Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Have any questions or tips and advice on how to build those bits that don't come ready made.
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Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Postby Andycap » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:52 am

Hi all.

I thought I would share some of my pictures of my Dapol turntable.

Firstly I decided on the Dapol kit for a couple of reasons. 1. Being on a tight budget. 2. I looked at all the other turntables, I did not like the Hornby offering (Too toy like). The Peco one was ok but I thought for the price and the work involved in motorizing it, I would be just as well off buying the Dapol kit and motorizing that.

I had an idea as to how I would motorize it and how i wanted it too look when finished so I got to work on it.

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I built the basic Kit.

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I was now stuck for placing it on my limited space layout, so riped up some sidings and a road.

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I decided that the only practical way of fitting it was to cut a hole out of the base and make a shallow well for it.

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I used a small stepper motor from an old desktop scanner for the drive. The stepper came with its own small 25:1 gearbox. I then used a Pic micro-controller to make the controller to drive the stepper. The advantage of using the stepper motor was that I only had to calibrate the table once and it would then know its position, i could then position the table wherever i liked, just by telling it how many steps to move.

I did have a little trouble at first when changing direction. There was a small amount of backlash in the gears, but that was soon overcome in the micro-controller software with a small routine to overcome the backlash.

I think it turned out ok and looks quite acceptable. Would love to see what you all think of it though.

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Re: Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Postby Andycap » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:55 am

IMAG0857.jpg (121.56 KiB) Viewed 4332 times

controller.jpg (73.18 KiB) Viewed 4326 times

This is the controller that I made for it.

I used the original scanner buttons on it as well :D

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Re: Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Postby Biscuits » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:11 pm

Looks good - I think an explanation of the electronics might be useful (for me anyway!). Is the motor mounted on the central axel?

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Re: Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Postby Andycap » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:56 pm


Thanks for the comment Biscuits.

The motor is mounted under the base board and i have fitted an axle to the output gear that runs up to the table, I have drilled out the base of the table and also fitted a cross pin to the axle that locates in two cutouts in the table. Whilst i was at it i also made a slip ring that fitted into the base of the turntable frame, I then fitted to pieces of copper tube through the table that hold two brushes (old ring-field motor brushes and springs) The brush holders are wired to each rail to transfer power to the rails.

If anyone is interested I will post a few more photo's of the slip ring and the base of the table.

The controller consists of a Pic Micro and an L293D( 4x half bridge driver). The stepper motor is driven directly from the L293d with the Pic sending the step pulses. I am driving the stepper motor with half steps (just to smooth out the motion at slow speeds)

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Re: Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Postby Essex2Visuvesi » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:48 am

Yes please do post some pics and a little more detail on the control system
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Re: Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Postby John Geeeee » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:09 pm

An interesting method. It would be good to see some pics of the motorising method if possible. I also tried to make a motorised version of this with a direct motor and gearbox attachment but it turned out a bit of a bodge job and i havn't got around to sorting it out properly yet. I plan to rig up some Meccano motor and gears next time. But I like what you have done with it, nice job.

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Re: Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Postby Andycap » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:15 pm

Hi all.

Sorry for the late reply, you know how it is at Christmas.

I have took another few pictures of the drive for my turntable.

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This is the contact ring and also shows the drive shaft with the cross pin.
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This is the underside of the turntable deck, showing the cut away for the cross pin to locate. The cross pin is off centre to the drive shaft so the table will only fit one way round.
IMG_0115.JPG (57.34 KiB) Viewed 4017 times

This shows the stepper motor and gears. The drive shaft goes into the small belt drive gear closest the the baseboard. It is attached again via a cross pin and also glued. It is a very simple method, but simple usually means reliable.

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Re: Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Postby Callmethedoctor2010 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:48 pm

Hi I know it's been ages Scince the last reply but I came across this post and tried to do what you have done

Now my question is how did you connect the motor to the controller and power some pictures could help please

I've got the stepper motor it's identical to yours what are all the 4 wires for ?



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Re: Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Postby Whiff_66 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:06 pm

That's very impressive, I've always wondered how others managed to motorize the dapol turntable kit. :)

Looks great, i might have to do the same method with mine, when i eventually get round to adding the table, i got the motors here already, but sadly space is very limited on my layout, so i will have to see how i can go around adding it.
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Re: Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Postby flying scotsman123 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:31 pm

had a great idea for motorsing turntable. use a drill. that would make it get a move on, and make the driver rather dizzy to i would imagine :lol: :lol:
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Re: Pictures of my Dapol Turntable

Postby jus » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:22 pm

This is really great. How smooth is it turning. The dapol mould is quite old?
I just wish i understood some of the electronics to try and replicate it.
I'm gonna have a go at motorising a dapol turntable with some technic lego worm gears, and a 4.5v old lego technic motor. I think they run at 4500rpm, so need to reduce it down some. Hopefully that'll increase the torque too, as i won't shift diddly squat on it's own.
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