LGB Switch Motors On Aristo Turnouts

SUBJECT: Using an LGB switch motor on an Aristo Craft Turnout, for more reliable operation

Information for this page is provided by Ted Ansley from the Washington DC area & presently Bangkok, Thailand.

See also Ted's Flickr web page named G Scale Automatic Control Circuits.
( http://www.flickr.com/photos/ansleys/sets/72157608433287430/ )


The following photo of an Aristo Turnout, shows the 11/16/08 replacement of the Aristo Craft switch motor, with an LGB switch motor. (Part of the LooseTies.com Automatic Switching Block system.)

Above photo by James Ingram

All below information provided by Ted Ansley.
  • Ted describes how he put an LGB switch motor on an Aristo Craft turnout, to make the turnout work reliably on the automatic passing siding he built.
  • I have attached a screen shot of one of Ted's Flickr pages, that shows the "hybrid" turnout.
  • The below screen shot is from Ted's next-to-the-last web page,
    G Scale Automatic Control Circuits.
Above photo from Ted's
G Scale Automatic Control Circuits website

Below is the information that he sent. I will try to summarize what he said:
  • (1) The LGB switch motor fits right on the Aristo Craft turnout
  • (2) He had problems with the Aristo Craft switch motors not working well
  • (3) He says the "hybrid" switch works just as reliably as an LGB switch.
At 2:29 AM -0400 10/31/08, Ingram-James1-Private wrote:
Ted -
Please tell me anything you think might be useful for me to know, including the following: How do you get the motor mounted? I would assume the LGB motor and Aristo switch mounting interface would not be compatible?

At 11:18 AM -0400 10/31/08, Ted Ansley wrote:
  • (1) They are completely compatible, right down to the screw holes on the switches are all in the same places. This is true for both the 4 ft dia. and 10 ft. dia Aristo switches. Note that the 10ft dia. switches are ONLY availble with American style ties (smaller and more per foot) so if you looking for a 100% match in scale then consider that. I do own one 8 ft LGB switch, but when I started looking for the bigger switches the Aristo ones came highly recommend by my train club, and many of those guys use 10 dia curves.
  • I was lucky in that the first two switches I bought a couple of years ago at my local hobby store were manual aristos (4ft). The guy there asked if I was putting them outside, I said no, because I had asked about adding remote switch machines in the future. He said the (2) Aristo machines weren't that good, but would be ok inside, and LGB machines were much better. He indicated they were 100% compatible.
  • I eventually bought a lot of 6 used Aristo switches online, and a few LGB ones. I also bought some Aristo machines online and some LGB 71250? swtich control boxes. My original layout had 3 loops of track, with 2 sidings, and 10 4 ft. dia switches, 3 were LGB, 7 were AC. I had about 4 LGB switch machines and 6 AC. I had (2) all sorts of issues getting the Aristo Craft ones to work well, maybe 1 or 2 worked well but the others were very un-reliable. I essentially verified what the guy had told me.
  • So, I when I had money I would go to my local hobby store (Star Hobby in Annapolis MD..great store), and they were selling 12010's for $21, this was 1-1.5 years ago. I also bought one or two on ebay, and 2 more used LGB switches with them installed. Eventually I converted most of my remote switches to LGB switch machines.
  • Right now I think I have 12 or 13 LGB switch machines and 6 12070 and 12030s (supplemental switches -relays) including what is in the two autocontrol boxes I built. When I saw your plans I never hesitated to use the LGB machines on the large dia. AC switches. Get a hold of an AC switch, you'll see they are almost identical. (3) They work VERY reliably with LGB machines, I see no difference in switch operation or reliability, just in the switch machines.
  • I know I mentioned this too, I like using the AC track whenever I need blocks, because the connectors come off so easy and I replace them with the plastic ones. I have about 20 of those plastic insulated rail joiners, mostly AC, but I have 6 or 7 LGB ones too. They are identical, but the AC ones are black and the LGB ones are yellow. I like the black ones.

Possible Piko Replacement for Now-Hard-to-Find LGB Switch Motor
  • Also, check out this link ( http://www.piko.de/produkt_db/check.php?page=detail&grand_id=6&parent_id=5&child_id=0&id=35271 ) to see what PIKO is coming out with.
  • According to the Silvergate Distributors web page, and Star Hobby, they will be available soon. Suggested Retail is $49.99, I suspect they will be about $30.
From Piko website (using above link), 8/11/08

Ingram-James1-Private wrote:
Does the "hybrid" switch operate as reliably as an LGB switch ?

  • I didn't have any trouble burning out anything using my AC switch machines with the LGB control boxes, or with LGB switches, I just found they don't "throw" well or reliably. I brought this up with an AC rep at the York show 2 years, he simply told me to call their service number and return all the un-reliable switch machines and they would probably replace them. Being busy, and forgetful, I forgot to do it!
Regards, Ted

=== This page updated 12/06/2008 by James R. Ingram ===