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Pneumatic turnout motors

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  • D. A. Karp
    Hi all, I ve been looking for an overly-complicated method of controlling all of the turnouts on my layout from underneath the table
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 2, 2001
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      Hi all,

      I've been looking for an overly-complicated method of controlling all of
      the turnouts on my layout from underneath the table
      (http://www.zscale.org/articles/undertable.html), but I just can't get
      excited about the standard solenoid mechanisms out there.

      A review on page 23 of the November 2001 issue of Model Railroader of the
      Del-Aire pneumatic switch machine system caught my eye
      (http://www.delaire.com/). I'd be able to get prototypical speed in a
      small space (unlike the large Tortoise mechanisms), extremely quiet
      operation, built-in support for ladders and other complicated routes, and
      best of all, it would be really cool. Has anyone had any experience with
      this system or one like it?

      Thanks,

      -David
      ___________________________________________
      http://www.zscale.org/
    • Bill Hoshiko
      Hi Dave, Those pneumatic turnout machines have been around since the 1950s. People who use them swear by them. They are quiet and, since they do not snap like
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 3, 2001
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        Hi Dave,

        Those pneumatic turnout machines have been around since the 1950s.

        People who use them swear by them. They are quiet and, since they do
        not snap like a solenoid, they are much friendlier to the solder joints
        in your switch.

        The only negative that I have read about them is that you cannot have
        more than one switch to control one turnout. This would be a problem
        only if you have more than one control panel. That is, if you have a
        mainline control panel and a yard panel and need to control the same
        turnout from both.

        If you need to power route through your switch machine you would have to
        make your own electrical contacts but that should not be much of a
        problem.

        With a little work you could even build a little switch stand to
        indicate which route the track is aligned to.

        If you are building a module or a portable layout you will have to take
        along an air compressor with a tank. Without a tank, your air
        compressor would need to be chugging all the time.

        Another consideration might be the method used to control the turnout.
        I think that you need to twist a valve open or closed. Some people
        prefer throttles with knobs over push buttons. Others prefer to control
        their turnouts using a lever switch instead of a push button. Maybe
        turning a valve on and off is not your idea of throwing a switch.

        I hope this helps.

        Bill
        El Toro
      • D. A. Karp
        Bill, Thanks for the response. Del-Aire apparently makes special distribution centers for controlling multiple turnouts with a single control. They also make
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 3, 2001
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          Bill,

          Thanks for the response. Del-Aire apparently makes special distribution
          centers for controlling multiple turnouts with a single control. They also
          make toggle and pushbutton controls, and even have electrically-activated
          switches for DCC and remote operation. It seems the technology has come a
          long way since the 50's...

          -David



          At 06:47 AM 11/3/2001 -0800, you wrote:
          >Hi Dave,
          >
          >Those pneumatic turnout machines have been around since the 1950s.
          >
          >People who use them swear by them. They are quiet and, since they do
          >not snap like a solenoid, they are much friendlier to the solder joints
          >in your switch.
          >
          >The only negative that I have read about them is that you cannot have
          >more than one switch to control one turnout. This would be a problem
          >only if you have more than one control panel. That is, if you have a
          >mainline control panel and a yard panel and need to control the same
          >turnout from both.
          >
          >If you need to power route through your switch machine you would have to
          >make your own electrical contacts but that should not be much of a
          >problem.
          >
          >With a little work you could even build a little switch stand to
          >indicate which route the track is aligned to.
          >
          >If you are building a module or a portable layout you will have to take
          >along an air compressor with a tank. Without a tank, your air
          >compressor would need to be chugging all the time.
          >
          >Another consideration might be the method used to control the turnout.
          >I think that you need to twist a valve open or closed. Some people
          >prefer throttles with knobs over push buttons. Others prefer to control
          >their turnouts using a lever switch instead of a push button. Maybe
          >turning a valve on and off is not your idea of throwing a switch.
          >
          >I hope this helps.
          >
          >Bill
          >El Toro

          ___________________________________________
          http://www.zscale.org/
        • Bill Hoshiko
          Well David, It sounds like you re well on your way toward using the Del-Aire system. As for the compressor I guess that you can find enough people standing
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 3, 2001
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            Well David,

            It sounds like you're well on your way toward using the Del-Aire system.

            As for the compressor I guess that you can find enough people standing
            around with a lot of hot air and you can just tap them for all the air
            that you will be needing. I am not volunteering. My hot air runs out
            much too quickly. Do not try to verify with my grandkids. <;o))

            Over the years I have been attracted to this system but at this moment I
            will stick to a manual push rod system. If I were to build a layout
            that extends more than 10' then perhaps I'll consider a pneumatic
            system.

            Just show us pictures of how yours comes out.

            Bill
            El Toro


            "D. A. Karp" wrote:
            >
            > Bill,
            >
            > Thanks for the response. Del-Aire apparently makes special
            > distribution
            > centers for controlling multiple turnouts with a single control. They
            > also
            > make toggle and pushbutton controls, and even have
            > electrically-activated
            > switches for DCC and remote operation. It seems the technology has
            > come a
            > long way since the 50's...
            >
            > -David
            >
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