Caboose Industries Ground Throw switch for Peco N scale Turnouts

Bill Oleneack Jan 25, 2020

  1. Bill Oleneack

    Bill Oleneack New Member

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    Hello, can anyone tell me what is the best Caboose Industries throw switch for a N scale peco code 80 turnout? There are a few of them. I don't know which is the right one to buy. I just want to switch the peco code 80 turnout. It is going right next to the turnout. there is not going to be any wires to worry about.
    I'm looking for one to go over the pin on the peco turnout. I found a Caboose Industries #206s with .135" travel , but it has at one side two pin that go towards the table. I'm not sure what that is for. I sent some pictures of my turnout. Thank you.....Bill
     

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  2. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    Curious why these are needed. Since Peco turnouts are sprung, why not just throw the turnout directly with your finger?
     
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  3. Bill Oleneack

    Bill Oleneack New Member

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    Hello, I think it would be easier to use a Caboose Industries ground throw to switch the turnouts. Plus it will help to show me what track I will be lined up for. I've seen alot of N scale layouts, and if there not using electric switches, there using Caboose Industries ground throws. I'm hoping to build a big yard, and use ground hand throws. On the main lines I will use peco electric switches. Thank you.
     
  4. Intarsiabox

    Intarsiabox TrainBoard Member

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    I used the 206S ground throws on my last layout, 222S would be your other option. My turnouts were Atlas but the throws didn't link up straight out of the package. The sliding piece with the two prongs was cut off and I only used the other side of the ground throw that had the hole in it. I used a pin vise and a drill bit that was the same size as a track nail, I ream out the hole on the ground through as well as a hole on the switches throw bar. I then mated the ground throw and turnout together by placing a track nail through the two holes, gluing the nail in place and then snipped off the excess. On the Peco turnout out I would do the same but file off the nub sticking up on the turnout's throw bar. Or, the 222S has a number of different attachment options, one of which is a loop that looks like it may go over top of the nubs on the Peco turnouts so no modifications would be required.
     
  5. Bill Oleneack

    Bill Oleneack New Member

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    Sounds like the 222S would be my best bet. Thank you.
     
  6. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    The Caboose Industries ground throws are tremendously out of scale and in a crowded yard may pose a problem with placement. A lot of people are using slide switches either STDT (single pole double throw) or DPDT (double pole double throw) The former allows mechanical linkage to the points via piano wire while using the electrical contacts for frog polarity. The latter does the same plus allows operational switch signals (red, green) to indicate which way the switch is thrown. There are several You tube videos on these. The slide switches are not only less noticeable but also cheaper than the ground throws.
     
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  7. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    I put a "like" there because I liked the question.

    If you throw the switch with your fingers in time you will wear out the points and they will break. Don't ask me how I know but I can assure you I use Caboose Ground throws on my manual switches.

    I have a unique way of attaching the throws but no way to illustrate it at this time.

    You'll figure it out. Trial and error is a great teacher.
     
  8. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    To illustrate what @Inkaneer is posting:

    DSCN3309.JPG
    Caboose ground throws are huge even for HO. This is part of a yard on Andy Keeney's HO Nashville Road. The ground throws are installed on shelves attached to the layout fascia. Each is connected to a turnout throw bar by piano wire routed thru plastic tubing. I don't know if they are also attached to power-routing SPDTs, but that is the only way I would use them on any layout smaller than O scale.

    IMG_8186.JPG This is an SPDT used to throw a Peco turnout on my layout. It's horribly un-prototypical but the size is somewhat reasonable.
     
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  9. Bill Oleneack

    Bill Oleneack New Member

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    Hello, Thank you for showing me this idea. Do you know the part number of the SPDT and where I can buy some? Also what gage wire should I use? Thanks again.....Bill
     
  10. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    Not sure of the piano wire gauge, got it from the local hardware and it was not the thinnest they had.

    Those are Radio Shack sub mini switches. Looks like they only have DPDTs, just leave the other pole's contacts empty. https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-dpdt-submini-slide-switch

    Couple of things worth mentioning. Pre-solder the feeder wires. The contact holes were a teensy bit too small for my wire, had to use a pin vise and small bit to widen them.

    The switches' throw is farther than the Peco's. To make up for this drill the hole in the switch handle oversized or put a springy bend or two in the throw wire. My switches are mounted on plywood - I drill holes in the plywood that provide a tight fit, and then screw them in with the screws that come with the switches after I'm done with the wiring.
     
  11. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    There are several videos on You Tube that you can reference. Just look for N scale switch control. Here is a good one which answers your questions:




    Here are others:





    The first video uses brass wire. You can also use piano wire which I suspect most people use. Also if using with Peco turnouts it is best to remove the over center spring.
     
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  12. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hate to be the wet blanket here.

    You'll hear me say "Leave the switch alone and install it as is." Why? Two reasons: Slider switches don't come cheaply. Soldering a switch while cutting in isolation gaps can ...well... mess it up nicely. You can ask me how I know.

    In the hands of someone who is inexperienced...do I need to finish this?

    One more reason installing a switch as described in the above posts... will take hours instead of minutes.

    I have a preference and that is to purchase ones with a live frog. Peco, Kato and Atlas have these types.

    So, consider all options and try a few for your own experience and decide for yourself.
     
  13. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    I missed something in the original post. The poster said he was using Peco code 80 switches. Two things about them are as follows: They come in both insul-frog (plastic frog) and electro-frog (metal). He doesn't say which he has. Also and more importantly, the Peco code 80 switches are made to NEMA (European) standards and not to the NMRA standards. The European standards have wider flange ways. This can result in derailments at the frog. The code 80 switches are okay if running European equipment but are problematic if running newer American equipment. When buying Peco switches go with the code 55 as these are made to NMRA standards.
     
  14. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    I've got a bunch of Peco C55 electrofrogs in my industrial track sidings, also on my logging modules. Most of mine are either solenoids or Tortoises, but industrial and little-used tracks still get a manual-throw device, or if you'd have to reach further to hit a button than throw the switch by hand.

    I have nothing against the as-made Peco springs, but a ground throw (the one with the integral spring) does a much better job of holding the points tight for electrical contact than the stock spring, particularly after painting and ballasting, 'if' you are looking to still have the points route power to the frog area. I also always solder in fine stranded jumper wires between the point and stock rails for reliability.

    I do make a practice of literally excavating a hole beside the switch to lower the whole thing into so that the lever is just above ground level, and I also paint them and weather them rather than leave them the glossy black. I use a wire linkage to get them both down and away from the actual switch as needed. Those tactics make them a lot less noticeable.

    I won't say this is superior to the slide switch at all, but it is better than the stock spring and it solves the 'ugly switchstand' problem.

    The most elegant feature I've seen on the slide switches is a casting that somebody did that made them look like a power switch machine and you finger-moved that 'cover' on the actual switch part. That I liked.
     
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