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Thread: Your experience with PC Board throw rods

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    Default Your experience with PC Board throw rods

    Practicing building a few hand laid switches to use during my mock up.

    I just got started this evening when I concerned myself a bit with the size of the N scale PCB ties.


    I know many are building these in N scale so I am sure its not an issue.

    I plan to use tortoise switch machines on all of my switches, what size wire/hole are you drilling in your throw rod PC Board ties.

    Also how do they hold up to the switch machine?


    Thanks,

    Bob
    Be positive, Be polite, have fun with the hobby!

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    I ended up changing all mine out for HO width ties because the points would break off quite frequently. They still break off on occasion (once every session or three) but I've become quite adept at getting them back on in a hurry with a 100W soldering gun while the next train through waits on my repair!
    N scale CPR Kootenay Division, started May 2011!
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    Rather than drilling a hole through the tie you can instead solder on a small loop of wire that the throw wire can fit into. Don't forget to isolate it properly - gap it on either side of the wire loop. You could even put it on the 'bottom' of the tie which would help to hide the throw wire even lower.

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    If you use the size wire recommended by Fast Tracks (I forget the exact diameter) and aren't careful with the tortoise adjustment you can put a LOT of pressure on the points. When you drill a hole large enough in an N-Scale throw bar, there's just no strength left.

    Options:

    If the switches are longer (I think maybe #10 and longer, or so), use a thinner wire. Not as thin as the stock tortoise, but perhaps half way between. Still enough to throw the points, the smaller hole leaves more throwbar.

    Use an HOn3 throwbar. Same thickness as N scale, and fits between the wooden QuickSticks rails. You can't install it in the jig, you have to do it outside the jig afterwards, but that's not hard. It provides both a wider solder joint so you're less likely to break there, and there's more meat around the hole. I've switched to this version mainly for durability.

    No matter which you use, adjust your tortoise using that little slide thingy to apply the minimum pressure necessary to work the switch. It's the over-pressure that breaks them.
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    Leo Bicknell

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    I use the N-scale throw rod material from Clover House. Like the HO ties that Leo @bicknell mentioned, it is wider than the N scale ties from Fast Tracks, so has a larger solder joint and is less likely to break when drilling the hole in it. Besides, I already had some left over from the old days.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    I forgot one other detail. For building the switch I use the fast track solder, or similar.

    For the points, I use a jewelry grade silver solder. It's like 5x the price, but it's also like 2x as strong. That 2.5% silver apparently makes it much, much stronger.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    Leo, I wasn't aware of this...time to redo every single one of my throwbars!
    N scale CPR Kootenay Division, started May 2011!
    Youtube channel: (MRR, Vlogs, Railway vids!) http://www.youtube.com/user/KootenayDivision
    Blog about the railway and methods used: http://kootenaymodelrailway.wordpress.com/ (Updated September 11th)
    Oh, and I take photos, too! http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?userid=9296

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    Yeah, I've built a bunch now with the HOn3 throw bars (one switch bar is long enough for 3 switch throws if you cut very carefully!) and they work out quite well. They really don't look out of place, except in super close up photos.
    --
    Leo Bicknell

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicknell View Post
    I forgot one other detail. For building the switch I use the fast track solder, or similar.

    For the points, I use a jewelry grade silver solder. It's like 5x the price, but it's also like 2x as strong. That 2.5% silver apparently makes it much, much stronger.
    The silver solder adds a lot of strength to the joint. I've been using some leftover solder I had from a plumbing job; the solder itself is much thicker gauge, but works just as well, it does take a higher temperature to melt.

    Also make sure to use a good flux, my favorite is Superior #30 SuperSafe. The flux cleans excellently and the joint is made in a fraction of a second.

    I use a standard N scale PC tie for my throwbars and they are all handthrown with micro slide switches, so I can't comment on the tortoise...
    Doug M.
    Modeling the Arizona & California Railroad in N Scale


    Visit my blog at parkerlocoworks.blogspot.com to see more of my models
    Visit my Facebook page www.facebook.com/nscalearzc to see more of my layout build

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