G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
998 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Now that I have Phase 2 of my outdoor layout down and ballasted, I suddenly raelize I don't know what I need to know about track switches. I bought the NCE radio system but haven't installed it yet. I'm using Sunset Valley stainless code 250 track. I didn't bother to look into how I'm going to control the switches!

SV sells an LGB switch motor and a plate for mounting. Then I need an NCE PCB for DCC control. Besides the cost of all this, what I really don't like is the size of the LGB motor and the necessity of enclosing and hiding of the NCE board. All this is bringing the total price of each switch to close to $200! Is there some alternative? Something smaller, not as costly, etc? If I gotta, I gotta. but... Anyone have any suggestions?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,042 Posts
you should look into Compressed air controllers. One tank and air lines to the switches, no electronics on the ground.
Check Greg's site for info.
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,384 Posts
Posted By JackM on 28 May 2010 06:52 AM

SV sells an LGB switch motor and a plate for mounting. Then I need an NCE PCB for DCC control.

All this is bringing the total price of each switch to close to $200! Is there some alternative? Something smaller, not as costly, etc? If I gotta, I gotta. but... Anyone have any suggestions?


Why do you feel that you need to control your turnouts with the NCE? If you end up with LGB motors, regardless of the mount, you can control them using the typical spdt, center off toggle switch and two diodes. You would just need to mount this panel somewhere.

Sure you're now "teathered" to a panel, but compare the costs and determine if this "price" is worth it. Also, if you decide to convert this to total "wireless" in the future, your only outlay is for the toggle switches, a couple diodes, a board, and the time to make up a panel.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
998 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Back in the early-mid 80s MR published my keyboard-operated diode-matrix capacitive-discharge system to line up bunches of switches (HO) into my ten-track yard, but since I have a non-hyphenated radio control system now I don't want to deal with toggles, etc. I'll look into the pneumatic system but I'd think it, too, would need a DCC controller to tell which switch what to do.

I suppose I can paint the LGB machine a dark grey to match my ballast so it won't look so big.

Thanks for the help and opinions!
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
20,521 Posts
Smaller and less costly?

Normally you can have low cost, high reliability, ease of use..... pick ONLY 2 of the three!!!

Low cost and small and highly reliable don't go together (if you want electrical remote control, like I do).

I use the Digitrax unit for control, it's about $45 for FOUR switch machines, that I can handle.

The air motors are not really expensive, but if you want electric control of the air motors, then the electric air solenoid is expensive.

You start out by saying the NCE system, so I am making the assumption you want remote, wireless control, integrated with your NCE wireless throttle (that also I believe is the answer to your question Todd).

I'm REALLY happy with my setup, reliable as all getout, impervious to water, easy to connect and control... but it's not low cost...

search my site (search box on every page) for "air operated switches"...

(you do know if you google "air operated switches" and put ":www.elmassian.com" afterwards google will search my site and take you right to the page)

Regards, Greg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
998 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Greg - you have me lickin' my chops! That air stuff looks interesting, and it's at a level of electronics that I can easily handle (I think I still have a hundred or so 1N4000s or 4004s in the catacombs somewhere). And I have a five gallon air tank that I bought a few months ago that I haven't found one useful purpose for. Everything I've tried uses up the full tank in about two minutes. Can I assume you don't have to refill it more than once per day of railroading?

I have "favorited" your website page and will re-read it a couple times after I get back from mowing the parts of the yard that don't (yet) have track.

jack
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
20,521 Posts
I don't use the tank any more, I have a larger compressor that is the source.

I did use the tank before and it was weeks worth of use.

Bring it up to 125 psi or the max and then use the 40 psi regulator they have... your worst problem will be small air leaks where you either nick the hose or after a while the connections get a tiny bit loose (like a year or more). Just snip 1/8" off the end of the hose and you are good to go again.

I leave my hose out in the sun, has not been buried yet (lazy) and it has lasted real well. I love the system and definitely completely waterproof, no wires or anything to rust or corrode, very positive action and no nooks or crannies for bugs to hide in. I've run over a thousand feet of line, long runs are fine, and I guess you saw my "cheapo" air accumulators, I have 3 of them near the 3 major locations of air solenoids. I feed the whole system with the same thin line from a compressor 100 foot away from the first group of solenoids.

Regards, Greg
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top