Turntable Recs

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by kchronister, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Folks, does anyone care to recommend a source/brand for a turntable? I've looked about and just keep finding the Atlas, which is highly unrealistic. I've seen several articles about kitbashing it into a more accurate turntable, but would prefer to find something off the shelf...


  2. DeaconF

    DeaconF Member


    I don't know what your budget is, however if it is limited take a look a Wathers HO turntable. I have had one on my layout for about 3 or 4 years now. It is not engineered vary well but I can still use it. The motor turns the table about 30% of the time and power goes to the track about the same ratio. For the money it is the best I have seen. Frank
  3. SteamerFan

    SteamerFan Member

  4. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Deacon -

    Thanks for the info... I did look at it, and one thing that wasn't clear is if it's indexed -- to me that's a requirement.

    Overall, while I don't have a money tree in my back yard, I'd rather save my pennies and pay a bit more for something more robust than get it sooner/cheaper but it only works 1 out of 3 shots... So while a cost-effective solution is going to find me all ears, I'm open to things that cost a few dollars as well -- if they back up the cost with reliability.

  5. DeaconF

    DeaconF Member


    I hear ya. the Walters unit will give you a little frustration and it is not indexed. Go for the gusto you will be happier. Keep in mind size. mine is now too small for my larger engines. I have to put them straight through to go into a round house. Frank
  6. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    But my wife always says size doesn't matter... :)

    I'll keep seeking out "the right one"...

  7. DeaconF

    DeaconF Member

    mine too

    Yours and Mine too. I think they all went to school together. Good luck on your search. Frank
  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Kris, I haven't yet built one but years ago I bought a 90' Diamnond Scale Models turntable kit. I'm only just getting to the point where I will be ready to build it. However, I developed a liking for larger steam and now the 90 footer just ain't gonna cut it. The kit by the way does look a bit daunting. You need to glue the pit rail to nicely cast plaster pit ties. I think this would be the hardest part of the assy. One person I know managed to wind up with a vertical bump in one place and broke the plaster ties when he tried to correct it.

    Anyway, I just bought a 105' turntable, which will just fit my Erie Berkshire. It is made by CMR and it just arrived yesterday. It consists mostly of laser cut acrylic parts. A quick read thru the instructions has me feeling pretty confident I'll be able to build it so it works. Cost is $145. It does not include indexing but they do sell two motorizing kits which include indexing. Check out the web site.

  9. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member


    If you've got good slow-speed motor control and can see your turntable you don't need indexing (like the real thing). DCC or a decent power pack will give you good slow-speed control.
  10. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    I was just watching a video of a turntable in action on the site Gary suggested and reaching that same conclusion myself.
  11. Loren

    Loren New Member

    Anybody know of a transfer table?

    I was also looking at getting or building a looooong turntable. Seems the Diamond is the largest I have seen at 134 feet. (18&1/2") which will fit my cab forward 4-8-8-2 with tender, which it has to have in order to move....Anyway, they have just rebuilt the transfer table at the old SP shops in Sacramento for the California State Railroad Museum. I thought about trying to build one of those from scratch. Check it out: http://csrmf.org/doc.asp?id=430
  12. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

  13. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I have a Helgan powered turntable. It works very well but must use extreme caution when assembling. I wish it was longer as I have aquired some rather large locos since I put this in (H8 & T1). Most other locos will fit though. I looked in my Walthers book and found it as manual turntable. 322-804. As I said mine is powered and came with the motor many years ago. It is not indexed. Here is pic it is in look to the right.

  14. jwcii

    jwcii New Member

    www.aaaturntables.com They have high grade standards and make on big enough for a "Big Boy". Pricey, but worth the money. Good luck.:)
  15. dr.5euss

    dr.5euss Member

    Go Hornby!!

    I got a motorised Hornby turntable yesterday for £45, and it is indexed electrically and physically - it waited at every output for 'pausing time'. The only problem is that it looks crap when you don't use all the outputs, so I think some plasticard would do the trick??

  16. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    Go to Photography Scenery & books forum to see a better pic of Helgan turntable in action. I am very satisfied with it.
  17. SantaFeCJ

    SantaFeCJ New Member

    Walthers info

    I have a Walthers Turntable w/motor and I am happy. The power to the rails can flicker, as mentioned earlier, but the motor has functioned fine. For the money I am would recommend it. I bought a seperate Railpower variable DC power supply which aids in smooth operation.
  18. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    Hi all, this is my first post. I have an Atlas turntable, that seems to work very well but like others have said its not very realistic, but i like the indexing and plan on motorising is soon, but I have recently bought a very nice Hudson loco with vanderbuilt tender that is much too long for it. what if a person was to use an Atlas turntable for the bottom of the pit and build the deck and a pit wall ontop of it of the desired size? just useing the Atlas for the movement and power transmission?? any thoughts?
  19. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Many, many people do exactly that. I don't recall any offhand, but I get if you Google a few relevant phrases, you'll find sites describing/showing how to do it.
  20. krokodil

    krokodil Member

    Fleischmann makes a good and indexed turntable. It works quite well and is simple in operation. Unfortunately is not very cheap....

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