How to hide a switch track machine?

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rem37411

Lead Caboose Polisher
Ok, when I first started my layout, I thought I would use the undertable switch machines from ATLAS for my turnouts. As it turns out, I got some advice from a very experienced N modeler who told me that the machines would have a hard time working through 2" of foam plus my half inch plywood. So, I am considering switching to all atlas remote switches. I just hate the idea of that big clunky switch machine ruining my layout. So I thought, hey, theres guys have used them for years, surely SOMEONE has thought of a good way to disguise them! SO! Have you? do you have pictures? Does anyone know of a switch machine that mounts on top of the table other than the stock switches that come with atlas 2700,2701, 2704 and 2705?

You guys also told me about the tortoise machine a while back. Here is the thing, I don't know that I have the patience to route, connect, wire and completely set up all of these, I have about 22 switches on my layout and that is a LOT of undertable work.

So, to my original question, has anyone ever used the regular remote switch tracks and just camoflauged the machine? And I would LOVE to see pics if you have!
 

Rico

BN Modeller
I've seen guys hide the machines under small hills or in buildings then run a connecting rod to the switches. I don't think it would be hard to make a smallhump of shrubs that is removable?
 

Dualcore

Member
I've seen all kinds of generic "equipment boxes" scattered up and down the track. Boxes to hide the electronics associated with any given turnout or signal. Or some kind of detection box.
 

Rico

BN Modeller
Just remembered another trick... a pile of ties by the trackside that had a switch machine inside with a connecting rod.
I like the equipment box idea also!
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
Some people will carefully cover them with ground foam and ballast. Just keep all that stuff out of the moving parts.
 

Motley

Active Member
I'm using PECO switch machines, they mount directly under the PECO switches. I'm using the 2" foam as well. All I do is cut out a little square and sink the machine into the foam. You can't even tell there are switch machines in there, it looks and works great!!

btw, I thought these switch machines would be loud, be there are very quite, can barely tell they are snapping back and forth.
 

bigB

Active Member
Cheapest/easiest way i know is to put some lichen near it/over it. just keep away from moving parts.
 

diburning

AlcoHaulic
pile of ballast, a small building such a a depot, or a dirt mound works.

If you're cynical enough, I guess you could turn it into a grave site...
 

dgwinup

Member
One suggestion I have seen is to hide the surface-mount switch machines is to remove them and re-install them upside down. You have to use a left-hand switch machine on a right-hand turnout and vice-versa.

I looked at a few of my Atlas remote turnouts and played around with it a bit. I wasn't able to get the machine to lock in place while upside down. I also noticed a difference in several turnouts, probably production changes through the years. Some attach with plastic clips, others had nuts and bolts. Didn't look like the nuts and bolts ones would re-install upside down, but I could be wrong.

Installing the switch machine upside down has the advantage of having a flat surface facing up which doesn't interfere with any rolling equipement. You will have to have a little trench along side the turnout for the switch machine to nestle into.

Hope this helps.

Darrell, quiet...for now
 

rem37411

Lead Caboose Polisher
I like the idea, I have a bunch of atlas undertable switch machines and a while back someone suggested doing basically the same thing. Turn the switch upside down and attach to the bottom of the switch track. then just sink it into the foam. I guess I am lazy because I have not tried it yet and am considering going the remote switch way just because I am not sure I want to invest all that time in the switches. So I am going to have to decide if I want realistic versus easy. I wish someone had some pictures of how they have hidden switches so I may get some inspiration. I am actually kinda surprised that someone has not invented a table top switch for these that is hidden in a little tool shed or a piece of removeable scenery....Maybe that is my million dollars?? (Patent pending I thought of it first....LOL)
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
The trouble w/putting a switch machine in a building is clearance. The Atlas Sw.Mach.'s are low & out of the way of low slung cars & give the clearance from the edge of the track. Years ago guys use to extend the arm under the switch enough for clearance & then attach the switch to the table instead of the tracks. That way you can hide it w/a building or shrubs. I use a lot of ground throws & mechanical cable controllers for all my turnouts.
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
Try; Humpyard.com
This is the controller I've been using since they 1st came out about 5 yrs. ago. They mount all kinds of ways & look good on the edge of your layout table.
 

rem37411

Lead Caboose Polisher
Larry? I like that idea! You get the remote AND mechanical action! That is pretty cool! I may order two just to try them out but so far that is one of the better ideas! Thank you sir!
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
Your Welcome Ron. They are kinda hard for me to mount the cables underneath because I can't see very well close up. I built a laydown seat on a wood creeper for the job & it works well. The seat is about 3ft. long & 24" high & the width of the creeper. I changed the swivel wheels to regular casters & it moves real easy. If you need some photo's I'll post'm. I kept sliding down because the back has a good slant. I put a board at my butt line & it stopped that. LOL
 

rem37411

Lead Caboose Polisher
Larry? I like that idea! You get the remote AND mechanical action! That is pretty cool! I may order two just to try them out but so far that is one of the better ideas! Thank you sir!
 




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