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Manual Turnout Controls
Switch control on Fascia, side view..jpg
I wanted to have recessed switch controls on my fascia that would not get caught by operators walking by the edge of the layout.  I also wanted controls that moved in the same direction that the switch points were to move.

I started by drilling a 1 1/2" hole in the fascia with a drill/hole saw.  I sanded it out with sandpaper and then glued a piece of Masonite to the back of the fascia which created a counter sunk or recessed opening for the control.  The control wire is a piece of K & S Engineering .062 Music wire.  This is a very stiff wire and very hard to bend in the first place and then able to resist any unwanted bending.  You may find it helpful to use a vice to make the bends in this wire.  I use a special tool to cut the wire it is shown here on the Micro Mark website:

Trying to use a regular wire cutter will just damage the cutting edges. 

Switch Contro Fascia.jpg

I painted the inside of the recessed opening white to create a significant contrast to the fascia.  I slipped a piece of red insulation stripped from romex house wiring to also help the control show.  A small hole was drilled at the bottom of the opening for the control wire/rod.

Switch control ready to mount.jpg

This is the control.  It is made with a piece of 1/4" luan wood that is screwed to a piece of pine.  The single throw switch is there to provide resistance to the movement but the terminals on the back allow me to power the frog on the turnout.  As you can see the movement of the control is the same as a Tortoise machine.  The screw at the bottom is a fulcrum where the vertical wire pivots.  The vertical wire is a K & S Engineering .025 music wire similar to the wire in a tortoise machine.  That .025 wire goes through a hole drilled into the tongue of the switch.  Then a second hole is drilled in the tongue of the switch for the .062 control rod wire.  The whole thing is then fastened under the layout just like a tortoise.

Switch control detail.jpg

This is the control mounted under the layout.  You can see the mechanism that goes through the hole in the layout beneeth the switch turnout.  The control wire can be seen where ti comes through the Masonite and then into the second hole in the tongue of the small electrical switch.

Switch control.jpg

Here is another installation but not as close to the fasica.

switch wire for frog.jpg

This shows how the switch contacts are used to power the frog.  The red and white wires come from the track and the yellow wire goes to the frog.  The position of the electrical switch controls which track wire is connected to the frog.

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