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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m just looking for how different people went & why. No wrong answers.

In example:
Did you use electronic turnout control in yards/interlockings like a CTC but manual throws on industry spurs to mimic real life?
Or
Did you add powered machines & indicator lights only to turnouts that you cannot easily see point position, and did the rest as manual?
Did you maybe use manual everywhere for cost reasons because you have 501 turnouts on your pike?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Really great responses, fellas. Some insight & some confirmation of my recent thinking as well.
Context on why I brought this up:

My previous HO layouts were all small, fitting in a bedroom area. I used Peco machines on Walthers turnouts. My former N pike was all Kato, so, kind of moot.

As my current layout build is far larger, and far higher, my initial plan was to simply use Peco machines everywhere just out of habit & familiarity.

But my thoughts turned to what GunRunnerJohn said. If I am doing yard ops, I’ll be right there. Local freight operators can follow their trains unimpeded. Refinery ops are pretty localized too. Blue Point machines are manual but have capability to change frog polarity & illuminate fascia indicators while being push/pull mechanisms.

And if my main yard used Blue Point, why not do the same for industries along the line?
But then I considered my two refineries, each 5x8ft, at 56 inches high. Hard to see everything with structures & piping in the way. I like the old solenoid machines because of the audible verification of them throwing the points. That snap. Even in an situation of accidentally throwing one, an attentive operator will hear one throw when none should have. Or 4 when only 3 should have, etc.
Then again, the same benefit could be said for my main yard.
On the Blue Point hand, indicator lights being double-checked is just a habit to grow into with the lack of snap sound verification.

Which brings me to my staging yard… which is about knee height, but 6 ft by 18 ft. The only way I’ll be able to see the entire thing from the yard position is with an occupancy panel. And I don’t want manual throws there. That will certainly be motor/solenoid machines on stationary decoders for route programming.

So it came down to, for me, a question between:
Solenoids everywhere with push buttons, indicator lights, & hearing the audible snap as confirmation… which might be more straight forward for any guest operators.
Or BluePoint push/pull fascia knobs with indicator lights displaying the route on the fascia. I suppose this too is straight forward with lights being the only indicator.

That is when CTC & realism (as mentioned in the OP) entered my mind.
Push/pull is slightly more realistic than a push button or toggle switch. In fact I could probably make miniature versions of those “ergonomic” switch stand levers as knobs that are swung up or down for point position.
Refineries & other industries would not be on CTC realistically. Push buttons, throttle or fascia based, just feel like computerized desk jobs in a CTC office somewhere.

And one last thing that I newly have to consider at every turn is height/visual aspect, as this is my first multi-deck layout. Painting peco machines to blend in with “sky” is probably a bad idea. Tortoises are huge. Blue points on the other hand might work fine as long as pivot points are masked off.

With all of these factors flowing in during one of my “day dreams” of how this is all going to operate given that I’m unlikely to use Peco machines everywhere, or how it would best operate…. I decided I better confer with what others do, and their “why for” in particular.
I must say I didn’t expect manual controls to be favored nearly as much.

In regards to Blue Point machines specifically, have any of you had experiences with them? The flex-link system appears easy to reverse engineer, with bicycle brake cabling a likely alternate. It’s not a new method, but is new to me.

P.S. If I come up with a satisfactory “ergonomic lever replica” to throw points from the fascia, I'll do an in-depth topic on it for anyone wanting to make them for their pike. (Referring to those modern prototype V shaped turnout throws)
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
In certain applications, such as Discord which many digital product companies now use for PR & product announcements etc, inserting the @ before a name is a sort of keyboard shortcut to direct a message at that individual.
Here, with the quote system, @anyone is redundant.
 
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