Thursday, January 22, 2015

Customized turnout linkage

Over the years I've used many Tortoise turnout motors with some having served on 3 different layouts or modules. Most of these don't get installed in the conventional way, with the wire going up through the deck to the throw bar.  I often mount them upside down and use .030 diameter piano wire traveling through 1/8 inch square tube to carry the movement to turnout.  Examples of this can be seen in the recent post First trains run in staging yard.

On this most recent install on the entry end of the main staging yard I needed to mount the motor on it's side to keep clearance above and below.  I was having trouble transferring the motion correctly from the Tortoise wire to the wire connected to the throw bar.  I decided some sort of hinge was needed to connect the two.

The hinge I came up with consist of a pair of brass strips with small square brass tubing soldered along most of it's length.  The area with no tubing has a 4-40 screw and nut which creates the pivot point between the two.  The piano wires fit into the square tubes with the one from the turnout throw bar being bent at the point where it exits next to the nut.

Here is a view from underneath the layout so the placement of the L bracket and the angle that the Tortoise is attached to can bee seen.

Yesterday finished building another turnout and it seems like the best one yet.  It will be used to connect two more of the staging tracks and it's motor will be mounted in a similar way as this one.                                                                                                                  

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