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Tortoise motor cannot move Shinohara switch

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Tortoise motor cannot move Shinohara switch
Posted by robkoz on Wednesday, January 03, 2018 4:10 PM

I have a crossover Shinohara switch. One of the Tortoise motors cannot throw the switch. There seems to be some resistance even when I do it manually. So I don't accidentally ruin it, is there a remedy to fix this? Thanks

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Posted by KemacPrr on Wednesday, January 03, 2018 5:03 PM

Check to make sure no ballast is jamming the throwbar. also check and see if you have the track nails holding the turnout down too tight. Sometimes I use some thin cardstock under the ties on both sides of the throwbar to make sure it is not contacting the subroadbed. ---  Ken 

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, January 03, 2018 5:26 PM

I would remove the device and attempt to move the throwbar from below with a longish length of the same wire you are using in the device.  Hold the wire's lower end low so that you can get a good feel for the amount of resistance on the opposite end of that long lever.  See how it goes for you.  You may realize just how much resistance there is and you'll need to lift the turnout to figure out what is going on.  This assumes you have vacuumed, left no metal bits or nails, and there's no grit or small plastic bits grinding against the throwbar.

Those long turnouts require planar surfaces to operate well.  Any humping or sagging can really affect the way things work with them adversely.

Of course, it COULD BE the tortoise itself.  Maybe it was assembled poorly and it doesn't operate quite as it should.  It might have a weak or broken component. Have you attempted to make it work just wired up, but in your hand or in a gripping device of some kind?  Does it make more or less, or substantially different, sounds as it moves it actuator?

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Posted by mlehman on Thursday, January 04, 2018 8:57 AM

If the holes drilled for the other turnouts through the same depth of subroadbed/roadbed worked, then your hole diameter is sufficient. What's possibly happening is that the wire is not centered in the hole and it pushes against the side of that first instead of moving far enough to move the points. That's a likely possibility to check, but if so, then if you used screws to attach the Tortoise, loosen them and reposition slightly.

If you can see up from underneath, placing a flashlight on top to shine down the hole may reveal more about what's going on with the drive wire.

If resistance is in the turnout only, then besides the good recs above, check the castings of the ties to be sure there's no flash hanging things up.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by josephbw on Thursday, January 04, 2018 10:44 AM

I've had the same problem using Shinohara switches with Tortoise motors. I found that the throwbar was dragging on the homosote causing enough friction to only allow a partial throw of the points. As mentioned above, I had to shim under both side of the throwbar to raise the switch slightly and remove the friction from the equation.

I have also vowed never to buy any more Shinohara switches again. Every switch problem I've had, have been with their switches. No

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Posted by mlehman on Thursday, January 04, 2018 11:41 AM

josephbw
I found that the throwbar was dragging on the homosote causing enough friction to only allow a partial throw of the points.

I would be cautious about leaving shimming around the throwbar as a last resort, as it may introduce other issues.

If there hasn't been a design change, the rivets that hold the points may simply need a slight further flattening. They still should be loose-ish and not tight, but just a little more will usually give enough clearance to clear up this issue. If not, then better to score out a slight depression right under the throwbar to get the clearance, as this maintains a constant rail height through the points.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, January 04, 2018 5:37 PM

Ballast glue or caulk for holding the turnout down can gum up the points.  Of course that never happened to me.  Embarrassed

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, January 04, 2018 5:57 PM

When I have had problems with Shinohara throwbars being obstinate I have removed the Tortoise and moved the turnout points manually by placing a scratch awl in the throwbar rivet and moving it back and forth.

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I can usually spot the snag doing this. I have had to remove roadbed material around the throwbar, remove material from the top of the throwbar, and pry adjacent ties away from the throwbar to fix the issue.

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It has never been too difficult of a fix.

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I have only used Shinohara switches and Tortoise machines on my HO layouts. I was hoping to find a better track alternative for my next layout, but nobody manufactures anything that seems to be universally accepted as the best.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by Capt. Grimek on Thursday, January 04, 2018 7:44 PM

I have approx. 42 Shinohara turnouts on my layout (mostly a switching layout) and the only problem I've had with them has been of my own making. (Leaning on points and breaking them when working on the back of the benchwork, over ballasting, etc.) I have found them to look good and be reliable.  The only other brand I would've considered when I started was Peco (for their oversprung hand throwing abilities  but they didn't have their N. American style track back then. 

Not saying there isn't an occasional factory defect or adjustment needed but overall no problems here.  I've had more problems with Atlas turnouts in the past than with Shinohara.  Their points do seem a bit delicate but not sure if Peco's are any "stouter" feeling when touched or wiggled a little with a finger, etc... I'll have to wiggle one next time I'm operating on a layout with them.

Raised on the Erie Lackawanna Mainline- Supt. of the Black River Transfer & Terminal R.R.

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Posted by SouthPenn on Thursday, January 04, 2018 9:42 PM

Most of the switches on my layout are Shinohara. Most of the problems with them have been with the throw bar or something stupid I did.

South Penn
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Posted by Capt. Grimek on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 7:49 PM

For the OP, I should have also said (in my post above) that I have a lot of tortoises throwing my Shinohara #5s in the classification yard and they work dependably.  for others reading this thread, I wouldn't avoid Shinohara on the basis of their quality being lesser than other brands. I'd pick a brand that has features you want instead, such as spike detail, oversprung throw springs, etc. Just be sure they are compatible with your flex or hand laid trackage too.

Raised on the Erie Lackawanna Mainline- Supt. of the Black River Transfer & Terminal R.R.

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 6:49 AM

LION bought a Shionhara switch (double crossover) while in Yokohoma back in the 60s. In those days they had a metal tab on the points that slid under the stock rails to make good electrical contact. That was a source of problems, the points would get caught up on that tab.

I do believe that newer switches have done away with that tab.

Tortoise machines are the most reliable and forgiving motors ever built, but you may have to adjust the tension of the throw rod by moving the fulcrum up or down. Some times I use a much stiffer wire. (1/16th" welding rod). THAT needs some adjustment so that it does not move the entire turnout out of alignment, but with the fulcrum all of the way up (shorter swing on the points) it will move anything.

 

ROAR

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Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 9:55 AM

robkoz

I have a crossover Shinohara switch. One of the Tortoise motors cannot throw the switch. There seems to be some resistance even when I do it manually. So I don't accidentally ruin it, is there a remedy to fix this? Thanks

Yep, probably not an uncommon problem.  And, btw, my Shinohara turnout issues were not resolved by shimming or most of the other "work arounds listed above.  They are simply stubborn and require a good deal of force to throw. 

My solution is to use Switchmaster slow motion "stall" type machines which have a lot of torque and can throw the stubborn points no problem.

I am not sure if Switchmaster brand slow motion stall type machines are still readily available, but I'd check Ebay for them.  There may be another brand that works the same way and has enough torquie to throw the points with high resistance.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 12:23 PM

I have three to four dozen Shinohara turnouts. Finding the spot where the resistance is occurring should not be too difficult. Disconnect the switch machine and move the points with your finger. I have found (through experience) that Shinohara turnouts are quite sensitive to sloppy installation and need to be mounted on a flat solid surface. They are easily torqued if not handled correctly, causing derailments and the issue you are having.

Shinohara are not "trainset" turnouts, they are higher end turnouts and while they need extra care and attention during installation, they perform and look great.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1

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