MarkStrittmatter posted:

Good morning, I have used Ross Switch’s and Gargraves products ever since I seen them at Mr Jim Sutter’s Train Shop in Homer City PA.

As everyone else mentioned above, great products and great service.

Another item to consider when  you call Ross, they have the product on the shelf.

Their not waiting for a shipping container to come across the pond with the track and switch’s you need to finish your layout.

Yep, that's a very good point. The idea of having everything I need available in one place is appealing.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Forget the Gargraves uncoupling tracks, for a truly hidden uncoupler, take a look at this.

Hiding the Uncoupling Magnet in Your Yard Tracks

Great idea - thanks for sharing. I read the entire thread and didn't really see anything about how to incorporate the unload feature, the 4th and 5th rails. Maybe modern rolling stock doesn't really use those anymore? Curious why you didn't incorporate them. I have a few cars that need them but it would be cheaper to replace those than to deal with adding unload capability to 12 track sections. 

Rider Sandman posted:

Kevin, now is also a good time to think about what you enjoy about your layout, including its operation. I was at a similar place as you a couple years ago. I had a 36’x16’ Fastrack layout with relatively small curves and lots of switches. I was tired of the noise from the Fastrack and decided to rip it all out. Like the good advice your getting, I was told to go to bigger curves, which I did. I also realized I really didn’t enjoy the switching aspect of the layout that much. So, when I did my redesign, I took a lot of them out and simplified the design. That also made the cost of the redesign a little easier to swallow. Of course, if you really enjoy the switching aspect of your layout, this isn’t an option. Just something to think about. 

This is a very good point. Most of my switches are to sidings that mainly store my rolling stock so that I don't have to take things on and off the layout. But I'm pretty sure that going O72 will require those sidings to be shorter, so I'll have to rethink my philosophy somewhat. 

Pingman posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

Forget the Gargraves uncoupling tracks, for a truly hidden uncoupler, take a look at this.

Hiding the Uncoupling Magnet in Your Yard Tracks

Glad to see you posted that thread, GRJ--it's a terrific hack for an uncoupling track that is virtually invisible and costs only a few bucks.

Others have followed the process shown in your link, but cut short the project once the magnet assembly has been removed from the 6019 track and simply inserted it in a section of GarGraves track once some room is created with the removal of a small section of the center rail and cross ties adjusted accordingly.  That  was the approach I took and it worked just fine.

That seems like a reasonable compromise, Carl. If painted to match the ties, seems like it would be pretty unobtrusive.

Bob posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

Forget the Gargraves uncoupling tracks, for a truly hidden uncoupler, take a look at this.

Hiding the Uncoupling Magnet in Your Yard Tracks

In the first post, he said the layout is on the attic floor.  Might not want to cut holes in that floor...

Hi Bob - that is correct. While I don't mind drilling holes in the floor, there is simply no access under about 75% of the floor.

CoastsideKevin posted:
Pingman posted:
 
Others have followed the process shown in your link, but cut short the project once the magnet assembly has been removed from the 6019 track and simply inserted it in a section of GarGraves track once some room is created with the removal of a small section of the center rail and cross ties adjusted accordingly.  That  was the approach I took and it worked just fine.

That seems like a reasonable compromise, Carl. If painted to match the ties, seems like it would be pretty unobtrusive.

There are posts showing the installation with the magnet/center rail removed from the 6019 and then installed in GarGraves with the center rail removed and the ties adjusted/cut in the GG.  The ends of the center rail of the magnet piece slip over the GG center rails.  And black paint is used on the magnet/rail piece rendering it almost unnoitceable.

I'll look for the post with pics showing this installation and message you if I locate it.

 

KEVIN

I purchased them all new. And after time, new versions were released that improved the switch. I did buy the latest versions and replaced the older ones. The ones today are virtually flawless. And I buy them Ross-Ready with DZ-2500C machines and pre-wired  (outer and inner rails soldered). If you desire non-detailing you will need to wire the trigger rails back to the DZ-2500Cs green and yellow wires.

Note these are well made but not made "metal" like the 022 they are instead made to look like scale turnouts with wood ties as a result you can't bang them up like the 022s; or walk on them!!

My suggestion is to buy a few and see how you like them.

AlanRail posted:

KEVIN

I purchased them all new. And after time, new versions were released that improved the switch. I did buy the latest versions and replaced the older ones. The ones today are virtually flawless. And I buy them Ross-Ready with DZ-2500C machines and pre-wired  (outer and inner rails soldered). If you desire non-detailing you will need to wire the trigger rails back to the DZ-2500Cs green and yellow wires.

Note these are well made but not made "metal" like the 022 they are instead made to look like scale turnouts with wood ties as a result you can't bang them up like the 022s; or walk on them!!

My suggestion is to buy a few and see how you like them.

Thanks, Alan. Fortunately (depending on how you look at it), my layout headroom is so low that people can't really walk on the layout so stuff doesn't take much of a beating. My son's layout in his room, however, gets a daily trampling - no turnouts there!

Looking at the Ross site, it appears that if you buy them with the motors, they also come with a switch controller. I am examining my layout closely to see what style I will use. The fact that he offers the wye, the four way, and the curved switches provides a lot of flexibility, which is important to me because I am doing this freehand. 

The speed of point movement/motor speed between "scale" and Lionel snap-speed  motors in turnouts made us finally put Lionel turnouts back in by the 80s.  A lot of work doing Ross imo (relays etc). I've had great experiences with larger Lionel turnouts; good enough, always simple .

The younger kids highballing needed a faster anti derail feature than "Tortoise types" could manage  

Larger dia. turnouts in sidings and yards give closer parallel track spacing and less angle to fight when backing. You really just need length to take advantage of them. You have that. Along the "mains", it would be more interesting to mix up the curve size IMO.  But consider what you want to be able to run as well; A Jawn Henry or C&O turbine might look and work much better on 0-90 or 0-120

Echoing GRJ's earlier comment...O72 min., Ross switches, Ross/Gargraves track.     

So, "Take the plunge"??  Nope.   Reach for the heights!   

Besides, Ross+Gargraves.....American made, always available, price competitive, friendly/helpful every call.  Not important in these days?.........check the news.

MHO, of course

KD

Last edited by dkdkrd

KEVIN

Your NEXT plunge will be buying Ross curve tracks. It took me a while to do this because I'm basically cheap!!

However, if you run Lionel (not MTH) trains that specify  072; bending Gargraves  to make reliable 072 curves can be a pain to bend and cut.

Also, take a look at the curve on curve turnouts those are real space savers.

if you plan on using DZ-1000s instead of the DZ-2500Cs and want non-derailing, make sure all your transformers are phased when following DZs application wiring diagram.

Love my Ross turnouts (and Gargraves too). As others have said, very well made and they look great. Trains go over them like they aren't there.

Adriatic posted:

The speed of point movement/motor speed between "scale" and Lionel snap-speed  motors in turnouts made us finally put Lionel turnouts back in by the 80s.  A lot of work doing Ross imo (relays etc). I've had great experiences with larger Lionel turnouts; good enough, always simple .

The younger kids highballing needed a faster anti derail feature than "Tortoise types" could manage

Here was my approach to the switch motor for my Ross turnouts:

An Arduino-based DCC Turnout Controller

So I have slow motion of the points under normal circumstances, but with a fast throw when needed for the non-derail.

You beat me to it Alan, I actually put one on the bench to verify that.  I never used the DZ-2500 before, but the non-derail snaps right over.

THOR

don't get me wrong your Arduino-based DCC Turnout Controller is way cool!

FOR ME, I am designing a circuit to replace the DZ-2501 controllers with a mom contact switch and two LEDs for smaller control panel use (and to NOT have both LEDs lit) as soon as I learn Eagle to then create a circuit to test.

Sparkfun that you mention in your prior thread seems the way to go to learn Eagle. (When I was in engineering at U of I,  I hated circuit design which is why I went into civil/structural.)

So this should be a challenge for me, even with all this new time !!

AlanRail posted:

the DZ-2500Cs circuitry comes equipped with internal slow throw and fast non-derail.

That is really useful, I had been told and been under the impression that the DZ-2500 was slow actuating and that if you wanted non derail, use a dz1000. I'll probably use dz1000 anyway, pleasant memory of the old Lionel slam bang automatic switches

BG

CAUTION: If you have large engines that have low parts that extend below and beyond the outside rails you will find that those parts will hit the top of the DZ-1000s and not with the smaller profile of the DZ-2500Cs.

bigkid posted:
AlanRail posted:

the DZ-2500Cs circuitry comes equipped with internal slow throw and fast non-derail.

That is really useful, I had been told and been under the impression that the DZ-2500 was slow actuating and that if you wanted non derail, use a dz1000. I'll probably use dz1000 anyway, pleasant memory of the old Lionel slam bang automatic switches

Right from the DZ-2500 document dated 02-21-05...

Introduction:
The new DZ-2500 Switch Machine offers slow speed switching from the pushbutton, TMCC CAB-1 remote, or DCS remote with the AIU. It
also features fast switching for non-derailing operation. The DZ-2500 is compatible with GarGraves, Ross, Curtis or Atlas switches.

AlanRail posted:

THOR

don't get me wrong your Arduino-based DCC Turnout Controller is way cool!

FOR ME, I am designing a circuit to replace the DZ-2501 controllers with a mom contact switch and two LEDs for smaller control panel use (and to NOT have both LEDs lit) as soon as I learn Eagle to then create a circuit to test.

Sparkfun that you mention in your prior thread seems the way to go to learn Eagle. (When I was in engineering at U of I,  I hated circuit design which is why I went into civil/structural.)

So this should be a challenge for me, even with all this new time !!

Yeah, it's a niche application, to be sure. I just throw it out there for anyone who wants to really go off the deep end...

Sparkfun is great for Arduino stuff, and they have a bunch of tutorials on their site. Adafruit is awesome as well, also with great hardware and tutorials.

If you're just getting started with circuit/pcb design, I highly recommend checking out DipTrace.

gunrunnerjohn posted:
bigkid posted:
AlanRail posted:

the DZ-2500Cs circuitry comes equipped with internal slow throw and fast non-derail.

That is really useful, I had been told and been under the impression that the DZ-2500 was slow actuating and that if you wanted non derail, use a dz1000. I'll probably use dz1000 anyway, pleasant memory of the old Lionel slam bang automatic switches

Right from the DZ-2500 document dated 02-21-05...

Introduction:
The new DZ-2500 Switch Machine offers slow speed switching from the pushbutton, TMCC CAB-1 remote, or DCS remote with the AIU. It
also features fast switching for non-derailing operation. The DZ-2500 is compatible with GarGraves, Ross, Curtis or Atlas switches.

Yeah, well, my wife would say "Did you read the instruction manual?" *lol*.....and yep, it is right on the description for the 2500 on the Ross website among other places. 

Kevin,

I would use 0-96 or wider switch tracks even if they lead into a 0-72 curve. That is what the real railroads do, it all but eliminates derailments at the switch track and looks better with big engines and cars. That is what I am doing, the only place I use 0-72 switches is on industry tracks where you go slow and do not usually have long trains going through the switches. 
Either way, best to you, I look forward to seeing your progress.

Adriatic posted:

Larger dia. turnouts in sidings and yards give closer parallel track spacing and less angle to fight when backing. You really just need length to take advantage of them. You have that. Along the "mains", it would be more interesting to mix up the curve size IMO.  But consider what you want to be able to run as well; A Jawn Henry or C&O turbine might look and work much better on 0-90 or 0-120

My main lines are a hodge podge of varying radii, since I did the whole layout freehand with a bunch of pre-bent Gargraves I took out of storage. Some sections of the layout are the way they are because I had certain curves that fit there. Lol. If I go full O72 and up, which it is likely I will, I hope to have an easier time backing up my somewhat long trains (15-20 cars) into my 12 sidings. 

Also, I find that some of my engines (especially short ones) lose connections when going over the 022s. There is one place I have those turnouts back to back and then into and S curve, and that causes me all kinds of grief. The redesign will need to address that, among other things. 

dkdkrd posted:

Echoing GRJ's earlier comment...O72 min., Ross switches, Ross/Gargraves track.     

So, "Take the plunge"??  Nope.   Reach for the heights!   

Besides, Ross+Gargraves.....American made, always available, price competitive, friendly/helpful every call.  Not important in these days?.........check the news.

MHO, of course

KD

Makes sense to me, thanks!

AlanRail posted:

KEVIN

Your NEXT plunge will be buying Ross curve tracks. It took me a while to do this because I'm basically cheap!! Me too! 

 

However, if you run Lionel (not MTH) trains that specify  072; bending Gargraves  to make reliable 072 curves can be a pain to bend and cut. Yes, I can imagine that. I may indeed buy some pre-bent pieces.

 

Also, take a look at the curve on curve turnouts those are real space savers. Love those!!

 

if you plan on using DZ-1000s instead of the DZ-2500Cs and want non-derailing, make sure all your transformers are phased when following DZs application wiring diagram. Will do. They are now, although the Z4k runs trains and the ZW runs only accessories. Still, I made sure they were in phase.

Thank you!

AlanRail posted:

BG

CAUTION: If you have large engines that have low parts that extend below and beyond the outside rails you will find that those parts will hit the top of the DZ-1000s and not with the smaller profile of the DZ-2500Cs.

Can you give some examples? I was intending to go with the DZ-1000s.

Guitarmike posted:

Kevin,

I would use 0-96 or wider switch tracks even if they lead into a 0-72 curve. That is what the real railroads do, it all but eliminates derailments at the switch track and looks better with big engines and cars. That is what I am doing, the only place I use 0-72 switches is on industry tracks where you go slow and do not usually have long trains going through the switches. 
Either way, best to you, I look forward to seeing your progress.

That's an interesting idea, Mike. I'm just not sure I have enough real estate to be able to do that. Seems like it would make a number of my sidings significantly shorter.

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