G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
 
I placed a switch question here last month and it is still receiving responses.  I have summarized the negative input received on each manufacturer below.  I can now more clearly state that my goal which is to buy a switch that is plug and play.  In short, I want a switch that I can take out of the box and use without having to rework the switch.  I’m not running track power.  I will only run battery power.
 
The only switches that seem to meet that requirement based on the feedback are from Switch Crafters and USA.  They were the only switches were I didn’t get a list of items that I would need to fix.  Have I reached the correct conclusion in that Switch Crafters and USA make plug and play switches where the others make switches that require rework for reliable operation?
 
NEGATIVE COMMENTS:
 
Switch Crafters:
None
 
Aristo:
iniitial grinding out the frog to make it deeper
Aristo required some significant work to make them operate properly
sloppy at the checkgauge with the result that semi scale wheelsets derail on the diverging route
Aristo's are shoddy in comparison with LGB
I have Aristos but they leave a lot to be desired for the average folks
I have around 35 turnouts and most of them are Aristo. I have to work on them before they are installed, and continue to work on them all the time.
I had some aristo's and they were totaly junk
 
LGB:
LGB required some significant work to make them operate properly
sloppy at the checkgauge with the result that semi scale wheelsets derail on the diverging route
LGB's gargantuan flanges thick and deep have made their flangeway extra sloppy and a real pita to shim out tight.
the frog does not sit level with the railhead and wheel flanges
tend to ride up on their flanges through the switch because the flangeways in the frog are to shallow
 
USA:
No real negative comments
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
687 Posts
RE: Switches - Plug & Play

One reason that you have not received negative comment on USAT switches is that they are not readily available and therefore not in widespread use. Many of us, myself included, have never ever seen one.

You also did not mention Outback nor Llagas Creek both of whom make fine switches.

In short, the only ones you did receive negative comment about were LGB and Aristo ... and I would agree that the comments are well deserved. But do not take that to mean that other switches are problem free.

Regards ... Doug
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,702 Posts
RE: Switches - Plug & Play

I've also heard good things about Parker Co. and Outback Turnouts. I have 2 switches on order from Outback. I also have heard nothing but good about Switchcrafters. The only question I have is if they work with track power? There seems to be some confusion.

I do like it that you are taking the time to summarize your findings.  Thank you!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hi,
 
Perhaps my question should then be “Has anyone ever used Parker Co.,Outback, Llagas Creek or Switchcrafters and found them to be truly plug and play”?  If so, why choose one over the other assuming that I'm not running track power and I want wide switches to accomidate my long cars.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
239 Posts
I too have heard nothing but great things about Switch Crafters (good write up in Garden Railways magazine)-I just ordered 4 #6's, but they do not come with a throw mechanism installed--so I guess that is not plug and play/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/unsure.gif.   But Stretch at Ca and Or Railway Supply will add one at the time of order if you want.  That would then make them plug and play--sort of.

Matt
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
20,526 Posts
RE: Switches - Plug & Play

cfra:

You did not mention which switches you are interested in, i.e. the USAT #6 seems to be fine, but not too many out there, the other switch is a very tight radius.

The aristo #6 switches would be very good for battery, but the electrical may be a problem after a while for track power

The aristo WR need re-working out of the box, but after that are smooth as a baby's butt

the lgb are pretty indestructable, and have a flange-riding design, so there is a negative if you have widely varying flange depths.

Outback seem to be very well made, again for battery power, no idea on track power and their frogs.

Switch Crafters seem that they might be nice, but what track record?

Different people have different experiences with switches, but you have not mentioned budget... is cost a factor? is it the #1 priority, or is out of the box the #1?

The answers will help you decide.

Regards, Greg
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
RE: Switches - Plug & Play

i have a couple of R1 switches and a pair of R3 switches from LGB in use since the early 70's.
the only thing i did, was changing the side as needed, where the motor was attached.

about four of the years were outdoors.

korm
.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,432 Posts
RE: Switches - Plug & Play

Will you be using semi scale wheels or flanges on your trains? Some of the "issues" are with wiring on the switches to teh frog if I remember correctly. I also have some A2 line or TDV switches that were imported back in the early 90's and are still availalble although in a better design I'm told. The are size compatible with LGB's R3 have stainless rail and simplified wiring and no switch machine or swithcstand. The ONLY time I've used one of the ones I've got was to provide a siding during a Christmas layout. It worked fine for that but I know I'll be doing somehting as without a switch machine or switchstand or spring of some sort the points would not engage well now stay switched. Again that was then & there are newer version on the market BUT they are not cheap being basically ONLY available from a place in Florida. For me and the ones I have the price was right and I'll make do with the ones I have.

Chas
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
687 Posts
RE: Switches - Plug & Play

If you are using battery power (I think you stated so earlier) and semi scale wheelsets, there are no fully plug and play switches - that assumes that plug and play means including a positive switch throw. Both Llagas Creek and Sunset Valley can be ordered plug and play from suppliers with a third party switch throw installed at a higher price. I do not know if the same is true for Outback. Note that rail size is code 215 and code 250.

In code 332, both Aristo and LGB (and possibly USAT) come with a positive swiotch throw but they are unsuitable for semi scale wheelsets due to gauge problems through flangeways. The positive switch throw is imho worthless in climates where they sit under snow for several months - ask me how I "discovered this!

In short, the lack of accepted track standards does not leave you many choices for plug and play depending on the parameters that you set for that terminology.

Personally, I use Llagas Creek and make my own throws ...

Regards ... Doug
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
428 Posts
RE: Switches - Plug & Play

When using trains outdoors, even so called "Plug and Play" switches are going to need ongoing maintenance and work. Realize that working with the track and switches is part of the FUN of Garden Railroading.
Russ
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
20,526 Posts
RE: Switches - Plug & Play

I thought the TDV stuff is the stuff imported by H&R trains. They look very nice, although the tie spacing and color does not match other stuff. I have not bought any recently. The air motors I use will attach to an Aristo or LGB switch in about 5 minutes.

Regards, Greg
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top