It has been nearly 40 years since I installed my last switch machine. So for me, I am at the steepest part of the curve. Well, I was able to take to first step up the curve. I got one to work the way it was intended.
Several months ago, I decided to try out the Blue Point manual switch machine. It is a simple device activated by a chock cable. That term might confuse some since automobiles haven’t had choke cables for over fifty years. Several modelers have been using these machines for a while and liked them.
I found this picture on the web but it shows a typical installation with the choke cable for control. It should be easy to install the machine if you had an open framework like this module.
My layout uses “L” girder construction. As it happens the girder is directly under two switches. So a simple installation turned out to be a royal pain. Here is a shot of my machine installed between the girder and table top.
The installation was aided by installing the machine a piece of 1/4″ wood which was long enough to allow screws to be inserted more easily.
Now that the machine was in-place, I stumbled though a series of problem related to position of the machine, points and the table slot for the trip wire to function fully. Along the way, I upped the trip wire size to .047″ steel. I had to reduce the size of the trip wire diameter to approximately .030″ in diameter. I drilled a hole to the throw bar to accept the wire.
A lot of modelers have used the brass throw and gauge bars from Right O’ Way. I have several sets but noticed that the Irish Tracklayer has a set of bars to tie the points together. They are cast in an engineering plastic and can take some amount of abuse. The neat aspect is that you don’t have to glue two parts together with insulating paper. They also have the right gauge to work with P48. The points are held in-place with steel pins the go through the bar.
You can buy these items from Irish Tracklayer on Amazon or direct via phone call. I was looking at the P48 Photo section on my Yahoo group and saw that John Houlihan (owner of Irish Tracklayer) firstname.lastname@example.org