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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Fiddle yard Latching mechanism.

Scratching one's head, for a way of selecting the Three tracks on the sector plate for Exton Quays.
Obviously there are a number of tried and tested ways of doing this, the "bolt" type, the thing with some angle iron and a bulldog clip. I have seen plugs of various descriptions used. They all work well but, me being me and completely ignoring the K.I.S.S, rule. How difficult would it be to make some sort of mechanism to operate this. 
Talking to a friend of mine (Nigel, yes, you are the culprit) he directed me to a blog who had explained an idea how this might work. Have a look at the link below.

 After a couple of dry runs we get to Version 3.0, it works.

Looking from above, i will put some sort of wooden handle on the lever.
Exton Quays sector plate lever
 The selector plate mechanism. The lever goes up above the sector plate on the left of this picture. The indexer is slotted in to Two 'U' shaped brass sections solder to the main plate, this must be a good slide fit with NO sideways movement. The slide plate was originally pivoted in one corner in Version 1.0 but found that the whole sector plate wanted to move when you wanted to De-latch and index to the next track, it became fiddly, to fiddly for a fiddle yard. 
The whole mechanism can be built on the workbench and screwed to the layout after.
Exton Quays selector mechanism
 As the slide plate locating slot is 'V' shaped it is self centralising. Imperative that the pins are located in the right place or in Hindsight it may even be a better idea to locate the pins and then lay your truck on the sector plate.
Exton Quays indexing mechanism.
 This is the spring that keeps everything locked in place.
Exton Quays The spring.
 Just pull the sector place across using the lever handle and it will locate automatically.
Exton Quays locating pin.
On Michaels blog he suggested using the mechanisms to carry the  power for each track, i wasn't sure whether a big lump of brass here may have caused some sort of resistance to the 12v power supply. I decided to use Three micro switches, one for each track on the sector plate. There are Two added advantages to this, No1: nothing is going to move unless the sector plate is located properly and No2: you only have to pull the lever back and the sector plate is isolated should you just be doing some shunting on the main layout, no accidental movements of trains.   
Exton Quays Micro switches.
 To limit the travel of the lever and to add some rigidity to the whole thing.
Exton Quays sector mechanism
 Even made up my own split pins. I made a few extra just in case.
Exton Quays selector mechanism.
 Soldering up for the spring mount.
Exton Quays
 There we have it, perhaps some may say a rather complicated way of doing things but i like making "stuff" and it can be operated with one hand, electrical connections and location of track is done in one operation. The test will be at Poole Exhibition in November.  

1 comment:

  1. Good to see that the concept works for you. Your solution is neatly engineered but looks robust. I'm sure the brass would conduct just fine but microswitches are a good solution.