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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Manual Turntable

bottom of turntable with wipers attached

wipers on the turntable base
We needed a turntable at one end of the staging yard, so we thought a manual one would work just fine. First a two foot square piece of 5/8 inch plywood had a 18 inch circle cut out of it with a jigsaw, and the edges were smoothed out so it rotated smoothly. This assembly was then screwed on top of another piece of plywood. The center axle hole was drilled, through the turntable and the bottom piece of plywood. The turntable hole was counter sunk for the hex head axle bolt. A piece of track was added to the top of the turntable along the centerline. The location of the five staging tracks was determined and marked out. Eight brass, shim stock wipers were fashioned in arcs with a radius to match their mounting locations. These wipers had a one inch tab on one end to act as a terminal which were bent up through the turntable and down through the bottom. The wipers were made just long enough to make contact within the rotation needed to align the turntable track to the yard tracks. Using contact cement, the wipers and center axle shims were glued on. After assembling the turntable again, it was bolted in place and the entire assembly was screwed to the layout. Wire feeders were added from the wipers to the track. A red wire was soldered to the outside two wipers and to each track at either end of the turntable and a white wire was soldered to the inner two wipers and to the opposite sides of the track, in a x pattern, to mimic a double throw double pole switch. The bottom terminals were wired with red bus wires to the outside two terminals and white to the inside two terminals. When the turntable is rotated it will also switch the direction of the current/locomotive. Two wooden pegs were added to the turntable to help turn it.

turntable installed

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