Forgive me if this question has been previously asked. I am considering purchasing an Atlas O turntable. Do any of you have experience with this turntable? I have heard that the motor is weak and cannot turn heavy engines like the MTH M1a. Is this accurate?
I have the turntable, it works fine, my only suggestion is to stock up on replacement belts or the drive system, or look into converting it to a direct drive. THe reason it slips is from my experience the belt is bad. If mine slip I put on a new belt and its fine
Biggest problem for me was that the turntable, itself was only 24". As a result, it would not accommodate moderately long engines like 4-6-4's, 2-8-4's or, of course 4-8-4's. There is a "ring" or border all around the turntable that is 1" wide. So I had a Turntable built that is 26" long, fits right into the area where the Atlas turntable had occupied, used the same roundhouse, and, because of it's pit, looks 100% better. I sold the old Atlas unit at York for what I thought was a reasonable price and now I can turn any engine I own.
We had one at the club, it did not work well at all, we bought a Ross. Two people wanted it when we replaced it. I was curious why one of them wanted it and so I asked why? He said Target practice! I think he wanted it for his little mine layout buy would not admit it.
Mine is one of the first run, and it came with a disc with a spike sticking up perpendicular to the disc's edge: a manual crank option. I don't know if that part is still enclosed with the latest ones, but as far as I'm concerned, it made all the difference for me. No rubber bands, no separate power supply. It can hold and move a RK Challenger, a scale Hudson, F-3 AA's, all with no problem. It ain't scale, and it ain't super detailed, but for a postwar-style layout, it ain't bad. I've said before that it's the best postwar accessory that Lionel never made, and yeah, I like it.
"You have to grow old. You don't have to grow up". Ray Bradbury
It is not a pit but does not pretend to be.
It is based on a "pitless" prototype.
But it can be "weathered" nicely.
I posted a photo awhile ago.
Supplied belt is a little too wide. But can be dressed with a sanding block to work well.
Not heavy duty but ok for smaller steam engines. Goes well with the Atlas roundhouse.
Do not personally like the Atlas customer service, so I would only buy discounted or used.
But you could pay a lot more. Depends on your needs and wants.
Fred is correct....the Atlas turntable is not based on a pit type turntable. If you do a search online you will find plenty of prototype turntables that resemble the Atlas model. If you weather the area around the girders, you can make this turntable look really nice. Most of the time the turntable is going to be a visual element and so the "platter" that the bridge is mounted on will of course be stationary. If the proper finish is applied, it can look like the surrounding ground.
I still have my Atlas turntable and only replaced it with a pit type because of its length limitations.
Randy its not bad for the money, I have weathered mine so it looks quite good, you need to cover up the plastic base plate, I have used gravel and coal dust , it will turn heavy MTH/Lionel locos with the direct drive modification which I posted on the forum a while back. The motor is hidden in the signal box (second photo)
>>its not bad for the money, I have weathered mine so it looks quite good, you need to cover up the plastic base plate<<
Been trying to come up with a weathering design myself. I like your idea and may try something along those lines. Not a bad piece for the price but I wish Atlas would have put in a more robust drive system and charged a bit more. Can't imagine how many thousands more they would have sold had they improved it.