When it comes to NSW scale turntables. There isn’t a finer looking model on the market than that made by Anton’s trains. Over the years he has refined the model with roller bearings on the bridge, and improved contacts on the flywheel under the turntable.
I purchased one of these nearly 3 years ago, despite warnings from friends that the electronics simply doesn’t work. Well, for a couple of weeks all was well, and then the problems started.
First I used an auto reverser with DCC to switch the voltage once the loco was turned. It often simply didn’t reverse, and countless hours were spent cleaning track and contacts, to no permanent avail.
I even designed a mechanical microswitch activated by the flywheel. In the end I gave up on this too due to reliability and adjustment issues.
Mechanical attempt at reversal.
Then there was the motor, which stalled at various points while turning. It seemed the gears were an issue and I adjusted them many times. As well bad or dirty contacts proved fatal.
With all of this I consulted many experts, all with different and sometimes elaborate solutions. This went on for over 2 years.
I purchased a second turntable a few months ago. I was assured there were many improvements and that now it would run perfectly. It did for a couple of weeks and then the old problems started appearing.
It was obvious that all of the advice and all of my efforts were not solving the issue, that of contacts not closing sufficiently for the unit to work.
I thought about and the idea was, what if I passed the wires through a slip ring? I found one that was small enough for the job, and ordered one.
Eventually it arrived, it was small, and then the issue was to mount it. I drilled 3 holes in the collar on the flywheel of the turntable and screwed the slip ring into it by tapping the hole. Then I connected the wires from the flywheel to the fixed side of the slip ring, and connected the moving wires to the terminal block where the contacts connected.
As it turned out, I didn’t have to secure anything as the slip ring rotated freely.
The result is that the turntable now works flawlessly, including the auto reverser. It gave me satisfaction to know that a bit of my engineering background was used to solve the issue. When I get my next slip ring, the other turntable is getting similar treatment so I can move on to other projects.
Here is a video of it operating and below is information on how to do the modification.
Slip ring ( purchase it here)
M3 x 35mm Round Head Nuts and Bolts from Bunnings
Undo the screw tensioning the motor and remove it. Loosen the other screw holding the motor and then remove the belt connecting it to the flywheel
Loosen the screw holding the flywheel onto the bridge and remove the flywheel.
Drill 3 x 2.3 mm holes in the flywheel collar. Make them as close to the edge as possible and equal distance apart. I made a template using the slip ring for correct placement of these holes. Don’t drill right through, 4-5 mm is sufficient.
Take the M3 screws and screw them into the holes. They will self tap. Once there is enough thread to hold them, remove them.
Place the screws through the holes in the slip ring with the moving section of the slip ring away from the flywheel. Place nuts to tighten the screw to the slip ring.
Screw the ends of the screws into the collar.
Wires are soldered onto terminals under the flywheel. Desolder each of these and attach to equivalent fixed wires on the slip ring.
Wiring to the turntable side of the slip ring is as follows
Yellow to Yellow
Red to Red
Blue to Green
Brown to Brown
Diode to Black
Be sure to use heat shrink to prevent short circuits.
Tin the edges of the wires from the moveable side of the slip ring and screw into the terminals as follow
1 – Yellow
2 – Red
5 – Black
9 – Brown
10 – Green
Now screw the flywheel back onto the bridge.
Re-attach the motor and drive belt and tension the drive belt
Install an autoreverser between the DCC bus and terminals 1 and 12. I recommend the Tam Valley dual frog juicer.
Test your turntable for operation and you are done!
The whole modification will take less than an hour.
Expect more articles from me to improve your modelling experience. I have built a DCC layout from the ground up over the last 4 years, learning heaps along the way.