Author Topic: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop  (Read 1604 times)

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GM50 4164

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2021, 01:52:55 AM »
0
We use servos with Tam Valley controllers at our club, but do not try to automate turnouts from the autoreversers (PSX and Tam Valley).  I was considering trying to make the PSX-ARs control servos on my home layout, but have not figured out how.  Is somebody here has done that or knows how to do it, please post it  here for all of us to use.

The servo controllers we use from Tam Valley basically just have either momentary or non-momentary manual switch controls, selected by a jumper.  The momentary contact simply changes the position of the turnout from whatever it is to the opposite, so I would not think that is the useable setting for making sure that the turnout is aligned to the proper position whenever the PSX-AR reverses, especially if there is also a manual switch available on a control panel for the same turnout.  I don't see an output from a PSX-AR that can be used for the always on or off manual switch setting for the Tam Valley controller, but maybe somebody else does.
I emailed DCC Specialties with that question, if their PSX-AR could in fact be used with servos and how. I received a message from gmail saying that their email is not currently working. I'm not sure what's going on.


Benjamin H

GM50 4164

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2021, 01:55:24 AM »
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Don’t forget the simplicity of a spring switch.

DFF
Dave are you referring to the spring like a Peco turnout uses? If that's the case it doesn't help as I would like to not have to babysit the turnout. These are hand built turnouts I built using fasttracks jigs. I am using the continuous style, not a hinged turnout. I don't think a spring would help in my case.


Benjamin H

peteski

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Chinapig

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2021, 01:53:18 PM »
+1
I use Arduino controlled servos on my home layout, as opposed to solenoid controlled point motors on our club layout where we use the PSX-ARSC to great effect.  If I wanted a reversing loop with an automatically operating turnout at home I think I would swop the servo over for a solenoid or Tortoise type point motor.  It seems to me to be the simplest solution.
Cheers, Ted
Ted

Member of Gosport Model Railroad Club, England: www.gosportrailroadgroup.org.uk
modeling oNeTrak modules.

Maletrain

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2021, 08:18:44 PM »
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Yes, the usual reason for using servos is cost.  But, for just 2 turnouts, pretty much any driver could be used there, and still use servos elsewhere.

jagged ben

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2021, 05:37:10 PM »
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Has anyone built an actual functioning spring switch in n scale?

peteski

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2021, 10:49:46 PM »
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Has anyone built an actual functioning spring switch in n scale?

Calling @mmagliaro  !
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GM50 4164

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2021, 05:28:08 PM »
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I use Arduino controlled servos on my home layout, as opposed to solenoid controlled point motors on our club layout where we use the PSX-ARSC to great effect.  If I wanted a reversing loop with an automatically operating turnout at home I think I would swop the servo over for a solenoid or Tortoise type point motor.  It seems to me to be the simplest solution.
Cheers, Ted
I may end up getting a couple of Cobalt Digital IP's to use here. I've tried emailing DCC Specialties but their email is not going through.
The points of the turnouts I build are more stiff that the factory built ones so I really don't see the spring switch working well with n scale equipment. Had I been using Atlas turnouts or another brand maybe.


Benjamin H

DKS

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2021, 02:25:03 AM »
+2
Has anyone built an actual functioning spring switch in n scale?

Yes, I have. It's tricky getting the right spring tension required to prevent derailing lighter rolling stock, but it is possible. The points must be jointed.

Chinapig

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2021, 07:18:08 AM »
+1
I've always had a good response to my PSX queries from the email address below but I suspect your best bet is to use the Cobolt Digital IPs

info@tonystrains.com

Cheers, Ted
Ted

Member of Gosport Model Railroad Club, England: www.gosportrailroadgroup.org.uk
modeling oNeTrak modules.

mmagliaro

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2021, 07:28:34 PM »
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The irony of having just built a spring switch in N Scale, and then having people ask about it, is really making me chuckle.

Mine is a curved turnout.  The point rails are not hinged, they are solid.  The tricks were:
- use a LONG turnout (this is a 20"/18")
- back up the solder tie locations from the normal position that Fast Tracks recommends so that the point rails have more length
- file away the web at the foot of the rail where the joint/hinge/rail joiner would normally go, allowing the rail to flex at that point more easily.

And as Peteski alluded, I just happen to have made a video showing this thing working.  You can ignore the whole 3-position slide switch discussion.  I am only using that because this is a DC layout and I need an easy way to kill power to the siding.
You would just have the turnout set in the sprung mode all the time with no slide switch.

Sorry it is longer than it needs to be, but...

Using a spring switch would make a turn-around at the end of the line very easy.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 07:32:11 PM by mmagliaro »

jagged ben

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2021, 09:50:02 PM »
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Well I must say I'm surprised that any cars are heavy enough to push those points to the side in N scale.  But I'm glad to see it can be done.  Consider me impressed.

NtheBasement

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2021, 07:47:53 AM »
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My own attempt at creating a spring switch was not reliable.  The application was a kickback track and the cars were Atlas hoppers which are below NMRA standard weight.  I ended up using an Azatrax D2T-3W and a Peco solenoid machine.  Not sure what is needed to run a servo-type machine, otherwise Azatrax has a dogbone automation solution for < $100.  http://www.azatrax.com/automatic-reverse-loop.html

mmagliaro

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2021, 08:10:00 PM »
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Weight is important, and I suspect, so is my use of the FVM wheelsets.  I think their profile and finish lend themselves well to nudging the rail open instead of riding up on top of it.  Every car on my layout (except passenger cars) is weighted to 24g, which is slightly less than what a standard 40' car should be per the NMRA recommendation (28g).  It's 24 just because a lot of MT cars are already that weight, so it kept down how many I would have to fool with to make them all the same. 

I would say, however, that if you have light cars, it's really worth weighting them so they are all the same.  Equally weighted cars and body mount couplers work wonders for reliable running.

kevlarcat

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Re: How to automate the entry and exit turnout of a reverse loop
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2021, 04:35:28 PM »
+1
Grant of Southern Alberta Rail also did a video of how he builds his spring switches recently: