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Alternatives to Caboose Industries ground throws?

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Looking for some suggestions on alternatives to Caboose Industries ground throws.  I'm gathering up materials for a small switching layout and was wondering what any of you are using for manually operated switches other than the Caboose Industries ground throw.  I know they work well, I just think they're kind of ugly.  Is there another manually operated throw that you use that looks more realistic while still being as reliable as a Caboose ground throw?  I'm not interested in any powered machines like a Tortoise for this project.

 

 

Thanks,

Jason C

Indiana

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Jason,

 

Hi, you might like to investigate the Blue Point manual under-board switches. See my 0n30 thread below. I still have to install dummy throws but operating the points from board edge works well, including of course the polarity switching assuming you are using live frog points.

 

Where in IN do you live? I used to live in Carmel until moving to Atlanta in 1995.

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Dear Jason,

 

I use N scale (216S) Caboose Ind ground throws in HO exclusively, although I _rarely_ mount the throw directly to the turnout. Rather, with a simple brass wire-in-tube extension I typically mount the throw right at the scene edge. Keeps the throws "out of the scene" and keeps the 12"/1' scale fingers and arms from having to "reach in/over/past" structures/details.

 

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

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Thanks for the replies.  I think I'm going to take a look at the Bitter Creek throws and also experiment with putting the Caboose throws on the front edge of the layout.  I like the functionality of the Caboose throws, I just don't care for how they look on the layout.  Putting them on the front edge out of the scene may work.

 

 

Thanks,

Jason

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There's always the skewer, bike spoke, slide switch option, works a treat.

 

post-13979-0-46358300-1471706727.jpg

post-13979-0-95114000-1471706739.jpg

post-13979-0-75453500-1471706748.jpg

 

beats me, when people go to all the trouble of building a fantastic layout, then stick oversize ground throws on it, they stand out like a sore thumb!!

 

Ray

Edited by long island jack
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Dear RMWebbers,

 

 

 

beats me, when people go to all the trouble of building a fantastic layout, then stick oversize ground throws on it, they stand out like a sore thumb!!

 

Again just one of the reasons why I use the N-scale (as opposed to "HO scale") throws in HO, On30, and O2R,

and I've yet too have anyone complain about the 4x throws "hiding in plain sight" along the edge of "Brooklyn"... ;-)
http://www.carendt.com/small-layout-scrapbook/page-87-july-2009/

 

or the 2 throws on "Nine Mile"

 

or the 2 throws on "Toorong" 
https://youtu.be/-TX6JnhHndE?t=315

 

or the one on "ChicagHO Fork"
http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/magazine/mrh-2013-09-sep/layout-chicago-fork 

 

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

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As you say Prof, yours look more to scale and on the edge of the layout out of the way, where as ,there looks like some good modelling going on here

 

post-13979-0-09257600-1471776930.jpg

 

but oh!, those ground throws look so out of place! (everyone to there own)

 

Ray

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I use the N scale C.I. throws for O Scale. Considering how far they do actually 'throw', I dread to think what sort of N scale points they are supposed to work with!! :jester:

 

Here's one in situ; scenery still to be done, & the mortal remains of HO scale track behind it....

IMG_2134_zpsqjy9yioc.jpg

Edited by F-UnitMad

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Dear Ray, Jason,

 

Point well-taken about the HO throws mounted hard-up against the turnout as per the pic shown,

but is that honestly the fault of CI, or the design of the throws themselves, 

 

or an arguable  "installation fail"  "possibly not-optimised or fully-thought-thru installation example" issue 
on the part of the end-user/modeller?

 

That few modellers in the US appear to be familiar with "Wire-in-Tube" turnout-actuation technology seems to have promulgated the idea that CI throws must be mounted directly and adjacent to the turnout in question, thus inherrently tying the "big ugly trackside lump" and "reach into scene, snag delicate models" issues with CI throws.

 

However, once the modeller realises that said throws can be easily and simply "remoted" within sane distances from the associated turnout,
the presumed-inherrent "CI = ugly lump trackside" association disappears...

 

 

I wouldn't discount the use of the well-engineered, reliable, and readily-available CI throws,
just because some choose to deploy them without apparent thought to the aesthetic effects on the model-scene.

(Kinda like saying a Subaru WRX isn't a cracking rally car simply because some choose to tart them up with r.i.c.e.r. components,
never take them on-dirt, and generally insist on being obnoxious up the High Street...)

 

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

Edited by Prof Klyzlr

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N-scale ground throws are a little improvement, but still an eye sore …

 

post-29892-0-09886700-1471879626_thumb.jpg

 

… but if you are using 3 mm roadbed you can mount them underneath the headblocks.

 

post-29892-0-16576900-1471879811_thumb.jpg

 

post-29892-0-24569100-1471879846_thumb.jpg

 

Kurt

 

 

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I'd go with Long Island Jack if you're going to route them 'offscene' anyway.. Use a slide switch with a hole drilled through to take a wire to operate the point, and the contacts to switch the frog polarity if needed. OR.. nothing at all. Just fit dummy scale throws and use the 0-5-0 ?

 

I was looking at some manual system a while ago that looked nice - the 'Bullfrog' - Handlaid tracks have them.. but I'm a skinflint and couldn't find a UK supplier. 

 

Finally.. came across this neat idea too .. http://www.nmra.org.au/Layout_Tours/Saxon/Switch_Throw.html

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There's always the skewer, bike spoke, slide switch option, works a treat.

 

attachicon.gifpoint c 1 copy.jpg

attachicon.gifpoint c 2.JPG

attachicon.gifpoint c.jpg

 

beats me, when people go to all the trouble of building a fantastic layout, then stick oversize ground throws on it, they stand out like a sore thumb!!

 

Ray

My favourite way of operating switches

 

post-6759-0-05245300-1472099682.jpeg

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Hi,

 

I've just been referred to this topic by a UK forum member - being UK based these items cant be handled directly so what experience is there of using them with Peco points (do you have these in the US?)?

 

I want a good quality trackside solution probably a direct link (the "use of N gauge" comment re Caboose is very valuable) but may need a couple of rod solutions as well.

 

Any experience based on actual use would be appreciated - price isn't the main issue here - quality and ease of use/installation is

 

Cheers

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On 20/08/2016 at 13:19, Prof Klyzlr said:

Dear Jason,

 

I use N scale (216S) Caboose Ind ground throws in HO exclusively, although I _rarely_ mount the throw directly to the turnout. Rather, with a simple brass wire-in-tube extension I typically mount the throw right at the scene edge. Keeps the throws "out of the scene" and keeps the 12"/1' scale fingers and arms from having to "reach in/over/past" structures/details.

 

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

 

hi

If you are still involved here - I am interested in your "use N gauge" comment - is the actual "N" lever still sized such that "old" fingers can use it easily

Edited by halsey

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Hello,

 

I'm using the Caboose Industries N gauge ground throws on my 009 modular layout. I'm using  Caboose Industries 224S which are the ones with the integrated electrical switch for frog polarisation.

I made a picture of it.

 

DSCI5182.JPG.7cf6aa7dae65824983ff4eab8d30efff.JPG

 

Markus

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Dear Halsey,

 

Must admit I'm not familar with "old fingers" as a dimensional measurement,
but I personally find the CI 218S throws more than large enough for my 40+ yo fingers, and regularly have operators from 15 - 80+ operate my layouts without issue... ;-)

 

Having the CI throws mounted at the layout fascia edge, and connected to the turnouts via wire-in-tube
(typically PECO with the centring spring removed, although also implemented with handlaid turnouts)
makes access much easier, and simultaneously improves the "trackside scenic visual" significantly... ;-)

 

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

 

PS Believe I've listed the "216s" models previously, the correct model number is 218s....
(.165" travel, Sprung throw).
https://www.cabooseind.com/product-page/218s-sprung-with-165-travel-for-ho-and-n

 

They are also available in 5-packs under part # 5218s...

 

Edited by Prof Klyzlr
Added URL and 5-pack info...

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44 minutes ago, Prof Klyzlr said:

Dear Halsey,

 

Must admit I'm not familar with "old fingers" as a dimensional measurement,
but I personally find the CI 218S throws more than large enough for my 40+ yo fingers, and regularly have operators from 15 - 80+ operate my layouts without issue... ;-)

 

Having the CI throws mounted at the layout fascia edge, and connected to the turnouts via wire-in-tube
(typically PECO with the centring spring removed, although also implemented with handlaid turnouts)
makes access much easier, and simultaneously improves the "trackside scenic visual" significantly... ;-)

 

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

 

PS Believe I've listed the "216s" models previously, the correct model number is 218s....
(.165" travel, Sprung throw).
https://www.cabooseind.com/product-page/218s-sprung-with-165-travel-for-ho-and-n

 

They are also available in 5-packs under part # 5218s...

 

 

Thanks for this - do you have any knowledge of the Bitter Creek option??

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Dear Halsey,

 

Can't say I've ever seen, let alone used them in-person down here in Aust, 
but from the pictures online I feel like:

- they look _less_ prototypical than the CI options,

 

- look _more_ obtrusive trackside,
(although that could presumably be mitigated by remote wire-in-tube mounting the same way as for CIs,
rendering this point moot for _both_ options)

 

- and the handle is _not more accessible_  than a CI, esp as the BC level sits _flat_ against the mounting surface...

(HINT: The CI handle is NOT designed to be "pressed down soo far so the tip hits the ground",
they _are_ intended to end up sitting _horizontal_/parallel to the railhead surface when fully-thrown,
sitting at least 1/8" above the moutning surface, which is enough to get a fingernail and fingertip solidly onto the lever end...).

 

Personally, I would choose the CIs over the BCs every time...

 

Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr

 

PS FWIW, the BCs are "USD$10 for a pair",
https://bittercreekmodels.com/page11.html

the CI 218s are USD$3.55 ea, or "USD$7.10 for a pair"
https://www.cabooseind.com/product-page/218s-sprung-with-165-travel-for-ho-and-n
https://www.cabooseind.com/product-page/5218s-sprung-165-travel-for-ho-and-n-5-pack (5-pack at USD$16.75, or USD$3.35 ea)

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5 hours ago, Prof Klyzlr said:

the BCs are "USD$10 for a pair",
https://bittercreekmodels.com/page11.html

They have a 3/8th inch throw..!!???!!! For an HO Scale switch (point/turnout/choose description of choice) that's an enormous distance!! It's an enormous distance for O Scale, even!! 

I agree with the Prof, they also look a lot less realistic than Caboose Industry throws.

 

Edit: adding picture as the one I posted before was wiped out by the Great Photobucket Fiasco. :rolleyes:

 

 

000031752960.Jpeg.4c460ea43222b6b0d764554b9d254e76.Jpeg

 

 

Edited by F-UnitMad
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Interesting update

 

I contacted Midwest models (via eBay) for a price for 20 x CI 218S delivered to UK and asked them to confirm (once I had paid in full) that they would check each one before they despatched to avoid problems and they refused!

 

Needless to say they aren't getting my business

 

I have been buying stuff from the US for 30 years and always thought their customer service to be second to none

 

Can anyone vouch for an alternative supplier?? 

Edited by halsey
more info given

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Dear Halsey,

 

Sorry, I obviously missed a minor detail in your post, but you attempted to buy 20 of _what_?

(CI, BC, or some other item?) 

 

I've _occasionally_ (maybe 1 in 50) bought a sealed packet CI 218s throw where the lever part had popped out of the base casting. As long as the 2 nubs which act as the "pivot" for the lever are still in place, it is <5 secs to pop the lever casting back in place, and move on.... 

 

On the occasion where a uber-heavy-handed operator has caused one of the lever pivot nubs to shear off (never happened on any of my layouts in over 25 years of using CI throws, but I have seen it occur elsewhere),

 

It is trivial to strategically trim away the other cast-on nub,

Drill thru the base of the lever casting,

(using the nub base divots as the guide points for the drill), 

 

Insert a length of suitable dia brass Rod to act as a replacement pivot, 

 

Reassemble the throw, 

And keep going... 

 

...and if used as designed, such a failure just does not occur in my experience...

 

Happy modelling, 

Aim to Improve, 

Prof Klyzlr 

Edited by Prof Klyzlr
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14 hours ago, halsey said:

I contacted Midwest models (via eBay) for a price for 20 x CI 218S delivered to UK and asked them to confirm (once I had paid in full) that they would check each one before they despatched to avoid problems and they refused!

They come in sealed packs. I'm not surprised the Seller refused. As The Prof sayz, they're a simple, tough piece of kit, too. No need to open & test every single one before shipping!!

I got mine from my local model shop. Are you certain there are no UK suppliers? Model Junction of Slough for example?

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5 hours ago, F-UnitMad said:

They come in sealed packs. I'm not surprised the Seller refused. As The Prof sayz, they're a simple, tough piece of kit, too. No need to open & test every single one before shipping!!

I got mine from my local model shop. Are you certain there are no UK suppliers? Model Junction of Slough for example?

 

MANY THANKS - Model Junction had some (I had looked pretty extensively - but hey ho Google isn't always right)!

 

2 packs of 5218S now en-route to me...……………………...

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