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.



Depends ...
Which Locomotives are you intending to run?
I am reconstructing an HO Scale 8 x 16 foot layout.
Some of it is Code 83, some Code 70 and some Code100.
My plan is to standardize it to Code 83 and for now I am re-testing the Walther's/Shinohara Turnouts....While also converting the layout from Digitirax to ESU ECoS.
is there an answer to your particular style, space and budget?
Not exactly...
A note to myself is more along the experience of DCC Sound/Turnout Issues as in  Peeling an Onion.
You find a issue and over come it...not necessarily fixing it at 100% because that issue dovetails into the next.
A layer of the Onion cosmes off.
Next issue...and you begin to solve it's dilemmas too...
Another layer comes off.
Eventually you keep peeling back the obstacles...witnessing your locomotive performing better and better.
There is no onion left and 100% or perhaps at best 99.5% of your locomotives will run over 100% of your trackage.
>>> Issues are witnessed less and less till there are none to behold.
Will my track and locomotives eventually witness Glitch Free Start Ups and Running the entire distance around my layouts over every single one of my far fewer turnouts? Will the Sound stop dropping out while the locomotive continues to run or even run amuck over all polished surfaces of my very clean and level track ? Will my locomotive reset themselves less and less till they stop resetting themselves all together? Will all my consisted trains, never derail or even throw one wheel? Will I eventually be able to test all the wheel flanges and gauges for the spaces through my fewer turnouts?
I don't know....
I am still peeling the onion.
:)) Mark

In my N Scale experience...99 and a half will do.
That is 199 our of perhaps 200 of my N Scale Locomotives run well on the trackage I have selected and installed so far...
Save one.... and strangely it's one of my most expensive purchases..
What stumps me even more...
> I have no intention of selling it.
Even though you can't run it on your layout?
It's a brass Big Boy in DC...It would be nightmare to convert to DCC and I don't trust many of it's Clearances. There are simply too many opportunities for it to short out and fry a  $125 LokSound Sound Decoder. 
Plus it's a virtual pig to take apart, clean and reassemble. 
It won't stay clean.
Ever try to wash a pig and tell it stay clean as in a 4-H project for the County Fair? You clean it and the first thing it wants to do is rut it's jowls into the dirt. This Big Boy has got jowls. and needs something in excess of a 28" radius.
It's a Bridge too far; as I am already struggling with the approaches to my many bridges with 28 inch radius and long straight approaches up and over 1.5% Grades.
DCC must above all else > Remain clean.
However it has been expertly weathered (not by me) and looks good just sitting there. I almost can understand N Scale Enthusiasts (Collectors) as I look at it.
Eventually it will become a side show to a museum or sit on an abandoned (unpowered) spur near a Roundhouse...full of operational Cab Forwards.
My Nakamura Cab Forwards run the best of any of my N Scale Brass and nearly all of my Plastic Steam as well...
They cheated...
The are shorter (not prototype to length) > So take to smaller radius and turnouts far easier. It's the one time in the proverbial world of N Scale Cheat and Compression -- I happen to agree with.
>>> If I had just one locomotive to design my layout around...The Nakamura Brass Cab Forward would be it.
Which one locomotive would are you designing your layout around?