To install the actuator.
Firstly determine which side of the switch you should mount the actuator so that the switch is set to the most used direction when not energized. Offer the actuator under the headblocks (the two long ties) of the switch so that the throw pin is under the switch throwbar. Note the position and drill a 5/32" hole in the throwbar, see photo. Insert the throw pin into the hole and let the actuator plate rest under the headblocks. Now pull the plate back about 1/8” to apply some spring tension to the point rails, and mark the position of the mounting holes in the headblocks. Drill .079”dia holes (#49 drill) in the headblocks and attach the plate with #2-56x3/8” screws. Check for free movement of the throwbar. The actuator has ½” of movement, and will give a 20oz force to close the point rails in both directions.
To protect the moving parts from stones and dirt, cut an 8” long piece of 1” landscape pipe lengthwise to make a trough under the headblocks.
Hose is UV resistant brown or black colored polyurethane. Simply push onto the barbed fittings of components for a permanent join. Hose and fittings will take 90psi without damage.
HOSE, per 10 ft $3.90
HOSE, 500ft reel $150.00 (black only)
Adaptor set to connect the system to an air compressor. Has a 1/8”NPT and a ¼” NPT male fitting
Solenoid valve to pneumatically control switches using an electrical signal, for example an AirWire 900 system. Solenoid is 12VDC (option 24VDC), and uses 1Watt of power. Must be mounted on a manifold, which can take up to 4 solenoids
SOLENOID MANIFOLD $28.95
The actuator is screwed to the headblocks of the switch and the throw pin is inserted into a hole drilled in the throwbar. Up to ½” movement is possible, most turnouts need about ¼”. It comes with a straight barb connector. You can order an elbow (ELL) to make a right angle turn out of the actuator. (Note : The original cylinder used has been discontinued and a new stainless steel one is now used) Please see installation instructions below.
The toggle switch is best mounted on a panel for convenience. Connect the back port to the supply, the side port to the turnout.
The Sunset Valley pneumatic switch operating system is a simple and robust way to remotely operate your G gauge switches, using industrially rated components for reliability and long life. The system will work with all popular makes of G gauge switches. Installation is very simple. All you need is an actuator, a toggle switch and some hose, as can be seen in the photo, together with a compressed air supply (the hoses can be up to 200 ft long). Our system fits to Del-Aire and EZ Aire components
The toggle switch either applies or releases air pressure to the actuator, which throws the railroad switch. An internal spring in the actuator resets the switch when pressure is released. The user needs to provide a small compressor to supply air at 30psi to the system. (The components of our system are rated for 90psi, but 30psi is all you need). An alternative, suggested and used by Michael Ragg of Argyle Locomotive, Australia, is a regular 2 gallon garden sprayer, pumped up to 40psi. This should last a whole operating session without re-pumping.
Hooking up the solenoids to an Airwire 900 system
See links below to hook up the solenoids to your DCC system
A nice installation of three actuators with some added weathering. The nearest switch has the actuator underneath it and is almost invisible (Courtesy Paul Burch)
Indicator, to tell if the line to each switch is activated. No electrical power required. Just tee off the line to the switch. The bezel color turns from black to red
INDICATOR RED $17.95
The toggle switch has a nickel plated lever, however this can still rust a little in very humid outdoor environments. This white plastic cover will hide and reduce rusting.
Manifolds have 6 outlets and are used for controlling multiple switches. To change it to a 4 outlet connect a piece of hose between 2 outlets. To change it to a 5 outlet replace the plug at the end with a barb and connect a piece of hose between 2 outlets. To change it to a 7 outlet replace the plug with a barb. To make more outlets, daisy chain manifolds together.
MANIFOLD 6 $18.95
Use a Tee to operate two turnouts simultaneously from one toggle switch. Use a Union to join two pieces of hose.
Hooking up the solenoids to a Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI)
(Courtesy Eric Reuter)
An advanced application of 24 solenoids and indicators integrated with an AirWire 900 control (Courtesy Jim Cary)
Screw the barb into a fitting and push a hose onto the barb for a permanent connection. Screw the plug into a fitting to seal up the opening