Slide Switcher for the Gravity Switcher Switch Machine...

Sumner Oct 8, 2021

  1. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I've been using what I call the 'Slide Switcher' shown below to control two of my 'Gravity-Switcher' switch machines on my test layout for a couple months now and wanted to do a 'how well do they work' report on them like I did with the 'Toggle-Switcher'. There are similarities between them. They both can be setup so that when in the 'up' position the turnout can be set to the 'main'. Another thing I like about both is that I don't have to look at them. I can tell by feel if they are in the up or down position so know which way the turnout is thrown to.

    Both make it very easy to control the polarity of the frog. Bring the wire from the frog to either the 'Toggle Switcher' or 'Slide Switcher' and also run wires to the buss wires and you are done.

    They are both easy to setup with a simple fishing line running from the weight on the switch machine up and through an eye hook (or more than one) to the Slide Switcher or Toggle Switcher. No fine adjustments needed. As long as the weight is lifted an inch or more the turnout will be thrown. They and the 'Gravity Switcher' switch machine are very reliable and work every time the weight is lifted or dropped.

    Remember that I have other options that you can print to control the 'Gravity-Switch' besides this one and you could come up with your own as the only thing you have to do to throw the switch machine and the turnout points is to lift a 3 oz. Weight about 1 inch. The weight doesn't know or care how it gets lifted and dropped. On to what I call the 'Toggle-Switcher'.

    Pros:

    1. You can print it for next to nothing as printer filament is very cheap.

    2. It is very simple to assemble and mount on the side of the layout.

    3. I like how reliable it is in working every time you use it.

    4. I like that you can use it by feel and don't have to look at it to see what position it is in.

    5. If you install the 'Gravity-Switcher' switch machine facing the correct way under the turnout 'Up' on the Toggle-Switch' can always throw the turnout so that it is set for the 'Main Route'. Down then would always set the turnout to the 'Divergent Route'. A quick glance or feeling it will immediately tell you which route the turnout is set for even if it is some distance from you.

    6. It is very easy to setup. Run inexpensive monofilament fishing line from the 'Gravity-Switcher' switch machine through one or more eye-hooks to where the 'Toggle-Switcher' is mounted. The line comes through a 1/4” hole, over a roller and to a screw on the the lever arm on the 'Toggle-Switcher'. Pull the line until you can feel the weight at the switch machine lift. Back off a touch and wrap the line around the screw, tighten the screw and you are done. How simple is that?

    7. If you want to control the polarity of the turnout's frog run a wire from the limit switch on the controller to the frog and two other wires from the limit switch to the track buss. I'm set up so none of this wiring is under the layout. I drop a wire from the frog, grab it and pull it over to the side of the layout and through a hole by the controller and to the limit switch (you will see this below).

    Cons:

    1. About the only one I can think of is that this doesn't look like any turnout controller you are use to looking at and you need a 3D printer or a friend with one.

    Hopefully the pictures below will tell the rest. If not ask online or at ( contact20 (at) purplesagetradingpost (dot) com ).

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    The video ( HERE ) or above should give you an idea how the 'Toggle Switcher' or the 'Slide Switcher' work to activate the 'Gravity-Switcher' switch machine and throw the turnout.

    There are other options to control the 'Gravity-Switcher' ( HERE ).

    You can find the files to print the items on this page only ( Coming HERE ).

    You can find all the files to 3D print this object and others on my thingiverse.com account ( HERE ).

    The above info is also on my site ( HERE ).

    Sumner
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
  2. SLSF Freak

    SLSF Freak Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The video really conveys the hands-on "tactile" nature of the slide knob control. For those of you not sure how this works, definitely watch the video. I think I'd enjoy throwing switches this way since you'd be fairly certain the job was done once you set it. Nice work, Sumner.

    -Mike
     
    Sumner likes this.

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