Turnout control idea

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by MickeyHoldem, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. MickeyHoldem

    MickeyHoldem New Member

    I've been researching an idea that I had and I'd like to get some opinions.

    On my next layout I plan to very intricate control panels that feature something I've never seen discussed before... maybe I missed it!! :D For turnout control I plan on using a keylock switch. In order to change the direction of a turnout, the operator must insert a key... turning the key moves the points of the turnout. You can buy a variety of keylock switches... for turnouts that service an industry off the main line, you would use a DPDT keylock switch in which the key is only removable in one position. This position would correspond to the turnout being set for the main. This keeps operators from leaving a turnout thrown in the wrong position after their switching is done. For yard work... you would get DPDT keylock switches in which the key could be removed in two positions.

    Imagine the added realism... you train crew has to pick up the keys for a switching job when they leave the yard... and return them when their done.

    Surprisingly keylock switches are not that expensive... I've found suitable low-profile switches on the net for less than $6 each...

    I plan on using them with tortoise switch machines on my next layout... Hopefully, airing this idea won't push the price up too much!! :D
  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Interesting! Keep us up to date and post a pic when you complete the control panel.
  3. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    It certainly sounds interesting for the sake of realism.
    I dont see alot of folks doing it as the cost factor takes an already expensive item and increases it.
    Custumline turnout-..............................................9.00
    tortoise switch machine-.....................................14.00
    Keylock switch-......................................................6.00

    Thats 30 bucks per turnout minimum.more for Peco ME's or Shin's.
    Lets see ,I have about 45 turnouts so thats around 1400.00 for tunouts and controls.

    Yep, i think i'll stick with a few automatics in hard to reach spaces and caboose industry throws in easy to reach spots.If you cant hand throw a turnout,i guess you can become the fireman or conductor on a crew so you dont have to do anything but watch or handle waybills:D

    Neat concept if you can afford it though ;)
  4. Joepomp

    Joepomp Member

    How are you going to make the switch a momentary contact sw? Perhaps some cobinations of 555 timers hooked up as a one shot MV?
  5. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Joe, :wave: those tortoise machines are stall motors and have power
    left on them continuously. Very low current draw compared to
    the coil types!! :) :)
  6. VunderBob

    VunderBob Member

    Allen McClelland (sp?) used phone jacks as keys for his old V&O layout. A socket was installed on each side of the switch machine, and the phone jack was shorted inside to complete the circuit. A lot cheaper than buying keylock switches, and if properly wired, does not preclude dispatcher control besides.

    If you still want to do it, google "Marlin P. Jones". They're a big reseller of used and surplus electrical and electronic equipment, and keylock switches should be cheaper than dirt.
  7. TinGoat

    TinGoat Ignorant know it all

    This is the same idea...

    Hi Mickey,

    Bending the iron
    Railroad Model Craftsman, February 2002 page 68
    Working switch stands and switch locks can add operating

    Check out this article... Trevor Marshall uses the same idea, but with modified key switches from computers... He picked them up from an electronics surplus store cheap.

    The idea is to use the key switch to enable/disable a sp/st switch for Tortoise Switch Machines...

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