Author Topic: Are there really lighted track bumpers?  (Read 1823 times)

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Maletrain

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2021, 01:07:26 PM »
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I’m late to this party and please Forgive me if I have missed something here.
I’m assuming then that power to the siding has to be controlled by other than the position of the points.
As such, power has to be switched on/off of the siding and some sort of on/off switch would be needed to do that.
So, wouldn’t the orientation of the physical switch doing the power routing (am assuming a toggle switch here) show you if it was powered or not?

I should probably let Max answer, but he already wrote:

"The turnout points will be controlled with a tiny slide switch (like many people use to throw the points and power the frog with the correct polarity).  Since this is a spring switch, I use a 3-position slide switch instead of the normal two."

I am suspecting that the word "tiny" for the switch is the problem with just glancing at it from anyplace to know what position it is in.

Steveruger45

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2021, 01:29:56 PM »
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I should probably let Max answer, but he already wrote:

"The turnout points will be controlled with a tiny slide switch (like many people use to throw the points and power the frog with the correct polarity).  Since this is a spring switch, I use a 3-position slide switch instead of the normal two."

I am suspecting that the word "tiny" for the switch is the problem with just glancing at it from anyplace to know what position it is in.

Ahhh. Ok thanks.
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

mmagliaro

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2021, 02:31:08 PM »
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Dwarf signals are available from https://www.showcaseminiatures.net/n_scale/n_scale_century_foundry_signals/

Yup!  Found em, and they look really nice, so I ordered some, and some bicolor SMD LEDs (which I was curiously devoid of!)

mmagliaro

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2021, 02:32:29 PM »
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I should probably let Max answer, but he already wrote:

"The turnout points will be controlled with a tiny slide switch (like many people use to throw the points and power the frog with the correct polarity).  Since this is a spring switch, I use a 3-position slide switch instead of the normal two."

I am suspecting that the word "tiny" for the switch is the problem with just glancing at it from anyplace to know what position it is in.

Correct.  The tiny switch, well, as small as I could get for a 3-position slide, but it's small.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2021, 03:48:51 PM »
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...
The turnout points will be controlled with a tiny slide switch (like many people use to throw the points and power the frog with the correct polarity).  Since this is a spring switch, I use a 3-position slide switch instead of the normal two.

Slide furthest out, siding is live, frog powered to siding, but the points are still closed against the siding by the spring.
Slide to center position siding is dead, points closed against the siding.
Slide closest to the track, siding is live again AND the switch handle nudges the points over to lock them for
the siding, so a train can get back IN to the siding.
Very simple, no more complicated than a normal slide-switch turnout.
...

Max, this may be OT, but I’m very interested in the “spring switch” idea. My prototype had a number of “heading-out” spring switches at the end of sidings. When unlocked, the  train’s wheels would push the point/closure rails away from the adjacent stock rail, and spring pressure returned the points into normal position. But the switch could be lined into the siding manually to allow back-in movements. Is this what you’re developing, and if so, how does the mechanical part work? Do the engine wheels push the points over?
Thanks, Otto

peteski

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2021, 04:02:29 PM »
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I'm also confused about the slide switch.  What does "switch controlled" mean? I assume that since the points are sprung, the switch is not mechanically linked to them?  So what does the slide switch do, and why 3 position?  If the slide switch controls the power routing through the already sprung points (turnout), and is also a kill switch, then what's the point sprung points in the first place place?  You still have to manually throw the slide switch - why not make it also throw the points?
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Steveruger45

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2021, 04:32:03 PM »
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I’m finding this thread entertaining too. 😄
Yes, as Pete said, I too am wondering.  Although I’m guessing, my thoughts were that the three position switch  controls the switch in the hard over positions for straight and diverting routes but in the center position is where the spring action is allowed. The fact that it is small and hard to see at a glance or remember thus  the need for some indication.  Or am I completely off track. 🤔
« Last Edit: April 23, 2021, 04:38:22 PM by Steveruger45 »
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

mmagliaro

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2021, 08:52:50 PM »
+1
Answers to questions...

Cajonpass, yes your description is exactly what I am building.  And yes, the wheels have to push the points open against the spring.  That's what makes it so tricky, especially in N Scale.  The spring has to be just heavy enough to reliably keep the points closed so traffic entering the switch won't pick the point, but light enough so that a humble N Scale freight car, or worse, the pilot wheels of a steam locomotive, will nudge the points open and run through without climbing up on them.

Perhaps this will help... It's 6 minutes long, sorry, but I think it will answer all your questions.

Part of the reason I built this was my fascination with making a weird delicate mechanism operate correctly (surprising for me, eh?  :D )
And part of it is that after getting rid of that other troublesome curved turnout on my layout, I find myself in the curious position of having to only build 2 pieces of scratchbuilt trackwork to get an MMR from the NMRA.  So why not?

Why the 3 position?
I allows me to do all the polarity and switch point operation with a single control.
In real life, you just need a switch stand with sprung points.  But "DC" me has to also worry about
the frog and siding polarity.

There are actually 2 spring wires.  One is what you would expect, a long, light one that holds the points closed, aligned for the main, which the train must push through on the way out of the siding.   
The other is a spring wire between the slide switch and the throwbar, but unlike a conventional slide-switch operated turnout,
this wire ONLY touches the throwbar when you slide the switch all the way toward the track to force the points open and hold them so you can get back in to the siding.

Position 1:
Slide position furthest way from the track. 
Siding power on (frog powered to siding). 
Points still aligned to the main, held by the main spring.
Train can exit the siding, wheels force through the points on the way out.

Position 2:
Slide in the middle. 
Power to siding OFF (frog powered to main) so train can be parked in siding.
Points still aligned to main, held by spring.
No trains can go in or out of the siding.

Position 3:
Slide all the way TOWARD the track, so it pushes a second little spring from the drawbar to push the points
to align for the siding and hold them there (hold them against the main spring).
Power on to siding.
Trains can now be backed into the siding.

Steveruger45

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2021, 10:03:00 PM »
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Thanks Max.  Great looking layout too.  To get back to the original vis-à-vis, some sort of indication when siding is powered, you have some great looking scenic elements in the vicinity of the turnout so a yard light or perhaps a flashing LED fire scene burning wood garbage and such in an old oil drum might do the trick.
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

mmagliaro

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2021, 10:26:11 PM »
+1
Thanks Max.  Great looking layout too.  To get back to the original vis-à-vis, some sort of indication when siding is powered, you have some great looking scenic elements in the vicinity of the turnout so a yard light or perhaps a flashing LED fire scene burning wood garbage and such in an old oil drum might do the trick.

Thanks!   (Except for the pink foam around the turnout where I tore out the old track and fitted this in.  But ballast and repaired ground cover are coming shortly).
Yes, the busy industrial area lends itself to many types of outdoor light.  But I really think a little dwarf signal next to the siding will do the trick.  It will be the most intuitive for me... "signal next to the track is on... I guess that track is on!"
I might put one on the diverging route and one on the main leg, so they show red or green and there can't be any confusion about which track is the "on" one.


OldEastRR

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2021, 10:45:32 PM »
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In your video, I like the steam loco pulling into the general store. :D

mmagliaro

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2021, 11:35:09 PM »
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In your video, I like the steam loco pulling into the general store. :D

LOL!  Yeah.   I just plunked it there in the parking lot to get it out of the way.  But it does look funny.

NtheBasement

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #42 on: April 24, 2021, 09:46:02 AM »
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Nice job.  I didn't know there was such a thing as a 3 position switch, other than an On/Off/On.

I tried to turn a Peco (spring removed) into a spring switch using a similar piano wire as the spring for my coal dumper's switchback track.  I couldn't get it to work reliably with just the weight of Atlas 90 ton hoppers versus a heavy loco.  Gave up, now it runs by detector and solenoid.

mmagliaro

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #43 on: April 24, 2021, 04:26:19 PM »
+1
Nice job.  I didn't know there was such a thing as a 3 position switch, other than an On/Off/On.

I tried to turn a Peco (spring removed) into a spring switch using a similar piano wire as the spring for my coal dumper's switchback track.  I couldn't get it to work reliably with just the weight of Atlas 90 ton hoppers versus a heavy loco.  Gave up, now it runs by detector and solenoid.

Actually, there are 3 (and even more) position slide switches where every position is "on" (connects a different set of contacts).
But in my case, I use the switch to control a relay.  So my switch is actually only an on/off/on.    In the center position, the relay opens (no power), and the normally closed contacts power the main.  In the other two positions, they BOTH turn the same relay on, which powers the siding.  The reason this is confusing to explain is that there are 3 states of behavior, but only two states of power.
Consider the slide switch positions to be far, center, near (as you slide it towars the track).  Far and center both leave the points aligned for the main, but only far powers the frog to the siding.  And near pushes the points over mechanically AND powers the frog to the siding.

peteski

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #44 on: April 24, 2021, 10:36:51 PM »
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Max, thanks for the video and explanation. Now I fully understand how it works.  However, since you still have to futz around with the slide switch (to control the frog polarity), that IMO makes the spring point feature redundant.  So this is simply done the way you did it to show a well-working scratchbuilt spring switch in N scale.

Another thing I like to mention is that when the loco's (traveling from he siding) wheels push the sprung points open, the wheel at the outer point has its flange on the inside of the outer point, not in between the point and outer stock rail  like you seem to indicate. The flange of the outer wheel actually aids in pushing open both point towards the outer rail.
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