Author Topic: Walthers switch machine  (Read 436 times)

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jon612

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Walthers switch machine
« on: November 08, 2019, 09:15:16 PM »
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Does anyone have any experience with the Walthers switch machines? I want to power my frogs but I cant figure out how.

From the manual "The switch machine also includes two integrated micro
switches which can be dedicated to other functions such
as switching frog power, signals or other layout feedback
functions. These switches are independent from all switch
machine electronics and can be used as a break-beforemake
circuit as the switch machine transits from the normal
and reverse positions."

Unfortunately, that is the only information provided. On the micro switch there are 3 connections, NC, NO and C.  No matter the position of the switch, there is always continuity between NC and C but never from NO to C. I thought I might of had a bad machine but I get the same results from all of them. 

Cajonpassfan

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Re: Walthers switch machine
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2019, 11:51:21 AM »
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Hmmm, that’s odd. See below, from MRH online magazine.
Hope this helps.
Otto K. [ Guests cannot view attachments ]
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 11:53:37 AM by Cajonpassfan »

peteski

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Re: Walthers switch machine
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2019, 11:22:35 PM »
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I'm unfamiliar with that switch machine, but I'm very familiar with micro-switches of all kinds.   Like pretty much all standard SPDT micro-switches, these are labeled as C, NO, NC, so they should work the way you expect them to work. If they do not, then something is not working properly.

Can you possibly see whether the micro-switch plungers are being pushed or released when the machine throws?

Are you mechanically inclined enough to take the switch machine apart to see what is going on inside?

I was also going to ask if you could post some closeup photos of the switch machine, but I don't think you have enough posts under you bell to be allowed to post photos (I believe you need at least 25 posts for that).
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 11:24:57 PM by peteski »
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Point353

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Re: Walthers switch machine
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2019, 01:40:43 AM »
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I'm unfamiliar with that switch machine, but I'm very familiar with micro-switches of all kinds.   Like pretty much all standard SPDT micro-switches, these are labeled as C, NO, NC, so they should work the way you expect them to work. If they do not, then something is not working properly.

I was also going to ask if you could post some closeup photos of the switch machine, ...

Reference guide: https://s3.amazonaws.com/aws.walthers.com/942-101+Switch+Machine+Advance+Control+Manual.pdf






jon612

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Re: Walthers switch machine
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2019, 09:50:46 AM »
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Thanks Otto. I found that post too. That same person posted that question at 3 different sites and that is the only thing I could find with regards to wiring up frogs with these switches. Even Model Railroader Mag had a video install but they didn't power up the frog.

Thanks for posting the images, Point.

Peteski, the image with 5 on it has a clear view of the back of the switch. The silver screw on the servo arm in image 6 is what puts pressure on the spring. However, it is not enough pressure to engage the button so I thought that will be an easy fix, I'll bend the spring out. Just to make things worse, once the button is engaged, I lose continuity between all points. I have consistent results on 4 switches (2 switches per switch machine) and have decided to stop. Maybe they had a bad batch of switches?

I have already been in contact with the retailer and they are being returned on Monday. It's kinda disappointing because I had a long weekend and was planning on laying some track and installing 5 turnouts and switch machines. Fortunately I decided to start on the bench rather than under the benchwork.

Thanks for all the help!

peteski

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Re: Walthers switch machine
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2019, 11:09:04 AM »
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Ah, so you can clearly see the micro-switches.  Can you remove one of the switches from the machine (2 screws) and then manually move the switch's metal leaf lever to see if it works properly?

Micro-switches produce a distinctive click (like the buttons in your computer mouse do, those are also micro-switches) when it toggles. If you hear that click as you press and release the metal lever, check the connections at the switch terminals to see if the proper internal  connections are being made.

If the switch works fine out of the machine then investigate why it no longer works when installed in the switch machine.
You already answered that.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 02:18:47 AM by peteski »
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narrowminded

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Re: Walthers switch machine
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2019, 05:41:37 PM »
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I hadn't really looked at this before.  It looks like a pretty slick setup. 8) 
Mark G.

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Re: Walthers switch machine
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2019, 06:22:14 PM »
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I hadn't really looked at this before.  It looks like a pretty slick setup. 8)

Looks like the design uses a small RC servo, and custom electronics to drive it.  Clever.
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narrowminded

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Re: Walthers switch machine
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2019, 12:51:46 AM »
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Looks like the design uses a small RC servo, and custom electronics to drive it.  Clever.

I've just finished investigating and ordering servos, drivers, and related parts to see if they'll be practical to use with the turnouts I've been working on.  The parts should be here when I get back from vacation.  I need to figure out the options and parts to make it all work... or why not to do it. ;) 
Mark G.

fire5506

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Re: Walthers switch machine
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2019, 10:26:49 PM »
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Looking at the pictures the C or 1 terminal should go to the frog as that is the common terminal. The NO or 2 terminal goes to one of the track leads, the NC or 3 terminal goes to the other track lead. If you get a short at the frog reverse the (NO/2) (NC/3) connections.
 When checking the switch you'll only get a reading between C/1 and the NO/2 or NC/3 terminals depending on if the switch is open or thrown.

Richard looking at MP 242 while working for the FEC Rwy.

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Rivet Miscounter

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Re: Walthers switch machine
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2019, 05:53:58 PM »
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I have seen a few references saying that the arms of the micro-switches aren't (always) properly "sprung" and thus aren't being engaged by the servo.  The "fix" is to gently bend the arm out so that it is properly pushed down with enough movement to activate.
Doug