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I have a switch for a reverse loop. How do I make a spring for the switch so that it will flip the points as the train comes through, requiring the points to be moved to the opposite rail? And hold the points that way, tight against the rail, but not so tight that the loco's pilot wheels can't move the points in the opposite direction the next time through?
 

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I'm not sure how to make one, but a spring switch was made for us by Llagas Creek. I believe they used piano wire. It actually may have been custom manufactured by California & Oregon Coast Railway (that's who we purchased it through).

It ended up being very expensive, but we had to have one for our reverse loop.
 

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Do you want trains to go clockwise around the loop and counterclockwise the next time? If so, I made one once that used gravity instead of a spring. It had a weight on the end of the vertical actuator arm. The arm was threaded, and by screwing on different weights and adjusting the height I got it so that it would flip back and forth when the train moved the rails. Ultimately I abandoned the clockwise/counter clockwise feature and just let the weight hold the points against the rail with just enough force to stay that way, but let wheels pass through.
 

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Posted By pdk on 03/19/2009 12:39 PM
Do you want trains to go clockwise around the loop and counterclockwise the next time? If so, I made one once that used gravity instead of a spring. It had a weight on the end of the vertical actuator arm. The arm was threaded, and by screwing on different weights and adjusting the height I got it so that it would flip back and forth when the train moved the rails. Ultimately I abandoned the clockwise/counter clockwise feature and just let the weight hold the points against the rail with just enough force to stay that way, but let wheels pass through.






Do you have a drawing or photo of your "over-center" switch mechanism?
 

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Posted By SteveC on 03/19/2009 5:19 PM
Jim

Maybe the following topic from the MLS archive will be of some help.

Ground Throw Development




I really like that "safety pin" in the middle used as an over-center switch.

(Torby's photo of it should show here...) edit: try it again:



I wonder if the sliding door spring from 3.5 inch floppy disks would work? I have a bazillion of those floppy disks and no drives to read them in anymore. The metal flap door surely could be used for some structural component of something... same for the plastic housing... anybody know if it is UV resistant? Anybody got an idea what can be done with the floppy disk itself... two of the metal hubs bolted together back to back would make a good pulley, would it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Matt & Korms, thanks for tip on Llagas Creek & LGB, if I can't make one it's good know that someone can make one for me.

Pete, your solution sounds interesting but I can't quite picture it, maybe a photo if you can provide one? Yes, i want the train to switch directions each time through the loop. I think this makes a small layout seem bigger - that is, seeing the train going one direction through the loop and the other way another time.

Steve, as organized as ever, thank you for the link! And thanks to Torby for the original post. I'll give it a go first, as I do enjoy the simple solutions the best.
 
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