Turning Engines 1

I was thinking of purchasing a Walthers turntable sometime in the future. I will need two turntables for my planned layout. They sell a 110′ and 130′ ready to run turntable which can be converted to DCC with an additional board. After some research, I am not so sure that I want to go that route. It looks like they may be a little clumsy to use. They also use a wiper system to conduct power which looks like it may be a high maintenance item. They use the wipers to conduct power, in order to avoid shorts, there is a dead spot in the rotation which shuts down loco power. If I would install a stay alive unit in all my locos, this would not be a problem.

Walthers 110 foot turntable

I have a 90 foot Walthers turntable I built from a kit. I modified this to use a stepper motor with a stepper driver controlled by an Arduino processor. I used an electrical slip ring to conduct power which provides constant power to the rails, so there was no interruption in locomotive sound as it rotates. I used an auto-reverser to prevent short circuits. I had a fairly easy to use control panel with an LCD readout. Since I am modeling pre-war 1920’s-1930’s era, I don’t think I’ll need to have anything larger than 90′. I’m going to go ahead and install this, maybe even buy another kit to use later on.

90′ turntable installed on my old layout

The old turntable did not travel very well, so I am in the process of refurbishing it.

I plan to do some painting, fixing, and general maintenance to the old unit. Below, I’ve mounted the base in a piece of 3/4″ plywood covered with cork. I plan to use cork sheets underneath my yard area. I’m giving the bridge a little TLC as well. After re-gluing the railing, it’s getting some new paint. First the wooden ties get a fresh coat of brown, top and bottom.

To be continued…

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