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Anyone here use pneumatic switch machines? I've taken a cursory look at the EZ-Air systems adn thay seem interesting. A friend in my train club suggested I give them a try (I think he wants to see some in action before he invests in them, wants me to be the guinnea pig). Just wondering what the consensus is around here regarding such things?
 

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I'm going to use them for all the switches that I need remoted. I'll stick with ground throws for the ones I can reach.

Greg Elmassian uses them on all the turnouts on his layout...and his are DCC controlled though solenoids. My son is a mechanical engineer...and he pointed me to Clippard Minimatic (http://www.clippard.com/store/display_details.asp?sku=3PS-1/2 ) as an alternate source to EZ-Air....much cheaper...about the same gear but there's a do it yourself factor involved. The pneumatic switch motors are good...the do have soom power...and you can manually run them from air switches or from solinoid operated switches controlled by RC or DCC.

And...there are no water or corrosion issues with them either....
 

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Dave,

I had pneumatic (air) switches on my old layout in Virginia for 9 years. They all were working when I tore it up when I moved. Never had a problem. I plan on using them again on my new layout.

Doc
 

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Dave,

Del-Aire used to make pneumatic systems but went out of business a few years ago. Stretch Manley developed the E-Z Air product line when Del-Aire stopped producing. I use both for the switches I cannot reach. While Del-Aire made good products, the E-Z Air line is even better in my view. Very reliable, and very powerful for such small machines. The secret is to ensure your connections are airtight, which is typically not a problem. I have found they work reliably on about 30 PSI but 40 PSI is recommended. I have a compressor that generates 125 PSI. I fill a portable tank (available in most auto supply shops) from the main compressor. I use two output regulators. The first is designed for air tools which I use to drop the pressure from 125 PSI to about 40 PSI. The second is an air brush type regulator that provides a finer adjustment (probably overkill, but I didn’t want to risk blowing out the switch motors â€" and I use the same tank for my airbrush). I also have a moisture trap on one of the regulators given the kind of compressor I’m using. One tank of air will last a long time. Stretch Manley is good to work with. The directions on his web site are very complete.

Hope this is useful.
Mike
 

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Dave

I have used pneumatic contols for switches and signals for about 6 or 7 years and will continue to do so. In some cases I have as many as 4 cylinders firing together. The only slight problem I have found is from pesky mice biting chunks out of the air lines. I now run the air lines through plastic water pipes to protect them.

I have used both del-aire and Clippard equipment.

David
 

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I have a friend that has a big layout and uses them. they are ok I guess. He has problems with the tubing coming loose. It may be the neighborhood cats running across the layout or playing with them. One big issue is that they are not sprung so if a train goes thru it the wrong way the train derails.
 

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A club member uses them and loves them. He lives in Northeast Ohio and they stay out year round, rain snow or shine. I was thinking of going to them as well so questioned him about them. He reports no failures in I believe 5 years. His layout is elevated and I believe he has about 15 powered switches.


Terry
 
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