Author Topic: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches  (Read 9872 times)

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railroadadam

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Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« on: January 23, 2012, 02:39:16 PM »
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I am a rank newbie trying to get started with Atlas code 55 N scale track and am planning my layout. I don't really understand much about wiring, and don't have a good mentor for this stuff, so I am hoping that someone here can lend a hand with some details and/or photos of how to wire the turnouts in this track.

I think I understand the whole polarity thing and the reason for powering the frog, but I'm not really solid on the actual mechanics of wiring the switches. It's going to be a small layout (and my first since my childhood HO setup), so I don't want to get too complicated. I really liked the technique that Erik W used for wiring a turnout using a slide switch found here:

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=15405.15

But I am confused on how to implement the wiring of those switches (and the choice SPDT vs DPDT).

Why is he using DPDT switches?

A DPDT switch has 6 terminals. I really need a wiring diagram for wiring the turnout to this switch. What connects to what??

Can someone help fill in the wiring on this diagram


Thanks for any help in advance!

Scottl

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 03:47:02 PM »
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You can use a SPDT switch too, but the extra set of contacts is good for signals or lights that indicate turnout position.

BTW, I plan to use this approach for my yard. I'm hoping to mount NZT switch machines on the knob of the switch to hide it and attach the switch to the turnout with a wire with a spring bend in it.  The key will be to keep the glue from the ballast out of the switch...  I'm thinking to fill it with non-conductive oil...
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 04:17:28 PM by Scottl »

wcfn100

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 03:54:21 PM »
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The power pack doesn't need to come into play here.  And like Scott said, you don't need DPDT.





Jason

wm3798

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2012, 03:59:55 PM »
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I wire my slide switches into the bus wire, not to the track.  Cuts down on the visible solder blobs.

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Scottl

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 04:00:19 PM »
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Thanks Jason.  I'm graphically challenged.

Scottl

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 04:01:13 PM »
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I like Lee's solution, clever.

wcfn100

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 04:12:16 PM »
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If you have a bus, go with Lee's pic.  And mine's wired backwards if you're using the slide switch to throw the points.  I was thinking more in terms of using the switch as a route indicator.


Jason

railroadadam

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 05:17:13 PM »
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I want to use the slide switches to control the points as well. Just like Eric W did. I hope you'll all pardon my very basic questions and attempts to achieve clarity. Some of this stuff is mentioned all over the web but NEVER very clearly. Explanations always seem to start out assuming a level of knowledge just beyond me.   :o  I'm hoping my forum posts will be useful to VERY beginners like me.  :)

So to confirm my understanding of Lee's solution...

The bus wires come from the power pack. Feeders will periodically drop from the track to the bus wires (distance between feeders is debated). According to Lee, we would wire the switch to the bus wires and the center terminal to the turnout frog. Connecting the switch to the point control bar (manually, using Eric W's technique in post: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=15405.15) would allow the turnout to be controlled using the switch.

When the switch is thrown the polarity of the frog will be changed appropriately for traffic going over the turnout as the points are set.

The second side of the DPDT switch could be used to control a red-green signal at the same time. If you were NOT planning to use a signal, you could use a SPDT switch.

I'm bound to wire the switch in reverse at least a few times, but as long as I understand this correctly, I think I'll be ok.

Thanks for all your help and I'm looking forward to using this forum as a resource going forward!

John

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 05:41:19 PM »
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I think you have it ..

wm3798

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 06:32:39 PM »
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If you use a bus wire, color code it.  I use white wire on one side, black on the other.  With all my loopty loops, it gets kind of confusing, but I look at the track work as east and west.  White goes to the north rail, black to the south.

I also pre wire the slide switches, using white and black (I use red for the center tab).  I also pre-drill the plastic slider to accept the actuating wire.

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

John

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 06:53:31 PM »
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I prefer to use red and black for the bus .. the black always connects to the rail closest to the edge of the benchwork ... for the slides, I try to use white for the center tap that goes to the frog .. no matter what, pick a scheme, and stick with it if you can ..

nscalemike

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2012, 12:35:09 PM »
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I'm bound to wire the switch in reverse at least a few times, but as long as I understand this correctly, I think I'll be ok.

If you do you'll find out as soon as you turn the power on and run a train, but just flip the wires.  I agree with John and Lee, color code it.  One, once you get one done right all the rest will be super easy, and two, in a few years when you are having to replace/modify/add something you will know what is what. 

Good luck!

Mike

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2013, 12:43:58 PM »
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Sorry about resurecting this thread but the topic came up here https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=25551.330 and felt that there was some new information and points coming out that could be added to this one...

The slide switch is similar to what I've been experimenting with...





I ordered a 100 piece sample from a chinese maufacturer.

I've installed and tested these on 2 Atlas turnouts and they work fine. A pin is inserted between the switch knob and the throwbar and I just move the points to the position I want with my uncoupling tool. The 1.5mm throw is just right to have the "over-center" of the slide switch keep the points in place and, as a bonus, I can power the frog.

The biggest problem I've encountered is the actual soldering on such a small scale but once it's done they work fine.

What is left to be seen is if the Gorilla Glue that attaches them to the head block tie will withstand repeated use.
That's a cool approach, Mike. I would suggest, however, smaller wire. Like maybe 32AWG that we get for DCC decoder work. The size of wire you show will put a lot of mechanical strain on everything, and is likely to break the glue bond long before anything you do by pushing the points back and forth.
An excellent suggestion, Mike. This is still in the "experimental" stage so there is a lot of fine tuning to do yet. I have to admit to still being a novice when it comes to soldering and such but I'm very glad that you see the possibilities of the approach... Like Dave, I saw huge ground throws as ugly and the expense of tortise machines and frog juicers as prohibitive and thought that there had to be a better way.
If I understand that correctly, Mike, you're switch is completely buried under the turnout and hidden.  That must look great, but I would be concerned for servicing, if one fails.  The idea of having to pull a turnout in the future, potentially destroying my trackwork (especially if ballasted), makes me cringe.  I hope you find that they are bulletproof.  I look forward to seeing your "after" pic once installed.

DFF
I used a vaguely similar approach to Mike's on the old WR&N IV, except I did not mount the switch on the turnout, and I didn't use micro slide switches. Instead, I mounted standard subminiature toggle switches to a bracket, under the scenery nearby, and linked the toggle to the throwbar with a length of brass rod. This allowed me to access the toggle switches as needed. It was also somewhat easier to install, since no special preparations were needed to lay the switch. (So I guess it's not even vaguely similar to Mike's approach; oh, well...)

In addition to the above, I connected a second brass rod to the first one, which passed through the layout fascia, and attached a pushpin knob to it, for manual activation of the switch.

Edit: a picture...



I think most any kind of switch that provides a positive over-center action can be substituted.

Like Mike, I bought a whack of switches via a Hong Kong ebay seller and the 50 cost me about $5 including the shipping.  They are small enough to fit between the head blocks, which has encouraged me to work them along the lines of Dave's approach.

By my way of thinking, the problem with putting them below the ties as Mike suggests is that it requires moving the points, a distance less than the travel of the switch.  I'm not sure that will be a reliable movement once installed.  By contrast, the switch at the surface allows the user to move the switch, and the difference in travel between the slide switch and the points is made up with flex in the linkage. 

To cover up the switch head, I envisioned attaching a NZT switch machine to the top of the switch nub, possibly by drilling an inset into the NZT casting underside to give it a more secure fit.  That way, you are moving the casting and most, if not all, of the electrical switch is hidden.

I'm definitely interested in other approaches to this, but I love the directness of this approach to routing the turnouts and the powering of the frog.  At about $0.10 each, it is also very economical.
Mike Maisonneuve
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http://nscalenar.blogspot.ca/

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2013, 10:44:50 PM »
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The reason I went with these switches is that the slide travel is 1.5mm and all the Atlas switches I measured had 1.4 to 1.5mm of point travel so once the pin between the knob and the throwbar is in place the travel is always correct. My logic for pushing the points to throw the turnout rather than moving a switchstand is that the switchstand above the knob would probably be relatively fragile and I will have an uncoupling pick in hand while operating anyway... dual use tool.

I agree that the switch mounted under the head block tie will be difficult to service. Future installs will be tried with the switch above the ties and a scale switchstand attached to the knob as well as the connecting pin.

My original brainwave I began with was to use a mini micro rotary switch... but I couldn't find one that had the proper movement. I needed one that would turn 90 degrees and give me the 1.5mm of travel on an armature I needed for the points. The control knob also needed to be small enough to modify into a scale switchstand. The whole idea was that, once intalled, you could operate the switch by sliding a small diameter chunk of tubing with slots cut to accept the target over the switchstand and twist 90 degrees... voila!!! A scale operating switchstand with functional targets!!! Nice idea... if I could find the hardware. Maybe DKS can invent us one!  :trollface:

Mike
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Modeling the Northern Alberta Railway's Peace River subdivision in N scale
http://nscalenar.blogspot.ca/

Chris333

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Re: Wiring Atlas Code 55 turnouts using slide switches
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 03:29:50 AM »
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The switches I use just happen to be DPDT. I just bend the tabs so they touch each other. Then when I solder the wire on it also solders the two tabs together. I just call it insurance in case one side goes out.  :tommann: