Ground Throws, switches or tortoises?(sp)

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by gmbrd, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. gmbrd

    gmbrd New Member

    I'm a newbie, and I can't decide which turnout system to use. Even after searching the guage. I have #4 Mark 3 turnouts (HO), and I plan on doing alot of switching. I would love to draw on all the vast experience out there as to your idea of the best system or combination to use. Electric switches and tortoises I pretty much understand but not ground throws. They are for hands on aren't they? Any feedback will be much appreciated. Thanx, gmbrd
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Ground Throws are just hand operated devices that sit next to the switch and keep it in position. Snap switches come with one mounted; other outfits make them for all makes of switches.
    Only problem is, they're our of scale. Anything in scale would disintegrate when you turned the switch. So you compromise -- if you like operation you put 'em in and ignore what tyhey look like; if you area scenery fanatic you find another way or mount them at the edge of the layout and run wire-in-tube to the switches.

    Whether you use hand operated or electrically operated? Your railroad, your budget. Use both -- electric operation for switches that are farther away or where you need the electric contacts.
  3. gmbrd

    gmbrd New Member

    Thanx David, that was very informative. gmbrd
  4. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi gmbrd
    Welcome to the gauge.

    For my point control I use the stud and contact method utilizing a capacitor discharge unit, which has a 16 volt output for my PL10 point motors which I use to throw the points. The reason I prefer stud and contact over momentary switches (To throw the points) is I only need two tiny nuts and bolts (Brass) fitted to each point on the control panel.

    Here is what my control panel looks like, notice the nuts and bolts, these are my stud and probe contact for changing point direction. You will also notice that I have two switches per block, the reason, I could only buy D.P.D.T without centre off, so I had to put in beside the D.P.D.T.'s a separate on/off switch.


  5. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

  6. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    March 1993 Model Railroader has an article on "working switchstands for walkaround operation" which shows how to construct good looking ground throws, that are small and reliable, using brass tubing.
  7. gmbrd

    gmbrd New Member

    Thank you gentlemen, you have been most helpful. I love this forum! gmbrd

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