Shinohara or pico turnouts

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by planeshavings42, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Howdy All, since I have never owned a Shinohara or a Pico turnout, and am planning on replacing most of my Atlas Snap Switchs, I have just ordered a Pico code 83 Nr: 8 L/H turnout, I have been told that the Pico are very good, has anyone out there used the Shinohara, they look great in my Walthers catalogue, hoping to get some feedback on both.

    Duane :confused:
  2. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    I have used both and found them to be good. The only problem is getting them and the price.

    (Don't shop by mail or e-mail unless I just can't get it any other way.)
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I like both brands. The Pico has a built in over center spring that is nice if you are flipping your switches by hand without switch machines or ground throws. If you are using a switch machine or ground throw, then I would say the choice is up to your personal preference.
  4. bob_suruncle

    bob_suruncle Member

    Both are nice but as Roger indicated Shinohara (walthers brand turnouts) are sometimes hard to come by and I have found that you have to be VERY careful when gluing balast around these... I have had the contacts on the points stop working on a number of these turnouts and no matter what I tried was completely unable to get them working again and ended up replacing the turnouts.... all because of a slight glue residue on the contacts that wouldn't scrape, wash or wear off no matter what I tried. wall1

    Peco is generally readily available and the code 83 stuff looks very nice.

    All that being said the Atlas code 83 turnouts are not bad at all (none of those silly rivets at the points) and we run our store layout daily very reliably with Atlas code 83

    My choice of your 2 options noted would definitely be peco
  5. Thank You for your input Bob, but a question comes to mind when you speak of Atlas Code 83 trunouts, are you refering to the Code 83 snap switchs, or the Atlas Custom Line turnouts? Please advise, I have never owned any of the custom line, just the cheaper snap switchs, and it is the snap switchs I am having the derailing problems with. Thank You Again Bob.

  6. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    Hey, planeshavings...

    I used Walthers Shinohara exclusively on my new layout, and had only one significant problem with them, which I have been told they fixed. It was an ubiquitous manufacturing defect: Nearly half of the under-tie electrical crossover connections (flat conductive metal bits that connect the rails electrically) had to be re-soldered. It was a real PITA, but it fixed them all.

    What "contacts on the points" are you referring to?

    Is it the little rail joiners that connect the points to the rest of the turnout? If so, another modification I made to all the turnouts was to solder a small wire across that joint, underneath the turnout. Now all the points are positively electrically connected to the rails to which they are attached.

    Excuse me if that is not what you were talking about.
  7. diburning

    diburning Member

    The club that I belong to has 3 types of turnouts, Peco, Shinohara, and Atlas. The switch points on the Atlas have a hard time staying still. The Pecos are the best and give no problems. The Shinoharas that the club has are total junk because they don't have an insulated frog so plastic rail joined have to be used and it is very easy to short the switch with my new Walthers superliner cars, not to mention that the power routing is terrible to begin with (my newer locos have no problems while my older Atlas yellow box locos have problems drawing power from the switch)
  8. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi....I've used all three brands and have settled on Peco for my current layout. I did use a couple of Shinoaras left over from previous layout, but Pecos are definitely better.
    I purchased nearly all my turnouts from Hiawatha Hobbies (up in WI, I believe) and never had a problem with supply....
    Good luck..!!
  9. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    I believe that he is referring to the Custom Line switches (turnouts). I wouldn't recommend the Snap Switch for anyone.
  10. bob_suruncle

    bob_suruncle Member

    AFAIK the only snap switches Atlas offers in code 83 are #4's and they are pretty tight radius for multi driver steam locos or long cars. The switch motors (the coil that throws the turnout) on the code 83 are pretty lame... even the ones on the code 100 are better / stronger but they are kind of bulky. I did have some some Atlas turnouts that were manufactured with the points incorrectly spaced too far apart which was obviously an issue but this was limited to a handful of turnouts out of one case of stock.
  11. bob_suruncle

    bob_suruncle Member

    the problems I have had on 3 separate layouts where a shinohara or walthers turnout was used was the wiper on each side of the points that slides under the stock rail to make electrical contact. When I flowed my glue and wet water mixture even when I kept it away from the area it seemed to leave a residue on the wiper that completely cut electrical contact. Scrubbing them with kewtips and alcohol, scraping with a small screw driver, burnishing with a wire wheel in my dremel and finally attempting to bend them slightly for better contact did nothing and in the end I had to pull the turnouts and replace them. In hindsight I suspect the issue was that the glue wicked along the bottom of the stock rail and the problem was not the wiper at all.... but there is no way to clean the bottom of the stock rail once the track is ballasted. I know you are all asking why it took 3 layouts for me to figure this out... they werent all my layouts so I really only had a choice on 2 out of 3.
  12. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    Actually the Snap Switches have a constant radius frog rather than the fixed angle of the #4's and #6's. It's an 18" radius through the frog, so you can make an inside passing siding at the end of an 18" radius oval:

    Attached Files:

  13. bob_suruncle

    bob_suruncle Member

    I knew that.... you told me before :p

    its still tight for bigger steam IMHO but the locomotive binding or derailing will tell the story for sure.

    Of course there is always the quality of the track laying....:oops:

    Addendum: if using #4 snaps and trying to make a passing siding along a straight stretch the resulting S curve could be the problem.... or of course truck mounted couplers... or out of gauge wheel sets... or
  14. abutt

    abutt Member

    Have used Shinohara for my last layout (directional) and am using the new ones for the new layout. These are all powered and working smoothly. I looked at Peco and they were beautifully made, but the Walthers were a bit cheaper. I don't think you can go wrong with either.
  15. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    Huh. I don't know what you are referring to. On my turnouts, the power to the points comes through the short rail joiners that act as hinges -- at least in the stock version.
    That's what I beefed up with connector wires under the rails.

    But I don't know what this wiper thing is that you mention. Do you mean the tab of metal that holds the rivet to the moving "tie" that moves the points? I had never considered that an electrical connection.
  16. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    In older Shinohara and Walthers turnouts, the point rails were energized by contact with the stock rails. To enhance that, they had small brass/nickle silver wipers on the points near the throwbar that reached under and touched the bottom of the stock rail , so that contact came both from the physical contact of the point and stock rails, and the wiper underneath.
  17. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Pecos also have this tab.....If it gets gummed up after ballasting, use a very fine emery sandpaper (the black one), fold it in two, and clean both the the point, stock rail, and the little tab by inserting it between the point and stock rail, close the points so the paper is jammed between the two, and rub it back & forth... until you've removed the gunk on there. It might take a few tries until you get them cleaned up...
  18. abutt

    abutt Member

    Ballasting turnouts...

    Ballast has always been a problem in turnouts. My solution was to take my ballast material and really pulverize it to a fine powder. I use this "powder" on the turnouts. Carefully dusting it in for color only. Use the real ballast on the outsides of the turnout...all looks fine, and no problem with the bllast gumming up the turnout action.
  19. insulated or not insulated frog?

    What type turnouts are used with DCC for a slow crawl thru the turnout? Insulated or not insulated?

    What manf. (pico, Shinohara, etc.) is the better one for DCC layout? Looks like I am going to rebuild layout from almost new to accomodate its relocation into a new room. I have Atlas turnouts that didn't cost much at all but I want a better running turnout.

    Any advise is appreciated.
  20. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Locally, the railways take the ballast at the points area right down to the bottom of the ties.
    For the surest slow speed operation you need all-rail frogs, what Peco call Electrofrog. They may need a bit of extra wiring to avoid shorts (some people say they don't have to). Shinohara used to have stamped metal points -- both points and the connectors made from one sheet and these would short on some wheels.

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