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Turntable Setup
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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 05:57 pm
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Lee B
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W C Greene wrote: Manual or "Armstrong" turntable operation is of course the simplest and easiest. But then, some may love the auto-matic-ness of motorized things. Since you are using r/c in the locos, there is no wiring BS to mess with, just getting the tracks to line up with the table. You may need to adjust the distance of the table to the enginehouse so the tracks can line up properly.

I agree, Peco makes a great On30 turntable that has a 'split ring' contact that requires no special wiring. The only drawback is the loco re-sets itself once it passes through 180 degrees, but that's a small concern.
It's a manual turntable but I've had no issues with that other than my locos are almost exactly the length of the bridge itself. It'll handle a Bachmann 4-6-0 (though just barely) and anything shorter than that. I wanted my layout to be as trouble-free as possible so everything that could manual, is.



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 Posted: Wed Nov 29th, 2017 06:45 pm
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Michael M
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Tom,

Here's another shot of the V&T turntable: https://noehill.com/nv_carson_city/images/virginia_truckee_shops_1939_thumb.jpg

You can see how far back the engine house is from the turntable.  Neat idea for long narrow spaces.  Also note how the engine house tracks overlap each other to reduce the space needed.  I'm sure there are examples of roundhouses doing the same thing.  Would something like that work for you Tom?



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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 11:41 am
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Tom Ward
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Michael - The V&T was due east of Mendocino, CA, right?  I don't know what those guys were smoking but I think almost everything they did was way over the top.  Did you see this photo of the Crowne Point trestle?  That would be a fun place to model, fer sure.  I'll try to harness my pipe dreams for now though and stick to something simpler.  You have convinced me to rethink my roundhouse / turntable problem.  I'm going to spend today concentrating on correcting the four degrees of offset.  I suspect that will bite me in the butt sometime in the future.
- Tom

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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 03:52 pm
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Michael M
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Tom,

Yeah, the V&T was/is basically due east.  Use to run out of Reno to Carson City then on to Virginia City.  Also had a branch heading south to Minden.  For those that have never been there Virginia City it is nothing like what you've seen on the television show Bonanza.  The city is built on a hill, a rather steep hill, so going from one street to the next can be tough going.  The V&T has been resurrected as a tourist line between Carson and Virginia.

Mark Twain was also a reporter for the Territorial Enterprise.  Virginia City was kind of on the wild side and boasted a killing every night in the 1860s and 1870s.  Compared to Virginia City and other gold/silver mining towns of the 1860s/1870s mining towns at the turn of the century were relatively quiet and peaceful.  Towns like Rhyolite or Tonopah were on the mild side with shootings and killings being very rare, and 'soiled doves' would stay in there own prescribed section of town.

Still, a visit to Virginia City is well worth it to get the 'feel' of what a 1860s mining town was like.




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 Posted: Thu Nov 30th, 2017 04:34 pm
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Tom Ward
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Michael - I'm a big fan of the mining history in that area.  I lived in the Sacramento area for 21 years and used to drag my family all over the Sierras and Nevada desert.  It's all beautiful country and I wasn't kidding when I said it would be a good area to model a layout.  I hadn't seen those two pictures of the engine house and trestle before though and was blown away by the complexity.
Thanks again for your help with my turntable questions.
- Tom

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 Posted: Fri Dec 1st, 2017 09:02 pm
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Tom Ward
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I spent some time yesterday repositioning the roundhouse to eliminate the four degree offset.  It turned out better than I had expected.
The turntable lead for returning engines comes in across the ash pit and enters the turntable at the 3 o'clock position.  I set the roundhouse so stall number 2 is at the 6 o'clock position and everything else fell in place after that.  There are 40 possible positions coming off the turntable and each is evenly spaced one inch apart on center at the edge of the turntable.  Of the 40 possible positions I'm only using 10 with 4 stall tracks, three storage tracks, two going out to the main line and one coming in across the ash pit.
I started looking into ways to manually position the turntable.  I don't want to reach into the scene and turn it by hand so I need some kind of crank mechanism.  I looked at Diamond Scale stuff and that inspired me to check out McMaster-Carr.  There I found this really cool hand wheel (3 3/8" diameter) with a dial indicator in the center to show position.  It's set up like a clock with an hour and minute hand and 12 turns equals one hour.  I'm gonna get one and see if I can open it up.  I'd replace the twelve hour face with one showing 40 positions.  I can connect the output of the hand wheel to a right angle speed reducer with 30:1 hear reduction.  This would give me one full turn of the hand wheel for each track position.  When the minute hand is at 12 o'clock the bridge is centered on the track.  It will take 30 turns of the hand wheel for one full revolution of the turntable. As long as I use the same size pulley on the speed reducer as I have on the bottom of the turntable everything should work out right.  Everything connects with 1/4" shafts and the one timing belt.  By my calculations there's a 50/50 chance that I have this figured out correctly.  Anyway, I'm gonna go ahead and order it and give it a try.
I also liked the idea of using a solenoid to lock the bridge in position.  It would be mounted beneath the turntable pit on a wheel that turns with the bridge, maybe the timing belt pulley.  A switch next to the hand wheel would energize the solenoid and push the shaft into a hole located beneath each track.  I think this'll work.
- Tom

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Last edited on Sat Dec 2nd, 2017 08:52 pm by Tom Ward

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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 06:58 pm
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Michael M
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Tom,

I've always liked the area of Owens Valley and Death Valley.  I've followed some of the old roadbed of the Slim Princess through Owens Valley.  Wandered around Mono Lake, and have been to Death Valley several times.  Heading back again next Spring.

My current layout is situated in the southeastern California and southwestern Nevada so it's mostly desert terrain.  Scenery is much simpler to do; dirt, sand, and rocks.



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 Posted: Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 11:33 pm
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oztrainz
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Hi Tom,
I'm battling with an Arduino solution at present on another matter in another topic.

Have you heard of a "Geneva motion" gearbox? This is what gives the Fleischmann and Atlas powered turntables their pre-defined stopping angles. An option might be to gut a cheap Atlas turntable for its gearbox, forget about the Walthers defined track entrances to the turntable pit and lay your tracks direct to where the Atlas gearbox stops? Or if the angle on the Atlas box are too big use a reduction box downstream of the Geneva gearbox to give you smaller angles.

There are 2 aspects for an Arduino solution - the hardware and the software. There are a "canned solutions" for stepper motor programming already available. By playing with the number of steps in the programming sketch you should be able to get just about any track angle you might need.



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 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2017 11:56 am
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Tom Ward
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John - Thank you for the suggestion.  I googled "Geneva motion gearbox" and found Nordex, Inc.  Looks like a good supplier of all kinds of good mechanical stuff.  I bookmarked it for later reference.  My roundhouse pretty much determined the number of stops for the turntable and I think I have a good solution for the indexing at this point.  I've already ordered the handwheel ($40) and the gear reducer is pretty cheap from McMaster ($17).  I'll need two pulleys and a belt which I haven't sourced yet but may go to Nordex for that.  Their stuff looks excellent.  They also have a nice video explaining how everything works together (https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=JHq0vVjb7Pk).  I think the Geneva gearbox is the position selector they show in the video.  Cool stuff.
- Tom

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