Friday, December 24, 2010

Turnout controls

I'm not a fan of powered turnout controls - they're expensive, "one more thing to break", and to me, they take away part of the interaction with the railroad. I prefer simple, manual controls. That said, I don't want to have to reach nearly 3 feet across a finished layout to throw a ground throw. After browsing around the hobby shop for a while today, I came up with an option that I really like - control cables used for R/C airplanes. Turns out it's fairly common knowledge, but I just discovered it today.

From DMIR Hill City

This works great! There's enough tension within the sleeve to hold the turnout points in place, yet the operation is very smooth. I haven't figured out what the user control will look like yet, maybe a simply knob in the fascia, maybe something more, not sure yet.

Here's a video I shot showing the turnout in action: