atlas switch control

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by jaijef, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. jaijef

    jaijef New Member

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    hello all,I have several atlas #6 switches on my layout.I also have several Tortoise switch controllers/motors too.I have a very hard time installing the tortoise on the layout and making it throw the switch.I am writing because I recently got fed up w/the tortoise and tried another route, so to speak.I bought an Atlas switch machine and an Atlas switch controller (just in case) and I went to Radio Shack to pick a DPDT Center Off switch, also just in case.I was wondering since the atlas switch machine has 3 wire, red green and black, if I could somehow wire it to the DPDT switch and use the DPDT instead?I had a layout in 1980 that used the Atlas switch controller and the controller did not work not long after installation, so I am trying to avoid using them.I might use the Tortoise if I have to, but I get very aggrevated during the installation and testing to see if it works.Thanks in advance for the help and advice.sincerelyjaijef
  2. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    I just got finished installing and configuring a Smartswitch from anemodel.com it was easy once I figured out I have the wires backwards.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Do not wire the Atlas machine to the dpdt unless you want to release the magic smoke. The Atlas machines are momentary contact only. I had used the Atlas buttons for years with no problem until I went manual. They are usually very sturdy.

    Loren
  4. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    Hi...If you want to go the DPDT center-off switch route...There are some that are just momentary contact...You push them to one side or the other and the lever snaps back to the center postion. I use them to line up my turntables using the ol' eye-ball indexing system....
  5. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

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    I agree with you 100% steamhead. The instructions for the Atlas turnouts warns " DO NOT HOLD THE BUTTON DOWN FOR LONGER THAN ONE SECOND " ( the ONE is underlined )

    Jacques
  6. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

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    You could use a DPDT in series with a momentary pushbutton.

    Jeff
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    If you want push buttons...You can forego the DPDT switch and just use one button for each throw of the turnout. The "common" wire between the two coils can go directly from your power source to the switch machine. The same can be done using a SPDT momentary contact (center off) switch used as in my previous post.
    I use the 2-push button method, "daisy-chaining" one of the poles from the power source to one terminal of all the push buttons, and then a wire from the other terminal of the push buttons to the coils of the switch machines.
    If you use push buttons (cheaper & more "logical"), make sure you get the "NORMALLY OPEN" kind. The normally closed ones will let the smoke out of your switch machines faster than you can say "Oohhhh S....t"!!! ....:eek:
  8. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

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    I don't get it Jeff, why to use both a DPDT AND a pushbutton ?

    Jacques
  9. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    I have about 50 atlas switches in my yard and over 100 on my layout I have a hot wire and ground wire going aroud the layout all switches run off of these. I also nave a gizmo from certronics with a capacitor on it wired in line it gives a quick burst of power then cut off until button is released. this prevents smokeing the celonoid. i use push buttons on facia to activate the switches. the system works flawlesly. but the atlas switches are dieing. I highly recomend useing Peco.
    Les
  10. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    I agree with Les...Pecos is the way to go...!!

    Les...How is that capacitor wired..?
  11. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    ll of min are under the benchwork.
    Les
  12. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

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    As Steamhead pointed out you could use two pushbuttons. The idea of a DPDT is to use the pushbutton for the momentary contact. A (ON)-OFF-(ON) DPDT would work, too. A non-momentary switch would eventually get left on and burn out the motor.
  13. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    steam head I answered your question but it is gone. The capacitor and its small circuit board is just placed in line. when you activate the switch it sends a burst of electricity that I believe will throw 16 atlas machines. Then the current stops to prevent burning the solenoid when the cercuit is released (button released) the capacitor recharges for the next time. I use the push buttons on my fascia and lost some machines from people leaning on the button. All of my machines are under the board types and that can be a pain to replace.
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    If you want something cheaper and sturdier than the pushbuttons or the Atlas control, I use "stud and probe". The studs can be bought (Peco make them) but small brass screws (#4 are good) do just as well. Screw them in where you need them; on a track diagram or just numbered on a strip of board. They have to stick out the other side where you solder the wires that go to the switch machine. You wire the switch machine common back to the power supply and get a ling wire from the other side of the power supply in front of the control panel. You may want to stick a pointy probe on this wire. Touch the end of the wire or probe to one of the screws and throw your switch. Touch the other screw and throw it back.
    Your probe wire should be long enough to dangle below your control panel and not touch anything.

    The Capacitor Discharge Unit is like the circuit that fires the flash unit in a camera, but with a bigger capacitor. I bought one last week for approaching $40 in my LHS. They mostly have 2 wires in and 2 wires out.
  15. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    Ok....Thanks. I take it it's placed between the power pack and the switch circuits..?
  16. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

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    OK, now I understand your point of view .

    Jacques
  17. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    David the system you are talking about works great I have it for my yard and distant switches that lead to it
    [​IMG]

    I use the push buttons around the layout so the control is right there where you are working. All of the power goes through the capacitor . I want to hear the switch movement so there is no question as to it working.
    Les
  18. Harold Cole

    Harold Cole Member

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    I've got over 50 Atlas switchs operating From Tortoise Machines and have no problems at all with them throwing the switch's.But they are like wrestling a Croc when trying to install,the templet helps out installing just fine.The first 2 or 3 that i first installed i said a few Curse words that even SCARED me.When i got the templet,everything went smooth.
  19. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

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    I used Atlas switch track. I have also used momentary DPDT switches. THIS is a MUST to used. A few years ago I posted how I made my digital controller. Why do I used the term "digital" controller? Because I used NAND IC (computer chips) to help show which track is switched. That's what the red LED's are for. The green LED's is to indicate power to the track. You can do a search here on The Gauge on how to build this. Is the Group wants me too. I can repost it myself.

    Andy

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  20. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

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    A quick note. The black wires can all be tied together. They are the ground or common connection. Radio Scrap (Shack) doesn't sell these switches anymore. I get my parts from Ham Fest or Mouser Electronics.

    Andy