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HO Turntables - Experience

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HO Turntables - Experience
Posted by gary233 on Sunday, October 21, 2018 7:36 AM

Hi all,

For those of you when have turntables I would like to hear what you have, ease of set-up, performance, maintenance and overall satisfaction.

I saw a YouTube video on the Walthers 130’ and it seemed that it waS EXTREMELY sensitive to ANY dirt getting onto the rail. Each time it encountered any obstruction it required re-programming.

Your experiences?

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, October 21, 2018 7:59 AM

gary233

Hi all,

For those of you when have turntables I would like to hear what you have, ease of set-up, performance, maintenance and overall satisfaction.

I saw a YouTube video on the Walthers 130’ and it seemed that it waS EXTREMELY sensitive to ANY dirt getting onto the rail. Each time it encountered any obstruction it required re-programming.

Your experiences?

 

Well, my experiance may not be what you want to hear.

My turntable is built from a kit, a craftsman kit made of acrylic sheet, from CMR.

http://www.custommodelrailroads.com/turntables-3.aspx

It does not have indexing, just like the real ones, you must line it up by eye with your skill on the control switch, not that hard to do if you have a good view. Mine is close to the layout edge.

It works very well.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, October 21, 2018 8:15 AM

Turntables have always been my thing. I went through many turntables until I had a perfect one.  It has worked flawlessly for over ten years.  Because I had so many problems with turntables from the 60s to the late 90s I went overboard with my present 135’ CMR Kit.  It also required a roundhouse overhaul, both turned out perfect.  Here are a couple of links to my blog CMR turntable construction and Korber roundhouse overhaul.
 
 
 
I built my own indexing system using optical sensors.  Two IR detctors (one one each end of the bridge) midway between the bridge rails and the pit rail and a IR LED on the pit wall centered between each feeder track to activate the bridge motor power relay upon IR activity dropping the power to the motor.  I turn on the LED below the selected track and the bridge stops in perfect alignment every time from either direction. 
 
 
 
Mel
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by EMDSD40 on Sunday, October 21, 2018 9:52 AM

Since you ask...this subject has beem discussed in depth in previous posts. I have voiced my displeasure and experience with Walther's 130 TT in other topics, so I will keep this brief. Too many known issues with electronic control modules, warped plastic base causing tracking issues, and on and on. Extreme care used in benchwork for installation and it would not index consistently. This total waste of money and time coupled with bad experiences relating to a number of their SD70ace locomotives has left a very bad taste when it comes to Walthers products. Had to completely disassemble one to track down electrical problems only to find cheap and flimsy wiring and contacts. Based on my experience, poor quality has crossed product lines and I refuse to purchase any more of their offerings. Hopefully others have a positive experience with their products.

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, October 21, 2018 10:03 AM

gary233

Hi all,

For those of you when have turntables I would like to hear what you have, ease of set-up, performance, maintenance and overall satisfaction.

I saw a YouTube video on the Walthers 130’ and it seemed that it waS EXTREMELY sensitive to ANY dirt getting onto the rail. Each time it encountered any obstruction it required re-programming.

Your experiences? 

Gary, I have the original non-DCC Walthers 130' turntable. It has been in operation for 14, going on 15, years without a problem.

In terms of sensitivity, the only problem that I have encountered is stray ballast that finds its way onto the gear track that runs around the perimeter of the pit. You must occasionally vacuum the pit to remove such obstacles. Otherwise, that stray ballast will become lodged between the gear teeth on the underside of the bridge, and this can result in a complete stoppage of the bridge track. It is no fun disassembling the bridge gears to remove such obstacles.

The Walthers 130' turntable has a programmable indexing feature that permits the bridge track to stop at specified points such as roundhouse stalls and other associated tracks. I don't use the feature but, rather, operate the turntable manually, as Sheldon described in his reply.

Rich 

Alton Junction

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, October 21, 2018 10:23 AM

EMDSD40

Since you ask...this subject has beem discussed in depth in previous posts. I have voiced my displeasure and experience with Walther's 130 TT in other topics, so I will keep this brief. Too many known issues with electronic control modules, warped plastic base causing tracking issues, and on and on. Extreme care used in benchwork for installation and it would not index consistently. This total waste of money and time coupled with bad experiences relating to a number of their SD70ace locomotives has left a very bad taste when it comes to Walthers products. Had to completely disassemble one to track down electrical problems only to find cheap and flimsy wiring and contacts. Based on my experience, poor quality has crossed product lines and I refuse to purchase any more of their offerings. Hopefully others have a positive experience with their products.

 

A few thoughts:

Buy or don't buy whatever suits you, but understand this: In todays world of contract over seas manufacturing, judging all the products from one company on even two or three bad experiances is likely going to exclude you from a lot of good stuff.

Personally, I am niether a Walthers fan or a Walthers basher. Their more recent products do not have a large representation on my layout.

I know lots of people with Walthers turntables that work fine, I know some have had a few issues.

Be it Walthers, Athearn, Bachmann, Bowser or whoever, one is likely better off to judge each PRODUCT on its merits, getting feedback from other modelers before purchase, rather than pre-judge based on brand.

For example, I have lots of Bachmann Spectrum steam, which has given great service. Yet there are a number of other Bachmann products I would skip over rather quickly........

You mileage may vary......

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, October 21, 2018 10:28 AM

The only turntable I've had was the Wilson one.  16" across, as I recall, and not very scale-ish, at all.  

No indexing.  The big PITA was that the gear reduction for the drive was a stack of spur gears, so there was a horendous amount of backlash.  Which meant, if you went past your track, you had to take up the backlash before the table would surprise you and move.  No fun at all.

But the thing was pre-assembled in its steel pit.  And reliable as a rock.

My intent, if I ever get another*, is to NOT have auto-indexing.  That ain't how the real ones worked.

 

Ed

 

*Come to think of it, I DO have a turntable.  It's a 134' Diamond Scale, and still in its box in the garage:

http://www.diamond-scale.com/products__turntables.htm

 Someday..........

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Posted by gary233 on Sunday, October 21, 2018 10:53 AM

anyone have the overall lenghth (Loco & Tender) of an HO 1-6-6-2?

I’m trying to decide what size Turntable I need.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, October 21, 2018 11:20 AM

The Bachmann models of the 2-6-6-2 are about 95' scale feet long.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, October 21, 2018 11:21 AM

I've only had Atlas turntables.  I had one as a kid with 30 degree indexing, and I bought a new one as an adult with 15 degree indexing, along with the Atlas roundhouse which matches it.  These are small deck turntables, only 9 inches across in HO, fine for my smaller steam engines and early diesels, but not for larger locomotives.

I converted mine to a pit turntable.  It was fun and ended up working very well, but it took quite a while and required every bit of my modeling skill.

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

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, October 21, 2018 11:40 AM

 We have two turntables on the club layout. One is the original Walthers indexed one, and one is, well, I'm not sure oof the brand but it has a very simple motor with a rubber tire rubbing against a circle of plywood drive, coontrolled by an old handheld DC throttle.

 They tell me the Walthers one once worked, but I've never been able to get it to move in all the time I've been there. It powers on, I've carefully cleaned out the pit, cleaned the contacts on the bridge post. It just doesn't seen to accept any commands from the control box.

 Theother one - I have never seen it fail. Someone marked on the throttle knob where you should put it for a reasonable speed, and multiple members park their steam locos in the roundhouse it serves, and take them in and out to a train all the time. Being right near the edge of the layout, it's super easy to get the rails aligned even though there is absolutely no type of electrical or mechanical indexing. You just jog it into position like a real one.

 Now, as much as I like doing electronics and so forth, I have decided that the turntable I want to put in my engine terminal for my new layout will be the latter type, simple motor drive, no indexing. Because it works. Every time. Maybe a bit moore sophisticated than having an old walkaround DC throttle hanging off the fascia, I will build the power supply in to the underside of the layout and just have a couple of toggles - high/low speed, and a center off momentary DPDT for cw/ccw direction. This will work more or less like a prototypical electrically driven turntable, run on the faster speed until you get close to the desired track, switch to low for final positioning, and use the spring return switch to jog the bridge into final alignment. 

                                 --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 Deane Johnson on Sunday, October 21, 2018 11:51 AM

I have the current Walthers 130' TT and it works fine.  I use the ACM module to power the individual stall tracks as they are selected to rotate the track to.

Early models had a glitch in the electronics and Walthers sent me a new electronics box that fits underneath.  It now works perfect.

The early ACM modules needed reflashing, which Walthers did for me and it hasn't failed since being serviced.  The early problem was that the firmware in the board selected a 90' table instead of a 130' and it quickly lost it's place while rotating.

I wouldn't hesitate buying the same package again if I needed another.  

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, October 21, 2018 12:40 PM

gary233

anyone have the overall lenghth (Loco & Tender) of an HO 1-6-6-2?

I’m trying to decide what size Turntable I need.

 

I went with the 135’ turntable because of my large articulated locomotives.  When I bought it I had a sack full of Rivarossi articulateds and a Bowser Big Boy.  After the merger that I disliked so much I sold the Big Boy.
 
After dinking around with turntables for some 60 years I know all the Pit falls (pun intended) of them.  Cleanness is high on the list but the most important thing with a good functional turntable is the motor drive system.  The 12 VDC Dayton 2L003 gearmotor with its .45RPM is the best available drive out there.  The tight meshed gearing is better than great.  The 7189:1 gear ratio is super smooth with absolutely no gear slop.  The 12 volt motor will operate as low as 6 volts for super slow operation.  The 12 volt motor will stop quickly when the power is removed but with dynamic breaking it stops instantly without any over shoot what so ever.  My IR indexing system never misses, less than a 1/64” at the rails every time from either direction with out any processors involved.
 
Warning, You must use a slip clutch between the Dayton gearmotor shaft and the bridge!!!!  If something should fall into the pit out of sight and stop the bridge from turning the 7189:1 gear ratio will do some serious damage to something, might send that $$$$ locomotive on the bridge through the wall.
 
Also high on the list is power to the bridge tracks, using the pit rail really is the pits!  I use a dummy looking power drop to the bridge tower made from K&S brass rods for one rail and the drive shaft for the other rail.  Positive power to the rails, I’ve never had so much as a single glitch to the rails in over ten years.
  
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by selector on Sunday, October 21, 2018 12:47 PM

I have a 90' original indexed and built-up model marketed by Walthers beginning about late 2005 or later.  I had no difficulty installing it, programming it for index points, and then operating it.  I had to find my own suitable power supply locally, another $40.

These built-up indexed variety ARE sensitive do dirt, and Walthers duly notes this.  It advises in their comprehensive instructions that the pit should be kept free of debris and vacuumed often.  I did this, but was amazed to find the works at the end of the bridge quite occupied by grit, dust, pet hairs, body hairs, and bits of ground foam.  I was quite surprised. I cleaned it out, an easy job, and the machine worked until I dismantled the layout on which it was placed back in early 2012.  My intention, and hope, is to to use it again inside of a month or so.

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, October 21, 2018 3:34 PM

rrinker
I'm not sure oof the brand but it has a very simple motor with a rubber tire rubbing against a circle of plywood drive, coontrolled by an old handheld DC throttle.

That sounds like the old Bowser turntable. Brass shim stock for the pit wall, die-cast metal bridge sides screwed to a wood frame.

I built my layout in 1995 and installed a Diamond Scale 130 foot turntable. As first installed I used a Bodine gear reducer which worked out well but at times the rails were difficult to see for manual alignment.

Trouble is, Diamond Scale is no longer produced. It has a poured plaster pit wall and is very stable.

I bought a New York Railway Supply stepper motor control and drive. It works pretty well. There is a bit of backlash but not too much that it is a problem. There is a keypad control where I simply press the track number I want along with a # or * to tell the bridge to align the cab end or other end.

http://www.nyrs.com/

Just the other day I lifted the bridge out in order to place this "Safety First" lettering on the bridge. One nice feature of the Diamond Scale model is that the bridge rides on the pit rail and the bridge can be lifted out very easily for cleaning or repairs.

 Q2_on_TT by Edmund, on Flickr

That's a Pennsy Q2 on the bridge with just a little room to spare.

 Q2_on_TT5 by Edmund, on Flickr

You can see one of the four brass rollers under the cab. The pit rail carries one rail and the other is fed from the overhead wire to the arch.

 Q_on_TT by Edmund, on Flickr

 

 IMG_4964 by Edmund, on Flickr

Here's a look at the motor/gear reducer. I have a cam disk mounted to the shaft with a Microswitch that automatically reversed the bridge track power. There is a built-in track reversing circuit in the PTC-III but I already had a good working one before I installed the controller.

 IMG_1230 by Edmund, on Flickr

Hope that helps, Ed

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, October 21, 2018 3:56 PM

gmpullman

Trouble is, Diamond Scale is no longer produced.

 

 

 

As noted earlier:

 

http://www.diamond-scale.com/products__turntables.htm

 

The reports of their death seem greatly exagerated.

 

Ed

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, October 21, 2018 4:16 PM

7j43k
The reports of their death seem greatly exagerated.

...and wouldn't it be nice if all the orphaned web sites could be sent off to a separate internet bone-yard.

 Diamond_web by Edmund, on Flickr

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by nealknows on Sunday, October 21, 2018 5:26 PM

I have the first Walthers 90' built up Turntable. It's powered from a separate power supply, my MRC 9500. Since I use DCC, I put a DCC Specialties PSX-AR auto reverser in between the track buss leading to the turntable track and turntable. No issues. Yes, you need to keep it very clean, and clean it often. 

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, October 21, 2018 6:56 PM

I have the Walthers non-DCC 90' turntable, and the Walthers DCC 130' turntable. When installed, both worked very well.

The 90' TT was removed and stored for over eight years, and I just installed it a month or so ago. It still works just fine.

The 130' TT was removed and stored about four years ago, and will not be unpacked and installed for probably another two years at least. I anticipate no problems with it as well.

Oh yeah, I also have the Walthers 90' turntable kit. After looking it over, I put the parts back in the box and decided not to waste my time. The thing appers to be a box of frustration just waiting to cause an apoplexy. If anyone wants it, send me a note.

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, October 21, 2018 7:06 PM

The RTR non DCC Walthers is great, havn't heard any bad things about it (except the one person as noted on this thread), however the DCC one I have heard of lots of problems, I only own the non DCC one though. As far as the one you build up yourself, it can be done but you kinda have to re-engineer the drive, not for the novice unless you plan on doing on 0-5-0 drive, then no problems, LOL!!!!

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, October 21, 2018 8:47 PM

gmpullman

 

 
7j43k
The reports of their death seem greatly exagerated.

 

...and wouldn't it be nice if all the orphaned web sites could be sent off to a separate internet bone-yard.

 Diamond_web by Edmund, on Flickr

Good Luck, Ed

 

 

And your thoughts on the date on the bottom of THIS page?:

http://www.diamond-scale.com/orderinf.htm

I'll give them a call tomorrow, and see if anyone's home.

 

Ed

 

I confess that my own website hasn't been tinkered with in years.  I don't see the need.

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, October 21, 2018 9:08 PM

7j43k
And your thoughts on the date on the bottom of THIS page?:

Yeah,

That goes back to Rob's Trains in Alliance, Ohio. I used to go there pretty often. I guess Larry Olsen bought what was left of Diamond Scale and thought he was going to continue the line, then sold it to Rob Sundberg, dba Rob's Trains. I never saw much activity to that end.

There are page updates all over the calendar — and all over the web. It's anybody's guess.

http://www.robstrains.com/

Click on "Product Lines" and you'll find Diamond Scale there. One of the folks here, HOn3Critter, was looking for some turntable parts a few years ago but he hit a dead end as I recall.

Maybe Rob did get some product out. His price list was last updated five years ago.

Most of the people that visited his store were chased away and told to never come back.

 

Happy Modeling, Ed

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Sunday, October 21, 2018 10:04 PM

 

relax, let go...let Walther’s do the heavy lifting. There are some good versions of their turntables out there.

 

Or you could drop the bucks on the CMR - also good.

 

Atlas can be modified if you are handy.

 

Of course you could scratch build (I don’t recommend this option – speaking from personal experience).

 

The Diamond scale TTs and parts are good but expect to wait a long time if you order from them (I waited 10 months for my order back in 2008 or so). Maybe purchase from a reseller or Ebay would work.

 

Your Mileage may vary,

 

Guy

 

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, October 22, 2018 4:01 AM

gmpullman
 

Maybe Rob did get some product out. His price list was last updated five years ago.

Most of the people that visited his store were chased away and told to never come back. 

Happy Modeling, Ed 

Surely you jest?

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, October 22, 2018 5:21 AM

richhotrain
Surely you jest?

I wish. Add this shop to the list of reasons why Brick & Mortar hobby shops are going the way of... Sears?

Maybe I shouldn't say "most" people were chased away. Some of his friends were allowed to hang around.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, October 22, 2018 5:59 AM

gmpullman
 
richhotrain
Surely you jest? 

I wish. Add this shop to the list of reasons why Brick & Mortar hobby shops are going the way of... Sears?

Maybe I shouldn't say "most" people were chased away. Some of his friends were allowed to hang around.

Regards, Ed 

What can I say, other than, Wow.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Water Level Route on Monday, October 22, 2018 6:32 AM

I have the Walthers 110' model (without the DCC controller) and it works very well.  Had one issue where it would forget where it was indexed between uses (I kill all layout power when I'm done) and contacted Walthers.  They tell me it is an issue with the control board, gave me the option of sending it in, or performing the repair myself (which I chose) and are putting me on their list to send parts to once the repair boards come in.  In the meantime, it has started remembering again, so go figure.  Still, very happy with it.  I had their 90' turntable from a kit prior to this.  What a piece!

Mike

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Posted by gary233 on Monday, October 22, 2018 6:37 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

The Bachmann models of the 2-6-6-2 are about 95' scale feet long.

Sheldon

 

So i need at least a 110’ Turntable.  Thanks

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Posted by gary233 on Monday, October 22, 2018 6:55 AM

Do the Walthers NON DCC work on DCC layouts?

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Posted by nealknows on Monday, October 22, 2018 7:17 AM

gary233

Do the Walthers NON DCC work on DCC layouts?

Gary, I added the PSX-AR to the turntable track leads and have no issues on my DCC layout. I bought the first Built-Up version.

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