Repurposing an Atlas turntable
I saw a video on YouTube of a home made turntable that was made out of a lazy Suzan. I’m thinking about trying this and making one that’s approximately 130’ does anyone on here think that this is a good idea? I have an old atlas that I was going to gut and use the electronics out of it to keep it all operational and not cause shorts. Does anyone know of a better base to use for this than a lazy Susan bearing?
You might want to repurpose your Atlas turntable, if it still works. The mechanical indexing on those (if it's the same one I'm remembering) was pretty good at lining up the rails and keeping them in position. There were three things that people didn't like about them, and two "and a half" of those things can be fixed.
Here are the most common complaints.
1) The turntable was quite odd looking. A flat disc with simulated wood decking. No pit, no bridge. There actually were prototypes for this odd type,* but everyone wanted a bridge rotating in a pit, like a normal turntable.
2) The rotation was in spurts, and the space between tracks was wide. The table would turn part way around, then stop, then turn a little more, then stop, etc.
3) The motorizing kit was extremely NOISY!
Here are the fixes.
1) Mount the Atlas turntable under the layout, where its ugliness won't show.
Build, or buy, a better-looking, but not motorized or indexing, turntable with the normal bridge and pit. The center post driving the bridge goes down, and connects to to the Atlas turntable below.
2) This is the "one half" fix.
You're modeling in HO-scale. Use an N-scale Atlas turntable to have more tracks, closer together and have the turntable spend more time moving, and less stopping. It's not perfect, but it's an improvement. Since your Atlas turntable is , presumably, HO-scale, you could either live with it's rotation deficiencies, or check Ebay for an N-scale one.
3) Don't use the Atlas motor.
If you have the Atlas motorizing kit, the worm gear will be needed to run the turntable, but throw out that horrible loud motor. You can certainly find a quieter motor to use. One source for motors is www.allelectronics.com
If you don't have the Atlas motorizing kit, use a geared down quieter motor to drive the outer white plastic spur gear directly.
Just a suggestion. There are other ways of rotating and indexing turntables. This one just has the advantage of being simple and mechanical with no expensive and complex electronics.
* The flush deck turntables were sometimes used in heavy snow country. Just imagine trying to shovel a ton of snow up out of a deep, and huge, turntable pit!
Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos: