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Thread: Atlas Electric Switch & Relay Help

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    Default Atlas Electric Switch & Relay Help

    Hi all,

    I just test wired up my 1st Atlas code 80 switch machine and Atlas #200 relay and am having a very weird problem. When I push the Atlas switch control box button to activate the switch, the relay operates properly but the switch doesn't move. Same story with both directions. I can feel the switch motor getting current when the button is pressed, yet it doesn't throw the switch. If I disconnect the relay box, the switch motor operates properly! So either the relay works, or the switch motor but never both at the same time. I'm pretty confident I've wired the thing properly so I'm at a loss...the only thing I think could be an issue is the wiring from the Atlas switch control box to the relay is 20 gauge, and the wire from the Atlas switch control box to the turnout is that tiny wire (not sure what gauge) they come standard with.

    This may be a silly question, but as I'm just beginning to learn electronics I really don't know. Since the wire gauge going to the relay is significantly larger than the wire gauge going to the turnout...is it possible that difference is enough that sufficient current is getting to the relay to activate it, but not the turnout switch motor? Here's a shot of what things look like if it helps...

    Thanks.

    relay switch wiring.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis.1960 View Post
    Since the wire gauge going to the relay is significantly larger than the wire gauge going to the turnout...is it possible that difference is enough that sufficient current is getting to the relay to activate it, but not the turnout switch motor?..
    That's it exactly. Since there is so much less resistance going to the relay, most of the current flows that way.

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    Thanks! Beginning the switch-relay wiring was my 1st electronic project for my RR and while it was very frustrating when it didn't work...it actually feels pretty darn good that I understood why

    Looks like I'm off to get some of that 3 conductor "bell wire" telephone gauge to match the size coming off the switch machine...
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    Henry,
    Here are a couple of links for you: http://www.eastbank.org.uk/circuits.htm https://taprk.org/eng/general/cdu.htm http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Electrical.html. Just some basic information about electrical
    wiring for model RR. I use Peco twin coil switch machines and some Atlas relay like you are using. I have a Peco capacitor discharge (pl-35) and do not have any problems with either one not throwing. Hope this helps.

    Doug

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    Quote Originally Posted by SluderD View Post
    Henry,
    Here are a couple of links for you: http://www.eastbank.org.uk/circuits.htm https://taprk.org/eng/general/cdu.htm http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/Electrical.html. Just some basic information about electrical
    wiring for model RR. I use Peco twin coil switch machines and some Atlas relay like you are using. I have a Peco capacitor discharge (pl-35) and do not have any problems with either one not throwing. Hope this helps.

    Doug
    Thanks. I picked up a few "electronic projects for model railroaders" books and one I'm planning to try is the capacitor protected switch circuit
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    Just wanted to post a quick follow up to confirm that my switch-relay combo is now working! Went out and bought some 4 conductor telephone wire and the gauge matches the atlas switch machine wire gauge if not exactly, then very closely Next step, wire some LED's to the relay to begin my control panel and dwarf signal project prototype...

    relay wiring works.jpg
    No such thing as spare time.
    No such thing as free time.
    No such thing as down time.
    All you got is lifetime.
    Go.
    - Henry Rollins

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