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Offline Mark5  
#1 Posted : 17 November 2015 21:49:20(UTC)
Mark5

Canada   
Joined: 29/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,204
Location: Montreal
Hello all,

I am looking to get K-track turnouts and other gear for my new layout.
I am planning a crushed dogbone on two levels, about 18 feet long and 3 feet wide, larger on the ends to accommodate the return loops.
Later I will add an easily removable module of one-level flat yard as an adjacent "L" under the room window.

That said, as I want to ballast around turnouts and have ease of use, I am selling my slim 2271 slim k-track turnouts.
Mostly because I am concerned of ballast issues with the movable frog.
[BTW I have 22 of them from very good to fair condition that I will bring to the Nov 28 swap meet in Brampton, Ontario]

In your opinion what would you recommend as the best K-track turnouts for a long thin layout.
And do you or does anyone have some they would be willing to sell or trade?

I would like to discuss the main issues concerning the use of K-track turnouts and your experience with them before I decide.
My plan is to buy manual turnouts and use servos under the board to activate them.
Eventually I will set them up with decoders.

What kind of pre-planning would I need to make room for the decoders.
They don't seem like a major space issue, but I am thinking ahead to access and wiring.

Thanks for all the advice ahead of time.

- Mark

Edited by user 27 November 2015 05:13:24(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Interested in history of DB, DR and FS circa 1955 to 1965. Fan of signals, catenary, stations and yards.
Father of four girls running an exhibition layout, the Mädchenbahn--
https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=30519&b=1
Large version of my present avatar-- https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=29910&b=1
Source of previous avatar in "zoomify" detail-- http://bit.ly/1QqMgL0
Offline French_Fabrice  
#2 Posted : 17 November 2015 22:46:18(UTC)
French_Fabrice

France   
Joined: 16/05/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,396
Location: Lyon, France
Hi Mark,

Well, I have a recent experience with servos on my K-track layout (See my layout thread Trossingen II).
(see pictures of servo mounting starting here: https://www.marklin-user...-II--Level-4#post460547)

It works absolutely perfect. ESU servos + ESU switchpilot servo decoders.

- The main thing you have to plan is how you will fix the servos, and the necessary clearance to allow lever movement.
1) The minimum free space is 3cm below the baseboard. This room includes the cradle for the servo + the space mandatory to allow the lever to move below.
2) Then, you need to screw this cradle to the baseboard. If you want to screw the servo on a mounted layout, then you need space to allow your hands to go below... and the space necessary for the screwdriver to screw the cradle on the baseboard !!!

- The second thing you have to decide is how you transmit the servo lever movement to the mobile part of the turnout... On my side, I've chosen not to alter the turnout mechanism and use the upper parts of 7549 mounting kit. The pros are: no alteration of existing mechanism; The cons are: more expensive (1*7549 kit for each servo). There is a variant which is less expensive: use the manual turnout lever and drills inside a small hole to allow servo lever to move the manual turnout lever.

John (river6109) has provided me many good advices. See https://www.marklin-user...o-the-lay-out#post457946

- About the decoders (I mean ESU switchpilot servo decoders), take into account the same amount of space below the baseboard: 3 cm

- An other thing to think about is the distance between the servo and the servo decoder. Servos are delivered with a 25cm 3-wire flat ribbon, which may be too short is some cases. Servos extension cables of 75cm length are available at ESU. On my layout, I have a servo which is distant 165 cm from the decoder: no problem with 2 extension cables !

- About the various K turnouts and double-slips, all run well with servos (except the 3-way turnout which has 2 embedded motors). Try to purchase only manual version (without motors) of turnouts when possible. About the slim turnouts (2271 old version) they work well with servos, but ballasting them needs a lot of protection... As a result 22715 & 22716 are easier to ballast, and I think they are more reliable (less mechanic possible points of failure). On my side, I've chosen not to ballast inside the mobile part of the turnout (too dangerous to glue the mobile part). If you paint below with a dark color before, nobody will see the difference...

I've noticed a side effect with 22715/16 compared to old 2271. As there are more center studs on 22715/16, sometimes old locos/coaches may generate an electric short. This can be cured by adding shrink tubes on the additional center studs (more work).


Hope to help
Cheers
Fabrice

Edited by user 18 November 2015 20:34:16(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline kiwiAlan  
#3 Posted : 17 November 2015 23:10:20(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,580
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Mark5 Go to Quoted Post

That said, as I want to ballast around turnouts and have ease of use, I am selling my slim 2271 slim k-track turnouts.
Mostly because I am concerned of ballast issues with the movable frog.


Don't lay them flat on the surface, make a dip in the road bed, or even a hole right through so any junk that may jam the mechanism has somewhere else to go instead of getting in the wrong place.

thanks 4 users liked this useful post by kiwiAlan
Offline Mark5  
#4 Posted : 17 November 2015 23:18:59(UTC)
Mark5

Canada   
Joined: 29/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,204
Location: Montreal
Excellent points Fabrice,
...especially having space to work when attaching.
I am thinking of having sliding drawers for each segment on the lower layout so I will have access to both levels from underneath.
That said, I have had other places on the girls layout where had to do some "creative" work with the screwdriver.

I had thought of putting the servo in the tie where it slide perpendicular to the length of the track.
This way there is also "less mechanism" and more area inside the switch can be ballasted.
Do you think that will work?

I am leaning toward the 22715 & 22716 and seeing if someone not as obsessed with ballasting as I am might be interested in them.
Getting 22 new switches new is a considerable cost! I many not need that many. On the lower level I plan to use my old reliable M-track switches.
You will hear the snap-clack of the switches from the depths though.

About the shrink tubing... if there are shorter sliders, do they not have connection issues if you cover or shrink tube them.
Do you have a photo of how you shrink-tubed the puko. Do you mean only around the outside and not the top of the puko?
I don't mind shrink-tubing as long as I know why I am doing it. Smile

BTW I had just been reading your post found from searching and inspired by your layout work and the servos, which is one reason I will be doing the same.

Thanks again!
- Mark
Interested in history of DB, DR and FS circa 1955 to 1965. Fan of signals, catenary, stations and yards.
Father of four girls running an exhibition layout, the Mädchenbahn--
https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=30519&b=1
Large version of my present avatar-- https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=29910&b=1
Source of previous avatar in "zoomify" detail-- http://bit.ly/1QqMgL0
Offline French_Fabrice  
#5 Posted : 17 November 2015 23:32:03(UTC)
French_Fabrice

France   
Joined: 16/05/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,396
Location: Lyon, France
Hi Mark

1) I don't have experience driving a turnout from the side with a servo... but I've seen some layouts having such a mechanism. Thus, it's feasible, but you have to experiment.

2) about the shrink tubing, I should have precised it's only to insulate the sides of the pukos, not the top.
See there for pictures: https://www.marklin-user...n-II--Level-4#post498222

3) Thank you for being inspired by my work. I wish you success.

Cheers
Fabrice
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by French_Fabrice
Offline kiwiAlan  
#6 Posted : 17 November 2015 23:41:41(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,580
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: French_Fabrice Go to Quoted Post

2) about the shrink tubing, I should have precised it's only to insulate the sides of the pukos, not the top.
See there for pictures: https://www.marklin-user...n-II--Level-4#post498222


Looking at those pictures again, the heat shrink is very discrete. Did you need to shrink it, or is it just a tight fit? I would have been worrying about the sleepers melting if trying to shrink it in situ.

thanks 1 user liked this useful post by kiwiAlan
Offline Mark5  
#7 Posted : 17 November 2015 23:42:48(UTC)
Mark5

Canada   
Joined: 29/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,204
Location: Montreal
Ok Fabrice,

I see what you have done. That is doable. However, not sure how that insulates it as it on the side of the puko and the slider should only touch the top.
Or does the smaller slider touch the side of the puko as it moves over it.
Trying to see where the short would occur.

BTW ... to help others follow this discussion I will post a link here to your excellent diagram of the differences
between 2271 and 22715 switches.
https://www.marklin-user...n-II--Level-4#post467794

Have you used another K-track switches on your layout other than these?
- Mark



Originally Posted by: French_Fabrice Go to Quoted Post

[....]
2) about the shrink tubing, I should have precised it's only to insulate the sides of the pukos, not the top.
See there for pictures: https://www.marklin-user...n-II--Level-4#post498222
[....]
Interested in history of DB, DR and FS circa 1955 to 1965. Fan of signals, catenary, stations and yards.
Father of four girls running an exhibition layout, the Mädchenbahn--
https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=30519&b=1
Large version of my present avatar-- https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=29910&b=1
Source of previous avatar in "zoomify" detail-- http://bit.ly/1QqMgL0
Offline French_Fabrice  
#8 Posted : 18 November 2015 08:04:24(UTC)
French_Fabrice

France   
Joined: 16/05/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,396
Location: Lyon, France
Hi,

@kiwiAlan: Yes, it's been shrunk in situ, with a lot of care Bored

@Mark: When the electric short occurs (only sometimes and mostly with old wagons/coaches), the inner flange of a wheel touches one puko. The idea is to insulate sides of the pukos to prevent these electric shorts, but without insulating the top to allow power to flow thru the slider of locos.
The difficult thing is to cut the piece of tube to the right size, taking into account the tube will shrink when heated... To shrink it in situ, I use my soldering iron (30W) very carefully not to melt the ties...

About the turnouts used with servos: 22715/16, 2272, 2273, 2275, 2265, 2266, and 2268 & 2269: 32*ESU & 1*Uhlenbrock servos.

Cheers
Fabrice
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by French_Fabrice
Offline Mark5  
#9 Posted : 18 November 2015 18:08:31(UTC)
Mark5

Canada   
Joined: 29/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,204
Location: Montreal
Thank you. Got it now Fabrice; its the flanges.
Sounds like a good plan. And yes about shrink tubing I discovered too that in some more difficult places to reach the soldering iron shrinks the tubing quite well, although not as uniformly as a blow drying/heat gun. As to cutting it the right size, I would make it extra long, and once shrunk carefully cut off the top with an sharp exacto blade.

Thank you for your list of turnouts. I will be studying the turnouts to see what will work best in the layout plan.
I was in love with the slim ones, as they seem most prototypical.
And I have one friend who makes his own for DC and they are just incredibly beautiful.
But the challenge of that with 3-rail is more than I think I have time for.
Maybe... one day.

- Mark

Originally Posted by: French_Fabrice Go to Quoted Post
Hi,

@kiwiAlan: Yes, it's been shrunk in situ, with a lot of care Bored

@Mark: When the electric short occurs (only sometimes and mostly with old wagons/coaches), the inner flange of a wheel touches one puko. The idea is to insulate sides of the pukos to prevent these electric shorts, but without insulating the top to allow power to flow thru the slider of locos.
The difficult thing is to cut the piece of tube to the right size, taking into account the tube will shrink when heated... To shrink it in situ, I use my soldering iron (30W) very carefully not to melt the ties...

About the turnouts used with servos: 22715/16, 2272, 2273, 2275, 2265, 2266, and 2268 & 2269: 32*ESU & 1*Uhlenbrock servos.

Cheers
Fabrice


Interested in history of DB, DR and FS circa 1955 to 1965. Fan of signals, catenary, stations and yards.
Father of four girls running an exhibition layout, the Mädchenbahn--
https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=30519&b=1
Large version of my present avatar-- https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=29910&b=1
Source of previous avatar in "zoomify" detail-- http://bit.ly/1QqMgL0
Offline hxmiesa  
#10 Posted : 18 November 2015 18:17:23(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,324
Location: Spain
The modern slim K-turnouts are aboslutly wonderful!
I dont think they are harder to ballast than the R2 short turnouts. -But you might want to avoid the 1st generation slim turnouts with movable heart-piece.

Regarding using servos. I have little experience (with some Tillig-motors), and would prefer not to use that.
Instead you can use the normal ones (Works flawlessly once you: 1) bridge over the end-cut-off-contacts. 2) Operate them with 24Vdc (or other stronger-than-16V power).
If you want to use servos only for aestehic reasons, I find the use of the standard Märklin motors acceptable, if you install them up-side-down. (It is necesary to make a cutout in the ramp, so that it fits) The motor can then be covered with a thin layer of ballast, which will be at a height just on top of the sleepers.
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline Goofy  
#11 Posted : 18 November 2015 20:35:16(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,497
I use tortoise motor and it´s excellent turnout motor!
Usable with the 12 VDC or 16 VAC by connect half wave power.
The best K turnout i know are 22715 and 22716.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Goofy
Offline DaleSchultz  
#12 Posted : 27 November 2015 04:47:13(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
I have had no problems using the slim K-track turnouts. they look so much better than the smaller radius turnouts.
I use Merkur track ballast, and it has specially formed pieces for the slim turnouts.

I also use the standard Märklin switch motors, but the trick is to install them upside down.

Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline Mark5  
#13 Posted : 27 November 2015 05:10:58(UTC)
Mark5

Canada   
Joined: 29/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,204
Location: Montreal
Hi Dale,

Yes, I think if you were to use the 2271 turnouts with the movable frog, the only way to do that would be the Noch or Merkur pre-formed ballast
or not to ballast at all in that area. I'd love to see a photo of what that looks like on your layout.

What was the cost of the pre-formed ballast for one switch?

I have yet to decide which kind of motor to use for any of the switches.
- Mark




Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
I have had no problems using the slim K-track turnouts. they look so much better than the smaller radius turnouts.
I use Merkur track ballast, and it has specially formed pieces for the slim turnouts.

I also use the standard Märklin switch motors, but the trick is to install them upside down.



Interested in history of DB, DR and FS circa 1955 to 1965. Fan of signals, catenary, stations and yards.
Father of four girls running an exhibition layout, the Mädchenbahn--
https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=30519&b=1
Large version of my present avatar-- https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=29910&b=1
Source of previous avatar in "zoomify" detail-- http://bit.ly/1QqMgL0
Offline Mark5  
#14 Posted : 27 November 2015 23:45:58(UTC)
Mark5

Canada   
Joined: 29/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,204
Location: Montreal
Many of you, including Dale and Miniatur-Wunderland are for slim turnouts.

While searching for info about the Merkur ballast I found some useful information I'd like to share about their use of K-track and slim turnouts.

"..... In the sections Alps, Harz mountains, Hamburg, USA, and Scandinavia we use the K-track made by Märklin on almost all main lines. In order to connect new sections to already existing ones, we have to use the K-track to ensure that in the future we can run trains from one end of the layout to another. 90% of all track pieces are flex track and we also use slim turnouts for smooth running. The advantage of the K-track is easy handling, and it is also very sturdy. To round this off, no loop-modules are needed. All trackwork has in common that we have track feeders every 150 cms to 200 cms (every 4 to 6 ft.).

This way, it doesn’t matter into which rail the contacts for occupancy detectors (abt. 10 cms long) are set. When cutting the rail for the contact, one should pay attention to the resulting burr. It must not touch the middle rail as otherwise a short circuit is created. Finding this short can cost a lot of nerves and is best done using a multimeter. Once you have a clean cut, the contact rail can be fixed using Stabilit-Express, a two component and gap-filling glue. We don’t need the limit stop of the turnout motors and thus rip them out, since we control the turnouts using digital decoders. ATTENTION: If turnouts are controlled analog, the limit stop must stay in the switch machine as otherwise it will be destroyed. Märklin turnouts in the sections Alps, Harz, Hamburg, and USA have not yet been modified. In the Scandinavian section, the turnouts have been equipped with a turnout motor made by LGB. To make it fit, the turnout has to be modified a bit. As a sound-damping measure, we lay all track in the staging areas on 4 mm cork. In the visible areas the track is laid into a readymade subroadbed made by MERKUR which is sold via NOCH. This subroadbed is already configured for Märklin flex track, turnouts, and sectional track. ..."

More information about their rail-systems for 2 and 3 rail and the reasons why they chose them can be found here:
http://www.miniatur-wund...odellrailway/railsystem/

Enjoy
M5
Interested in history of DB, DR and FS circa 1955 to 1965. Fan of signals, catenary, stations and yards.
Father of four girls running an exhibition layout, the Mädchenbahn--
https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=30519&b=1
Large version of my present avatar-- https://www.marklin-user...rce.ashx?i=29910&b=1
Source of previous avatar in "zoomify" detail-- http://bit.ly/1QqMgL0
Offline DaleSchultz  
#15 Posted : 28 November 2015 19:34:33(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
Originally Posted by: Mark5 Go to Quoted Post
Hi Dale,

Yes, I think if you were to use the 2271 turnouts with the movable frog, the only way to do that would be the Noch or Merkur pre-formed ballast
or not to ballast at all in that area. I'd love to see a photo of what that looks like on your layout.

What was the cost of the pre-formed ballast for one switch?

I have yet to decide which kind of motor to use for any of the switches.
- Mark



I am looking for some pics, found these so far:
http://layout.mixmox.com/1/signals-installed (taken of the signals not of the turnouts)
http://layout.mixmox.com/1/photography (some different angles)
http://layout.mixmox.com/1/signal_box (look under the signal box)
http://layout.mixmox.com/1/Strait-line_laser (foreground)

Note that these pics were taken before finishing the landscaping near the tracks so the edges of the ballast are still visible.

I would also add that I have just moved and had to dismantle the old layout in the images above, and I have been able to reuse all the k-track and 99% the ballast which has saved a considerable amount of money. I would not use anything else.

I'll try and take some better images... though I have not yet finished any areas that contain the turnouts. I have both the old and new style ones (both types of frog) . I may have some in the Bw area that I was able to move without taking it all apart.

I bought all my Merkur through Lokshop.de. It is light and ships cheaply.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by DaleSchultz
Offline DaleSchultz  
#16 Posted : 29 November 2015 03:21:53(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
I took some pics of the slim turnouts in the Merkur roadbed.... see http://cabinlayout.mixmox.com/1/Merkur-ballast

My track laying state is that it is all laid and running, but not yet properly landscaped so remember this is all "work in progress"!

Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by DaleSchultz
Offline PMPeter  
#17 Posted : 09 April 2016 03:00:25(UTC)
PMPeter

Canada   
Joined: 04/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,138
Location: Port Moody, BC
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
I have had no problems using the slim K-track turnouts. they look so much better than the smaller radius turnouts.
I use Merkur track ballast, and it has specially formed pieces for the slim turnouts.

I also use the standard Märklin switch motors, but the trick is to install them upside down.



Hi Dale,

Can you clarify the installing the switch motors upside down comment for me? Is that just when using the Merkur or in general for the slim switches?

Thanks
Peter
Offline DaleSchultz  
#18 Posted : 09 April 2016 17:35:20(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
Originally Posted by: PMPeter Go to Quoted Post


Can you clarify the installing the switch motors upside down comment for me? Is that just when using the Merkur or in general for the slim switches?

Thanks
Peter


The switch motors can be connected either way up. Since once side of the switch motor has a big 'lump' covering the solenoid inside, you can install the motor 'lump side down' so the upper surface is flush with the ballast. It can be done with any K-track turnouts that take the clip on switch motors.

Works perfectly with Merkur but I see no reason why it would only work with Merkur.

Since the 'lump' side may be too deep, you can drill some holes in the baseboard to ensure there is room for the lump. This also has the advantage that one can switch the turnout manually from below with a small implement.

I also tie a small length of black cotton thread to the mechanism inside the motor before installing it. I then leave the ends of the thread lying on the surface - and by pulling one or the other I can switch the turnout manually without having an access hole underneath.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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