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Control of Crossovers,...doubles & singles

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Control of Crossovers,...doubles & singles
Posted by railandsail on Sunday, October 11, 2020 9:30 AM

Control of Crossovers,...doubles & singles

Exploring ideas for 'powering-up' crossover turnouts. Of course many of us would be well aware of our use of a double crossover on our layout planning (it just stands out), ….but perhaps less aware of the number of single crossovers we have designed into the plan. That was one thing I recently discovered while looking into controlling my turnouts,...I have a lot more crossovers than I originally recognized.
 

Like the prototype railroads I decided to try and limit the use of 'doubles' and try to make use of singles were possible, particularly when I read about the number of problems that could be encountered with doubles vs singles ( one of the reasons the big guys limited their use).

 

But the purpose of this subject thread is NOT to discuss doubles vs singles, but rather controlling these crossovers.

 

I saw this subject thread, but I didn't see much discussion about controlling those crossovers.
http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/11/p/262946/2965360.aspx

 

 

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, October 11, 2020 9:37 AM
In my original planning I had been going to utilize a couple of double crossovers by Shinohara that I had picked up at a train show a number of years ago. As I got to studying them, and discussing them here on the forum, plus running some experiments with them, I began to look for alternatives.

 

Turns out I had room (length enough) to utilize 2 pairs of single crossovers rather than the doubles. I also discovered that I could make very effective single crossovers using 2 Peco large size turnouts back-to-back. Here is a comparison,....Shino Dbl on left, then Peco large pair, Peco med pair, Peco sm pair,....

I ran experiments with those Peco large pairs and was very satisfied.

 

So where I was going to have a dbl-crossover, I will now have 2 single crossovers consisting of 4 large size Peco turnouts.

 

My dilemma now is how to manually control (from a distance) each 2 Peco turnouts of the crossover with a single control rod/whatever.,..some sort of linkage situation.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, October 11, 2020 9:56 AM

I will have one single crossover on my next layout that will have a lot of special wiring.

For control, I will use two Tortoise switch machines, with both of them wired into the same wires from a DPDT reversing switch.

Actually, the toggle to control these turnouts is special. I bought a 4PDT toggle switch for this installation. The position of these turnouts will also select the cab for the only electrical block on the layout that can be comntrolled by two different power packs. I run DC.

So, 2 sets of contacts on the switch will be the DPDT reverser for the Tortoise, and the other two sets of contacts will select the power pack to control the electrical district for my yard throat.

I use old style Walthers/Shinohara code 83 turnouts. These are the Non-DCC friendly versions. I power the frogs and power routing rails with auxiliary lever switches mounted on the Tortoises.

Then, I will use the DPDT contacts built into the Tortoises for signals on the layout and indicators on the control panel.

So, I throw one toggle switch, both Tortoises move, the electrical control selection for the yard throat changes, and signal aspects will change.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, October 11, 2020 10:07 AM

Brian,

I use a system of lighted push buttons and relays controlling Tortoise machines that allows one button to set complex routes by no only operating both turnouts of the crossover, but also returning other nearby turnouts to their "normal" position.

Simple example - two opposite crossovers on double track right in line with each other. You would never want both set to "crossover". So a single button for the crossover route of crossover A also ensures that crossover B is set to straight thru.

So a control panel can look like this with lighted buttons indicating the selected route:

The other two features of my system are:

Turnouts can be operated from multiple locations with additional button stations.

All turnouts return to their "normal" position when the layout power is turned on.

I can post more later if you are interested.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, October 11, 2020 10:31 AM

Does the OP really want to do this manually with no switch machines, or manually by pushing a single button to control both machines?  I would strongly recommend doing this with switch machines.  The Peco turnouts can be thrown with individual Peco machines (no linkage) or with other machines by removing the Peco turnout springs.  I have used a single Tortoise to drive a pair of grade crossing gates and that worked fine.  Circuitron makes such a linkage.

Those are long turnouts, so plan to power the frogs.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, October 11, 2020 10:40 AM

 The EASIEST, but not cheapest, way is to use two switch machines. Just wired together to the same control switch or button, depending on Tortoise or solenoid type. Then there's no linkage to figure out or adjust. It just works. But requires two motors.

 Circuitron has a remote linkage for the Tortoise which would allow one to directly activate the throiwbar and the other throwbar to be controlled by the linkage. Cheaper than 2 Tortoises but not all that much. 

 And then there's DIY. You basically needa a teeter-totter sort of thing the pivots int he middle of the crossover, so the ends move in opposite directions. Twisted one way, with some sort of point motor, and both points go to the straight position and the trains run past. Twist the other way, and both points move to the diverging position and the train crosses over. It's fairly obvious if you look down on the crossover and see whichw ay the points need to move for the two valid combinations - either both straight, or both diverging. 

                                                 --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, October 11, 2020 10:42 AM

rrinker
Circuitron has a remote linkage for the Tortoise which would allow one to directly activate the throiwbar and the other throwbar to be controlled by the linkage. Cheaper than 2 Tortoises but not all that much. 

I tried this product once. It is very fiddly and only saves a couple of dollars. Going with two Tortoises was a better option.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, October 11, 2020 10:46 AM

Brian

The trick to controlling two or more turnouts with a Tortoise is to put a loop in the control rods to equalize the pressure on the points.  This Tortoise is controlling all four sets of points in my double crossover.



I could tell you close to a dozen different methods that don’t work.  It took many tries before I came up the one above.  It has worked flawlessly for eight years.

EDIT:

The control rod is .030" Music wire.

Mel


 
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I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, October 11, 2020 2:33 PM

Thats interesting Mel. I need to take a closer look.

 

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, October 11, 2020 2:34 PM

We have four Peco turnout single crossover pairs. The first three we powered use Peco turnout solenoid motors wired together to a single Peco passing contact lever switch powered by a Peco CDU. They work flawlessly. If you need electrofrogs Peco makes mechanical switches that mount with glue to the underside of the  switch motors and actuated by the bottom end of the throw pin.

One of those three had to use side mount Peco motors which don't connect properly to the Code 83 turnouts because they are made to fit their Code 100 turnouts which use different style throwbars. I made little adapter pins out of styrene rod nested inside styrene tube to pin the hole in the switch motor throwbar to the smaller diameter hole in the turnout throwbar. The Code 100 turnouts have pins on the turnout throwbars designed to fit snugly intomthe holes in the switch motor throwbars.  

Alyth Yard

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, October 11, 2020 2:45 PM

Linkage Idea

Here is what I have in mind for a linkage to coordinate the operation of 2 Peco turnouts together. It's basically a stiff piece of metal strip that would be a little bit longer than the distance between the holes in those Peco throw bars . It would have two vertical 'post' of music wire welded at that exact distance between the throwbar holes, and they would be long enough to reach up thru the plywood deck (and roadbed) to operate the turnouts when the metal strip was rotated slightly. The rotation center of the metal strip would be the exact center between those vertical post.

The rotating metal strip would bear against the underside of the plywood deck, perhaps against a very thin plastic shim for friction purposes. It would only need a single central screw mounted into the plywood deck to rotate about, and it would only need one push rod attachment to operate its rotation,...one control rod / cable to activate 2 crossover turnouts simultaneously.

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, October 11, 2020 3:08 PM

Remember that Peco uses sprung point rails. You do not need any kind of balance bar because once the spring goes over centre in each turnout it will snap right over. Peco point rails can't stall somewhere in the middle of the throw. In theory, two wire rods of correct length run back to one push pull knob and tied together there should work fine. 

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, October 11, 2020 3:31 PM

railandsail

Linkage Idea

Here is what I have in mind for a linkage to coordinate the operation of 2 Peco turnouts together. It's basically a stiff piece of metal strip that would be a little bit longer than the distance between the holes in those Peco throw bars . It would have two vertical 'post' of music wire welded at that exact distance between the throwbar holes, and they would be long enough to reach up thru the plywood deck (and roadbed) to operate the turnouts when the metal strip was rotated slightly. The rotation center of the metal strip would be the exact center between those vertical post.

The rotating metal strip would bear against the underside of the plywood deck, perhaps against a very thin plastic shim for friction purposes. It would only need a single central screw mounted into the plywood deck to rotate about, and it would only need one push rod attachment to operate its rotation,...one control rod / cable to activate 2 crossover turnouts simultaneously.

 

 

 

 

 

I would be concerned about accurate installation and future adjustment.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, October 11, 2020 3:39 PM

I don’t have any pictures of my bellcranks (Du-Bro 167) but I’ve used them for years for doing weird things.  For my turnout control I drilled and tapped the outside hole of the 167s in one arm for 4-40 thread.

I used a 4-40 Nylon screw in the bellcrank as a holder (support) for .02” steel rod for the throw arm to the turnout which works great for Atlas turnouts, you might have to go with .03” rod to overcome the Peco spring.  I start out with a 1” long 4-40 Nylon screw and shorten it as needed.  For long steel rod throw the longer the screw to give it the strength need to move the turnout points.

I drill a hole through the Nylon screw length wise and insert the rod.  The hole in the Nylon doesn’t actually keep the drill size and shrinks a bit when the drill is removed making the rod a tight enough fit that it doesn’t need glue and is easily adjusted if needed.  I do glue the screw in the bellcrank to prevent it from loosing up.

Drilling the small screws length wise sounds like a tough job but in all the screws I’ve drilled (dozens) I can only remember screwing up a couple of screws.  I made a holder in a 3” square double layer .08” piece Styrene and drilled an tapped a 4-40 hole in the center.  I set my bench drill press at 480 RPM and do it to it very slowly.



For multiple turnouts I use the middle hole on the driving bellcrank to the outside hole on the driven bellcrank with .040” steel rod between them.

EDIT:

I found a spare bellcrank in my turnout bin.


Mel


 
My Model Railroad   
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I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, October 11, 2020 8:52 PM

Lastspikemike

Remember that Peco uses sprung point rails. You do not need any kind of balance bar because once the spring goes over centre in each turnout it will snap right over. Peco point rails can't stall somewhere in the middle of the throw. In theory, two wire rods of correct length run back to one push pull knob and tied together there should work fine. 

 

I am well aware of the Peco springs, and I really like them.

In this crossover situation the two turnouts of the pairing need to be thrown in opposite directions for crossing over or going straight, so tieing the 2 controls rods together won't work,...correct?

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Posted by railandsail on Sunday, October 11, 2020 9:01 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

I would be concerned about accurate installation and future adjustment.

Sheldon

 

I think I will have to build a mockup to run an experiment of my 'simplified version' before reverting to those that require more parts.

I've identified at least 6 crossovers on my layout plan

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, October 11, 2020 9:36 PM

My double crossover has apposing links using the bellcranks reversed.  I linked the opposing turnouts from the bellcranks, one bellcrank pushes left the other pulls right.  The linkage connects the bellcranks. 

The only question in my mind is will one Tortoise have enough torque to move two Peco springs.  All four of my Atlas turnouts move easily so the Tortoise doesn’t have any problems moving all four.

I tinkered around with the linkage adjustments so that the Tortoise keeps plenty of pressure on the points to keep them firmly against the rails in both positions.  Increased the Tortoise throw wire to .04” rod to increase the pressure, eight years and no problems.  


    

Mel


 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

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Posted by railandsail on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 7:50 PM

You did some marvelous work there Mel,...and I may have to come back to some of your ideas. But first I want to run a little experiment on that idea of mine.

I'm going to run that experiment after I finish up laying all the tracks and turnouts in my 3 staging areas. BTW no crossovers in there....ha...ha

 

 

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