Category Archives: Layout Construction

Switch machine perfected

I have finally perfected a slow motion switch machine after having the timer motors for over 40 years. In a January 1977 Model Railroader article Gordon Odegard wrote about using a timer motor to build a turnout points machine. Later that year I purchased about thirty, 6 rpm, 24 Volt AC timer motors for a dollar each. Only this year have I had a use for them. Using 16 AC volts the motors revolve at a nice three rpm and now switch both the frog points and route indicating LEDs. I can also activate the motor from multiple locations. More pictures to come as I get these installed.

Turnout points motor

Recently I have been working on a wiring harness for a set of clock motors that I purchased several years ago to use as switch point motors. These are 6 rpm, 24 volt AC, industrial size timer motors. Tom, from WMRC, cut out the plastic motor frames and I am working out the wiring and fascia board harness. It’s always fun designing a new part.

DCC power to turnout points

I recently detected that the points on some of my Atlas custom line #6 turnouts are not getting power & the DCC signal to the points. When using an un-powered frog, and the points are dead, engines of just the right wheel base will die on the turnout. Since I run only four axial trucks this becomes more of a problem. In the picture you can see that the points are powered through a small eyelet and metal pad that is suppose to touch the closure rails, or through the end of the points touching the stock rail on the through side. Neither of these is reliable. I’m hoping to find a better, more reliable power-signal transfer method.