Ground throws for use with DCC : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

I'm interested in using a manual ground throw for Peco Electrofrog turnouts near the edge of the layout. However, if I prep the switches as Allan Gartner suggests, the ground throw must switch the frog power as well. Any recommendations for a device? I've looked at the Caboose ground throw and it doesn't seem too robust.

Thanks!! Greg Smith

-- Gregory J. Smith (, January 31, 2000


Greg, Capose does make a ground throw with contacts that may help. You should also check out the nifty hand throw from Railway Engineering and add some contacts on the spring throw underneath. In any case, you may want to remove the snap spring from the peco turnouts and rely on the hand throw to make the contact presure. See http://www.railway- for the switch stand throws.

-- Ed McCamey (, January 31, 2000.


You're right. The Caboose ground throw could be built a little better. Luckily, a good solution exists that isn't too hard to implement.

Call Mouser Electronics. Micro switch part #101-1201 is an extra small micro switch that is just a 1/4" thick. Glue a Caboose Hobbies ground throw to the side of the switch so that the ground throw pulls on the lever on the micro switch.

You will need a nail or something to activate the turnout. There are probably a number of ways to do this. The thickness of the micro switch is the same thickness as the Woodland Scenics sub roadbed foam and cork.

You will find the micro switches reasonably priced. See my web page for Mouser contact information.

How well does this approach work? I called the owner of a layout who has been doing this at least 10 years. I was told that as the twin coil machines failed, he was replacing them with the ground throw and micro switch.

-- Allan Gartner (, January 31, 2000.

Caboose has improved their ground throw w/ a more robust slide contact switch. This may be OK for signaling. I still wouldn't use it for switching frog or track power. A more reliable method would be to use it to control a relay that switches the track power.

I've also used a ground throw to push/pull the throwbar end in the typical way, then added an under the layout switch. Solder a pin to the lever of a microswitch to protrude up to the center hole in the throwbar. It must be a feather touch switch as there isn't much leverage or movement. Mount the switch on a small plate that can be moved for adjustment then tightened securely w/ screws.

-- Don Vollrath (, February 01, 2000.

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