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Thread: Homemade Switch Controllers For Atlas, Peco, Kato & Tomix

  1. #21
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    Well of course I know I need wire. I should have made clear I do NOT want to use those blue Kato switches. I have a few momentary DPDT switches, and will use those in a panel I make crudely outlining my track plan. I was wondering if there was a way to avoid soldering all the wires to those DPDT's, but I guess I'll have to learn......then its that and a double aa battery holder, as I'm going that route for power. I've heard that is all that's needed to throw the Kato turnouts, power-wise. So is THAT it ??? Hopefully I'll be off and running soon...doing some switching on the layout and having fun.....thanks for the info

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    If your DPDI switches were large enough you could use crimp connectors that slide over the tabs.

    Pointing out the obvious is important. You'd be surprised how many members need to plug the computers into the wall after a call to warranty service.
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  4. #23
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    Chicago, I feel slightly silly asking this but where to the coils come from? Is this simply for push button operation instead of a manual throw using a DPDT switch to a knob?

    Ben

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    The coils are built into the switch motor.

    In Kato and Tomix/TomyTec they are built into the ballast. On Atlas, Bachmann, Roco, Arnold and many others, they are in that bulge, connected to the turnout. For Peco it's that huge coil and wire thing you stick onto the turnout.

    In any case they are the workhorse of the system. They make the moving parts move. The reason some are in two colors and others one color is to show why some turnouts have three wires or only two. In the three wire system the two different coils are powered separately to pull a steel slug from one coil to the other. That's why you can power them with either AC or DC current. Tomix and Kato use a magnet rather than steel and the polarity of the coil{s} pulls or pushes the magnet.

    The principle for all cases is to remotely activate a turnout with a switch motor.

    Does that answer the question?
    Last edited by ChicagoNW; 27th Jan 2015 at 10:27 PM.
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    Yes it does! Thank you sir!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
    The switch controls two different functions. The brown wires are the 12v DC power source. The green wires change the polarity of the incoming current. The red wires carry the current to and from the coils. The purple wire caries current to the LEDs The zig-zag line is a resistor. The orange wire takes it back to the source. The triangles with the line represent diodes. The red and green ones with the arrows pointing away from them are Light Emitting Diodes.

    The triple throw double pole switch could control three actions but here it is used to control two circuits from one power source. The one using the green wires selects the polarity of the current to the coils. the other section selects which LED gets power.

    The LEDs are wired so that either the red or green is lighted as long as the power is on. The push button is to energize the turnout motor.

    Hope this helps. Don't be afraid to ask more questions.
    Do you need the push button for this setup on the Tomix and Kato turnouts? Can you use the led's without the pushbutton and just use the toggle itself? Just wondering? What would you prefer? I am seriously thinking going this route due to the cost of the turnout decoders and/or the cost of tomix switch controllers. Due to to overall cost of my layout and it having about 20 switches, keeping in mind most of them have two sets of wires due to the triple and double crossover and double slip operations. The DPDT toggle switches will cut cost and look better as an dispatcher board setup.

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    If you use momentary toggle switches (like the first kato/tomix example).
    The push button is there in the other examples so current doesn’t continue to flow through the coil and burn it out (the toggles aren’t momentary).
    Bryan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
    If you use momentary toggle switches (like the first kato/tomix example).
    The push button is there in the other examples so current doesn’t continue to flow through the coil and burn it out (the toggles aren’t momentary).
    Thanks! I was thinking that after the fact. Only thing now is how will I set up a three way switch with two toggles? I guess depending on the direction the three way is facing and either if it's a left or right hand side one.

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    Well, since the three way turnout use two different motors to move the points. Using two different controls toggles makes good sense. Here's a look at the track...
    https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10055167
    As you can see, there are two leads coming out of the turnout. Each one powering a one of the divergent routes. Remember, this track has three outlets, straight, left or right.

    One way to create a "lockout" would be to use locking toggles but to send power to them using a single push button. Similar to creating a routing controller. You would set the route, then apply power to make it happen. Basically, the three-way is just two different turnouts, in a single package.

    When placing the two control toggles into your control board. Place them right next to each other with the push button.
    Kinda like ... So the three switches are associated to each other. Your other toggles (for normal turnouts) would have more space between them. Also using different colored caps/buttons for each set will help separate the sets.
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