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DC Wiring Turntable Roads and Spurs

Ben writes:

“I have the Peco unmotorised turntable on my HO DC layout and am looking for any suggestions on how to wire up the turntable’s spurs/roads so that each track can be turned on as required.

The table itself is connected to the main layout/feeder siding by dropped connecting wires; so one idea I had was doing a similar dropped connection to each spur (almost like a bus wire) with a switch to turn each spur on, however, I figure this would be the best place to get some advice/other ideas. Thanks in advance!”

Share your thoughts below.

2 Responses to DC Wiring Turntable Roads and Spurs

  • Nigel says:

    Great question!

    I think there are a number of ways of achieving this but it’s fundamentally important to ensure that whatever you choose is reliable. A basic solution which relies on direct electrical contact is probably the least reliable as contacts can get dirty or fail.

    Two simple switching solutions spring to mind (but I’m sure there are others), one requiring more extensive modification to the turntable than the other:

    1. Microswitches with some form of arrangement whereby the turntable bridge closes the switch when it is aligned with that particular road. You’d need one switch per road and would have to drill through the wall of the turntable well so that the switch protruded through sufficiently for something on the turntable bridge to touch it and close the switch.

    2. Reed switches. These would just need gluing onto the outside of the turntable well with magnets at either end of the bridge. Again, you’d have one switch per road (which would be closed by the magnet when the bridge was aligned with that particular road) and, apart from attaching the magnets to the bridge, no modification to the turntable would be needed.

    You could also look at using an Arduino using hall effect sensors and magnets to know where the bridge is and relays to switch the individual roads on and off. It’s a far more complex solution of course but if you enjoy tinkering with this sort of thing, great fun.

    Whichever solution you choose, there’ll inevitably be a bit of experimentation needed but that’s part of the fun of this hobby.

    Good luck!

  • geoff says:

    I believe the turntable is set up to reverse the polarity of the rails when it turns through 180 degrees, so I think the way you propose – connecting wires to each spur with a separate switch – would be the easiest. You could probably set it up so that there was a connection between the table and the spur, or have the table activate the switch for the spur, but to my mind that would be a lot more fiddly and prone to faults. (I go with the easiest every time, but that reflects my skill level!)

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