Help with under tabel switch machines

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by YmeBP, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I have a couple different brands of switch machines but they all seem to send instructions that make the assumption me, the end user, has some clue as to what i'm doing.


    Could someone take a picture of their setup (or point me to a place on teh web w/ pictures) of a tenshodo, peco, or other switch machine of that type that is mounted under the layout? I'll be near a hobby shop today and i think i'm going to get some brass tubing and brass rod to make the little sleeves and actuator.

    Also if i mount these machines on top of the layout, how would i hide that giant brass spring used to tension the points against the rail?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    When you speak of the large brass spring, are you talking of the centering spring used on Peco turnouts? On the modules in the modular club I belong to, the guys just paint the spring a flat black to match the ties so that it "disappears."
  3. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Thanks for that tip, that is a really good idea. I have some peco turnouts that i'm going to use for my yards, and i'm going to paint them before i lay them down, i'm learning there are quite a few things that should be done before one glues their track down w/ industrial strength adhesives hahhaha. I'm trying to get all the kinks and such worked out on my kids sodor layout and get some practice for my first module in my layout :).

    The spring i mentioned is the one that comes w/ the switch machine. it looks like an open old fashioned safety pin. I'll try to snap a photo a little later tonight.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I know what you mean now. There are a couple of ways to use the under table machines to actuate the switch. One method would be to install a lever and fulcrum assembly under the table with the lever just sticking up enough to work the switch without hanging up on the underside details of any trains passing through the switch. The other method that comes to mind is to get a bell crank assembly that is designed to work with the machines. You cut a slot under the throw rod that will allow the end of the bell crank to protrude up through the throw rod and move back and forth enough to work the switch. The other end of the bell crank is hooked up to the switch machine with the pivot point being a small brad or screw mounted in the correct position under the table.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The best way to hide the spring (if you have to mount the machine up top) is to move the machine and spring away from the switch -- behind a backdrop or under a building -- and take the movement with a wire in tube deal to the points.
    For Peco machines to Peco turnouts, I drill a hole under the hole in the tierod and screw the machine under the roadbed (need a roadbed that will take screws). Or carve a big rectangular hole under the points and fasten the machine directly to the turnout.

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