Manual N Scale Switches / Turnouts Recommendations Needed

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by Ottergoose, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Ottergoose

    Ottergoose TrainBoard Member

    I'm in the very early stages of planning a DCC 4' x 8' N scale layout, and am curious - what's the "best" option for turnouts / switches that will be thrown by hand? Having participated in a few operating sessions, I strongly prefer the convenience of reaching over and flicking the switch by hand than messing around with toggle switches on a control panel. I'd also like to avoid the extra wiring and expense associated with Tortoises.

    I'd prefer code 55, but code 80's not out of the question. Simply pushing the track with the tip of my finger (as opposed to using a little hand throw lever) would be better, but I'm open to whatever.
  2. Specter3

    Specter3 TrainBoard Member


    The best flick it with your finger turnout is by far Peco. They have code 80 and a unique to them code 55. But they are not an American prototype. They come in two flavors insulfrog and electrofrog. One is DCC friendly out of the box and the other needs some mods but I cant remember which is which. Any of the others do not have the spring tensioner and thereby need some switchstand or machine to hold the points in the direction you want.

  3. Ottergoose

    Ottergoose TrainBoard Member

    Looks like the DCC friendly option is the insulfrog variety, which only appears to come in code 80... hrmm.

    I'd prefer not to perform surgery on my track, maybe we'll go with the code 80; the higher profile doesn't bother me a whole heck of a lot.

    Thanks for taking the time to let me know!
  4. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

    Katos turnouts can also be manually thrown. motor is consealed under the roadbed and there is a small leaver beside the turnout for manual opperation.....Mike
  5. train1

    train1 TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I use florist wire inside 14/2 casing with my peco switches on my switching shelf layout.

  6. jman9_91

    jman9_91 TrainBoard Member

    Caboose Industries makes some pretty good ground throws, from what I've seen. I'm planning on using them on my layout, and bought one the other day to play around with and it seems pretty good.
    A quick google should provide all the info you need on them.
  7. G&G Railway

    G&G Railway TrainBoard Member

  8. Bevale

    Bevale TrainBoard Member

    A fellow I work with triggered an idea for turnout control. He is into RC Airplanes, and they have small air acutators to control flaps, etc. I am going to see if I can rig one up to control turnouts. Similar to the push rod idea, but using air instead. No idea if it will work, but I can send you over a couple of links to the actuators if you are interested.
  9. Speed_man_17

    Speed_man_17 TrainBoard Member

    ive played around with useing click inkpens, works fairly well once you get them set up. I used a dremal to grind the plastic tip down as far as the plastic that holds the spring would allow then cut a wire connector down to the minimal as a way to connect the floral wire to the ink pen. drill a hole in the front of the benchwork and hot glue the pen in place. takes a bit of tinkering to get the throw set correct.

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