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Roundhouses

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  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, March 26, 2023 10:48 PM

trainnut1250

Turntables and Roundhouses?

Turntables: I’ve always felt this should be easier than it is in HO scale…There aren’t many options when you start looking around for RTR turntables.

 

Of course opinions vary.

Good luck with the project,

 

Guy

 

25 or 35 years ago it was not a RTR hobby with regard to things like turntables.

And kit or RTR they are still expensive as they have always been - because they are big and complex by nature for the most part.

Easier? That would take a lot more money most people will not pay. Why would any manufacturer try to compete with Walthers for the RTR 130' turntable market at this point?

Building my CMR turntable was relatively easy, a little time consuming, but not difficult.

I do understand that for some folks "time consuming = difficult".

Sheldon

 

    

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 10:50 PM

I'm not sure that there'll be much interest, but here's a link...I've highlighted the link in blue, so all you need to do is right-click on it, then select on which link you'd wish to view

https://bigbluetrains.com/showthread.php?tid=7469&

...to a thread covering my build of a Korber kit for a five stall roundhouse.  It begins with only a few photos, but they increase as it continues.

Wayne

(The link does work for me, but I'm uncertain if the link will work for anyone else, but would appreciate if it someone would give it a try...you don't have to view all five pages.)

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 12:57 AM

I know that Tom is looking for a 120' turntable so my comments don't apply directly to his situation, but I would offer the following observations:

1. I built one of the early Walthers 90' kits and it was a real challenge to get it running properly. I had to modify the power transfer system for the bridge, and I had to adjust the position of the drive motor which was a fussy task. Eventually I got it to run smoothly. Note that I did not say 'quietly'! It makes a huge amount of noise! The bogie wheels are a joke. They aren't even round. As others have suggested, you get what you pay for and I would never buy another one! Having said that, apparently my modified 90' turntable is still going strong after several years at my old club.

2. Someone suggested modifying an Atlas turntable. I have done that too. Building a pit and adding a bridge is somewhat complex, especially if you don't want the whole floor of the pit revolving with the bridge, but the biggest drawbacks involve the drive mechanism. The turntable is designed to pause every 15 degrees. If you want to turn something 180 degrees, it will stop 11 times before it gets to the desired location. That takes forever!

Also, note that the Atlas turntable's 15 degree indexing is difficult to match most roundhouses to. Most roundhouses are designed for 10 degrees between tracks. That means that the only roundhouse that will work with the Atlas turntable is the Atlas unit which has its stalls at 15 degree intervals. Add to that the fact that the roundhouse stalls are relatively short makes the system only suitable for smaller locomotives.

Oh, did I say the Atlas turntable was noisy? It is really noisy! Dreadfully noisy!!

Sorry if I hijacked the thread Tom,

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 9:16 AM

hon30critter
Someone suggested modifying an Atlas turntable. I have done that too.

The atlas turntable works very well for N scale. Just lay a piece of N scale track across the top of it.

It is way too small for HO scale steam. It might not even fit a Niagra without the tender!

Laugh

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

  • Member since
    July 2022
  • 20 posts
Posted by Onewolf42 on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 10:54 AM

I used the Walthers 130ft DCC turntable and Walthers Modern Roundhouse (12 stalls).  I was very careful with the turntable install and I never had any trouble with it. I plan to install/use it in the 'next' layout.

 

  • Member since
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Posted by drgwcs on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 12:17 AM

In regards to the walthers 130 turntable they did have issues with the earliest built up. Ours at the club would just spin and spin and well as not program the stalls. Finally we rewired it with a decoder. 

Jim

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 21,079 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, April 9, 2023 2:49 PM

hon30critter

Someone suggested modifying an Atlas turntable. I have done that too. Building a pit and adding a bridge is somewhat complex, especially if you don't want the whole floor of the pit revolving with the bridge, but the biggest drawbacks involve the drive mechanism. The turntable is designed to pause every 15 degrees. If you want to turn something 180 degrees, it will stop 11 times before it gets to the desired location. That takes forever!

Also, note that the Atlas turntable's 15 degree indexing is difficult to match most roundhouses to. Most roundhouses are designed for 10 degrees between tracks. That means that the only roundhouse that will work with the Atlas turntable is the Atlas unit which has its stalls at 15 degree intervals. Add to that the fact that the roundhouse stalls are relatively short makes the system only suitable for smaller locomotives.

Oh, did I say the Atlas turntable was noisy? It is really noisy! Dreadfully noisy!!

Dave

I used an Atlas turntable to make a small pit turntable.  My layout didn't have the space for a large turntable, so I adapted an Atlas.  Yes, it was a lot of work.

 

The original turntable is only 9 inches across, about 65 feet in HO.  It will hold my 0-6-0, but that's about all.

I cut a hole for it and mounted it to apiece of masonite below the layout.  I cut the whole big enough for the motor mechanism.  Yes, it's noisy, but encasing the whole thing in foam really helps.The bridge is a sawed-off Atlas deck bridge, here not sawed off yet.

I did build a false floor so the turntable could rotate along with the bridge, but the base of the pit stays fixed.  I did curved castings of a rock wall mold for the pit wall.

I built a pit rail below and made bogies, because the center pivot was not strong enough to keep the bridge level with a locomotive on it.  The pit floor is just a thin piece of styrene, with a lot of scenery on it.  The roundhouse is also an Atlas, because it fits the 15 degree track spacing of the turntable.  I still have my original turntable from the 60s, but that one has a 30 degree track spacing.

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

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 13,359 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, April 10, 2023 9:34 PM

Here are some photos of the 5 stall Korber roundhouse, which I built on my layout's partial upper level...

The wall segments didn't seem to respond to any of the glue that I had on-hand, so I used screws to connect the walls at all corners of the structure...

...and while it worked well at all of the structures corners, I decided to use Evergreen's H-columns to connect the front- and rear-wall segments of the building, as it made a much stronger bond when I filled the columns with JB Quik-Weld epoxy...

...once the support columns were in place...

...I could get started on the roof trusses...

...which fit snugly into place...

After removing the assembled trusses, I made five smoke-collector hoods, using sheet styrene...

...then added the roof (which was .060" sheet styrene), rather than the cardstock material which was part of the kit.

The roof is a one-piece assembly that can be removed if necessary...

 

I was going to use the doors that came with the Korber kit, but instead opted for ones from Grandt Line...

I used Black Beauty sandblasting medium as cinders, secured in-place with diluted white glue,, then added some puddles of "water", done with Varathane clear wood  finish.

The turntable is from Walthers, slightly altered, and non-powered, other than finger power to align it as needed.

Wayne

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 12:42 AM

MisterBeasley
I used an Atlas turntable to make a small pit turntable. 

Hi MisterBeasley,

You did a great job on that turntable!

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • 364 posts
Posted by Mister Mikado on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 1:11 PM

I have the Rivarossi turntable from the 60s.  Great shape, very rugged, very realistic and works perfectly after I tweaked the controller, cleaned the contacts and bands.  I disabled the locking pin and just eyeball.

Also I own the Bachmann which works very well.  -Rob

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