65 turnouts in place.

FWIW I have also invested in a number of different cleaning cars throughout the years. The Atlas, Aztec, Centerline, CMX, and a kit that modifies a car and uses hardboard. My preferred cleaning train is to push the CMX with a loco, followed by the Centerline (dry wipe) and the Aztec car minus the roller just for the magnet and brush. This worked fine on my plywood pacific with Kato track in the past.
So far I have only run 91% IPA in the CMX. I fear a stopped train will let too much Acetone or Mineral sprits flow onto the layout. And the lingering odor of each.

It will be a time consuming project to wire all my turnouts. 
Thanks for all the advice.
Perry  




Re: Back-to-Back ARs?

Don Vollrath
 

Michael, simply isolating and wiring that single straight track section leading to the turntable to be fixed polarity solves the issue.

DonV


Re: Turnout point conductivity

Greg Harter
 

A little WD-40 trivia:

WD stands for water displacement.  the inventor(s) tried 40  combinations of ingredients before finding one that worked well.

End of trivia, for now.

Greg Harter


Re: Turnout point conductivity

AD
 

Dear bob
I read his article which basically claims that wd40 contact cleaner and crc contact cleaner and protectant not only cleans the track but leaves a residue which helps conductivity and prevents or lowers arcing.  He also pushes something call no-ox but indicates it damages rubber tires and since most of my dcc n scale diesels have tires it cant be used.

I also read claims, i believe in mrh , that said not to use anything with water, silicone or petroleum products. 

Yet both of the above mentioned products have isopropyl alcohol and petroleum products @ 44%.

I know we are talking religion and not science but there seams to be a contradiction in the statements by mrh .

Also does either wd40..... or crc........ damage plastic or rubber tires.?

Many people sware by mineral spirits. So i cleaned my track and engine wheels with it. It did seam to solve some  issues i had with engines stopping or pausing but a rubber tire did come off an engine. I dont know if its from the rubbing or the spirits damaged it.

Tony


On Jun 6, 2021, at 9:28 PM, Robert Morrison via groups.io <robmorrison42@...> wrote:

Gentlemen,

In the February issue of the Running Extra portion of the Model Railroading Hobbyist magazine, Joe Fugate wrote" Better track cleaning update …”. This is a follow up to his article in the May 2019 issue of MRH “Keeping your track and wheels clean…"
In it he lists the dielectric properties of various solvents used to clean track, with lower dielectric constant being better for cleaning track. The lowest solvents listed are:
Kerosene   -  bad smell
Deluxe Materials Track Magic
WD-40 Contact Cleaner
CRC contact cleaner and Protectant
Regular WD-40 is not quite as good as WD-40 Contact Cleaner

Since the February article is part of a paid for publication, I cannot include it here. The May 2019 article from MRH is free and available at 
https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com

Here’s hoping this helps.

Rob Morrison


Re: Turnout point conductivity

AchimK
 

Sorry, I thought embedding a screenshot would work. Apologies, I don't know how to upload images to the group.

On Mon, 7 Jun 2021 at 09:49, AchimK via groups.io <dr.micha.koenig=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
The relevant graphic from the above mentioned publication by Joe Fugate.
Thanks Rob Morrison for the link! In essence, the further up on the list, the less polar = the better for track cleaning and prevention of microarcing/oxidation (the dreaded black stuff).

image.png

On Mon, 7 Jun 2021 at 02:28, Robert Morrison via groups.io <robmorrison42=me.com@groups.io> wrote:
Gentlemen,

In the February issue of the Running Extra portion of the Model Railroading Hobbyist magazine, Joe Fugate wrote" Better track cleaning update …”. This is a follow up to his article in the May 2019 issue of MRH “Keeping your track and wheels clean…"
In it he lists the dielectric properties of various solvents used to clean track, with lower dielectric constant being better for cleaning track. The lowest solvents listed are:
Kerosene   -  bad smell
Deluxe Materials Track Magic
WD-40 Contact Cleaner
CRC contact cleaner and Protectant
Regular WD-40 is not quite as good as WD-40 Contact Cleaner

Since the February article is part of a paid for publication, I cannot include it here. The May 2019 article from MRH is free and available at 
https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com

Here’s hoping this helps.

Rob Morrison


Re: Turnout point conductivity

AchimK
 

The relevant graphic from the above mentioned publication by Joe Fugate.
Thanks Rob Morrison for the link! In essence, the further up on the list, the less polar = the better for track cleaning and prevention of microarcing/oxidation (the dreaded black stuff).



On Mon, 7 Jun 2021 at 02:28, Robert Morrison via groups.io <robmorrison42=me.com@groups.io> wrote:
Gentlemen,

In the February issue of the Running Extra portion of the Model Railroading Hobbyist magazine, Joe Fugate wrote" Better track cleaning update …”. This is a follow up to his article in the May 2019 issue of MRH “Keeping your track and wheels clean…"
In it he lists the dielectric properties of various solvents used to clean track, with lower dielectric constant being better for cleaning track. The lowest solvents listed are:
Kerosene   -  bad smell
Deluxe Materials Track Magic
WD-40 Contact Cleaner
CRC contact cleaner and Protectant
Regular WD-40 is not quite as good as WD-40 Contact Cleaner

Since the February article is part of a paid for publication, I cannot include it here. The May 2019 article from MRH is free and available at 
https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com

Here’s hoping this helps.

Rob Morrison


Re: Turnout point conductivity

Robert Morrison
 

Gentlemen,

In the February issue of the Running Extra portion of the Model Railroading Hobbyist magazine, Joe Fugate wrote" Better track cleaning update …”. This is a follow up to his article in the May 2019 issue of MRH “Keeping your track and wheels clean…"
In it he lists the dielectric properties of various solvents used to clean track, with lower dielectric constant being better for cleaning track. The lowest solvents listed are:
Kerosene   -  bad smell
Deluxe Materials Track Magic
WD-40 Contact Cleaner
CRC contact cleaner and Protectant
Regular WD-40 is not quite as good as WD-40 Contact Cleaner

Since the February article is part of a paid for publication, I cannot include it here. The May 2019 article from MRH is free and available at 
https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com

Here’s hoping this helps.

Rob Morrison

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