How to power Peco turnouts on foam?

Mudkip Orange Feb 22, 2019

  1. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

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    I've got a whole bunch of Peco Code 80 turnouts that I've never powered, because you can flick them and the integral spring holds them in place.

    I'm looking at doing a large "L" shaped layout in a spare bedroom and will have some turnouts that are difficult to reach. Peco sells the PL-10E "extended pin" point motor, which would work if I go with jigsaw/router plywood-on-different-levels construction. But I'd really rather go with a flat tabletop and pink foam wedding cake sculpted with a hot wire cutter.

    How do I power the turnout from underneath when it's sitting on 3-5 inches of foam plus plywood?
     
  2. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    What you mean by power them, are you talking about using the motor to change position? You can use a regular Peco motor attached directly to the turnout, and then cut a small opening to drop the motor below the top of the foam. I would advise that you attach the wires to the motor and feed them through a small hole to wherever you will control the action.
     
  3. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    If you look at your turnouts you will see two squarish holes on each side of the track surrounding the throw arm. There are pins on the solenoid that fit up into those holes, then you bend the pins to hold it solidly in place. The other pins you remove.

    That being said, to mount them on foam you just dig a hole under the turnout big enough for the motor to fit in. Then you need a trench of some kind for the wires.
     
  4. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

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    I did the Peco motor on the back of the turnout over 2" of foam for my first layout. It will need some attention on top because the hole is fairly large and very visible. I used the motor mounted switches to feed the frog. It's not an easy installation if you have to work on it. It can be done with more finesse. This was a prototype layout to try out various techniques. I decided I would never do it that way again.
    PICT0066.JPG
     
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  5. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nancy,

    Nice collection of insulators !

    carl
     
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  6. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

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    Bumping this thread because after buying a fixer upper and completing several million home improvement projects I’m finally building a train board.

    For individual hard to reach locations I am thinking of going Tortoise. Several videos suggest using piano wire to extend their reach.

    I will also have a small yard that is against the backdrop. Tortoises are cost-prohibitive for an entire yard ladder, but I’m thinking I ought to be able to use the piano wire and connect to knobs or levers of some sort.
     
  7. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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  8. Scenics are us

    Scenics are us New Member

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    Cut a piece of 1/8" ply From the hobby shop large enough to mount your switch machine (I am going to be using RC car servos bought on ebay for < 1.00 each controlled by stationary DCC decoders). Cut out a hole in the foam for the motor a little smaller than the plywood. Cut a recess1/8" deep the size of the ply over the hole and drill a hole for the wires thru the bottom. Paint the ply to match your scenery and drop it into place. ballast or scenic over it and no one will ever see it. If you are going to use a motor to power the turnout, remove the spring.
     
  9. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    First off what scale are you working in?

    For around $6.00 you can have the equivalent of a Tortoise....

    [​IMG]

    .... a servo and all the electrical components to operate it. Info here ( the link shows a 3D printed bracket by you can also make one) ...

    http://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/3D-Printer-2/page-24.html

    Another option that uses 3D printed parts to camouflage/hide a slide switch with...

    [​IMG]

    .... different objects can be found here ....

    http://1fatgmc.com/RailRoad/3D-Printer/page-1.html

    Sumner
     
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  10. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

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    1:150, 1:160, or 1:144 depending on what trains are operating...


    Looks pretty solid.

    How good is that printer (Ender 3 Pro) with small details? It's way way down my list of priorities but I'd like to make some smaller lattice towers for 115-138 kV power lines at some point... the Kato/Heljan and Tomytec models are too big, they dwarf the trains.
     
  11. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I love the Ender. It's good down to about 2-3 inches in n scale inches. I wouldn't try a loco shell on it but have been more than happy with it for what I am doing and would buy it again in an instant. In the 3D printer forum here there's a pretty good discussion on the pros and cons of both types of printers.

    Look at my projects on my site and on my thingiverse account for a better idea of what it will do.

    Summer
     

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