Turntable wiring made simple

Turntables obviously need to reverse polarity of their rails. In the bad old days, people used to use all sorts of tricks to switch the polarity. One could use a split ring rail and opposing wipers, or a manual switch with DCC, but in either case, the engine sound will cut out briefly. It’s much better to use one of the auto-reversers.

Thanks to Brian Pate, who is sadly tearing out his fabulous Klondike Mines Railway and Canadian Pacific layouts, I lucked into an OnGuard DCC Circuit Auto Reverser from DCC Specialties. It was trivial to wire it to the wipers that deliver power to the turntable.

I then gathererd all the feeders from the roundhouse tracks and the lead, and buried them in a trench in the underside of the baseboard. This trench enables the roundhouse and turntable baseboard to sit on the layer of plywood below. The feeders all terminate in a terminal strip that is in a location where there is only one layer of plywood. The idea is that I should be able to remove the whole thing to work on the roundhouse with minimal rewiring effort.

While I was in a digging mood, I also tested the baseboard to ensure the turntable locking mechanism fits through the hole. It does, and I also drilled a hole through the benchwork for the choke cable that will drive it. It unfortunately looks like I will have to terminate the lock off the center-line of the fascia, unless I want a bell crank.

Test fitting turntable


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