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Discussion Starter #1
I am working on adding a working pit lane to my layout that will make drivers of my inside lane make a pit stop during the race. I have laid out the new pit row complete with custom made 22½° transitions from the pit straight onto pit row.

I want to be able to electronically switch a diverter that will direct the car from the pit straight onto pit row. My initial thought is to make a teardrop shaped piece that can pivot in and out of the slot on the pit straight. This is where I need some help and advise. Does anyone have any thoughts on a motor/switch/selenoid that could be mounted under the table with a drive axle up to the diverter to make it pivot in and out? I have to think there might be something in the railroad genre that might work.

Any and all suggestions are welcome.
 

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I'm sure you could put something together but I wouldnt say this will be an EZ project.
Most Model RR switch Machines (for automatic turnout control) Are of a slow motion variety.

The standard Atlas Automatic Snap switched are fast and require a Momentary SPDT....any other switch will burn out the very fragile motors that operate these turnouts.

The tricky part is going to be riveting the control arm and then Filing the rail to seat the point flush when in either position so as not to catch your guides.

I contemplated doing this when I was in HO and the project was daunting to say the least.
1/32 Digital takes care of all this with factory turnouts, factory pit lanes etc along with the ability to run up to 6 cars on a 2 lane track (now we are getting closer to Real racing with traffic etc)
The digital option and working Pit lane has other interesting options.....for example, in scalextric you could incorpotate a Fuel Tower and suddenly Pitting becomes a very real part of the race with strategy being just as important as in real racing.

The more you look into 1/32 digital, the more Fun Value you'll find.

Good luck if you decide to pursue an HO turnout option..........I'd love to see what you come up with and HOW you successfully negotiate the logistics of the thing :thumbsup:
 

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I too am building a electric switch for HO. I started with 2 old service road tracks from Aurora (bought on e-bay) single lane track from Model Motering as needed. Trying to work with Railroad shop for switchs. Will include a post for 1/43 scale dealing with this same issue, Might help give you some ideas.Please let us know if this works out and I'll do the same. Good luck.
PS: Post won't take try [url="www.homepage.mac.com/pmarchand/newindex.htm]
 

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Tyco/Mattel produced some pit lane tracks a few years back. They allow a car to either continue to go straight or to turn onto pit lane. They worked by having a bump inside the slot. If you hit the turnoff piece at high speed, your guide pin would "jump" over the groove in the slot that took your car to pit lane and continue. If you went slow, the car followed the slot into the pit. These pieces allowed both lanes to turn into seperate pit lanes - one inside and one outside.
I haven't tried these pieces myself, although I hope to do so in the future.
A couple years back I saw an article on a husband/wife team that designed working pit lanes along with the need to pit every so often or your voltage would drop. It looked really neat and was set up on a multi lane track (I think as many as 6 lanes).

Joe
 

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That sounds easier then installing switchs for each turn off, also needed to install 2 criss cross tracks in order to pit both lanes. I'm going to push ahead with the Aorura pit lanes or service roads and hope to modify with a low profile push-pull solenoid train switch. :dude:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I saw on e-bay an A/FX track piece that was intended as a speed trap for one of the Canadian sets. That would have worked well for the return from pit row, but I doubt that there was ever a companion mirrored piece that would have been perfect to get onto pit row. I pretty much have the diverter piece worked out as far as size and shape goes. The electronics to move it are where I'm stuck. And with no remaining quality train shop in town, I need you all to help out. I'll post some pictures shortly of where I"m at.
 

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If you will go back to my #3 post and check out that site it will answer a lot of questions. Also go to e-bay and look up the store of TLS Auto Hobbies you will find a complete service road set up that is not priced to bad $50.00 and he has more then one set. Hope this helps and good luck. :wave:
 

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TG's got the right idea with the Atlas goodies. You'll need the solenoid, and a set of of momentary switches. Instructions come with'em. It's gravy to hook up!

As for the custom control linkage I'd scout RC servo linkages for micro redi-rod and attachments.

The slow Mo modern RR actuators are out of the question, they were designed to simulate the actual slow slide of 1:1 RR points. You'll want good response and crisp snap on your mechanism. Go Atlas or their likeness.

Try Walthers on line, or any model railroad supply house. They'll get you going.

Bill
 

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There is an Article in this months Railroad Model Craftsman on building a manual turnout control using a Ball Ponit Pen/Microswitch and linkage made of Piano Wire......The push button is mounted to your roads Fascia and everything else is mounted Underneath the Layout.

Magazine Is Available at your local Hobby shop I'm sure.

Still sounds like alot of work to me...........Look into some of the USA trucking pieces, perhaps there is something to give a good start there :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Ogre

I went to the 1/43 site but can't find what you are refering to. Maybe I'm a dolt.

The photo below shows where pit row meets back up with the main race track. I have not connected pit row with the main track mechanically or electronically. I got lucky that the piece of track that I had to cut was a power tap that is located uphill of the cut. Therefore there is no loss of power on the green lane and there is just enough area off of pit row without power that the car slows a bit to help it ease back onto the course. My plan is to reverse this for pit in and add the diverter. The other photo shows "Twin Oaks Corner" looking back towards pit out.

TG

I'll check out the article in Railroad Model Craftsman. Sounds like it might be written by McGiver.
 

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The mechanics of the flipper gate and the slots you have to cut into an existing track piece, along with power rail merges would seem to be the biggest challenges.

The soldenoid part is super easy. I had one of these to control a mechanical starting gate years ago. It was a brass bar that stopped all the guide pins. You pressed a momentary switch and the gate slid and opened up the slots. A green track light went on the indicate the start of the race. The light was actuated by a micro switch.



If you lean on the button too much this is what happens to the cheaper solenoids though-



The HO train switches come with momentary slider switches. You slide it to a position, then press it down to change the position. It's cake believe me. Just get your self a 12v wall pack to run it.
 

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It can be done........I thought about this & the easiest i came up with is below.
This would require NO power to operate. Manual Slide switch would do the job.......If you wanted automatic control so it could be push button from any driver station you could use a slow motion tortoise switch machine, but only if you can choose to pit and give 4 or 5 seconds for the throw to fully open the gate. (aprox 1 lap on most home layouts)
For a 2 lane I would simply put a pit on each side of the track rather than try to run all lanes into 1 pit lane.

1 other option I thout about was simply to have a small wedge that popped up and forced a move into the pits. Something like this could be controlled split second with a burst of compressed air and a foot controller (similar air switches are used on Wet saws)
Press a foot switch and hold until car is in pit lane then release.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys; you've given me some great ideas on how to tackle this. If anyone comes up with any more--feel free to add on. I never thought of having the diverter come from the bottom of the slot. Hmmm; now you've done it TGtycopro--a whole new approach to think about.
 
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