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Is anyone here using the Walthers layout control system (switch machine)? I really like the system from what I have seen on the "how to" video. the only thing is, for me, I'm using Peco code 55 turnouts and that throwbar looks awfully small to drill a hole into the center for the switch machine pin. Any experience with this out there? Any tricks, ideas? Thanks.
 

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I have two that I use in hidden areas of the layout. They work great and operate my signals for those tracks too.

You can use a hand drill to carefully drill the required size hole. It's much easier to control and will enable you to precisely place the hole where you need it.

If you are worried about the hole being very near the front and rear of the throwbar, you could reinforce that area with small strips of carefully cut plastic stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I like that idea about reinforcing with some plastic stock. I do have a set of miniature hand drills. I also just noticed that on the outer ends of the throwbar there are predrilled holes, so I guess it is possible to use one side or the other of those holes instead of the center, although I prefer to use the center. Happy to hear that you are pleased with the Walthers switch machine. Of all the switch machines I have looked at, the Walthers system looks to be simple to install, with plug in wiring and no soldering laying on my back under the table. Thanks.
 

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I like that idea about reinforcing with some plastic stock. I do have a set of miniature hand drills. I also just noticed that on the outer ends of the throwbar there are predrilled holes, so I guess it is possible to use one side or the other of those holes instead of the center, although I prefer to use the center. Happy to hear that you are pleased with the Walthers switch machine. Of all the switch machines I have looked at, the Walthers system looks to be simple to install, with plug in wiring and no soldering laying on my back under the table. Thanks.
TommyB;

Using the end holes on the throwbar will work fine. My own code 55 turnouts including some Pecos, are set up that way. I have mine connected to Hankscraft stall motors via simple rod-in-a-tube mechanical linkages. (see photo. There is a linkage in the top center area) I would not recommend attempting to reinforce the throwbar with plastic strips. The strips would need to be glued to the throwbar, and using glue anywhere near the throwbar could bind the throwbar.

The Walthers switch machine is a servo-based system. Before buying the Walthers, you might want to send a message to CTValleyRR, here on the forum. He has used servos from Tam Valley for years, and is our resident servo expert. The Tam Valley servos are very similar, including the simple plug-in wiring. They are likely less expensive than the Walthers version also.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's a good point about the possibility of binding. If I find it to be difficult to drill in the center of the bar, then I will use one end or another. I will research the Tam Valley product you mentioned...knowledge is always King. The problem there is, I am in Canada, and ordering online from the US can be an ordeal in normal times, and with the delays occurring due to covid, it is much worse. I have not found many choices from online sources here in Canada, but I have found a couple of sources for the Walthers product. If the product is a good product, then I prefer to use a Canadian source. By the time I pay the exchange rate for a US order, and wait the extra time for delivery, I really do not come out far ahead. Now, if your economy takes a real nosedive, and the US dollar devalues to around 60 cents, I would be all over that! ;)
 

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Try EuroRail Hobbies. They are outside of Vancouver. I don't know if they carry that item but it's worth checking.

EuroRailHobbies
 

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Thanks, TF, for the endorsement. The Walthers system is pretty much a clone of the TVD stuff, so much so that I wonder if it isn't produced under license or something. I haven't done a price comparison, but either system would work well, and simplicity itself to set up.

TVD is a small, family owned 5 man operation in San Diego, California, although it's one man's baby (he just had to hire help). That might make shipping tricky, but he does ship internationally, and he doesn't charge an arm and a leg. Two great things about a business this size: he allows you to take a quantity discount for your total planned purchase, even if you don't buy it all at once. Second, if you need tech support, send him an e-mail, and you'll get a reply from the person who designed the system and built the first units. He'll help you sort it out, for sure. Walthers is a good company, but you won't get support like that from them.

I'm in HO scale, and there is no issue drilling a hole in the throwbar of a Walthers code 83 turnout. In fact, I drill mine somewhat oversized so I can thread a piece of brass tube down through and use that to guide the actuation wire up from below. I do have a supply of small brass washers that I could use to repair a throwbar if I ever broke one, but I never have yet. You can use the holes on the outside, but the machines require a 3/8" hole through the layout. That's nearly invisible UNDER a turnout; it's much harder to hide NEXT to one. Something to consider.

I prefer to mount mine to the fascia near the turnout; my son wanted a dispatcher panel on his... so he made one.
545229


Servo mounted under layout:
545230


Octo IIIA controller cards, fully populated. Two cards run 15 servos. Up to 48 will run on a single power supply.
545231

If you're interested, send me a message and I'll walk you through it. IMG_20170101_203835348.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
CTValleyRR, I appreciate your input, and I also like to support the "little guy". I have made up my mind to go with the Walthers system, for two reasons, first...it's simple to understand and to install, and second...I can get the products online from a shop that has a brick and mortar store that is about and hour and a half drive away, if I wanted to do the in person thing. I have been ordering from them and found that they are knowledgeable and willing to provide support. Delivery is usually 2 to 3 business days.

I was concerned about, like you mentioned, the hole that would be visible beside the track if I should use the outside of the throwbar for the switch pin. What I came across on Youtube, was a video where a ground throw was glued in place over the hole to hide it. I thought that was a good solution, both practically and visually. Also, like you, I prefer to mount the control buttons on the fascia. My layout is not that big, or complex. Thanks again!
 

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I understand your reasoning for the availability, but not the simplicity. They two systems are virtually identical.

There are certainly ways to hide the hole innthe layout. A switch stand is certainly one option. However, if you want that stand to actually operate and rotate as them points move, giving yourself some lateral separation makes it easier to rig a bell crank to do the turning.
 
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