Older Shinohara 3 way turnout


I just acquired an older version of this turnout.
It was installed, but going through it, it always shorts out my DCC system.
What's going on?
It is installed like any other switch.
There are Kato & Atlas switches on my layout that work fine.
I forgot to add, this is N Scale.


Mark Cartwright <marcdecapri@...>

Ah ?
I struggled with Shinohara Track from 1973 to 1982 in a #209 John Armstrong Track Plan.
I haven't got much nice to say about either one of them.
After spending hundreds of hours with an NMRA Gauge, increasing the turnouts and radius from the given plan and soldering the entire layout....
I could not effectively run anything better than a Con For SW 1200 with no more than 5 cars behind it.
In 1982, I bought my first house on my first 30 year mortgage. I put that layout up in the attic by 1983, and left it there when I sold that house in 2003.
I did not allow myself to become infatuated with N Scale till 2012, in a whole other this time paid for basement with a house on top AFTER seeing a video on Kato Unitrack.
Maybe N Scale ain't so bad....I was considering going back to HO; and began to buy both including O Scale and even G.
It was not until 2014, when I even allowed myself to open up my N Scale Time Capsule from 1982.
By that time, I was well on my way to complete DCC with Sound. 
:)) Mark

There might be a Shinohara 3 Way Turnout in that 1982 Drawer.
Do no harm.....
I would feel guilty if I sold it to anyone; but I may use it one day as a partial template.
There was a special 3 way electronic switching motor developed for it, in the yet to become Silicon Valley at the still up and running Train Store in Santa Clara in 1977. I may use it one day on a hand laid 3 way switch.


Hi Mark,
I went down to my layout last night.
After a few adult beverages, an idea popped into my brain.
I isolated the switch outputs & powered the 3 out feeds separately.
It looks like the power routing in the switch was interfering with the out feeds.
Now everything works fine.
Apparently after posting new ideas bubbled up.
It was successful evening!


Don Vollrath

You simply relearned that the original turnouts didn't necessarily cause short circuits on the old DC layouts... but many of them DID do power routing. Trains simply roared through the selected path. The only way to eliminate issues with DCC layouts where one expects all track segments to be properly powered at all times is to either 1) isolate all turnout exit rails and let the throwbar and points select what rail piece gets which stock rail polarity. OR  2) butcher up the individual point rails and frogs so that you can 'manually' manipulate which rail piece gets what polarity at any given moment without causing any shorts when a train rolls through AND during partial/moving  switch throws.

Note that idea 1) can be supplemented with frog juicers, but still may have issues of not being totally 'DCC friendly' as the open point rails will often be at the opposite polarity of the nearby stock rail. This can cause momentary shorts with out of gauge wheel sets or as the long driver wheelbase of the 2-10-2 rolls through.

Idea 2) calls for lots of careful examination, isolation of point rail contact feeds, cutting of additional frog isolating rail gaps, with added feeder wires fed from reliable switching mechanisms coordinated with exact throwbar positioning.

Either way it is up to the engineer to make sure the selected path is what you expect before entering the turnout.



Hi Don,
A friend gave this to me, someone gave it to him & he isn't in N Scale.
I could not find any info on the web how to use this with DCC.
I had to add power to the legs as the switch would not supply power to them reliably.
That's when this issue popped up.
It was ahead scratcher for me, it would work on one leg only.
As soon as another leg was switched it would short.
Removing the out feeds stopped the shorting issue.
Putting them back in one at a time worked fine.
As soon as a second one was added, the problem came up.
That's what led me to isolate the the out feeds & power them separately.
A Frog juicer would work, but this turned out to be the cheapest solution.
6 track isolators & some wiring was all it took.
It is now working as it should.